Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Call the cops - these crazies could do anything

It occurs to me what the new coalition most resembles. It's like having demented drunks in the house. Gate-crashers claiming to have been invited by 'Dave. You know, Dave.' and who are now rampaging through the house breaking things (glasses, vases, the NHS - things like that.) They're looking for more booze and snacks. Most of all though, they're looking for arguments all wild-eyed. And they need speaking to softly, because they could do anything! Anything at all.

This coalition have all the belligerent certainty of drunks. Drunks who moved beyond being amusing some time ago, but drunks that no-one dares fetch a cab for. They are terrifying because you know they have no boundaries... who knows what they might do next? You can't reason with them. They are way beyond that. And they have money and mad friends and they might come back and do you over good an proper if you stand up to them. And they claim to know your boss but, look, if this carries on we'll have to, like, do something. Because there's some valuable things in this house. And other things that have sentimental value... and, right, they've gone too far now... that's my wife... It's that kind of situation.

Of course I'm sure in the morning, when they've sobered up, they'll be ringing round apologising and promising to pay for the damage. They're probably pretty decent really. Just excited at getting that long awaited promotion. But for now they're just scary.

Friday, 9 July 2010

This town is sold out

One of the things I do is help programme the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival. last night there were three events. New writing in the theatre, Flamenco at the Trades Club and 'dead-pan comedian' Rich Hall at the Picturehouse. All sold out.

So in a town of 4000 people 800 were at arts events. 20% of the entire population. On a Thursday night. Of course a lot of those almost certainly came from out of town. Bringing their money with them. That's about £12000 in ticket spend plus all the drinks they bought, meals they had, babysitters they paid for... that's a decent amount of economic activity in one small town midweek. And there's this amount of activity going on for two weeks. that's a lot of lives altered in small ways, and a lot of businesses supported...

And the point I'm making in this none too subtle way, is that the arts matter. They matter in terms of quality of life, they matter for the things we learn and the way they change our relationship with the world around us. The way they shake up our world-view. And they matter financially and economically.