Wal-Art – Current Counter-Culture

Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one. The question is, what will you do to propagate and express yours? Sure, write a letter, a book, a song: Is what you have to say, sing or preach important enough for you to toss into the collective debate bonfire? The entertainment industry is rotted clean through with half-baked, ill-conceived, bubble gum poppycock which forces little, if any, self-provoked thought leaving the “underground” art and music movement to lead the charge towards innovative means of expressionism.It would seem that a counter-culture U-turn is afoot disguising alternative art as the new “flavor-of-the-month”Misses generally outnumber hits when artists misstep, creating art for art’s sake, neglecting to leave any discernable message behind. Art that affects me requires a substantive emotional or intellectual reaction. Ego and vanity projects also tarnish the waters for those more committed. So why are we settling for so much mundane output in our artistic community?This counter-culture recoil has surreptitiously branded even hipster types with “vintage” pep-boy tee shirts, greasy haircuts and $100 Levi’s. We are being sold alternative / indie propaganda by the very powers that we choose to condemn. Being dysfunctional and disturbed does not give you the right to subjugate others to your trivial manifestations. Only a minute few independent radio and record shops struggle to disseminate what very little is left of uncharted experimental waters. The local writing and art scene has left little if any remarkable talent.The clichéd espresso drenched expat writer myth has thankfully been debunked. Whiny pontificating, trust-funded “poets” have willfully relegated themselves to open-mic sessions and dimly lit pubs to piss on each in seclusion. Our trusty English language bookstores only serve to further distract us from a healthy legacy of regional literary contributions. In-Style and Rolling Stone in the front racks, while Hrabel and Klima are buried round back.Prague’s pervasive apathetic climate also appears to dampen innovative output while other capital cities thrive on open forums of dissentive discussion and debate. Why is ours such a challenging atmosphere for forward thinking non-Czech artisans?Foreign investments downtown dwarfs that of the nationals, so why don’t foreign artists and musicians seem to make a more lasting impression? While our surroundings do suggest a rich historical context, this would appear fertile ground for wide insightful inroads. Tourism and capitalism has successfully eclipsed the arts in driving Big Mac’s and cell phones down our hungry gullets. I’m cynical, yet hopeful, that EU ascension will help to support new voices in art and music. All burgeoning creative climates require feedback to grow and improve, so where’s your two cents? Praha’s ever widening globalization should conceivably add a unique and spicy mélange to our cities inventive output. Our town’s festering grand dame broadsheet sadly doesn’t condone any unique expression either.No one ever read the local Prague Post because the lifeless PC format is geared towards backpacking undergrad’s and Japanese tourists.As the slowest and least productive season rolls around, sucker punch your “same-ol” into vitality and focus with your “Shit-On-Fire!” No excuses, no half measures, no watered down version will cut it. Lend credence to your motivations with activity and discourse. Listen to others around you, then hone and master your craft until its clarity and resonance are unmistakable and true. Your contribution and critical appraisal of those artists that move you is the only reasonable solution to improving our cultural climate. Be inspired. Dance, fuck, laugh or cry, just remember when you drinking from the mainstream.Timmy’s Top 5 Clubs with Integrity:Akropolis / Prague 3XT3 / Prague 7Punto Azul / / Prague 5The Bojler / Prague 10Hoffa Bar / / Prague 1You can hear breaks, bossa and rare groove on the High-Fidelity broadcast every Friday from 8 to 9 pm on Radio One 91.9 FM. Tim Otis is at [email protected]
Tim Otis

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