Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Something about Priorities

It's good to see that Martin Cullen, our Minister for Sport, Sport, and ... er, Other Things, has been out there fighting for that most neglected and underfunded of sports, golf. Last weekend the papers proudly announced that mobile phone company 3 were going to sponsor the Irish Open in Mount Juliet next year. The Irish Times (full article here) reported on Saturday that:
"Cullen ... insisted the Government, through his Department, were committed to ensuring the tournament's future. Credit where it's due, much of the behind-the-scenes dealings in finding a sponsor were conducted by the Minister, who made contact with 3's board of directors in Hong Kong when he was in China for the Olympic Games. The loose ends were tied up yesterday at a meeting in Dublin between the European Tour's Richard Hills and James Finnegan with 3's Robert Finnegan ... Of 3's involvement, Cullen - a member of Waterford Golf Club - said: "They are going to be very committed to it. It is a big commitment from them. They are not half-hearted. It is a big title sponsor. It is a big step." Part of Cullen's philosophy in putting so much time into securing a sponsor was that the tournament is a strong marketing tool in attracting tourists."I felt it was the right thing to do. We don't have that many natural resources, and golf is one of them."
Which is fair enough, I suppose, and I'm not knocking the need to attract tourists and bring revenue into the country. (Although when did a leisure pursuit become a natural resource? Surely natural resources are things like forests, oil, copper, arable land, and suchlike? Seeing as golf tends to impact heavily on wild habitats, as they're manicured into social clubs for the bourgeoisie, while being surrounded by large fences to keep out the proles, one could question the use of the word "natural", but then again, it is Martin Cullen we're talking about here, once described by a Waterford-based friend of mine as "Ireland's greatest waffler".) But it's a shame that Mr Cullen's clear enthusiasm for this aspect of his Ministry doesn't communicate elsewhere. For on the same day, in the same paper, it was reported here that:

"The Arts Council is still stuck in a ridiculous limbo, with more than half of its places having lain vacant for four months, and no sign of the appointment of a chairperson or six other members this side of Christmas. The department and Minister for Arts, Martin Cullen, dragged their heels initially in making appointments that were well signalled in advance, and now seem caught in the ever-escalating crises besetting the State, from the tottering banking system to the current pork pie. Piggy in the middle, indeed. Imminent crises in arts organisations are less visible, but a Budget cut that threatens to destabilise funding and a barely quorate Arts Council that has long-fingered funding decisions have made the entire arts sector apprehensive about creative work next year. But the attitude among many is that, while bad news is coming, arts organisations will make the most of it and try to find creative ways to deal with recession."

Hmmm ... perhaps Cullen was so bedevilled by the philosophical dilemmas inherent in this decision that it paralysed his ability to act; like one of Monty Python's football-playing thinkers, he was pacing his office until the small hours, waving his arms and anguishing over the decision that was his. Endless possibilities crowded his mind as he struggled to pick out exactly the right person to steer the arts through this difficult time. Does that seem likely? Hmmm ...
(In breaking news (ha! I've always wanted to write that!) I've just discovered that six new members and a chairperson have been appointed today. After a mere four months! And Mount Juliet have decided not to host the Irish Open after all. Oh dear ... And, in fairness, perhaps Martin Cullen is a connoisseur of the arts and the endless delays in this decision can be explained by his notorious incompetence, which has led him to become one of Ireland's most despised Ministers (and he's up against some serious competition here).)
Anyway, after that it's a pleasure to get back to some more cosmic sounds. First up is the sounds of Ganymede's magnetosphere (more information here).
This is a radio emission from Jupiter. More information here, here, and here. (It sounds surprisingly like one of the tracks from Jessica Rylan's Interior Designs (see the labels to find my review.))

2 comments:

Claudia said...

As much as I'm fascinated with cosmic sounds, and try immediately to compare with familiar sounds (like rain on a metal roof, waves on the beach etc.), I'm not that keen on people imitating the original with bizarre instruments. That's why I wouldn't spend too much time with Jessica Ryland.

But then we already discussed, in a previous post, that all created sounds are not necessarily music to my ears.

Interesting Rackets presentation. Thank you. Couldn't say a word about Priorities....

A Doubtful Egg said...

The problem with a lot of electronic music (and visual art)that I come across is that, more often than not, the source material or inspiration turns out to be more interesting than the creations based upon it! The true artists are still a relative rarity. But I think that's true of every art-form in any era...
I try to avoid political subjects in my blog - there are more than enough bloggers on the net ploughing that furrow - but the topic of this post irritated me immensely and inspired me to vent my spleen. The official attitude to the arts in Ireland has often been less than satisfactory, to say the least, and it annoyed me that in a time of grevious recession, when the arts need support more than ever, the Minister was delaying this vital part of his job for no good reason, while at the same time crowing about his success at sponsoring golf. I just needed to get it off my chest...