Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Role of Horror and Dread in Creating Heroes

If I did not warn it already, I apologise, but to my faithful reader[s] (ok so I'm being slightly optimistic there) this post regards some of my theoretical work that I have done over the last year or so. Not that it won't be interesting...I promise! I should also point out that a paper on this very idea was written in conjunction with my colleague and friend Theresa (from James Cook University) and we are still awaiting to see if it is published this year sometime.

It seems good timing then with the passing of another Anzac day to consider the role of horror and dread which is embedded in our hero worship in the west. In particular with reference to those who paid the 'ultimate' sacrifice for this country (or Empire in the case of WW1), the manner in which culture sacralises them is fascinating, but should not be approached with a cynical eye, thus deterring from its high value. While the hero (or in this case the Anzac) is narrated by themes of patriotism, nationalism, pride, mateship, courage, remembrance, pride and all those emotions that effectively bring tears in some cases to people's eyes when the 'last post' is played or the 'Ode' is recited, there is a darker side to this which is worth considering.

 Robert Hertz - Author 

In order to foreground this, we need to remember that sacrality at times has a dual dimension or pole. This early modernist writer Robert Hertz pictured above (part of Emile Durkheim's academy who sadly was killed himself on the 13th of April, 1915 in combat duty at Woevre with a pile of unfinished theoretical and anthropological contributions left unfinished - and a wife left behind most importantly) managed to expose quite well by examining anthropological texts from Indonesia - mainly. In his most impressing piece, The Pre-Eminence of the Right Hand, he contends that sacredness is bound by both reverance, awe, inspiration but also horror and dread. To comprehend this, consider the sacred nature of deity, especially in ancient Israel. On one hand, the Israelites were in awe and inspired by their God, but at the same time, they were in constant fear of his power and the ability he had to 'destroy' them for disobedience. Thus, keeping commandments followed after this dual  nature. I should point out now that this idea is not what I contend is exemplified in Anzac Day. But, the pilgrimage to Gallipoli and other places of 'secular' sacrality and more importantly the experience that is felt there, cannot be simply related as an awe inspired moment.

Gravesite in the Somme.

Rather, there is a certain element of dread and horror which can be viewed as complimentary to the entire Anzac experience. In particular, as books from Scates (2006) and others show, many report as they walk battlefields (or mass memorials - such as Australia's War Memorial) that they are exposed to emotions of horror when they are confronted aesthetically and imagine the conditions and the terrible plight of the soldiers involved in the war itself. There are even minor reports of feeling as if the 'ghosts' of the dead still rest uneasily in these areas. One painting that perhaps portrays this 'haunting' image is that of Will Longstaff's Menin Gate at Midnight, a personal favourite of mine (pictured below). Furthermore, the horrifying images and tales from soldiers and official photographers on the frontline further conjure images that deeply impact upon anyone's consciousness when they are viewed. However, the most common report of the terrifying realities of war comes when people visit war cemeteries such as that in found dotted across Gallipoli itself, or those dotted across the Somme or Passchendaele. It is here that the modern day pilgrim confronts the harsh reality of death, and the tragedy of those who had their lives cut short.

Menin Gate at Midnight - Will Longstaff: Note the eerie and ghostly view of the soldiers walking the fields.

Leaving the story here perhaps only tells half the story though. It was Theresa and I's belief that understanding the terrible circumstances more explicitly that befell these men and women, assists in the further heroicisation of them. For when we appreciate horrors more, we consider their courage more deeply. Thus we place their sacrifice, their lives and their mythical value in a place much higher than ordinary heroes. Similar appreciations I feel can be found in contemporary sites such as the Flight 93 crash site, or the World Trade Centre Memorial. In each of these areas, there are heroes who are afforded a high cultural status when one confronts the images and thoughts of the terrifying deaths or moments they endured.

The Flight 93 Memorials - Bottom is the 'memorial fence' which periodically as shown is the site of 'ritual' gift giving in a symbolic token of appreciation of the sacrifice of those who are narrated as dying for their country.
From this perspective, we can appreciate deeply that sacred places such as Gallipoli serve to remind us of two facts. One, that those who fell and those who lived on (including mothers and fathers, wives and siblings) paid a significant sacrifice (even if we consider WW1 to not be about Australia at all but about the British Empire) and subsequently deserve awe and respect and even honour. Second and perhaps overlooked at times, we are reminded of the horrific sphere of war, its terrible consequences and the need we have to establish social, political and cultural taboos to avoid it at all costs.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Twi-fail.....the end of the epic fail.

Before I begin, does the picture above make you cringe slightly?

Let me begin the post with a story. I was in a land far away forgotten by time, yes Tasmania. We were being visited by some friends when the subject of 'Twilight' emerged. I spoke about my 'Twilenge' as posted below and was immediately confronted with an array of questions and debates about the genuineness of this epic....er.....(insert your opinion on Twilight here).

It was about then that one of my esteemed and intellectually enhanced friends said to me, 'why would you waste your time?'. I thought about that. I thought some more. And some more.....and then a little more. A thousand reasons sprung to mind from literary criticism, to being able to have an opinion that is informed about the book that a dozen or so around me said was brilliant. But in the end as Marx once famously said, 'all that is solid melts in the air'. Or in other words, once the superfluous reasons for reading Twilight were pushed aside, I was at last confronted with the ultimate reality. Namely....


Plus...I have not got the mental and emotional power to maintain a 'semi-interest' in something that is less interesting and worse written than some of my son's 'Bob the Builder' books. So with my bookmark at page 182, I placed it to the side, and picked up where I left off reading other books which delights rather than infuriates. 

SO I FAILED!!!! Yes pick on me all you want, and yes I have no free lunch but at least I can say this, I tried. But to those of you loyal readers (I know there is about 5 of you out there) who are Stephanie Meyer lovers, I say in the words of Lisa Simpson 'Pick up Yurtle the Turtle, possible the greatest book on the subject of turtles there is'.....

SpruceMoose Out.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Bit of Media Misrepresentation....

I have been experiencing some media attention over the last few weeks, which at times can be quite fun depending on who you talk to. QUT decided to release another piece about the Seachange work I have done and despite my questioning on its newsworthiness, it has garnered interest from mainly ABC radio and some pockets of regional press. I won't bore you with the details of the release. I should point out though that the original press release given by QUT is only a smidgeon (about half of a chapter) of my thesis. But publicity can sometimes be a good thing.

Unless of course if the journalist or press you are communicating with has some type of political agenda. Fortunately, this is not a problem I have had to face in the three years or so since my research become a media item. Until this week...

Meet the Cairns Post....

I received a call sometime this week asking if I wanted to talk to them. I reluctantly said yes. Often it is the case that newspapers will simply take the QUT release and plonk it into the paper itself, but sometimes they want to talk directly to you, in order to get some sort of unique take in relation to their community. I don't mind this too much, but there is a tendency at times for them to think you know everything about their own 'neck of the woods'. Which I clearly do not.

The Cairns Post journalist seemed nice enough, but it was clear throughout the interview that he had an agenda. He continually asked me about Kuranda, a small pocket community near Cairns which has in recent times attracted a number of urban escapees and dare I say 'Greenies'. He led me on a question journey which led to one query that stood out above the others 'what would happen if a community protested development?'

I answered frankly and honestly, but it was merely a throw away statement in relation to what happens for local councils when development is stopped.

"If a group protests to a point where they are stopping a development from coming, that's going to be a problem for the development of a local economy."

From here the journalist then decided to base an entire story about this idea that 'Greenies should go home'. His angle was that my research had somehow suggested or confirmed that Seachangers were ruining the future of Kuranda by stepping up and stopping development. This is not what my research suggests. In fact, in a conference paper I presented at Manchester last year, I used the people of Kuranda as a case study reference point to show how social movements can be maintained in the wake of capitalist development and commercialisation. Luckily for me, one of the concerned members of Cairns emailed asking for confirmation that I had been misread. From here I decided to draft the following letter to the editor;

Dear Sir\Madam,

I would like to respond to the story that was circulated after being interviewed about my research by Mr. ***** of the Cairns Post and published on the 26th of January, 2010. The title of the article "Greenies Go Home" was never a suggestion made by my research, any presentation I have given or by any comments I have made in the previous two weeks since a release was made by QUT. Mr ******  has clearly identified a political angle which he wishes to highlight in his story and has twisted comments I have made to suit.

My research into Seachange has never suggested that 'blocking future progress on green grounds' is loving their community to death. In fact, my comments made through the QUT release suggest only that development causes some Seachangers to reconsider their location and find other more 'authentic' communities. The comment I made in the article stating that if communities protest and halt development, then that poses a problem for the future of local economies, was made in response to the question, what impact does protest have on areas. My response was geared towards the delicate balancing act that local councils need to address as is highlighted by the next comment that councils need to be wary of culturally and aesthetically destroying an area.

My research has never made comments to suggest that Treechangers/Seachangers should neither leave nor allow development to flourish if they desire to keep their authentic setting. In fact in a conference presentation I gave at Manchester University in 2009, I used the Kuranda community (as well as the Maleny) to show how social movements can be saved from commercialisation.

After reading your article however, it would almost appear that I am arguing against Treechangers when in actuality, my research argues on similar grounds to the National Seachange Taskforce's findings (as well as international scholars on the subject), that councils have responsibility to ensure natural aesthetics are not sacrificed for the lure of significant development. Local economies can be hindered by this, but other measures can also be employed to obtain economic growth.

For the moment, I don't believe that the editor of the post has published my letter, but this example should be enough to show us readers of papers that we cannot always trust that which we read. It also shows, at the extreme end, that at times, media expresses a particular angle which they want people to consume and internalise. There is much more to this idea/theory, but in this small case study, we can see it in effect.....

Friday, January 8, 2010

Twilenge Update - 100 pages in....Urge to Kill Rising....Risssinnnggg.....

I have been quite busy over the last week so the blog and the Twilight novel sitting lazily on my desk have had to wait. But I have been able to scrounge off a few 100 pages and as the title of the post suggests, I feel sometimes like Homer sitting in the snow growling, 'urge to kill rising....' (for those of you who don't 'get' the Simpsons quotes I apologise immensely'. Ok, so I did say I would try to be open minded about this, so I have tried...I really have!

So to start with here are some pros...the cover is pretty cool...just kidding (Spoiler al....ah bugger it, if you have not read it by now you are one of those types who is either a hater or dubious towards the whole thing)

Actually I think the whole story as it stands has a lot of potential. The mysterious nature of Edward and his family brings an air of optimism to my mind that perhaps I will graft some enjoyment out of this quasi-vampire tail. I say this with every ounce of restraint I can but, a better writer would have made this book well worth the $22.99 that my friend paid for it (thanks again S!). Certainly, the darkness of the novel has me intrigued being one who enjoys a bit of the evil side of the supernatural. The attraction of Bella to Edward also has my interest. Whose obsession with a pasty white 'perfect' male is beyond normal. In the back of my mind I'm hoping that in some twisted manner it has a relationship between Edward being a subliminal charmer and Bella being intwined in some type of eerie and wicked trance, but seeing the movie already has spoiled this somewhat. I also find that the setting is worth mentioning. The small town, the family of vampires, the hint of a killer prefaced (albeit very poorly) in the introduction, all calls attention to a gripping tale of horror, dread but also imperfect love and impossible choices.

UNfortunately! (And I meant the inflection here), there are so many errors so far that its making the reading of the book totally infuriating and slightly laughable. My wife who is currently reading Marly and Me (and enjoying it too I think...) is getting frustrated herself with my constant interruptions of 'oh for the love of...' or my favourite, 'PLEASE GIVE ME STRENGTH TO CONTINUE!!!!' (Remember a free lunch is on offer). To save time, space and brain capacity, here are some....SOME gripes that I have so far....

* The opening quote of Genesis Ch2 verse 17 - totally out of context and seems like its put in there to make the book appear somewhat sophisticated - Vampire love with humans and the tree of knowledge of good and evil? er....

* The adoption of a first person prose. Well, this wouldn't be such an issue really if Meyer knew and cared to develop her character Bella properly. For instance, she claims egocentrically to be an advanced reader of English Literature. To quote her own words, 'Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner. I'd read everything. That was comforting and boring' (p.14). I can handle this, a smart girl who obviously is deep enough to have delved into the belly of classical literature and come out feeling slightly intoxicated with her own sense of self belief. In other words, she poo poos the class because she's smarter and more advanced. And so if she had read Shakespeare for instance, she would reflect on beauty in this manner perhaps;

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Instead this is what I get on page 16;

The tall one was statuesque. She had a beautiful figure, the kind you saw on the cover of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue....

Or on page 67...

Interesting...and brilliant...and mysterious...and perfect...and beautiful...and possible able to lift full sized vans with one hand.
Sigh. Throughout the next 100 pages though it gets significantly worse. I actually feel like Meyer has run out of words in the grammar section of her mind because consistently Bella turns to Edward and is lost in his 'perfect face'. This happens on at least 4-5 seperate occasions...which would be fine, if she had used better descriptors and signifiers.

* But perhaps the most annoying thing about the 'first person' prose is the manner in which Meyer assassinates the main character Bella. By the end of chapter two, I hated her with a passion. She is egocentric, nasty, rude and incompassionate towards her family, those trying to be her friends and well wishers and most importantly, the reader. For instance her response to Mike, a nice kid who wants to be her friend (seems later just like that something more) is more than enough to warrant my rage against the Bella;

I smiled at him before walking through the girl's locker room door. He was friendly and clearly admiring. But it wasn't enough to ease my irritation.

What's more she consistently raves on about her clumsiness and instability on her feet to the point where I'm beginning to wonder (a) if she has some type of vertigo issue and (b) if she's taking drugs on the side but not telling me about it. I'm going to go with b, makes it more exciting!

* All this aside, let me pull up on my last point and one that clearly annoys me the most perhaps. It is obvious that this is a novice novel, a first go at writing. From my standpoint, I can picture Meyer sitting at her laptop excitedly punching away with a scene in mind that she wants to rush to because she does so little in both the character, setting and plot development, the first 100 pages are a blur (and she needs lessons in English sentence construction and paragraphs...for goodness sakes PARAGRAPHS...they are like 2 sentences long! And for heaven's sake use a Thesaurus! Or put it down when its obvious you don't know the meaning of words - eg. infinitesimally). At one stage after she is saved by Edward from the crushing truck (I did say I was not doing spoiler alerts right?), she and Edward are suddenly not talking after a confusing and infuriating discussion at the hospital, and after three short pages 6 weeks have passed. Again, wouldn't be such an issue but according to Bella, in those six weeks she has been having strange dreams of Edward and developing such an obsession that it makes me the reader feel unfulfilled. Such an important component of the building plot requires some insight, descriptiveness....something!

100 pages in...yes give it time. I'm hoping that Meyer gets her act together, but as a taster, the first 100 pages are not filling me with optimism. Yet the promise of a free lunch drags me on (Drag Me To Hell like Raimi's work? jokes). I leave the question open as to firstly why this is one of the best sellers of 2009 (the whole series that is) and on the top 20 list of must read books (as voted by Australians), and secondly whether this is a success of Meyer's....or the marketers behind it.

On this question I will return to later in my life.....if I've not been beaten to death by Twilight fans first.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twilenge....One Man's Journey into Vampire Perplexity!

So last night I finally finished the massive 700+ page new book from one of my favourite writers Paullina Simons called A Song in the Daylight. To be honest, I was slightly dissappointed with this effort from her. Certainly not up to the Tully standard that made me a follower of her work. This time around I found it all too heavy. The main character has a significant 'itch' which is never really explained unlike Tully who is highly complex for good reason (no spoiler alerts). Anyway that is not the issue at hand here.

The real issue is that I told no more than three of my friends (all female and including my sister in law) that once I had finished this book, I would take up what I call the Twilenge. In short, I've been a constant cynic towards the entire Twilight series including the movies. Before the series took off in the global western imagination of every girl/woman inspired by pasty white men who glitter in the light, I read around 20 pages of Twilight (the first one) and put it down with the thought, nice for young women...perhaps. But since then I do not need to tell you its become an international best seller. I took the 'anti-twilight' label on happily. But how did I do it? Apart from reading those initial pages, I also saw the movie on the flight home from London in May (Ok so I had exhausted all the movies on the play list and was still 6 hours away...I had a choice, Free Willy or Twilight.....it was a tough choice). Needless to say I wasn't impressed. In fact, I think I may have fallen asleep - but waited impatiently for the death of the 'bad' vampire at the end. But that was a non-event.

Ok so I've heard so many people protesting my disdain for Twilight for various reasons. Let me list them for you quickly:

(1) You're just jealous of Edward - Oh yeah...cursed brown skin! (jokes...nothing racist there ok?)
(2) You're just jealous of Stephanie Meyer - yes damn it, why can't I make millions from....
(3) Why do you have to be critical of it? Just get over it - ok...if you can get over telling me how brilliant it is I will.
(4) It's just a book - it's also a book that influences and has a wide....audience. Should it not be subject to critical thought? All other literature and movies are? (I also heard my friend tell me that the girls at his work said to him, you should read it, your wife would want you to be more like Edward....that sadly is not a joke.)
(5) You don't get it cause you're male and you don't get romance novels - sure, except I have read all of Jane Austin's work (except for Mansfield Park) and loved Pride and Prejudice as much as anyone. I suppose however the Austin is not really a good example of romance novels. After all, Pride and Prejudice is really a book about just that, Pride and Prejudice (and not Keira Knightly)
(6) You've not even read it so how can you judge - can't argue with this one....

In response to this last one, people began to Twilenge me. What is that you say? To read the first two books and see what I think. Well, my friend Sam finally decided to let her 'baby' go, and now I'm ready to dive into Meyerist fictional delight fantasy .... I have no way to finish that sentence. My friend Sam told me to be nice. My sister in law Julia told me to read it with an open mind (I'm striving to do this...really). My other friend Shannan told me that I wouldn't be able to put it down as the story will suck me in. My other more critical friend Sam R told me that if I could get through the second book, she'd buy me lunch (I'm holding you to that Sam!) and my wife....well she just laughed.

So for the next month, I'm subjecting myself to the first two hopefully (oh yeah...free lunch baby!). While doing so, I thought I would post up my play by play commentary of it. Open minded of course. I'm not an English major, I've only done literary or theatrical critique perhaps a handful of times in my life (once I had to do a sociological critique of Terminator 3....pretty fun stuff) so don't expect too much. Just honest lay public perceptions on what is one of the most widely read books of our recent times. Should be fun um...I can't finish that one yet....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Joseph Karl Obama?? - Top Ten Reasons Why Obama is not a Socialist.

Alot of banter in American politics and amongst the lay general public (some of the things I've seen on Facebook...yesh) have touted Obama as a Socialist. Right Wing pundit Glenn Beck has been shouting this worn tag line for sometime now. Now I'm not going to debate US politics here, I am well qualified NOT to do so. But it pains me to hear such rhetoric bouncing around the heartland of the US of A...especially amongst some of my comrades (oooo....no pun intended!). Fact is, if Obama is a Socialist, then Australian PM Ruddbot is Lenin incarnate (or does he look more like Engels?)...and Sweden should be renamed the United Swedish Socialist Republic. Culturally speaking its so bizarre to see America so fearful of a tax payer funded welfare state (as well as other liberal policies) when you have lived in a country (Australia) where this is the case. Even more bizarre is how people conceive such a system as a blight on their freedom....and a impediment to innovation.

Let's not bore with details on this any further. I asked a friend of mine (near PhD in Pol Science or more correctly Pol Theory) for his top ten reasons why Obama is NOT a socialist. This is what he came up with;

10. He never said "let's rename Guantanamo to Gulag"
9. KGB stands for Kentucky Grilled Bicken
8. He wouldn't rename Washington "Obamagrad"
7. People don't line up for food or commodities, just celebrities
6. You can pronounce his last name
5. He hasn't called North America the "United Socialist American Republics"
4. The Whitehouse isn't called the "Kremhouse"
3. Businesses still screw more people than the government does
2. Fox News is allowed to air
1. People actually have rights

I think you will agree, the list is symbolic. How? It stands as a witness to the ridiculous claims that Obama is somehow secretely turning the USA into the next Socialist state. Anyway, I thought the list was worth sharing, even if it is just a sarcastic rant! For more significant reasons, perhaps you should check out the response of the National Director of the Democratic Socialists of America (a real socialist?), Frank Llewellyn. Perhaps when people actually understand what socialism is, they'll stop making such monolithic accusations.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Humanity of Creativity - QUT's decision to end Arts.

So for the first post I thought why not get into something that hits right at home. It has been close to three years since the VC at QUT (Peter Coaldrake) announced that he would close the then School of Humanities and Human Services and remove the option of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social Science from the course list. Alot of controversy surrounded the decision including some significant 'creative' accounting on behalf of QUT corporate to prove their case for the dismissal of the Arts program from QUT (for more on the story see Mark Bahnisch's blog entry back in 2007 on the issue). One of the more controversial statements from Professor Coaldrake on the decision relates to his belief in the future of the Creative Industries program. In a media release he said;

The main focus of this post will be on this notion of creativity and how it works in our current economy. But before I do, I should mention that as 2009 draws to a close, the Humanities program (minus the Human Services which are now located in the Health faculty) ceases to exist. Along with it a group of academics and other staff within the school have lost their positions. Now it's a real shame, I think, to believe that we live in an age where the critical Arts are no longer needed. I for one studied Social Science and have almost completed my PhD in the discipline of Sociology (perhaps more alligned with Social Theory) and find that the critical skills (alongside some strong empirical research capabilities) makes you quite attractive to employers in research and policy design. Of course, a Bachelor of Arts is limited. But in my opinion, so is a straight Bachelor of Business, or dare I say, the much lauded Bachelor of Creative Industries.Indeed. we are getting to the stage that the piece of paper without the words 'honours' or 'masters' or even 'doctorate' is worth little.

And this is where the heart of this post. Creativity. Is there a problem with the Creative Industries? That is not the point of the post. I'm not one to stir up other disciplines and call them hopeless, useless, good for nothing, about as worthless as the New Zealand dollar at the moment (no cynicism intended here). In my opinion, all disciplines deserve their place in a University setting. Creative Arts indeed is one of them. At the expense of Social Science, Humanities, Critical Thought? Now we get to the meat and potatoes (ok...bad pun since I'm vegetarian).

What is the purpose for advancing the Creative Industries so? On this question in 2003, Thomas Osbourne (Sociologist from the UK) proposed an interesting argument. Using the Foucaldian approach from governmentality analysis Nikolas Rose, Osbourne contends in his paper Against Creativity that being creative has now become an obligation in our contemporary economy. Through various instruments of governmentality including expertise such as the 'psy sciences', the notion of 'being creative' has now become a type of capital. The ability to 'create', to innovate or think 'creatively' is a resource not just within the visual arts or other traditional industries that require it, but now pervades a multitude of industries. For Osbourne, creativity is an attempt to 're-enchant' the world against the mundane and banal conditions of advanced modernity (a problem that Weber foresaw). But like the Weberian analysis would point to, the eventual conclusion of such attempts is a commodification, a capitalisation or a corporatisation (to use other words) of creativity. Osbourne (2003: 523) writes that 'what we have is a romanticism and subjectivism tied to the very demands of rationalization (economic performance and efficiency) and 'science' (the expertises of creativity).'

What does this mean essentially? To put it bluntly and in terms understandable to the lay public, the once individualised nature (I dare not use the term authentic) of creativity has now become a commodity, something to be bought and sold and a domain now owned by the corporate world (Toby Miller for instance asks the question 'who owns Youtube again? For a lecture on the subject of Facebook and Myspace see here). To use political terminology however, we could also say that the 'obligation to be creative' (as Osbourne suggests) has now also become part of the neoliberal paradigm. On that point I do not want to dwell.

In my own research into self exploration and self authenticity, I find that within the 'self-help' industries, creativity is now a firmly implanted ideal. To become self-authentic, it is often touted that one must find their 'creative' outlet. It is almost as if you cannot become authentic within the self without finding 'the artist within' or the 'musician awaiting to burst out'. Such notions in my mind are indeed tied back into the wider discourse where being creative has become an ultimate moral ideal, but one that can be critiqued.

From this point of view and that of Osbourne or even the more recent piece by Toby Miller called From Creative to Cultural Industries (ruthlessly subtitled - Not all industries are cultural, but no industry is creative), we can begin to see why it is that QUT has taken the stance to enhance the Creative Industries and denounce the traditional humanities/social sciences. Inevitably, the corporate decision to remove the Arts program in favour of more focussed effort on the Creative is one based in an ideal which is now fundamentally part of neoliberal/economic rationalist paradigms and corporate dollars. Yet, with all this teaching on how to think creatively, who is teaching to think critically as part of the fundamental value core of the school?