Sunday, March 19, 2006

Just a thought

In an idle moment just then I switched the telly to channel 7 and caught a swimming final -- men's individual medley. Scotland gold, Scotland silver, Australia bronze.

Now then:

1) Scotland is a cold, rainy country of five and a half million people who live on a national diet of sugar, salt, alcohol and saturated fat -- as you would too, if you were surrounded by a lot of freezing water pounding and crashing over treacherous rocks.

2) Australia, on the other hand ... well, you know.

3) Novelist Kate Grenville has just won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize from a field that included Salman Rushdie, Caryl Phillips, Nick Hornby, Kazuo Ishiguro, Julian Barnes, Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith, Andre Brink and J.M. Coetzee.

4) Now compare the amount of money the Australian government spends on training, development, promotion and support of sport with the amount of money it spends on training, development, promotion and support of the arts.

Just sayin'.


ThirdCat said...

Oh, you really gave it a lot of thought. My pathetic brain could only manage:

Scotland? Swimming? Really? How can I get husband to open box of Haigh's birthday chocolates and give one to me?

Now you mention it though, yes of course. And another reason I feel a touch snarly towards Premier Rann, Minister for the Arts.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Oh I know, I know. But think how much worse it would be if the other lot got in.

How did you go with the chox? Champagne truffle? Violet cream?

FXH said...

there is a literary com games?

FXH said...

Not just Feds. How much does tate gov spend on sports yobs? and then there is local government which spends $millions without thought or question.

Not to mention hidden subsidies in in industry. Time off to practice, time off to volunteer, time of to watch TV sport, conversations at work, plus the biggest subsidy of all sports injuries passed off as Work Injuries, widespread.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I don't mind them spending money on sport, I just wish they'd spend some on the arts as well, and with as much enthusiasm. Keating was the only PM since Whitlam who had some genuine understanding of why this would be a good thing. Locally we had Don Dunstan (*sighs*) and it's been downhill all the way since -- Rann (and Thirdcat is quite right about this) swans round enjoying himself at Writers' Week, as does Treasurer Kevin Foley at the opera, if you can believe it, but when it comes to actual money for writers at least, directly or indirectly as FXH points out, their fingers have to be pried apart and twisted.

The literary com games is the .

Lucy Tartan said...

Kate Grenville's novel must be really something if it beat out Ishiguro's. Must read it....

Kate said...


On a similar topic, I've recently being doing some publicity work for a large arts show here in Perth. We've found it very difficult to gather much media support -- whereas the knee problem of a footballer is splashed everywhere. Sigh.

R H said...

I liked Don a lot. I read a biography about him recently.

All I know about arts funding is the bad publicity it gets for contributing to dopey projects, which are often some radical idiocy, and not art at all - not in my opinion. In a country like this where the arts are viewed suspiciously anyway, and never encouraged, government funding is vital. But dreadful films, and large empty rooms with an egg sitting on a pedestal in the centre, are not only futile, but an insult to good artists who never receive a penny.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Personally I try to leave the definition of art to the people who make it.

Grenville wasn't in direct competition with Ishiguro; there are four (?) regions, and then the regional winners compete with each other.

The Commonwealth Writers' Prize IS the literary Com Games, really, and I'm not sure why this dang comments box won't let me give you the the link, but all the shortlists, winners and history are at

Pat the Chooks said...

We're pretty chuffed with our swimmers here in Scotland as well. And it hadn't escaped our notice that we were beating the Aussies in their own pools either!
Thanks for putting on a great games - support the Glasgow 2014 campaign and we'd love to return the compliment, but retaining the gold medals, if you don't mind.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Great wins in the pool, Pat.

*grinds teeth*

Actually, the truth is that I love Scotland and would support anything that would benefit it.

R H said...

So if someone knocks up a sculpture and tells you it's art you'll believe him?


Pavlov's Cat said...

RH, this is an incredibly complex issue that has been exhaustively discussed over centuries by people who know a great deal more about it than I do. I gravely doubt whether it can be satisfactorily resolved in a blog comments box.

R H said...

Okay. But it's not an intellectual matter, in my opinion.