Invoices For

WRITERS Joanna Murray-Smith and Ben Eltham have a Rodney Dangerfield-themed complaint today in the Sydney Morning Herald on how little Australian leaders – with the exception of Paul Keating – value the arts. As the entirely privately funded Dangerfield might have said, they get no respect – no respect at all! Far be it from me to question the duo’s authorial expertise but a 19-par column is not meant to be a mystery.

Those of us whose creative life takes us offshore are inundated with admiration for Australian artists – whether they be Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures, Essie Davis on the National Theatre stage, Barry Humphries and Meow Meow singing Weimar songs, Brook Andrew’s in the visual arts, Andrew Bovell’s hit plays, director Jess Hobbs’ Emmy winning screen direction or our acclaimed dancers lighting up stages across the world.

We’re all very proud. But what is it you want, Jo and Ben? In paragraph 16, we find out:

The campaign “Fund the Arts” calls for a major cultural investment of $2.5 billion, fuelling artists, cultural organisations, the ABC and providing much-needed infrastructure, particularly digital infrastructure that we need to compete with overseas technology giants.

The campaign is championing a 25 per cent Australian content quota for all streaming services. Our stories. From within our midst. Netflix has just 2 per cent Australian content available to watch. Investment in Australian children’s television has halved.

After years of near contempt for the arts, it’s time to show our politicians that the nation is not as unimaginative as they are. We all need and want the arts. It’s time to tell that story.

Fuelling artists? For $2.5 billion? A cup of coffee and a bread roll were enough to fuel van Gogh. I wonder how much of the money would be left after “cultural organisations” and the ABC took their cut. But even worse than the ridiculously obvious panhandling for left-wing culture warriors is the hypocritical proposal to block foreign content. If that was policy overseas, Meow Meow would be singing Vera Lynn classics at the Rooty Hill RSL.

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14 Responses to Invoices For

  1. Shy Ted says:

    Well she’s as successful as all heck though personally I’ve only heard of the taxpayer-funded ABC productions.
    And he’s as successful as all heck though personally I’ve only heard of the taxpayer-funded ABC (and defacto) productions. FFS

    he is a regular contributor to journals such as Crikey, Guardian Australia, Overland, Meanjin and the Sydney Review of Books

    Last count the yartz got $800,ooo,ooo pa from taxpayers.
    (And it’s Rodney Dangerfield). As he never said “they get no quotas – no quotas at all!

  2. C.L. says:

    Apologies, RODNEY.

  3. Diogenes says:

    Those of us whose creative life takes us offshore are inundated with admiration for Australian artists – whether they be Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures, Essie Davis on the National Theatre stage, Barry Humphries and Meow Meow singing Weimar songs, Brook Andrew’s in the visual arts, Andrew Bovell’s hit plays, director Jess Hobbs’ Emmy winning screen direction or our acclaimed dancers lighting up stages across the world.

    Who? Who? Don’t like him. Who? Who? Who?

    Why should the govt put its hand in my pocket ?

  4. Pedro the Loafer says:

    At least Barry Humphries paid his own way with his shows and TV appearances and didn’t need taxpayers money to carve out a comfortable lifestyle.

    Never heard of the rest of that mob. I must be an uncultured prole.

  5. jupes says:

    Who? Who? Don’t like him. Who? Who? Who?

    Bazza’s pretty good. Hilarious on his day.

  6. C.L. says:

    Of the ‘artists’ named, only Humphries defended Bill Leak when the HRC was trying to bankrupt him over a politically incorrect cartoon.

  7. Entropy says:

    Please, please let them campaign in regional Australia. Please, funding for artists is so desperately needed. Regional Australians need to know! Especially Qld and WA.

  8. Lee says:

    Leftist so-called “comedians” in Victoria canceled – or at least tried to – Barry Humphries several years ago.
    Apparently he is too conservative for them and they don’t appreciate his un-PC humour.

  9. Diogenes says:

    Bazza’s pretty good. Hilarious on his day.

    That mAy be so, but Mrs D had some dealings with him as he was an old friend of one her bosses Her tales of his treatment of her and other staff where she worked has turned me off for life. The nicest thing she said about him is that he is an arrogant C**t , and she very very very rarely swears

  10. cuckoo says:

    it’s time to show our politicians that the nation is not as unimaginative as they are

    Always a good strategy to insult the people you’re begging from.

  11. cuckoo says:

    I’ve never seen a play by Joanna Murray-Smith, but for a while she wrote a column for the Age. It was memorable for being some of the most tin-eared, clumsy, inept prose ever committed to print. I see she hasn’t improved.

  12. a reader says:

    Barry Humphries brilliant. Patricia Piccinini gave us the “Skywhale” which more like a tortoise with many pendulous boobs hanging off it. I called it the “titty tortoise.” That pretty much sums it up.

  13. Davey Boy says:

    shut up all you boring uncreative types, just hand over the money

  14. vlad redux says:

    I’ve seen a Joanna Murray-Smith play and it stank.

    From memory, act one ended with a character saying “And that for the time being was that.”

    I wouldn’t claim that’s verbatim, but it was something like that and it was certainly that lame.

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