'Israel is not a fascist state, Hannah. It's a democracy with full human rights.'
'You would say that. The Earth Corporation have bought you off with an academic title, so you can defend the existing system. You won't destroy a system that has made you the great Professor. It's not in your interest...'
'It doesn't stop me being critical of the system,' Wilson interrupted again.
Frederick Burrell Possessed (Home'Baked Books by Michael John Weller, 2010).
With Beckenham Bubble over, present writer considering 'bubble-vents', local and international politics, education, fees, cuts, radical poetics, and ultra-localism of place.
And who exactly is teacher, and who is pupil/student, in Weller's current work-in-progress Songs Our Teachers Learn Us, or, Lessons To Be Taught. No question mark in poetics.
Here's some question marks. If the writer was to consider post-graduate course when reaching rapidly rising state retirement pension age - what British university? Which course? Would artist/writer be viewed as consumer? Can learning have cash value? How to measure new learning when memory storage and rapid recall ebbs with age. Writer-in-residence MJ scribbles artist into local U3A with one sweep blue biro.
From among writer's first self-publications Ain't Bin To No Art School (1979-80) to Space Opera (visual associations, 1999) up to "fics from the sticks" Slow Fiction (Home'Baked Books by Michael John Weller, 2010) experience of twentieth century English education at primary, secondary, further and higher is ripped to shreds by 'Michael J. Weller, English novelist', (Slow Fiction Character & Scene Guide, 2010). Fictionalized institution New Olympus University appears in twenty-three tales wellerverse set 3World in 4Time.
Realtime summer months packed with local litfests and uni graduate shows. Thursday, July 14, the writer attended Goldsmith's University of London Department of Art's postgraduate exhibition (Ben Pimlott Building and Laurie Grove Baths). View Master of Fine Art (MFA) degrees in Fine Art, Art Writing, Curating (Mick had been watching Mike curate two evenings @Becfest. 'Didn't realise you needed a degree in curating,' Mick grins. Class clown.) Rowena Easton's poetry as Art Writing appeared on artist's modernist female poet radar @Ken Edwards' blog entry here, subsequently doing it better from first July 2010 edition & Holly Pester...
Post-grad Exhibition different from southeast London reality nearly quarter century before when Hirst and other Goldsmiths undergraduates BA'd from Young British Artists to Britart establishment 2010s. Beginning to understand why younger generation artists, writers, poets, critics take career prospects and academic qualifications seriously. Can new generation poet/artist make it without university post-grad, sustained academic publication, or peer review? Can Bob Cobbing's stuff be academicized? Question mark question marks - pejorative 'anti-intellectual' rubber ball easy throw. Difficult catch.
At back of Laurie Grove Baths SE14 exhibition space, writer somewhat bemused by request to "open up" canvas bag for concealed "weapons". Looks like wired-up Jewish Community Security Trust (CST) presence for Noam Edry's MFA degree work in Fine Art. And Mick thought Noam was a bloke (Chomsky, geddit? Mick could have checked website) or Noam's YouTube ID. Fine artist Edry was dressed for her opening in an immaculate white suit. Strikingly beautiful, rather like John and Yoko (Social Reality Earthtime 1969). Peace Now brothers and sisters.
Next to entranced in-on-the-joke security fellow chill-out space with Arab-Israeli coffee stand.
But surprise, Noam Edry's bubble-space looks hit by Hamas rockets fired from Gaza. Something of a happening-vent here. Holistic therapist massaging (mostly) female attendees' 'left sides'; working tv set playing video loops from rubble skip; canvas paintings daubed in hand-paint, same calligraphics as venue wall graffiti, recognizable from Edry's handwritten artzine "Conversation Pieces: Scenes of Unfashionable Life".
Post cards, agit-prop t-shirts given away to persons brave enough (with UK uni boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement countered by new Israeli government 'Boycott Law' targeting Israeli jews, palestinians, arabs, working class, Settlement-protesting bourgeois democrat-citizen-dissenters too) to public catwalking wearing slogan
I COME FROM THE MOST HATED PLACE ON EARTH (SECOND TO IRAN).
Bubble-within-bubble screens twenty-minute looped interview - in effect a filmed self-portrait of Jewish/Israeli/Zionist artist Edry's experience girl's English school education- to- Israel Defense Forces warzone soldier- to-post-grad "Goldsmiths Made Me a Fundamentalist".
And maybe all these young Israeli soldier-girls want is "cool" meaning simply okay as in normal; dressing sharp 'n' smart, looking nice, and catching town bus for a date without getting head blown off.
& Noam Edry does it better.