vote for them – because some Japanese artist didn’t need government funding to paint a wave.
Tomorrow is the Australian election. It’s been such a terrible, listless, uninspiring and boring campaign that I decided to just post about the most ridiculous entity that rose from the slime in these last 8 weeks. The British are well known for coming up with outrageous political entities, the Raving Loony Sex Party comes to mind. But here in Australia we beat them all. Because we have The Arts Party, and these wankers are serious.
The Arts Party are standing on the platform of more money for the arts. The automatic assumption must then be that they don’t get enough government funding at present. I dug around on the internet for a full 20 seconds and I found these statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the 2012-2013 period. The amount of money spent in total by Australian governments in that financial year was, believe it or not, $7 billion.
That’s right. $7 billion.
Fuck. Me. Dead.
And now we have an arts party because … why exactly? Well let’s have a look.
From their website the first thing that grabs my attention is this:
We are less than 2 years old, have over 2000 paid members, and are the only party in Australia to be crowdfunded into existence. We also crowdfunded again in May 2016 to stand our current candidates. Popular support created and sustains us.
So these guys are too cheap to even pay to get their own party off the ground. It sets the tone. I personally know a fine chap by the name of Peter Castieau who is standing as an independent in the Western Australian senate. He paid the $2000 to list as a candidate as well as thousands of dollars in advertising, all because of what he believes in. But the Arts Party can’t even do that. Shows how much they really believe in their cause.
We are the only party in Australia dedicated to encouraging a more creative, cultural, educated and prosperous life for every Australian. We are the only Arts Party in the World.
I’m sure you are, and it kind of makes me hang my head in shame. Look, I want my position on this to be clear. Speaking as a writer, and as a musician, I completely support the total abolition of all government spending for the arts. There we go – $7 billion saved. Right there. Get rid of the lot of it. And then go and cut some taxes with all the money saved. The reason for my stance? Quite simply, art is a career or it’s a hobby. But in neither case should it be a government imperative to force taxpayers to pay for other peoples’ careers or hobbies. But we do, and to the tune of 7 billion big ones. Every fucking year.
And the simple fact is that all this government funding has not resulted in the production of any single piece of great art in Australia. Go on, my fellow Australians. I set you a challenge. Without looking up something on the internet, please give me a great painting, or a brilliant novel, or a ground-breaking piece of sculpture, or just fucking anything that springs to mind for you right now from the last ten years of spending $7 billion per year.
Nothing. Crickets. What a colossal waste of money. Arts funding does not produce great art. It simply allows self-absorbed and lazy wankers who pretend to be great geniuses to enjoy a fine living sucking on the taxpayers’ teat. Don’t believe me?
A 5 second search on google for arts rock music grants got me a bunch of links but I’ll take this one from the Queensland state government. So there we have 2 grants to a collective tune of $35,000 that are given out every year for rock musicians to “find themselves”. Have a look at the list of past recipients. Have any of you heard of them? Just one?
Here’s how every single great Australian rock band succeeded. They rehearsed their butts off in a garage. They then played any crappy gig that they could get. From backyard parties to shitty pubs in bad areas. They had two overriding motivators. They were competing against every other band trying to do the same thing, which meant that they had to become innovative and better skilled. And they had to use what little money they had wisely. So they saved the pathetic money they made from playing gigs and when they had enough they recorded a little demo tape.
And for every 100 bands that tried only one succeeded. And it was the failure of the other bands that allowed them to succeed because they were pushed to beat the other bands.
We have not seen a single Aussie rock band hit the world and crush it under their feet that has been funded by the government. To get government funding you don’t compete against other artists. You compete against government bureaucrats. And you don’t value the money because you never earned it to begin with. And as a result our art is shit. And it costs us 7 billion dollars every single year.
Lets watch this video and I’ll take apart their so-called arguments.
First guy – art is under siege? Do I need to mention the 7 billion dollars a year again?
Bryan Brown, (actor) – “So why not an arts party?” Brilliant fucking argument there, Bryan. “But the arts plays a huge role in our quality of life in Australia.” You mean in your quality of life. Honestly Bryan, the best thing you ever did on film was kill yourself in Cocktail.
Third guy – What does seeing people on screen have to do with having a voice for an arts party? If I want to see people on screen I will pay to do so and that’s my choice.
Margaret Pomeranz – The Midicis sponsored the arts because it gave them power, you stupid has-been. And they sponsored the arts with their own money.
Bearded guy – you’re a dickhead, mate.
Hugo Weaving – you’re an overpaid actor with a terrible beard and you’re telling me that I need to vote for you to get taxpayers money on top of your ridiculous salary? Fuck off and die, you scumbag.
Fat chick – Why? Why do they need a voice? Why are there no decent arguments here?
Bryan Brown – Where does innovation come from? I know, the taxpayer!
Guy with horrible sweater – Go and enrich yourself on your own dime, buddy.
Woman with mouth resembling a cat’s arsehole – If I want to invest in the arts I would like to be able to choose to do so, not to have it forced upon me by government decree.
Bryan Brown – “Because it’s for our well-being.” Of that I have no doubt.