MORE MONEY THAN SENSE?

klf money

“Sweet suffering succatash!” Mel Blanc, as the three-time Academy Award-winning Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr. might have lisped to Tweety Pie in one of those wonderful Friz Frelang , “Looney Tunes” cartoons.
It really is as mad as that, after all. Norneverland really is the land of lunacy all right. Here’s the latest revelation to ponder on just in case anyone is thinking that the magical land is like anywhere else on our planet. It isn’t , by a very long shot.Apparently , something called “Antrim Council”, which may possibly be a collective of those educated magpies we talked about earlier, has a practice of handing out thousands of pounds to be burnt on the annual bonfires every eleventh of July.
Just roll that around your brain for a moment and allow the madness of that act to marinade a little while I explain.This little squib of information has actually appeared as a feature story in one of the newspapers sold daily across the land to anyone who can still read those strange little collections of symbols and glyphs .It’s obviously included as a humourous lampoon so that the natives can laugh gaily at their own curious little absurdities. You know how it is , Norneverlanders think there is nothing quite as well-developed on this little flat planet as their wonderful sense of humour and their ability to kick a ball.They love to laugh at themselves a lot.
It has been revealed that more than £6,300.00 of ratepayers money has been spent on wooden pallets to burn on the bonfires. That’s right …they’re literally burning the ratepayers money in huge, colourful gouts of yellow and orange flames.About £1000.00 was also spent on wood and fuel to accelerate the blazes and of course there was also the hiring and fueling of mechanical vehicles to help build the huge towering edifices. Additionally some £2,600.00 was spent on flute bands to play salutary music at the events ,as the charredand sooty flakes of banknotes peeled off into the nighttime skies. I suppose there was also money allotted to clear up the charred mess after the event.
I know some have been thinking that the wooden pallets had been donated free by tree-hating faeries during the darkness of night and the constructions were magicked to fruition by wand-wielding, chanting monks, as dawn broke. Who could actually believe that anyone would actually pay for any of this? Paying, indeed , to burn their hard-earned cash.Well…of course , they did.
They’re not the first people to burn money.The KLF {K Foundation} did something like this as some vague artistic statement way back in August 1994.The art/rock project of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty set fire to a million pounds {that’s ” £” sterling} on the isolated Scottish island of Jura and filmed it as a sort of one -off video art installation. It can still be seen on YouTube .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6q4n5TQnpA

 

The “work” was toured extensively with screenings and discussions afterwards as to the meaning and symbolism of the act. I kept wondering what I could do with a million quid as I schlepped to work back then with the mortgage hanging overhead like some doomed cloud…. and where would I get a million quid in the first place should I want to burn it.This was the kind of arch- japery and mad conceptualism that had led me to abandoning my Fine Art course over forty years ago ,in pursuit of something else where I mightn’t starve to a rickle of bones in some garret.Now here it was all these years later and bonfires have become some kind of artistic symbols, constructed as annual , cultural artifacts, somewhat like a more impermanent “Pop-Up” version of the Great Pyramid of Giza or maybe Stonehenge , paid for by the public purse .Who knew that Conceptualism had such support in the Council of Antrim and that the minions struggling with household bills, health care and education were willing to sacrifice even a little bit of their hard-earned cash to show their support for the arts?
Maybe there is some little hope for the advancement of culture and the arts in the philistine ,darker corners of Norneverland, after all…if they don’t burn the place to the ground first.Who would have thought it?