Productivity Vs Consumption… 

 Creating Competition in the MarketPlace (panel a)

Creating Competition in the MarketPlace (panel a)

 Creating Competition in the MarketPlace (panel b)

Creating Competition in the MarketPlace (panel b)


 Productivity Vs Consumption… Ok, so that’s what I wrote down in my notebook this morning, and I for the life of me can’t remember what it was that I was thinking… but at least it’s a plan! Underneath it I have written ‘use the language of the businessman to describe culture things’ if that’s any help? 

 I think what I was getting at was to write something about being ‘productive’ in life; something akin to the countless internet memes doing the rounds that may or may not feature a cute looking pussycat, and this cat will more than likely be saying ‘give more than you take’ or some other such dross… I was in a particularly bad place this morning and I think what was going around in my head was me trying to convince myself that what I do on a daily basis is valid as a way to spend a life. I know, I know, I don’t make any money! and if that is the only way you can measure productivity I am somewhat less useful than an ashtray on a motorcycle, I am nothing but a drain on precious resources, a leech if you will, living off the state at the expense of all the hardworking folks that get up and go to work in the morning, but that’s me too… I do get up, I was in the studio this morning before 8… and I will be here till 7 this evening; but I make no money… I can’t, I don’t know how… all I know how to do is make paintings, but I am buggered if I know how to sell them; truth be told, I have no problem with that, to create things is to be productive… and when we look back at the history of our wee country, is it the work of the bullshit small-minded businessmen that shapes our vision of what Ireland is or wants to be? or more to the point what it means to be Irish? If industry and commerce was the metric we used to appraise ourselves, we would see nothing but failure at every turn. I put it to you that the story of Irish business is a very poor show [hence the train station was named after James Connolly and not Murphy] rife with provincial narrow mindedness and begrudgery, surely we would all still be subsisting on a diet of potatoes if the European Union had not of intervened...

 When we look back at history, everything that we as a nation are most proud of came from the hands of the artists, we look back with rose tinted glasses at the Yeats brothers; we glee in telling anyone that will listen that Oscar Wilde and Francis Bacon were both undoubtedly as Irish as the Guinness and the spud; conveniently ignoring the inconvenient fact that they could never have became the giants they came to be had their families chosen to remain in Dublin as opposed to moving overseas, and James Joyce! Don’t get me started on James Joyce - truly an Irishman, and from Dublin at that - but he couldn’t write here, he was forced into exile in order to escape a life sentence of tabulating tables in the service of imports and exports for an Státseirbhís… But when we look back these are the people we hold up as exemplar - the beacons of Irish culture…. So yes, it is productive to spend your time creating things, they may force you to leave - or pack shelves in Tesco, but in the end it is the people who create more than they consume that add real value to an economy.

 On a side note, all this has reminded me of something I heard one time not so long ago, and it stuck with me because as simple as it was I had never heard it said before… it was a clever take on the much overused phrase ‘that we can’t increase taxes on the rich because the capital will surely flee the country’ but is the inverse not also true, and we here have never had a problem cutting services for the poor, forcing the skilled young people that you need to create a successful economy to pack their bags and flee, the cream of Irish youth, both the nascent business men and the artists alike, have for too long been asked to take that short boat trip to Wales…