Brassed Off Britannia

Brassed Off Britannia

For a moan about the state of Britain and the World

 

 

 

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:35 am
Posts: 5976
Location: Fleurieu, South Australia
We now have a new national arts policy and, being both a taxpayer and a distant spectator, I struggle with such matters.
I could have equally placed this elsewhere as "Sport and its importance".

I have been listening to arty types rejoicing in the funding that will allow travelling exhibitions of art collections, orchestras and dance companies to perform in regional/rural areas and internationally.
Further, it's seen as money well-spent when major businesses establish patron relationships with such groups - tax deductible, of course.

What I'd like to see is the troupes of dancers, the conductors and lead violinists or whichever panel of representatives you select and stand them in front of a hundred (thousand?) fellow Australians and decide which ones will be denied respite care for their adult child with severe mental disorders, which ones will defer the supply of a wheelchair for their kids, which people in constant joint pain will be refused surgery and which will have to travel 500km twice-weekly to an urban centre for kidney dialysis.
Yes, I'm naive but I struggle with such issues, just as I do with the funding for the Olympic competitors and the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
"The poor are always with us" is no defence to indulging in faulty priorities.

In my professional capacity, I occasionally work with a group which includes teenager who is non-verbal, wholly dependent on a graduate nurse (government-funded) for constant care, is transported by a privately owned commercial specially-fitted van/taxi and spends most of her life 'out to it'.
I can't help but juxtapose her expense against how many hundred could be provided with the dignity of a clean water supply and a proper toilet, delivering them from regular dysentery and probable early death.
Could a parent really look them in the eye and say, "Sorry, my kid comes first" just because, arising from an accident of fate, she was born in my nation?
I'm glad I don't have to confront that choice. The closest I come is my refusal to pay veterinarians their scandalous fees. I cannot choose the life of a dog (certainly not a cat) over that of a human being.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:18 pm
Posts: 3227
Location: Elgar country
My oh my, it's raining moral Everests!

GG, if all cultural and sporting life in Australia were suppressed in favour of kidney dialysis and care for the elderly, would you feel you dwelt in Eden? What is human life, and what is it for? Is it existence, sentient or otherwise, prolonged as long as possible? Or is it an exploration of possibilities in every conceivable sphere?

Well, a civilised society will surely seek a balance. Human life is precious, and demands resources to maintain it; but some resources must be reserved for the extending of boundaries - in education, in the arts, even in sport (goddammit!). These are not direct trade-offs - a hip-replacement against a concert. These are the protein and carbohydrate, the water and oxygen, of our well-being: both have equal validity. It would be silly to starve every soul in order to maintain every body - or vice versa. And it is inevitable that the point of equilibrium should be open to discussion.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 6348
I love it.

Raining moral Everests. What a wonderfully dismissive description of our PC society.


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