Friday, June 24, 2005

An important thing, apparently…

I would have ignored this article, except that I'm told that something important is happening in London. From the London Free Press:

London is one step closer to redefining itself as a creative city. Board of control recommended yesterday that city council adopt the Creative City Task Force's recommendations along with creating a culture division in the city government.
Gord Hume says that we'll be the only city in the country with such a division — London treads where fools fear to wander. But a culture division will be instrumental to municipal press releases announcing the creativity of London. Creativity doesn't just happen without a municipal fiat. And it's important…
[—] "I think it's important that the culture division be seen as a catalyst," Controller Russ Monteith said during the meeting. "It's important we make a positive statement. London wants to be a creative city."
This is an important statement reversing the city's previous position that it wanted to be an uncreative city. Russ Monteith missed his calling as a motivational speaker inspiring people to do nothing in particular. Having read the paper daily, I still don't know what precisely constitutes creativity in a city — at least as far as social science papers rejigged as official policy goes. But the only thing that matters is that it's important…
[—] "It's important that the cultural division be a facilitator, enhancer and enabler; that it not get mired in bureaucracy and regulations," Controller Gord Hume said in an interview after the meeting.
Good luck, Mr. Hume, I'm sure you mean what you say — but after having spent years in the city hall cafeteria, you might want to check out what goes on in the city hall divisions in the floors below you.

7 comments:

Pietr said...

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe(the original):
Ford Prefect:"You haven't even managed to reinvent the wheel yet!Don't you know you're all doomed?"

Female Design Consultant(holding up square wheel):
"Okay,smartass!You say what colour it should be!"

Jay said...

What scares me is people who spread fear of "social science papers". Those papers are referenced so anyone can easily check for inaccuracies. Now someone like Rush Limbaugh or David Frum throws out 'facts' at random and we're just to take them on their word?? I'll take the 'evil' social science paper anyday thank you very much. (Look up Bill O'Reilly's famous "Paris Business Review" incident...you'll see what I mean).
As for trusting government with creativity and cultural initiatives, I assume that you're implying that individuals should be wholly responsible for cost/subject matter, etc. What I don't understand about what you're saying is the fact that individuals do, in this society, for the most part, foster/fund their own creativity. From garage bands to painters to writers to inventors, etc. etc. etc. The government here is in no way whatsoever dictating or pidgeon-holing creativity. And, as if large corporations like GM actually help creativity.
Conservatives say that if only they could run the world oh what bounty and joy there would be. But folks, the conservative model of no regulations and capital equalling rights already exists in most of the world - the 3rd world. That's right, the 3rd world economies and governments run in EXACTLY the same way as right wingers want things to run here...to a T. No social programs, the more money you have the more rights you have, private police forces, no government health care, no regulation on businesses, no inhibitive min. wage or labour laws, very little (if any) taxation...the conservative dream. I've never understood why local right wingers don't all pack up and move to these places instead of always yawing on and on about how much Canada needs to be more like them.
Government offering money to private individuals for civil society initiatives that are cultural or artistic is an indication of a prosperous and well developed economy...why would you want to pedal backwards?

Gordon Pasha said...

"Government offering money to private individuals for civil society initiatives that are cultural or artistic is an indication of a prosperous and well developed economy...why would you want to pedal backwards?"

What shear, utter nonesense. It is an indication of a scoiety that has lost its way, or that has been hijacked by the non-creative, who are jealous of the creative. Government, any government, cannot be but the enemy of creativity, in as much as it tries to "foster" it. Creativity in a city comes from the people; the moment government gets involved and the busybodies start deciding which creative project deserves to be promoted above another, all those not favored by the creativity directorate will be disfavored.

Gordon Pasha said...

p.s. Since when has creativity been limited to "culture" and art? How about architecture, civil engineering projects, jobs, etc. Not creative enough? I suspect that the sort of creativity that the city wishes to promote is of the more parasitic sort, the kind that feeds off of the truly creative.

basil said...

"Having read the paper daily, I still don't know what precisely constitutes creativity in a city"
Mapmaster, you must have a look under many of the bridges in London. There is a war of creativity raging between the individuals who decorate the underside of concrete with expressive representational art and the government sponsored minimalist colour-field painters who cover them up every few months. I think of "Voice of Fire" each time another government sponsored 'concrete gray' paint covers up the chaos of individual expression.

gm said...

Hey Jay, you a comedian how about north and south Korea or fomer East and West Berlin.

In the third world, the formal systems of property rights like in more advanced nations simply don't exist. The legal barriers to setting up legal businesses in the Third World are enormous.In The Other Path, Hernando de Soto describes the experience where he and his "team" tried to launch fictitious legal businesses in the United States and in Lima, Peru. Working six-hour days, the team managed its U.S. approval in less than a day.


In Lima, however, the experience was much more cumbersome. The red tape was so prevalent and thick that acting legally (filling out forms and receiving official approval) took 289 days and $1,231, which is much more than most Peruvians can begin to afford. Therefore, according to de Soto, most of the Third-World poor disappear into the black market, solving one problem but creating others that condemn the poor to a much lower standard of living than they would enjoy in an economy in which property rights are easy to establish.

MapMaster said...

I'd love to see a good example of a social science paper doing more good than harm, seeing as we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year in SSHRC to finance the damned things. Yes, social science papers are referenced — to what? Statistics and other social science papers? What does this prove? Anyone who spends any time in a social science university setting should realize the incestuous nature of "references" — references are the vampiric lifeblood of government granting applications and only serve to resample arguments. I'd advise taking them with the same seriousness as any talking head's "facts" — they're all getting paid to be cursory and dismissive where semblance of clarity permits. Trust your own carefully evaluated experiences and judgments and avoid academic or media obfuscation. Don't give your money to idiots.

*sigh* Again, we're tagged as Conservatives. Read… we're not. To repeat myself, the only positive thing that I can say about the Conservatives is that we're never confused for being supporters of the Liberals and NDP — support of the Conservative party serves as a sometimes useful barometer of a person's expectations for the defense of liberty if not misguided expectations of the source of that defense.