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Director's cut — December 2006

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December 1, 2006 by Tara Brabazon

Greetings to members and lurkers.

Probably when we all return to think about 2006, we will remember it as a disturbing, dark, ambivalent and often careless year. The war in Iraq not only continued, but continued to weep like a weathered wound on a delicate fold of the body politic. Two words — Darfur and genocide — started to be linked as a conflated noun.

Meanwhile the reality television bandwagon continued. 'Celebrities' were put on diets, sent to the 'outback,' given pole dancing lessons and sent to Africa to show us the scale of poverty, disease and death, mediated endlessly through their ignorant tears.

And — obviously — the big news of the year was that Take That got back together.

Through the disconnection and dysfunction of popular culture and public domain politics, there has been movement. The war in Iraq has been critiqued by many. Darfur — as a word — is starting to be recognised as a problem, if not triggering a necessity for an urgent solution.

Our job through 2007 is to continue to work in connecting popular culture with a desire for both excellence and social change. Many of our members have had great success through the year: degrees have been completed. There has been great professional and academic writing success. Our film makers and broadcasters have had an outstanding year. Yet I want to note our other members who have stoically maintained their course, working in hard and in often under-valued fields. For the teachers and activists amongst us, I hope you know the importance of the work you complete every day. When we change how people think, we change the lives of all those surrounding them.

I remain so proud of this Collective and each member within it. During an era where consumerism has become Affluenza and individuality has transformed into self-absorption, we represent a desire to live different and stand up for more than the next meal.

The special news that we are discussing this month conveys our ongoing commitment to create, think and live popular culture with difference and defiance.

Whatever your belief structure this December, I wish you love, light and peace.

T XXX

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