The Exclusion Zone...

Like anyone with a stake in the culture game I’ve heard the plea; Who will think of the poor _____? (fill the blanks yourselves). On social media that plea is loudest among the theatre lobby, followed by live music – and rightly so. Seven months into Covid-19 those who believe the arts are a luxury are waking up to the fact that while bread might keep you alive, circuses are an incentive to not kill yourself.

Curiously silent on the matter of its imminent demise is the film/TV sector which arguably has done more than most to keep the population a) at home and b) sane. However the people who make film and TV are mostly freelancers in an already precarious field and unfairly excluded from the UK Government’s furlough scheme.

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A Straight Line...

Writing a Covid-19-free post is a struggle if not downright impossible. If I caved in to my rage over how this crisis is being mishandled I’d probably get arrested. As it is, currently I’m furloughed and on a 23-hour a day lockdown. Frankly I don’t know how others are coping. What I do know is those charged with mental health services will reap a bitter whirlwind when this is over.

It took only days into this pandemic for pundits to opine how, on the other side of this catastrophe nothing will ever be the same. I sincerely hope so if ‘the same’ equates to a hard-boiled Brexit, Austerity V2 and a depression that will make the crash of 2008 look like someone made off with the menage money. Meanwhile a supine mainstream media shills for an incompetent, venal Tory government mandated to get away with anything, genocide included.

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The Planets Align...

It’s now become increasingly clear that spring, summer and beyond are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For students of disaster capitalism one thing’s certain: the poor and vulnerable will suffer most, for as Warren Buffett reminds us, “it’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” In this case, as the situation worsens, it’s our politicians who will be called to account. And yet, I fear, nothing will change.

If I thought Brexit, austerity and climate catastrophe made the business of film seem trivial it’s perhaps contradictory to suggest film is more necessary than ever but having glimpsed a world devoid of culture – with venues closed, shows cancelled and film and TV production postponed or ceased – it’s not a prospect to relish.

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