The UK gets another new culture secretary because the last one we had wasn't useless enough and the Chairman of Arts Council England is weird about his TV screens.
Friday, 18 April, 2014
Friday, 28 March, 2014
©2014 Article19 all rights reserved
+44 131 208 1845 - [email protected]
Welcome dear readers to what was a tumultuous week in the wide world of culture, sort of, and the media was on hand to cover it all.
Gone and Forgotten
The biggest news of the week was the resignation of the UK's Culture Secretary
Delores Umbridge Maria Miller from the Department for Culture Media and Sport.
Ms Miller resigned not because the government she is a part of engineered massive cuts to culture and pretty much anything else in the country but because of some phoney outrage over expenses claims.
It's not what you do that matters it's what you do that people can relate to doing themselves that matters and claiming more on your expenses than is due is something everybody can relate to.
They just love it when other people get caught doing it and they can rant about it in the comment thread on a Daily Mail story.
Her replacement is Sajid Javid a guy nobody has ever heard of but apparently he worked in the banking industry so he probably knows a great deal about fraud and corruption..... from an enforcement point of view that is, probably.
"Conservative MP Sajid Javid has been named as the new culture secretary.The MP for Bromsgrove has been promoted from his current role as Financial Secretary to the Treasury."
What this means for the arts in general is almost certainly nothing. Mr Javid will be in post for about a year and all previous culture secretaries have managed to do during the tenure of the current government is cut funding and not reform anything at all.
So why would this guy be any different?
As for Ms Miller? Well if the government returns for another stint in charge of everything she will probably be back doing nothing much at all in some other government department. Sans getting re-elected though we shall never hear from her again.
Alas, we barley knew her...
Really, This Guy?
The Chairman of Arts Council England, Peter Bazalgette, is also, apparently, a "media consultant" and it was in this guise he was sounding off about how technology helps creative people do something or other.
Writing in "Campaign", a god awful industry publication of no consequence, Mr Bazalgette waxed lyrical about having some sort of weird relationship with a TV screen in his office;
"I have a computer display screen mounted on my wall like a picture; it is called Fiona. She is currently blinking at me. Now she has raised her eyebrows - and, if I play my cards right, she might just smile... ah, she's smiled. If you look at it only for a short while, you get the impression that she is reacting to you."
Well, ok then....
Voldermort (as we affectionately refer to him here in TheLab™) also brought up the tired old line about the National Theatre broadcasting their work into cinemas but forgets to mention, as ever, how much money it costs to do that. A pertinent piece of information if ever there was one.
He finishes of his missive with this completely bizarre statement;
"If you simply ask the audience what sort of shows they want, you end up with Snakes on a Plane. Danny Boyle was needed to create a vision for a great show for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony."
It's some sort of defence of public funding for the arts but we have no idea what that has to do with a film from 2006 that the vast majority of people never saw.
Hull, a city in the North of England that is commonly referred to as 'Ull by locals and people making jokes, is the City of Culture for 2017.
In order to prepare the residents and anybody who cares about phoney government lanyards proclaiming one thing or another the city council has launched a 1000 days to go countdown until the big day finally arrives.
"Today (Monday, April 7) marks 1,000 days to go until the first day of Hull's spectacular City of Culture year. With events scheduled to take place every single day throughout 2017, this is a major milestone in the journey that will change the way the world sees Hull forever."
We don't know about you, but here in theLab™ we have trouble remembering what's coming up next week, never mind 1000 days from now (or 995 days at the time of writing).
It's not clear if there is some giant clock somewhere in 'Ull counting down the numbers in minutes and seconds but we certainly hope there isn't. When such counters finally reach their zero number people tend be underwhelmed when nothing at all of any interest happens.
The Week in Tweets
Arts Professional magazine tweeted that Creative Scotland, the tartan and shortbread version of ACE, has pledged to support arts organisations....
kinda like a hospital pledging to treat sick people @ArtsPro and clarify its role in preventing illness...— Article19 (@Article19) April 9, 2014
We responded as only we could.
Have a nice weekend.