Let’s face it, your art major is never going to get you anywhere. Studying acting? Photography? Visual Art? Dance? Fashion? Animation? A plethora of other creative industry related diploma and degrees?
You know you’re not an actual student.
A lady named Susan told me this the other day when I was at the grocery store. And I thought, you know what Susan, you’re right. It’s not like she was still bitter over the fact her parents lacked so much creativity they looked at their new born daughter and thought, “Let’s call her Susan.”
No, Susan offered a very valid and true opinion. My major in creative professional writing was completely useless! I should just stick to the law section of my degree!
Susan actually shares the view of our Minister of Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, who has recently cut government funding to 57 creative art courses under the Turnbull governments ongoing reforms of the tertiary sector.
Good riddance am I right? Susan and all other art major haters out there, who needs these degrees?
Birmingham stated that ‘VET Student Loans will only support legitimate students to undertake worthwhile and value-for-money courses at quality training providers,’ and that these courses are nothing more than, ‘lifestyle choices.’
Ignoring the fact that all careers are lifestyle choices including politics and Susan’s job, accounting, I, and all other art students are thrilled with these reforms!
Imagine a world where we can no longer study these things; we’ll no longer have to relocate to Mars, the world would be a euphoric utopia.
Let’s look at the world in 30 years time, finally free of art students through the eyes of Barry.
Barry comes home from his job as a financial adviser and walks into his beige apartment and takes off his beige suit. He places it with his other suits that have all the colour variation of black or beige or no, that’s it. Remember, we took away the funding for fashion styling and design! But it’s fine because Barry has no time to think about his suit colour; tonight is a big night for Barry. He is planning on proposing to his girlfriend Barbra. So he makes his way to Barbra’s beige apartment with a bunch of flowers to ensure a good impression. Oh, no, wait, we cut funding for floristry design. But that’s okay! It’s fine, Barry has a brilliant plan for tonight. They’re going to watch the ballet. Actually, no not the ballet, funding for that was cut. Actually not any kind of dance, funding was cut for that too. They decide to go to the theatre instead but, musical theatre funding was cut also and even if it wasn’t they cut the funding for the live production design so there would be no set to perform on anyway and even if we overlooked that they cut the funding for screenwriting so they would have nothing to say and while we’re on the topic of screenwriting the other type of screens (movies) are gone too because the funding for acting was also cut. And I’m sure at this point Barry is thinking that’s fine, no actors? No worries! We’ll just go see a kids movie, a cartoon one. But sorry Barry, try again, because animation was cut too. At this point Barry is running out of time so he decides that the evening can’t get any less unromantic, why not just propose right here and now? So he kneels down infront of Barbra and pulls out a ring. Actually, no, not a ring because, you guessed it, jewellery and object design funding was cut too. Bad luck Barry.
I guess maybe we shouldn’t have pre-determined what ‘real students’ were. And how cutting government funding for ‘lifestyle choice’ careers might impact our lifestyle choices no matter how non-creative we think we are.
Art students make incredible sacrifices. Acting students spend colossal amounts of time memorising lines and sometimes entire plays. Some take on ‘method acting’ and spend weeks living as an entirely different person just to perfect their character. Fashion students sew for hours on end forever pushing and creating innovative ideas so that we can wear them. So when we open our wardrobes they are filled with more than just black and beige suits. Creative writing, professional writing and scriptwriting students spend hours cultivating stories and scripts that are tens of thousands of words long and different to what we have read before. Extracting ideas from the creases and folds of our brains. Musical theatre, circus actors and stage production students are led to create careers in productions like ones you see on cruise ships. There’s a lot of talk of homesickness from FIFO miners but not a word of complaint from performers who spend up to nine months on cruise ships constantly entertaining.
So do the people studying it and the courses teaching it. Simon Birmingham, being the minster of education does not entitle you to decide what kinds of education are important.
They all are.
For the list of the full cuts to creative courses see click here.
Inspiration taken from poet Cy Ferguson's "Art major v Derrick" to see his poem click here.