How creative are conservatives to invent a culture war to disguise artistic cuts | Barbara ellen
TThe arts are screwed up. Again. If we continue to allow this to happen, there will be a national soul atrophy that the UK has never seen. The added insult is that this latest wave of cultural vandalism is taking place under the guise of a fake battle between the arts on one side and science, medicine and technology on the other.
A consultation with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and the Students Office (which distributes the funds) suggests cutting a higher education funding stream (£ 36-19million) by almost half, this which means universities will lose millions for subjects such as music, theater, dance and art and design, as well as media studies and archeology.
The Education Department says the cuts are tied to additional funding and will only affect certain topics. He says arts subjects are not “strategic priorities” and that reforms will benefit “scientific / medical subjects”, targeting “taxpayers’ money” to subjects that support the skills this country needs to improve. rebuild… those who support the NHS, expensive STEM topics ”. In other words, the government is trying to turn this into a caged cultural struggle, between scientists (able-bodied and crucial), computer students, nurses and others against drama students, artists and archaeologists (forgiving, thoughtless , elitists). Not only that, an endless cage fight; Williamson said he “would potentially seek further reductions” in funding for these courses in the years to come.
Of course there is uproar of the arts community, with Jarvis Cocker of Pulp claiming that the proposed cuts made arts education “consumable” and unimportant, when it is not. Certainly, it’s puzzling to see one of this nation’s greatest assets – its powerful international cultural appeal (music alone generates billions) – cut at the ankles. Right now (after Brexit and the pandemic), the art scene cannot withstand such major blows, especially when they primarily affect disadvantaged students. For years there has been a systemic erosion of working class participation in the arts and this represents another big piece of a crumbling cliff. Then there are the consumers. These types of cuts might first affect people involved in the arts, but ultimately they are culturally impoverishing for everyone’s life.
The government knows this and that is why it is leading the NHS with emotion and cynicism. This is why distinct vocations / skills such as theater and medicine are pitted against each other in either / or agreement. There may be scientists who feel engaged in a grudge match against dancers, just as there may be sculptors who feel in competition with nurses, but I doubt it.
It seems clear that artistic subjects are placed in false competition with these other precious fields in order to reframe a scandal as practicality and necessity. In truth, the arts have always been alone and always should be. When it comes to the arts versus medicine, science, or computer science, it’s not about what you choose or even how you choose. Rather, it is: why are we being asked to do it?
Why Britain’s ‘alcohol lockdown’ isn’t a laughing matter
Drinking to tackle boredom and lockdown isolation was no joke to some. The Office for National Statistics reports that directly alcohol-related deaths reached a 20-year high in England and Wales during the pandemic, up 20% in 2020 from 2019. The death rate started to increase during the first lockdown and has increased quarterly. Of 7,423 deaths in 2020, people died from liver disease and mental and behavioral disorders caused by alcohol or accidental alcohol poisoning.
Then there is the socio-economic element: men were more likely to die in general, but especially disadvantaged men, who were four times more likely to die than those in affluent areas. Likewise, disadvantaged women were three times more likely to die than those in wealthy areas. Deaths are believed to be mainly due to high-risk drinkers already consuming large amounts of alcohol. Some people have resumed drinking when locked out after successfully quitting.
You don’t have to be a card-carrying party animal to find this spooky read. Of course, pubs and bars were mostly closed, but alcohol could still be bought cheaply and in bulk in supermarkets and online. While some people gave up alcohol during the pandemic, stress could have caused others to drink much more and much more frequently.
Do charities and aid groups have a point where they despair of the easy availability of cheap, high-alcohol alcohol? Should there have been more efforts to warn people to watch their drinking, instead of treating “alcohol lockout Britain” as a joke? Experts call the ONS figures a “wake-up call” for the government and call for drug addiction services to be given the resources to tackle this growing problem. It may only be once the pandemic has stabilized and we all fall into the light, that we can truly see what state we are in.
Sorry, Ipswich Town, but we’re all on top of Sheeran
What has football done to deserve Ed Sheeran? Not content with dominating the music with his ‘signature’ sound (fade-core?), Sheeran took to the sport, signing an agreement to sponsor the jerseys of the men’s and women’s teams of Ipswich Town, the League One club. that he always supported.
The positive points. The shirts will not bear his name, but the symbols of the titles of his albums and the word “TOUR”. There isn’t enough room on the shirts for Sheeran to brag about his friendships with Taylor Swift. Ipswich Town is presumably delighted and grateful to have made this deal. Sheeran isn’t the first musician to get involved with his favorite football club, either – from Elton John and Watford FC to Libertines and Margate FC, the pop-football connection is real.
Yet back off, Sheeran. You are already everywhere in popular culture. After Earth is wiped out by Nuclear Armageddon, images will be found of Sheeran with James Corden performing carpool karaoke and scientists from the future will decide that based on this evidence humanity has seen them.
Sheeran also bought half the village, including a pub, from his home in Framlingham, Suffolk. Now he’s on local football bands. Where will it end? All the best in Ipswich Town, but the “Ed-creep” is strong here.