At Quadrant we believe in self-improvement, so when the Australia Council attempted to flush us out of existence by rejecting a funding request for one-fifth of the sums a “composer” has received for playing outback fences with a violin bow it seemed a good idea to get a better grasp on the things arts bureaucrats like, enjoy and are eager to fund. Overland seemed a natural place to begin the quest, as that journal of left orthodoxy bagged a handsome $320,000. Below is a sample of what is, apparently, the sort of deep thinking that warrants the big-bucks distribution of other people’s money:
The ship has been a longstanding archetype in the Western cultural circle, including its microcosmic and macrocosmic dimensions, from the ship of state to ship-as-state, from the ship of Theseus to the ship of fools. A well-known trope in literary and maritime studies is Michel Foucault’s concept of the ship as heterotopia, an other space, ‘a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.’ Ships are self-sufficient entities separate from land, yet they are slivers of land, tied to it in continuous becoming-monad and becoming-fragment. In other words, they are tied to the law.
The entire essay, inspired by the bodice-ripping cable-TV show Black Sails (above), was published online this morning and can be read here.
Honesty is also part of self-improvement, so let it be admitted that no Quadrant writer could or would match such prose, not even when very drunk indeed. By the Australia Council’s yardstick for funding, we’re a hopeless proposition. That is why we are hoping readers will follow the link below, print out the donation form they find at the foot of the article and send us a cheque.
Reader support will save us having to explore other aspects of pirate life the Australia Council’s arbiters of worth might well find appealing.