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Federal Minister Shows Age With 18th Century View On Creative Careers


“Lifestyle choice” is a term that’s getting thrown around quite liberally (eh) on the internet at the moment. If you’ve had a look at any social media lately you might have seen there’s a bit of a row going on between the Federal Education muppet Minister Simon Birmingham and a lot of other people.

Ol’ mate Birmo has come out and said he considers careers in the creative arts are “lifestyle choices”, implying he believes they are not real jobs and shouldn’t be pursued. This has come as part of the Government’s wider push to cut funding to what they consider “redundant” tertiary study courses.

There’s some sense in this funding cut, as the government is trying to jump on top of schools and education facilities that offer fraudulent or nefarious qualifications. However, as with a lot of government programs it’s all or nothing, and a large number of creative courses have found themselves with a lot less gas in the fiscal tank.

Interestingly, I agree with Birmo. Being a creative is definitely a lifestyle choice. However, any career that you choose is a lifestyle choice. In fact where you live, what car you drive, whether you own a house or enjoy a smashed avo, are all lifestyle choices! At this point, I would say that prisoners are the only people who don’t get to make lifestyle choices…

Talking to Music Feeds, Sydney alt-rockers Gang Of Youths said “Everything is a lifestyle choice, Simon. Becoming a member of parliament is no more or less part of the cultural capitalist hegemony than deciding to utilise one’s skill in commerce to sell fruit by the side of the road; yet one is done in earnest as a transaction between consumer and merchant and the other is predicated on obscure and theoretical constructions and power structures. The guy selling fruit is the former. You are the latter.”

KUČKA told Music Feeds, “A creative career is not only just a lifestyle choice, it’s my full time business. I have to work on it every single day just like people who go to the office. Yes creating music is a passion, but in order to be successful you need to learn a lot about the business side of things.”

“Arguably, there’s more to be gleaned from even the most mediocre of artistic talents than adding another lawyer or engineer or, god forbid, politician.”

Skeggs told Music Feeds, “What a f*cking dog. So the minister has no paintings in his house and doesn’t listen to any music? Nice one to the education minister.”

And Montaigne told Music Feeds, “Art is the very reason for which we exist, and the most compelling piece of evidence for empathy between humanity. Stories are nutrients which develop muscular imaginations and robust compassion. They give us a sense of identity, crucial to keeping us sane and alive.

“To choke those who create stories through art is to limit our capacity to see beauty in this world, is to strip our children of an imaginative life, is to kill our desire to be alive. Amongst many other things. Imagination is the reason why we humans are so advanced, and it’s utter stupidity to ever want to limit that.”

The best part of living in the 21st century in a first world country is we aren’t forced into one job or another just to support some tyrannical king, or company owner. We have the choice to put our talents and interests into any job we see fit.

The Education Minister chose to go into politics. Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe Minister Birmingham is being held against his will in the job. Blink twice if you want us to vote you out, Simon. We know people who can help you…

However, assuming that he did choose his job the Minister has chosen to put his talent for inane and pointless social commentary to use, instead of following what I can only assume is his true passion of basketweaving. He made a lifestyle choice. Likewise, I made the lifestyle choice to pursue a career of putting bad jokes on paper and writing about the Australian music scene.

Musicians and other creatives make lifestyle choices to produce content and art that benefits society in its own way. Like everyone else they shouldn’t be punished or insulted for their choices. Arguably, there’s more to be gleaned from even the most mediocre of artistic talents than adding another lawyer or engineer or, god forbid, politician.

Not everyone or everything in this world has to go towards some production house. I’m sure Simon Birmingham has enjoyed at least one song or movie, perhaps some of the classics like a stiff Gershwin number, judging by the relevance of his opinions.

I don’t think there was some bloke who ever turned to Simon Birmingham and said “look mate, this whole parliamentary thing is a bit of a giggle, are you sure you don’t to want to do something more suitable for your opinion, like antique dealership or shit shovelling?”…

Written by Max Higgins