Where have been the artists voices in ALL of this?

Where have been the artists voices in ALL of this? Not just the current crisis/depression/recession thats un-folding before us, but where were the voices when this balloon of excessiveness was being pumped up during the last 10 years. Particularily the myth that was the Celtic tiger. Was I reading/watching/listening to the wrong stations.

There were no artists in Ireland at the forefront of social change or protest , from my time in France i was always amazed at how vocal and anti-establishment artists were, very eloquent and informed in their debate regarding social issues, that same voice in Ireland is and was barely a whisper.

Where was the music? Instead of cutting lyrics, punk and rock and roll anarchaic action we got androgenous mimicry of Southern Cal surf sound. Nothing much to protest Blairism, Gulf W2, Bush, commercialism, coproratism . Who can forget The Beat singing ‘Stand Down Margaret’, at the height of Thatcherism, The Specials ‘Concrete Jungle’ assault on the urban sprawl, Neil Young ‘4 Dead in Ohio’ . Billy Bragg and Red Wedge, UB40, the Brixton music scence at the forefront of workers rights. I know lots of these people eventually sold out but that’s the nature of things, they were meant to be replaced by the next generation but it never musically materialized. A bit of Damien Dempsey and Ian Brown were all I heard to counter the vacous melodies.
Instead we got Bono and Bob sharing a limo at the G8 summit with Blair and Bush . We had Oasis in Downing Street garnering votes for the New Labour, the new Monarchy.
Not a note not a peep not a chord of dis-chord to be heard.

Where were the equivalents of the plays of the early 1900 ? Those that depicted the life of the poor and championed the causes of the citizens of the tenemants. The plays that lampooned the behaviour of the governing bodies at the time, but did it in a manner that was educational and spurred people to insurrection and change. No sign of a latter day Casey, Moore or Gogarty we got Ross OCarroll Kelly (funny but not the cutting edge of serious social comment) . It says a lot that Martin McDonagh was rejected numerous times by the Gate, how they wish they had him now.

Radio Free Europe has been canceled in its place we present a Dave Fanning special on James Blunt (I kid you not)

And out literary output was forgettable in the extreme, afraid of the libel laws and chasing the next blockbuster for the airport shelves, have we had a Vidal, Updike, or Vonnegut making the breakthrough , creating a classic to sit on our shelves and be admired for years to come?

In the printed press the newsrooms were too busy getting invited to the launchs and functions to cast a critical eye over the changes in Ireland during the global and Celtic boom. Flann O’Brien would not have had a voice these days, he would have been permanently stuck in the pub with no outlet.

Poetry… has there been verse written in disgust at the conduct of our leaders
Joe o’Connors writing a bit nowadays but nothing to compare with the Beat poets , Ginsburg et al. Heaney a later day Kavanagh or Clarke or Yeats I don’t think so. In their defense the poetry grants are small and meagre and inflation put the kibosh on any stanza that would make a stand.

The art world crowned a new Emporor, A shark suspended in a tank (you do know the shark has to be replaced ) celebrating the impermanence of art but is that not what is one of arts cornerstones its permanence of truth and beauty. IMMA too afraid to critique as the budget director held the purse strings.

Aosdana … became as synonymous with backhanders and seats for the faithful as any senate or semi-state body appointment.

University output, well we all know what their greatest contribution ws it was the well-rounded and educated captains of industry that went on to create the greatest calamity this country has yet faced .
Get involved in radical(not) Uni politics before becoming mainstream and talking in the Dail bar of my mad days in the Philosoph society . Meanwhile the professor was too busy worrying about tenure to attend to the true education of the masses.

Marches and street theatre with huge puppets depicting mythological creatures, well it’s the masses that were attached to the puppet strings, they were the ones who were being manipulated.

RTE are busy these days showing old programes, its apparent the lack of vision and creativity has left them short on material to cover the current situation. They cant even go back 10 years as they were synonymous with the property porn and have no material from that era either. No they have to go back 15-20 years to get something of merit. The director General took his instruction straight from Central Planning in The Taoiseachs office . Believe me NO-ONE will trot out Langerland in 15 years.

And now its all over there are few tunes, lyrics, books, words to document what has passed .
As with all things there are exceptions… you know who you are… I welcome people pointing out who did take an artistic stand … the rest of you are in the big black book and your body of work or lack there off is there for all to (not) see/hear/watch.

Well, I heard this song from another topic on the pin:

Over christmas I think TG4 were showing Damien Dempsey

They were all trying out for the Eurovision.

Irish artists seems to do their best work when the country is in a dire states, not when everything is rosey and everyone has a full belly.

there was also that movie “tigers tail”. didn’t see it.
but i think we will have a truely unique archive of how detached and escapist a society can get thanks to Cecilia Ahern.

my favorite writer of these times has been Paul Howard with his Ross O’Carroll Kelly books, it’s all there, every bit of it.

Haughey bought them off with the tax exemption

smart move by haughey

Hunt down a chap going by the name of Captain Moonlight. “Dirty Cunts” would be right down your street.

This is the forefront the rest of dem are all down back of the bus messin SIR! They are putting me off my egg sandwiches SIR!

The old reliables: Cathal Coughlan - Foburg

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Those in power are not stupid.

The Vietnam war was was supposed to run on and on and on and on and it only ended when people took to the streets. I stress, it did not end when public opinion turned against the war, that didn’t matter, it did not end because of what was happening on the ground, the US were neither winning nor losing they could easily have carried on or as happened stopped without any consequence either way (except more or less people would have to die).

The musicians of the era were pivotal in organizing and being focal points for the mass demonstrations.

Now assuming you are now in power and you wanted to avoid a repeat of this would you

a) ban music (tried and failed)
b) ban protests (tried remains to be seen if it will fail)
c) lick up to the potential pivots and pretend to make them feel special and tell them they have the ear of the powerful and that you care and want to make a change except etc. etc.

Answers on a postcard to
Mr. B Vox,

Maybe its because Irish artists unlike French artists dont get huge government subsidies and government handouts so therefor cannot indulge in the political posturing that its so common among the French ‘creative classes’. Its easy to pontificate about society and politics when one is little more than a functionaire.

I dont want this to be a French versus irish thread thing but
Can you provide me with some evidence of these so called huge handouts that French artists get , Im not aware of them but doesnt mean they dont exist. And if you mean the fact my kids can get free music conservatory and dance lessons in Paris I dont call that a handout, its more like what govt should be providing.
I thought Ireland was the land of milk and honey for Artists regarding tax exemption status (thanks to Charlie hee-haw as someone else pointed out) The french do have system of tax breaks for artists but its pro-rata, the more you earn the less tax breaks it means strugling artists get a leg up but once your self-sustaining you dont get anymore breaks.Many French artists will take out citezenship of other countries (thru parents/birthright/residency) all to escape their draconian tax system
And your arguement shoots itself in the foot , if they are indeed in receipt of such handouts and mere functionaires of the French govt why is it they are so vociferous in their protests against the policies of said govt that is providing the handouts… that makes no sense at all . In fact if what you say is true it makes it all the more admirable, not only are they in receipt of handouts but they are willing to bite the very hand that feeds them by constantly being at the forefront of media and street , debate and protest on social issues and the direction of their society .

Lets stay off a French versus Irish system debate. In some ways I think all the creativityt, music, tv personalities etc reflect perfectly the last ten years. The bust is only relativly recent and everything artisticaly from the Celtic Tiger, looks jaded.

Thanks to those who pointed out the few artists here who do have some credibility , must have watched that Damian Dempsey video 20 times today , pure genius. I do acknowledge the existence or artists of merit in ireland (they either want to remain incognito or are excluded ) I just dont see very much artistic quality in the mainstream legacy of the Celtic tiger years.

Transcript of Ryan Turbidy interview with George Lee and Anne Gildea
It’s a twenty minute interview starts 7:00 minutes into broadcast

Just in relation to the subject where are the artists, they’ve been priced out of the local market.
(The 5.2 billion is the budget surplus)

I think BoB was talking about talented musicians etc. That song is nothing but look at me, I’m from the north side, therefore I’m a working class hero and everyone else is a greedy conformist. More importantly, I’m sure he only wrote that song because it would appeal to a mass audience and so he could make money from it.

If any bastard says “nobody saw this coming” one more time, I am going to chop off his head and shit George Lee’s words down his neck. Well done GL for saying it. Well done for continuing to say it. Fuck the Ryan Tubridy’s of this world who laughed it off and sneered at him for not having an SUV or a paddock or a sauna.

Not to distract from the main theme. A family member is a painter in France. She get lots of special tax breaks, the marie has lots of programs with lots of grants, Paris the same. Very generous when compared with Ireland and the UK.

The ‘cultural class’ in France are not very radical, all bien pensant posturing straight out of the PS playbook. Some do flirt with Besancenot and Bove but nothing very innovative and all terribly predicable.


Tubridy is an odious FF plant

to echo an earlier poster

there is indeed work for captain moonlight in this country

IMO the best piece of literature to emanate from Celtic Tiger Ireland was the following…

The Swing of Things - Seán O’Reilly

… an excellent warts and all account of Celtic Tiger Dublin. Some might say its actually a warts only account. I remember reading a few reviews of it around the time it came out (I think about 2004/5) in which it was written off by many of the reviewers and critics for being too bleak and dark and representing a Dublin which they werent sure actually existed - no doubt they spat out their frappucinos upon reading some of the sequences. Its set in bedsit land and doesnt paint a pretty picture of Dublin. Id liken it to Dostoevsky transplanted to 21st century Dublin. Its a great book - and not a paddock nor a sauna in sight…

Reading that Tubridy extract It occurs to me that the French- sensible as ever - might recognise that giving public money to artists, much as they might mouth off occasionally, is a lot safer than giving it to property developers. No artistic movement - Dada, Surrealism, Punk-Rock - has laid waste to a nation to anything like the extent that the movement born in the Galway tent has to this country.

Disco came pretty close…