Monday, 1 November 2010


I’ve had three things on my mind in the last week:-
  1. The richness of sights and thoughts that happen when you look up rather than down
  2. The appeal of personal simplification enjoyed by Generation Zero
  3. The madness of the “cuts masochism”
First of all, “looking up” which in a care-worn world too few of us do. Look up and the see the wonders of London like the amazing sculpture of Elizabeth 1 at St Dunstans in Fleet Street. It survived the Great Fire in Ludgate Circus and was moved here in 1760. Apparently it’s the only sculpture of her that was done in her lifetime. So given my refrain about creativity being enhanced by our having an acuity of observation, start looking up and looking around.

Secondly, after Generation Y we now have Generation Zero according to the Times. These “zero” guys keep all their worldly possessions in one suitcase and everything they know on a laptop (and in their brain) and all they want to read, no doubt, on a Kindle. Their life and contacts are on Facebook and the other social network sites. No office. No ties. No mortgage. No need to shop. An invitation to Brazil is suddenly so easy to say “yes” to. They are global citizens with little to screw up their minds.

Finally that 29% cut in the arts budget. “Inevitable”, we winced. “Necessary”, we squirmed. Meanwhile in France they managed a budget increase of 2% to their arts budget raising it to £6.4 billion whereas our budget is just £400 million. What the hell is going on? Can the French be thinking more clearly than we are?
This is all about priorities.
Priorities about what we look out for – like Commissario Brunelli in Donna Leon’s novels about Venice who spends his days looking for the next discovery in the architecture of the city.
Priorities about what we need. In other words it’s about reducing our dependence on “stuff”.
And priorities about what really, really matters in our lives. It’s about real cuts not about symbolic ones.
Have a great week and see if anything changes in your life by looking up, simplifying and prioritising.

1 comment:

Ian Wilson said...

In many ways Generation Zero don't really have fewer possessions - they've just digitised them. An inkling of the coming 'post-human', into which we may be destined to evolve.