From The Vault - An URGENT letter to Santa C/O the November Poll
Sam COOKs KISSmyBLAKartsCOLUMN – NOVEMBER 2007
An URGENT letter to Santa C/O the November Poll
I’m writing this letter a little earlier than usual as there’s an election looming and I kinda have a couple of things on my list pertinent to effective change in the arts. Recently I’ve been looking at the decorations, dressing and hoopla around this festive season and truth be told Santa, I don’t think there’s enough balls within each party to decorate their trees any different. Maybe I need to have my eyes checked out because I’m having a lot of trouble telling them apart.
Santa, its getting really hard to know which tree my ball will be strung. HEELLLPPP!
Ya see, there was talk of a new tree being planted, one driven by NEW Indigenous leadership. In my excitement I’ll confess I snuck a peak but alas found that it was the same gift recycled from the 80s [I hope this doesn’t place me on the naughty list, but shaking it got me nowhere]. At least the packaging was good [in theory].
As for the Greenest tree of the lot, I’ve heard that was cut down and made into woodchips to stoke the fire in time for the same ol whorey chestnuts. I’m afraid this burnt through any hope for a “Very merry Christmas and a Happy NEW year”, which we had hoped was a renewable sentiment and one we could ALL rely on for generations to come.
Now Santa you are someone who sees all the wrongs in people who are given gifts for no reason. Those same chosen few who then come to expect and EXPECT more and MORE for NO GOOD reason [I do hope they end up on the naughty list because they so deserve it, but hey Santa I’ll let you be the judge of that!].
I know, like me, you don’t agree with Christmas in July. As I’m sure you also don’t agree with all the announced gifts unnecessarily dispersed all year long. It goes against your belief that there should be some decisions made on good and bad performance.
Always know Santa, I fully support your mantra - If you are truly good and work hard you will be recognised and celebrated for your efforts. I am soooOOoooo supportive of this!
Santa you are someone who understands the value of acknowledging me for all my hard work. For that one day you positively affirm my worth - to which I am forever thankful. I give MY ALL so know I’M WORTHY. Our visions of equality are one and the same – You da man!
Now given the dilemma I’m facing, I thought I could always lean on the one who has been there for me one day out of every year. Someone who like me, busts their @zz tirelessly to create magic on a shoestring and somehow manages to pull it off without any obvious hitches [go the Elves and bigUP to Mrs Claus and the Reindeers].
I need help Santa and I figured I’d solicit your services. I hope you don’t mind.
Here’s my wish list, please consider it and get back to me before November 24.
I WISH to cut through the bullshit because there’s truckloads of raw sewage out there in the arts labyrinth. Because of this, I’m growing weary by the day and believe me there’s a better way.
I WISH for an arts policy announcement that doesn’t talk in circles and say nothing. It wastes what precious little time I have in lobbying for what I know is a fair go, only to have it shoved under the pile like a porno mag in a monastery.
I WISH that there was a re-think of arts funding in Australia. I know that it apparently has already happened but it doesn’t seem to have altogether changed much. It still looks, feels, tastes and smells the same as the garnish on my plate. I know you consider small portions etiquette, but it don’t feed blak people, nor anyone else I truly suspect.
I WISH Australia’s white news media was outed for the racist, bigoted propriety that it is. Perhaps if we alleged margins fought back, we could force an enquiry driven by all of us who are portrayed as culturally inadequate and socially fraught. You mo fos suck. Better still invest in our OWN news media.
I WISH the ICC aka Indigenous Chaos Centres be imploded and dusted off as a bad attempt to conceal assimilation under the guise of mainstreaming. Same wolf, different Ugg-Boots. Down with macro management and tainted blak monies!
I WISH to see Indigenous arts considered for its innovation and best practise so we are recognised and respected to be more than a “nice painting” or “dial-a-dij” or “program filler”.
I WISH our performing cultures to be front and centre of any Indigenous arts sector debate/discussion/support. Its such an OBVIOUS glaring omission that it was no surprise to me, that my cousin blind Freddy pointed it out.
I WISH, that white people would stop telling our stories for us or any ‘ethnic’ story that doesn’t belong to their culture. We are capable, we are adequate and we are authentic. You are not.
I WISH to see Indigenous culture thanked for what seems to be the new “integration” of arts into society. We’ve done it for over 60,000years so it’s proven.
TOP of my list AND Santa I really truly am closing my eyes, crossing my fingers, legs, arms and counting to ten on this - I WISH that Australian arts stopped funding all Major Performing Arts Companies – specifically the dying artforms Ballet – Opera – Symphony - Shakespeare. That way we can get real money into the supporting of real innovation with a commitment to our real Australian identity.
I WISH I WISH I WISH!!!!
All my love
PS As usual I will leave out a plate full of food for thought, I hope you bite into it!