Monday, 7 May 2007

Establishment entertainers defend Clark "taking the bow

Following attacks on Helen Clark by musicians Neil Finn and Bruce Lynch -- "It sort of sickens me to see Helen Clark getting up at the music awards and taking the bows," said Finn -- "(Politicians) put lots of money in and pump themselves up and ... We just create another class of people dependent on welfare," said Lynch -- there has been says the Herald a "chorus of disapproval" from the likes of establishment entertainers Ray Columbus and Sir Horrid MaoriSong.

An emotional Sir MaoriSong contacted the Herald yesterday, saying: "I'm so bloody mad."

And Columbus weighed in, saying: "In my book she can take as much credit as she likes."

Little wonder that braindead establishment artists such as these fail to identify whose money it is that Arts Minister Clark has been dishing out over the last seven-and-a-half years, and just how much fawning reverence that's bought; little wonder either that New Zealand's "arts community" has been almost "united in reverence" of Clark (as one commentator said this morning): with the sort of money being pumped into establishing this arts establishment it's no wonder "reverence" is what they feel.

As I've said here before, there's more than one way to censor a country's artists:

The first and most straightforward method of censorship is for a government to ban speech that they don't like -- that's just what National and Labour want to do at elections, and I hope you lot feel disgusted enough about that to do something about it.

The second form of censorship is one that Ayn Rand called "the establishing of an establishment," and it is no less chilling:

Governmental repression is [not] the only way a government can destroy the intellectual life of a country... There is another way: governmental encouragement... Governmental encouragement does not order men to believe that the false is true: it merely makes them indifferent to the issue of truth or falsehood...

If you talk to a typical business executive or college dean or magazine editor [or spin doctor or opposition leader], you can observe his special, modern quality: a kind of flowing or skipping evasiveness that drips or bounces automatically off any fundamental issue, a gently non-committal blandness, an ingrained cautiousness toward everything, as if an inner tape recorder were whispering: "Play it safe, don't antagonize--whom?--anybody."
If you've ever wondered where this "special, modern quality" comes from, this is perhaps one answer -- through the intellectual mediocrity advanced by this less well-known form of censorship -- a censorship of encouragement. It's a much less obvious and much more insidious method of censorship, and no less chilling for that.

This is what Rand called "the welfare state of the intellect," and the result is as destructive as that other, more visible welfare state: the setting up of politicians, bureaucrats and their minions (the establishment) as arbiters of thinking and taste and ideology; the freezing of the status quo; a staleness and conformity, and an unwillingness to speak out; in short "the establishing of an establishment" to which new entrants in a field realise very quickly they are all but required to either conform or go under.
Clark will see the defensive laager thrown around her by the conformists of the "arts community" as a well-deserved payoff for her generosity with other people's money. These are people who stay bought -- and she knows it.

1 comment:

  1. Prepare for the Russel Brown Mikey Havoc "Clarke love-in".


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