Enda the world: "Outovation"... or why poets should replace ‘experts’ at our societal helm.

Stand up, move out and away from your keyboard (or drop that ipad) get right out right now, right away, any one of you that is not prepared to be wrong. Of course no one wants to leave the party early, few of us would like to be seen as black sheep of any flock, or consider ourselves so radically independent that we don’t require some sort of endorsement from our peers, yet we strive to be not so damn conformist that we aren’t perceived as being right all the time, awkwardly correct or improperly precise in all eventualities. Isn’t being wrong occasionally being human ? We simply can’t learn to walk without learning first, to fall. Yet do any of us, as seemingly independent individuals, honestly really regard ourselves as being perfectly consistently correct, utterly conventional, entirely cooperative, creative conspirators and willing collaborators with ‘powers’ that be ? Any of us aspire to ‘Acting the total cog ?’ Naw didn’t think so…

Oddly enough the only person who willingly and consistently conforms to such expectations is ‘the expert’ and by some strange strategic quirk of fortune, our little banjaxed country is utterly awash with such empty headed economic and political arsehollery right now as evidenced by our chief expert politically pontificating on my TV last night. You can’t swing a cat-alogue of economic errors for expertly hitting some expert on his million euro expert head. But then apparently all you need to become an expert is the aforementioned conformity, consistency of correctness (not to be confused with honesty of effort coined by yet another expert), a sincere willingness to be right at all times, maybe even some pieces of ‘expert assured’ framed paper endorsing your expertness from some expert institution, but most of all the quintessential prerequisite for any expert is: that neck like a jockey’s bollix. A critical mass of ejits prepared to believe you are definitively right in what you say all the time also greatly aids your acceptance as an expert.

Yes people, poets, gamers, writers, workers, mothers, fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, linguists, suckers, monkeys, hand reared rural tuberculosiants, former members of the clergy and taxpayers of all creed, colour, size, sex, motivation, shoe size and Hollister jogging pants…?.. Despite our community based credit unions remaining open we have indeed entered the austere economy phase, where again we as a proud and supposed sovereign nation and as individual groups of individual individuals are told to tighten our own individual belts, keep our individual noses to that wheel or grindstone, maintain the recovery position/momentum, we vessels are being assuaged, enlightened, convinced that the only possible way out of our national depression and recession is to follow further expert Enda Kennyian Keynesian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynesian_economics) or maybe Dickensian ideas about economic well being. Be grateful fellow plebeians the great eurozone econo-experts have seen fit to grease the wheels of our faltering commercial cart for another month, despite the ensuing undulating hills and albeit without any recourse to considering the health or wellbeing of our deeply indebted starving horse.

If Enda (the world) is to be believed then current economic expert groupthink dictates that endeavoring to persevere on our current painfully austere route will eventually bring relief even rewards, ultimately a return to prosperity, although those fortunate enough to survive may have absolutely nothing left to be prosperous with. Yes: live horse and you will get grass. It’s just a matter of finding the correct and applicable formula.. erm except wasn’t it masters of the universe tinkering with financial formula that got us into this mess of a money mire in the first place ? No it’s a new expert formula that will improve upon previous versions that were not quite as good or as effective as this exceptionally expert one will be… did you sell washing powder in mayo before you became an expert ?

Somewhere along a very distorted and crooked human line, knowledge somehow became more valued than wisdom. Greed, determination and the ability to horde wealth somehow garnered more respect than moderation, understanding and sharing, the values in our modern society became solely materialistically focused and the debate about who and what it is to be Irish erroneously fixated on economic metrics, numbers, charts, graphs, information, data and the manipulation and misrepresentation of all forms of apparent fact. But hold on, we have, ala TG4 Jeff from Survivor’s suggestion, undertaken a period wherein we did ‘strategise’ and somewhat unbelievably we seem to have decided to listen to those self same raft of experts that messed the entire western world up in the first place, conceding to do what they have told us to do and call it collective recommendations, a jobs strategy, a fair deal a new innovation. At a time when the minds of the country are still warped with million pound houses, billionaires, back garden helicopters, modern apartment living, wealth, any action concerning money now being contextualized as investments, losses or otherwise. As a society we have, to distort a well known phrase, decided to again break something that is already broken in the hope of fixing it… after breaking it while it was already working. What genius expert advocated that ? Surely if our country and economy is broken we should try to fix it, and that might mean fixing it in a way different to the way we fixed it when it wasn’t broken ?

It seems that straying towards thinking like this, i.e. trying something new must be called ‘innovation’ and apparently innovation is our future, the present if some of its many proponents, advocates, officers, executives and experts are to be believed. Innovation is in fact everything, our new commercial and industrial God. I can’t help it, sorry to innovate while your reading this, I’m not normally this forward, although my dad did almost catch me innovating as a teenager, until I managed to unplug my doctor rhythm drum machine from his string machine in time. You see I am a recovering innovator, yes I confess I’ve done so much new stuff that wasn’t done the way I did it before I got hooked on doing ‘new’ but less about me.. The point is we know so many artists, musicians and writers, designers, coders, poets, generally creative people whose whole life constitutes unique cycles of what is now labeled 'innovation'. (generally for the purposes of selling or funding it as a new and revolutionary value add activity) but is this new modern innovation really only semantics for a renewal of a set of failed capitalist development ideologies, is it more ‘stuff based’ thinking, Yes we need to embrace the disruption of what is proposed, we should all accept that radical ideas will require radical thinking, increments are insufficient, a leap is what’s required but if we stay in that box we are continually encouraged to think outside of, after all once we go beyond their box, we go beyond their control, and if we can’t be controlled we are no longer an asset, and essentially of no concern, outside the box is really outside the pale.. going there we genuinely enter the unknown and few if any feel comfortable in that zone.

Peculiarly, artists and poets, those denizens of disruption, forever seeking otherness in the ordinary, playing with words in support of scraping a living, they epitomize and personify the kernel of exploratory expression, they constitute the undernourished nuggets of wisdom buried at the edges of our society. Imagine…which is what poets and artist are compelled to do if they are brave enough to call themselves so… imagine… if we as a nation propagated and encouraged growth in our artistic and poetic community to the same degree that we currently encourage the sciences to embrace this new innovation paradigm. Imagine.. if imagination received its rightful status up there with motivation and innovation. Imagine if we decided to train as many poets as engineers or software developers.. in our modern society I would bet that a high percentage of the trained poets (it only takes twenty years according to Kavanagh) would upon finding their voice in this modern world, seek out technology and mastery over it.. embrace the idea of new tools and new paradigms.. but in the correct order and from the only valid perspective – from within.....

Now we In Ireland have a poet for president, a poet who became a politician but somehow resisted becoming an expert because becoming an expert would have rendered his poetic sensibilities redundant, he instead endured the long haul and eventually became that president and thus offers moral leadership in a way modern experts are simply incapable. The only expert I aspire to be is an expert satirist, capable of skewing this cruel and heartless world into a entertaining or at least comic version of the injustice it perpetrates, so lets take that idea of innovation and turn it around for poetic purposes, lets make it outovation, as in get out stand up.. become an active and caring part of your community and society on your own terms, outside it if you must, and for your own poetic purposes. while knowledge and information certainly expands minds, poetry grows hearts and enriches every soul.. let’s reverse the currently corrupted concept of value and invert it to mean taking something meaningless away rather than adding something of no poetic worth. ‘Vision’ is an overused word in commercial contexts but then I suppose ‘extrapolated strategic aspiration’ doesn’t have the same inspirational connotation, which surely in itself is ironic that the language of imagination and poetic endeavor is employed to denote positive aspects of the unknown but its supporting framework, its creative context gets rejected because its too wishy-washy or artsy-fartsy… not solid enough for real number crunching commerce.

I had hope, genuine optimism that when the country’s elected leader came on tv last night @ 9.20pm he would seek to inspire his people, perhaps in the manner in which our president’s have in recent and very recent times, alas I was disappointed, the same old rhetoric supplied by the same vein of experts means the same vain and failed policies will be pursued.. just more proof that the time for outovation has arrived.

Enda the world: "Outovation"... or why poets should replace ‘experts’ at our societal helm.