Oct. 10th, 2011

askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
Today I spent a day at The National College in Nottingham. I am beginning a course I don't feel particularly strongly about but which will give me the illusion of career progression in my current role and enable me to walk into a well paid job in locations other than my current one on account of ticking that all important 'qualifications' box.

This building is HUGE. It has no fewer than three, three storey atriums and a lot of empty classrooms/conference rooms. Here is a picture of a bit of the building;



Massive.

So, our course tutor, a man who was offered such good money to become a NCSL tutor that he quit his job as a Primary School Headteacher (a well paid job, if you were wondering), tells us, proudly, that the building was built by Tony Blair.  It was Labour's initiative, he tells us, which established the National College and created these qualifications (not unlike an NVQ, but for 'leadership').  

I am, therefore, sitting inside a New Labour folly; a monument of wood and glass to wasted money. A monument to creating excessively, disproportionately, well paid jobs for people 'training' people to receive qualifications in the job they are already doing, or would previously simply have learnt by doing, not by writing down how they would do it.

More specifically, I am sitting in a building which - in a roundabout way - is the reason there is no money left in the country.  And no money left in the country means cuts to Arts funding.  Cuts to Arts funding means fewer scholarships and bursaries.  Fewer bursaries and scholarships mean stiffer competition. Stiffer - insane - competition means I los[e/t] out at Hull and I am not currently beginning my PhD research.

In short, the man standing in front of me, droning on about 'evidence types' and 'professional standard written English' and the need to understand your 'learning style' is earning per annum enough money to put me through university as a Postgrad for 3 years.  The window I am gazing out of could have bought me, what - all my textbooks? Sent me to a conference? paid my electric bill for the first month?

All around me is waste.  Waste which has such a profound impact I am forced to engage with it, am swept along in its pervasive ooze; just so I can remain in employment and, most distasteful of all, perpetuate it by falling down this rabbit hole of a career path.

Labour left this country, specifically education and the arts, with the most appalling debt.  The insidious self-perpetuating nature of their callous waste will keep me awake tonight, as it has done many nights before.  And what can I do about it? Can't vote Liberal, won't vote Tory, can't vote Labour.  Can't send an invoice for my lost future/ambition.  Can't win.  Can't beat them.  Got to join them.  

Joining them, filled with self loathing, disgust and fury.  Pure, undirected, righteous fury.

That Band.

Oct. 10th, 2011 09:00 pm
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
You know how I bang on about the Manics all.the.fucking.time? Well, it's coming up to the release of the boxset of the last 21 years of singles and there's lots of publicity in various music magazines from various journalists and celebs.  Below is a memory of a track which, all in all, pretty much sums up everything I feel about them.  I particularly like "heroically ridiculous, serious/not serious/deadly seriousnessness" description of band and fans.

For context, you should also watch this video which is the Top of the Pops performance Caitlin Moran refers to.

Faster
The Holy Bible 1994

God we were kids; kids – and the Manics were the most fun you could have with your eyeliner on. Wolverhampton, Bournemouth, London, Glasgow – everyone in town who properly dressed up would be there: girls in gloves, in a wedding dress, in hysterics. Boys in lipstick, in the mosh-pit - trying to sing “You love us like a holocaust” with the same heroically ridiculous, serious/not serious/deadly seriousnessness as the band. From above, on the balcony, a Manics gig looked earnest puppies in Barry M glitter nail-varnish. It was a Scrappy-Doo valiance in the face of the 20th century. In the face of their fake-fur, library-learned arseiness, your fist aimed unstoppably upwards, in an air-punch.

And then: Richey in rehab. Richey out of rehab. ‘Faster’ on Top of The Pops. Sickly green lights, fires burning on top of the speaker stacks. James in a balaclava with the ragged mouth-hole - looking like he’d bitten through a hand knitted gimp-mask as he walked on stage. And Richey: too too thin, in a sailor’s uniform, looking – in every respect you can think of – inappropriate for tea-time television.

‘Faster’ was faster – too fast. Much too fast. It was like watching the car in front of you on the motorway suddenly flip up into the air and spiral off, over the hard-shoulder, into the fields, as you listened out for the crash. “Too damn easy to cave in/Man kills everything.” No air-punching now. Terminal velocity. The point of impact. A fist aimed low, down, hard; at your throat.

Afterwards, the BBC reported a record number of complaints from viewers. I was amazed they could pick up the phone and speak. I couldn’t. Too fast.

Caitlin Moran (author/columnist/critic)

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askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
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