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Note: This blog is no longer active - please visit my new site at HAT Projects where you will find our new blog!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Where's my soul gone?
More culture schmulture. Don't get me wrong, I spend my days preaching about the value of culture. I just don't mean quite the same thing by that word as everyone else.

Whereas the lovely EEDA thinks "Without culture, a community is bereft of a soul and can never be considered sustainable." Ah, poor unsustainable communities, bereft of 'culture'. Does it never occur to any of these idiots that 'culture' exists everywhere there are human beings, not just where there's a EEDA-funded National Centre for Carnival Arts. (I joke not. In Luton. Anyone see that doing a Public in a year's time?)

Wake up - culture isn't about art and 'creative industries quarters' full of sub-standard potters and watercolour galleries. Culture is the fact that people like to go skateboarding and play football, as well as learn the clarinet or go to dance classes. It's learning that Canning Town is actually a major centre of pigeon-racing in the south-east, but definitely doesn't want a 'National Pigeon Centre' to kill it for ever more. Culture is hippies living in communes in the Dorset valleys, mad drag-racers, or committees that are crazy about corrugated iron - something to be cherished and loved, not killed off by a bunch of patronising jobsworths, deemed 'anti-social' or going against 'brand values'. Again, damn Richard Florida - for not making it clearer that what he meant wasn't 'let's bring in the gay designers' but rather 'let's allow people to be creative in any way they want' - which goes with my idea of culture and utterly against the cultural regeneration cant of the day.

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