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Thursday, June 02, 2005


I hope that he gets a first

Darren Cullen, a final year student at the Glasgow School of Art, has managed, after some wrangling, to get his project on display.

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The Guardian quotes Margaret Morrisey, of the national Parent Teachers Association; “I think it's fair to say Christmas has become too commercialised. But there's no harm in a little bit of magic. For people to become artists they have to understand fantasy and magic. To be so cruel as to do something like that is not necessary. My seven-year-old granddaughter totally believes in Father Christmas. If she saw that billboard she would really question it and I would never be able to make her believe again. We know they won't believe forever, but it's nice to pretend.”

But Cullen has the perfect reply, arguing that “children have no intellectual self-defence against marketing and advertising and in that way they are easy targets.” In other words, if his posters really do have any effect on children, then we should question the role played by far more pervasive and well-targeted advertising and marketing in children’s lives.

Cullen worked in advertising for four years.

'Confused of Dorset' here again!

I can't work out what the 'lie' is that we have to stop telling our children. Is it the 'lie' implied by the main slogan, to wit, that Santa gives more to *poor* children, although I personally have never heard it put about; or is it, that Santa *exists*, in which case the main slogan is illogical?

Very tricky this PoMo 'art'!
I think the lie might be the one about being good all year. It's been obvious to me for a long time that it's the obnoxious, spoilt little shits who get the most pressies, er, by definition really.

And I should know - I'm only twelve years old, but I'm already a habitual drunk and a violent tearaway. But my Dad's loaded so I got loads of stuff last year just to keep me quiet.
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My Mom said when I was five she saw me in the utility room on Christmas afternoon holding my present, a gas station on a 2’x3’ board, and looking up at the 12” diameter chimney.

I can’t get two excited about this, but a lot of trouble could be saved by a judicious use of the word “pretend”, little children like to pretend.
I'm not surprised 'Confused of Dorset'is having problems with all the PoMo-Commies around here.

I'm been to Dorset and everyone was married to their cousins. Have they not heard? You've got to spread the genes! That's the deep south for you.
Is that kid actually giving Santa Claus a blow-job? If so, how much of the contents of his sack did he manage to pilfer? I think we should be told.
The point is, it's art, isn't it? The artist is making an observation. As it happens, a perfectly valid one. If we tell children that their presents are delivered by a benevolent Father Christmas, in essence, 'free', then it's only logical that children should expect to be given lots, and exactly what they want. What their parents can afford for them to have should therefore have no bearing on what Father Christmas can give them!

Father Christmas isn't a fantasy children need to believe in. It's just a nice story; not a promise!

If art was just about making beautiful things then it would be no more than another avenue for escapism in a world where we comfort ourselves by closing our eyes to the truth. If art is also about ideas, it can be a source of critique and a tool for change.
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