Kit Harington on Belfast: “It’s wonderful for two or three days…”

As I said of similar comments by HBO’s Michael Lombardo last year,

With so much of some Northern Ireland Executive ministers‘ time and effort [and other people’s money! – Ed] focused on exploiting the international success of HBO’s Game of Thrones to promote Northern Ireland overseas, it’s perhaps unfortunate, but refreshing, that HBO’s director of programming, Michael Lombardo, has given an honest answer to a straight question…

This time, it’s one of the leading actors from HBO’s Game of Thrones, Kit Harington, telling it straight.  As the Belfast Telegraph reports

[The interviewer,  Seth Meyers] said: “One thing that doesn’t seem fair or exciting for you is there are a lot of incredible locations for this show, Croatia, Spain this year. Your part isn’t in the nice places. You spent a lot of time in Belfast.

To which Harington replies: “A lot of time in Belfast.”

He is then quizzed on what he would say to a traveller going to Belfast.

He replies: “It’s wonderful for two or three days.”

[Seth Meyers: “And you’ve been there for years.”

Harington: “Five years.”] [added quotes]

But says that he has been living here for five years and describes it as having a “wonderfully, depressing tourist board.”

“I have to be careful what I say”, he adds.

[Seth Meyers: “I wouldn’t worry about people from Belfast”.]

He said: “They have a wonderful tourist board, they celebrate three things. Having the most bombed hotel in Europe, which is great.

“They built the Tiitanic which is a ship that sunk on its maiden voyage and now they have Game of Thrones, the most depressing TV show in history.

“So it’s a wonderfully, depressing Tourist Board” [added emphasis throughout]

Heh.

And we have video…

Or, as Boswell reported Samuel Johnson to have said in the 18th Century,

BOSWELL. “Is not the Giant’s-Causeway worth seeing?” JOHNSON. “Worth seeing, yes; but not worth going to see.” [added emphasis]

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  • Robin Keogh

    I get fed up when people knock Belfast. Queens University and City Hall have to be two of the most beautiful buildings in Ireland along with plenty of other fine architecture to be found around the city if one bothers to have a look. The restaurants and bars that have sprung up over the last few years are as good if not better than you would get in Dublin and the natural friendliness of Belfast people oustrips everywhere else in the country. the lyric theatre presents excellent plays and you cant beat the Kremilin for a good bop!! As a second city I think it gives Dublin a run for its money !!

  • I should have added Johnson’s view of Dublin from the same source

    BOSWELL. “Should you not like to see Dublin, Sir?” JOHNSON. “No, Sir; Dublin is only a worse capital.”

  • Robin Keogh

    Well I am a Dub at heart and still love the city but I honestly think Belfast has the edge on anumber of fronts especially when it comes to friendliness. In fact it would make a good future Capital.

  • 23×7

    Governments focus on tourism as an industry when they’ve run out of ideas. Who cares.

  • Andrew Gallagher

    Belfast as Edinburgh to Dublin’s Glasgow? Not a perfect analogy, but an interesting one.

  • Brian O’Neill

    A few years ago we sorted out a house for a Spanish family who wanted to spend the summer in Belfast. They live in the South of Spain and during the summer the heat hits 40C – it is to hot to do anything. They wanted to go to Belfast so their kids could go to an English language summer school.

    To cut a long story short they had a great time. They loved our weather, they could go out and about without sweltering in the heat. They had a grand all time visiting all the attractions, they even loved the food.

    So the moral we may moan about our weather but a lot of people from hot countries actually love our mild climate.

    Tourism in NI is one tenth the level of the Republic. It is a no brainer that boosting tourism will boost jobs.

  • SDLP supporter

    Yes, Robin, and it could have been even better if the military wing of the party you support, the Provisional IRA, had not, for example:

    -destroyed the wonderfully evocative two storey Smithfield market (Gerry actually complained about that, until he was reminded that the Provos set the arson attack)
    -attempted to firebomb the historic Linenhall Library in Donegall Square North
    -repeatedly bombed the late Victorian architectural gem, the Grand Opera House. Collateral damage, ahem, they were trying to get the monstrosity of the Europa Hotel for the nth time. Danny Morrison actually had the gall to complain (from prison) about the damage to the GOH cornices and the gaping hole in the Glengall Street wall. Such a sensitive soul is Danny.

    And so on ad nauseam, Robin. Just saying, like, as the young ones would say.

  • Robin Keogh

    Personally i am more concerned about the human cost of war but i takke your point regarding the destruction caused to buildings due to IRA bombings. The British army destroyed buildings in Dublin and Cork during their time but thankfully we have all moved on from those awful events of the past and can maturely look to the future regardless.

  • Ernekid

    He’s right about Belfast being wonderful for about 2-3 days. After that you start to realise how run down and grim the city is and how backward the attitudes of people are.

  • 23×7

    I wouldn’t want to stay in most cities for more than 2 or 3 days. This is just another entitled celeb having a moan and says more about his own backward attitudes than the good people of Belfast.

  • james

    Belfast as the Capital? Can’t see that – London beats all the other UK cities hands down.

  • Robin Keogh

    Britains capital sure is a great city i have spent lots of fun times in london. I just think that Belfast could replace Dublin as the Irish Capital city if everyone agreed…not sure corkonians would be too impressed

  • [Seth Meyers: “And you’ve been there for years.”

    Harington: “Five years.”]

  • 23×7

    Well recording of GOT is only between Aug/September and Jan/Feb so hardly 5 years.

  • Robin Keogh

    Actually i think derry is our prettiest city, it reminds me a lot of kilkenny with the walls etc.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I don’t understand you at all Erne kid and one wonders if you speak at times with forked tongue, you move away from Irvinestown to a city that you consider to be “run down and grim” with people who are “backward”. You are free to move on if you so wish?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    One tenth is terms of percentags or actual numbers?

  • Andrew Gallagher

    One of my best mates is an Aussie who lives in Galway because he reckons the weather is better. His reasoning is similar. 😉

  • Andrew Gallagher

    On that note, I’m quite partial to the idea that Liverpool should be the UK capital. Might help to mitigate the unhealthy concentration of economic activity in London.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I agree with Robin’s original post and SDLP supporter’s rebuke. I would challenge SDLP supporter on a few things namely the SDLP’s support for militant Republican which has been highlighted yet again with the play park controversy.

  • Nevin

    JOHNSON. “Worth seeing, yes; but not worth going to see.”

    I’ve spent most of my life on the north coast and I’d lose no sleep if the whingers went elsewhere!

    Here’s a snippet from an email that I received a few days ago – from Augusta, GA:

    I have been blessed to have such a wonderful brother! I have never seen him so captivated by a place as he is after his visit to Northern Ireland. He LOVES it and loved every minute he spent there [in 2014].

    Her brother will return here in a few weeks time to continue his ancestral research as well as to link north Antrim kith and kin to relatives in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Dexter

    Whatever Arlene Foster would like to believe, ‘NI’ is simply not a meaningful player nor a proper brand, tourism wise. She and others who share her views should take a deep breath and properly promote Ireland, the island. It is a disgrace that the northern tourism revenue is so comparatively poor. I read recently in the Irish Times that a significant portion of Game of Thrones tourists stay in the South- this says it all and represents another lost opportunity for the northern economy. Tourism is a massive part of the southern economy and, unlike some of financial/computing sectors, brings hard cash directly to local businesses and towns.
    The only way forward is a single tourism agency promoting a single tourism brand. There are lots of places worth visiting/things worth doing in the north- the north coast, golf, the Fermanagh lakelands, the Mournes, the Glens of Antrim etc. I have no doubt that Ms Foster would point to individual successes- the golf at Royal Portrush, the Giro etc. But, for every northern success story, there are several others a short distance southwards. Further, many of the northern successes are very heavily subsidised with the ultimate financial benefit overestimated.
    The reality is, whether some like it or not, is that the English, the Americans, the mainland Europeans, see this place as Ireland. By separating the tourism sector, we create real (and subconscious) barriers providing visitors with an excuse not to travel ‘up there’.

  • Ernekid

    Agreed. Northern Ireland as a ‘brand’ has a pretty poor reputation. (Several decades of violent conflict will do that). Tourism marketing should be done on all Ireland basis in a similar manner to waterways Ireland or Safefood. A large portion of tourists who visit her cross the border to visit attractions on both sides of the border. It makes no sense to market the North separately from the rest of the island.

  • Turgon

    It is most interesting that on this thread Robin Keogh expresses such a detailed knowledge of Belfast and indeed Londonderry. However, on the recent thread about Brendan Curran’s resignation from Newry and Mourne council he stated: “I live in South Wicklow so I dont get a lot of news regarding SF in the six counties.” and “I depend on the media to inform me about a lot of whats going on”

    It seems Mr. Keogh’s expertise on Northern Ireland is quite high until there is something embarrassing about Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland being discussed when he suddenly becomes someone who knows little about Northern Ireland.

  • Steve

    ‘So the moral we may moan about our weather but a lot of people from hot countries actually love our mild climate.’

    During the summer.

  • Steve

    ..’the natural friendliness of Belfast people oustrips everywhere else in the country. ‘

    You haven’t met my next door neighbours

  • Robin Keogh

    Well thats a pretty pathetic attempt at suggesting i lack integrity. Maybe i know a bit about the buildings and atmosphere of Belfast and Derry because i have been there many many times visiting? I dont know a lot about what happens on a local basis in six county politics and depend on the media and slugger to keep me up to speed, similar to many more people i reckon. I could also give u a pretty good discription on the cities of York and Ednburgh or Montpellier and florence. talk about looking for an angle to criticise someone on….. sad.

  • Turgon

    Right so you visit Northern Ireland a great deal, know lots about the buildings, night life and people: being able to comment on all those issues.

    Despite this and despite being a student of politics and a supporter of a political party with extensive involvement in Northern Ireland politics you know very little about that party in Northern Ireland or its involvement in Northern Ireland politics.

    Fine: I am sure that makes sense to someone.

    When in a hole: stop digging.

  • james

    Why don’t you make a play for Cardiff while you’re about it 🙂 I’m not sure you can choose a capital from another country – else I would choose Paris.

  • Robin Keogh

    John, i live in that very same Avoca, beautiful spot

  • Robin Keogh

    Have u ever been to Dublin, Cork or Shannon airports in the heigth of summer? Its nuts. I was an EI flight attendent for years, we would be knackered with the bizillion tourists flying in from everywhere, their pockets bulging with holiday cash. If the north eastern part of our country could get even a fraction of that money it would go a long way towards policing the orange marches……..oops, i mean towards helping the local economy.

  • kalista63

    I get what he’s saying but maybe if he wasn’t such a blatant dick, he’d get what our repeat visitors do.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a fair bit and the fun is always down with the locals, in the wee places, never the big ones. The soul of Belfast isn’t in stupid expensive Titanic stuff or any of that crap but in the everyday soul of the place. For example, are there more foreigners drinking in Kelly’ Cellars or Irene & Nan’s or any other such crapholes?

  • 345345345

    I thought it was already promoted as an island by Tourism Ireland https://www.tourismireland.com/Home/about-us.aspx

  • hugh mccloy

    Working in tourism and trying to promote NI I know from experience outside of titanic and causeway the tourist board don’t want to know. With so much promotion being given to these areas then providers have no other option than to go with the flow. General mantra is get them off the ships or plane, get them on a bus, city tour, causeway tour and home again. Where are all the stormont parties, yes you guessed it getting lovely pics at the causeway or titanic ???

    All this talk about how game of thrones is bringing 1’000’s of tourists is bull, i run a game of thrones tour company, busy yes, the hype that the gov tells us no.

    We are so much more and have so much more but the very fact that since the creation of the assembly in 1998 we dont have an actual tourism strategy says it all. The last round of destination planning had councils leap over themselves in a very clueless fashion to be seen to be doing something but in the end they could not even match the destination to the new super councils, so destinations from the tourist board overlap and areas get left behind.

    Where I am from at the foot of the sperrins the only interest politicians have here is windmills and gold mines because they cant get them up in the mournes. But thankfully Robin the SF led council will change that, sorry my bad they led the mines and windmills in the first place, there must be a gold lining in there for someone and it is not for the tourist or tourist provider.

  • james

    Orange parades in themselves don’t need policing. It’s when troublemakers try to stir the pot and create a more or less manufactured opposition to them that trouble starts.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “This is just another entitled celeb having a moan and says more about his own backward attitudes than the good people of Belfast.”

    Just about says everything, insult the messenger. If he’d had a good experience he’d be singing our prases in the manner of the average American’s recounting how wonderful Italy is! He is not making these comments because he has had a wonderful experience amongst friendly open people who live in a beautiful city!

    Sitting alongside a US friend or two with my mouth shut in pubs here has taught me a lot about just how friendly “the good people of Belfast” can be to such strangers. The zenophobic envy fairly drips of any “normal” Belfast person encountering anyone from “off” who even hints at any kind of “celeb”.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Joe, it’s what I’m hearing too from a wide range of US friends who visit. Belfast is not a tourist friendly city and for anyone who is familiar with what’s on offer in most European cities, the idea of tourists visiting Belfast if you don’t actually have to is bizarre!

    This is my home, as it is for Ernekid, I imagine, but this does not mean I have to pretend to like the profoundly unwelcoming aspect that is the residue of the long years of violence. Denying this helps no-one.

    As Nevin says above, those visitors with a bit of a network here experience something else, but the “cold caller” usually gets the “give us your money and F*** off” treatment.

  • 23×7

    Anecdotes are not facts. Maybe you should review where and who you hang out with.

    He said belfast is great for 2-3 days. As I said elsewhere I wouldn’t want to spend more than 3 days in most world cities.

  • Zeno

    “Belfast is a hell hole of sectarian bigotry, petty theft, drinking and anti social behaviour.”

    There are areas like that, just don’t go there.

    http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Destinations-cTop-g4

    Istanbul is horrible. I wouldn’t go back if THEY paid me.
    Barcelona at night is full of prostitutes, pick pockets and rip off joints.
    London is great if you stay in the right areas.

  • 23×7

    I gave Paris one more chance. Paris is a health hazard.

  • 23×7

    Another entitled celeb wondering why a small provincial City doesn’t have a Harrods and a Theatre on every street. That quote about the Giants Causeway is just a cliche. It’s a wonderful place considerably improved by the new visitors centre.

  • Well said. Belfast is a city with about 500,000 living in and around it. It is never going to be London or New York, but it can give any other similarly sized city a run for its money. People go to Dublin because of the global Irish hype, but it hasn’t really got a lot more to offer than Belfast. I’ve never been able to work out its appeal.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Experience is experience! On an earlier posting about the video promo for Belfast I described all this at some length. And, anyway, there is enough serious criticism of Belfast on the web to underpin my comments.

    What no one appears to realise is that it is up to visitors to tell us what they experience, not for us to tell them how friendly and welcoming we are and what a wonderful place we live in. We can repeat the mantras about just how wonderful Belfast really is endlessly to reassure ourselves, the reality is in the numbers of repeat visits. A good indication of what people can expect to experience is evident in your own comment “This is just another entitled celeb having a moan and says more about his own backward attitudes than the good people of Belfast.” Try listening!

  • 23×7

    How many repeat visits do to expect tourists to make to small provincial cities? Fact is we don’t have many things to see or do yet you blame our average tourism success on the people. That’s just nasty and you come across as a snob. As I said you should review who you hang out with. The belfast people I know and work with are anything but backward.

  • Mike the First

    As 345345345 says below, this is already being done by Tourism Ireland.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I take it, 23×7, you are from here, rather than from “Off”! So the people you “know and work with” are probably seeing you as “one of us.” Similar to how they tend to see even me, with my cut crystal Anglo-Irish drawl. I seldom get any of the personal abuse and aggression I see my visiting American friends receive, from a population I’d regard as generally xenophobic rather than backward.

    I don’t just ” blame our average tourism success on the people” although their attitude to strangers seldom helps. I’m only too happy to blame Tourism policy first since the excellent integrated “Cultural Tourism” recommendations in the document prepared for NITB in 2006 (I think!) were rejected in favour of trying to sell both Belfast and the North in general in very broad terms snaffled from other Tourism policies prepared for countries more favoured by sun and facilities. This was lazy thinking, and its paying off now in a plethora of responses such as Harrington’s. The entire policy for tourism is a disaster area, but as I say the people’s attitude seldom helps. For what its worth I don’t blame them, our own people that is, after fifty years of oppressive violence and cobbled political settlements. Who could blame them for wanting to take it out on someone. But now that Cerebus Capitol Management, etc, owns most of the landscape, such anti-Americanism may be very counter productive.

    Me, a snob? No, I don’t think so, simply reacting to what I see with my own eyes of how strangers are treated in pubs, and restaurants, etc. Their treatment is noticeably different if I do the ordering and they do not open their mouths. Sure, you get the “give us your money and clear off” crowd everywhere with tourism, but if I compare how Americans are treated here with how I’m treated in California in similar situations the contrast is most striking.

    You seem to get a lot of this anti-Americanism when the accent encourages locals to stereotype the person they are encountering into simplified caricatures such as “another entitled celeb having a moan” instead of trying to see where the speaker is actually coming from. Actually listening helps……..

  • barnshee

    TOURISM IRELAND

    https://www.tourismireland.com/

    ANOTHER QUANGO OF NON JOB JOBS WHICH

    “is a single tourism agency promoting a single tourism brand.”

  • 23×7

    Yes I’m from Ulster, have worked globally in engineering and regularly work with colleagues from other parts of the world here in Belfast. I can honestly say that in over 20 years of having colleagues visit from abroad I haven’t heard anyone complain about their treatment here. Yes there may be issues with transport and things to do but never any issues with the locals. You are the one using lazy stereotypes.

    We aren’t California, London or Paris where they have more tourist experience. Things are naturally not going to be as slick from a tourist perspective. Oh and don’t compare American customer experience with European customer experience. Culturally completely different.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I can only say I’m describing what I’ve seen with my own eyes and had as feedback from a number of American professionals (media usually but quite a few academics and a few lawyers and medical professionals). So never any issues with the locals? Perhaps your colleagues from off realised you’d not welcome such sharing of their experience. Try taking of the rose tinted glasses perhaps.

    A number of European friends (French, Italian, German, Polish, Swedish, Spanish) have told me much the same. I keep being asked how I can live in this place among such people. I know why I live here (a long term stake since the Plantation on one side of my family, since the year dot on the other) but I find it difficult to explain to some of my friends from “off”. And this does not just effect me, with the all important income from the US in film production and serious property investment here, it behoves us to listen when we are told what others think of the place.

    But you have your experience, and I mine. Perhaps its just all the “entitled celebs” I know from my own years in film….close up you find them much less of a caricature!

  • 23×7

    You are living in a little bubble if you think film production and property investment are “all important” to our economy. Time to start engaging with real people and you might have a different opinion of your fellow countrymen.

  • Practically_Family

    Belfast compares favourably with other similar cities in the tourism stakes. Hull or Aberdeen spring to mind. Maybe Clermont-Ferrand or Munchengladbach.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, 23×7, considering that 70% of gross national income here comes directly from the UK government, anything that is actually really “earned” money is valuable. So the “little bubble” I lived in (out of it now, writing, painting, for a living) is an important plank in anything other than civil service jobs actually occurring here.

    And property investment by Cerberus and Blackstone has ensured that these people control much of what can actually occur to ensure jobs and growth in the wee six:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-32170256

    What land and property (or the loans that underpin these) that Cerberus does not hold, Blackstone seems to. Try and Google them and learn something about who actually “owns” you!

    We have a bit of software development, etc, but even there the Californian connection is highly significant. You insult these “(un)real” people at your own peril, that is if you actually ever want to live in a community that develops real jobs and pays its own way in the world.

    And just who do you think are the “real people”? Kit Harington is a lot more “real” to most of those who are actual decision formers for what happens here. The assiduous courting of “Game of Thrones” by our own power mongers says it all. What he says, what he experiences, is important in world terms as it influences people across the globe, although perhaps from your postings not our own blinkered, inward looking self congratulators!What he has said will not simply go away because someone c houses to ignore the kind of ignorant bad behaviour that has become endemic in parts of our community. There are enough news reports of local hate crimes and, as I’e said above, I’ve personally seen a lot of low level sneering abuse of those from “off” at first hand. Certainly there are a majority of decent people living here too, but Belfast has a reputation of being a “hard” town, like Glasgow, and this shows in how a pretty widespread number of its locals live up to this in their reactions to any strangers they encounter. These brutalised thugs are as much the “real people” as those “nice people” who were told they “voted Unionist” a couple of elections back, and their presence is a lot more evident to visitors.

    One of the most discussed things amongst my female friends in California about this place was the 2009 rape of an American tourist and the subsequent saga of rapist Edward Connors ability to almost laugh at the courts. This is the kind of signature event that that colours outsiders perceptions. The rape was foul enough, but the ease with which the perpetrator played the system right up until last June when he was given a suspended sentence for his breach of release conditions shows the world just how seriously the act was taken locally.

    There is a great deal that needs to be cleaned up locally before we should be inviting either serious investment from the “(un)real” people you dismiss so glibly, or asking strangers to share our city without some form of protection. No wonder most savvy visitors stay in the south and make hit and run coach raids to sites here! Its safer.

  • 23×7

    There are about 14.5k people employed in the arts and entertainment in N.I. It’s laughable that you think this tiny industry is all important to our economy. What is all important to our economy is science and technology skills. I love the arts, they are a shiney bauble, but you cannot build an economy on them.

    As for property speculation. This does not create employment.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No great fan of Cerberus myself, but their decisions control much of what will happen in any economy here, as tehir speculation will ensure just who can or cannot develop anything. And try telling California that they cannot build an economy on the arts, the entire San Jose expolsion of scientific innovation was self-consciously creativly led, and while Steve Jobbs breathed the Mac saw themselves as both a guiding force for, and in turn driven in their innovation by the arts, or at least that’s what Steve told me the one time we had an extended conversation. And, perhaps,try this:

    http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/steve-says-technology-liberal-arts-innovation-648.php

    Note the quote about Mac;

    “We’re not just a tech company, even though we invent some of the highest technology products in the world,” he said. “It’s the marriage of that plus the humanities and the liberal arts that distinguishes Apple.”

    Great that you “love the arts”, but that’s not the point. Thinking of creativity as a shiney bauble shows that you have not understood taht the arts are core for any possible innovation that might just occur here in any field. And on the tourism theme, they are also the key reason, outside of sports tourism, as to why anyone from “off” would want to spend more than three days in any city, usually to visit museums, galleries, theatre, arcitecture, etc. They are also key in how any city is mediated to the outer world. And the indiference to the arts here, this idea that its what the idiots at school are told to do, is exactly why we have the brutalist culture that bites the hand that might just start feeding it, and offer outside support to develop scientific industries. This “just give us the money, we’ve suffered so much” attitude that pervades our relationship with everyone else in the world gets us nowhere in this. So thanks, I think your answers are making my point for me in their sub-text almost every time you post!

  • murdockp

    This is another example of the nanny state we live in. The primary problem with the northern ireland hospiality industry is it is backward and lags nehind the rest of the world. The NI hotels and restaurants need updated menus and decor and more importantly improved customer service. The five stars are some of the worst culprits. The only role of the government is the visit Ireland campaign. There is a he’ll of a lot the industry can do itself.

  • 23×7

    You are confusing the arts with industrial design. Your lazy use of Apple as an example shows you have little knowledge of science and engineering. Good luck getting a job at Apple with an arts degree unless you want to work in the canteen. There is no indifference to the arts here. We simply do not have the population to sustain a major arts scene.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No not confusing two disparate things, but commenting on the concept of creativity in general, and how the arts act as the nerve ends of creativity for any number of other fields in places where things are actually created from the ground up, as any number of my friends working in technology in California would quickly tell you. The really interesting thing about the technology revolution over there is just how many of the geeks who started it did not go through the conventional job mill you seem to feel so important. And yes, I’ve met arts degrees people in high positions in technologies industries over there and even in London, products of a career flexibility and imaginativeness the local scene here, with its own lazy emulation of what has been trail blazed by the much less conventional in other less hide bound communities can scarsely imagine. The impression I picked up from a number of significant figures in Apple and Cisco that I’d met when I was working there for a while in film was of a vital engagement with the arts was a significant part of their lives and a significant stimulation to their own innovative thinking. And I even suppose that my use of my own work over some years as a consultant in the development of graphics programmes with the Computer Film Company in London in the early 1990s (written up in Creative Review in several articles) might be an example of what you so glibly dismiss. So I’d not accept “lazy”, just what I’ve experienced and talked to people like Jobs about………

    Me? I find there is widespread indifference to the arts here, as shown by the kind of project that “important” people with not a creative bone in their bodies actually fund (I’d exclude the imaginative thinking of NI Screen from this criticism, however). And with a smaller population here in the early 1900s we managed to sustain a major art scene that seriously rivaled the world influencing Cultural Revival in Dublin for a time. We still have a lot of real talent, but the brutalism of an entirely political framing of virtually everything here in recent years ensures that any real culture gets no look in. We trot out a few hackneyed clichés about artists for the tourists (poor old highly simplified, and much misunderstood C.S. Lewis for one…) and hope the punters know no different.

  • puffen

    What did he expect, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon,

  • ted hagan

    Los Angeles did

  • ted hagan

    Well said. It’s also a fairly tranquil city with manageable traffic. Try living in Dublin for a few years.

  • ted hagan

    No, I lived in Dublin for 10 years and there so much more to it and loads of attractons. That’s not knocking Belfast, which has its charms, but the gift of the gab helps down there as well.
    For a start Dublin has loads of great pubs whereas Belfast seemed to destroy most of theirs. The Crown’s a lovel pub but it’s a tourist theme pub with no soul and no locals.

  • 23×7

    Anything else you want to give the arts credit for? Space flight, the transistor, the WWW? Again you parade more anecdotes and dress them up as facts.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Complaining about “anecdotes’ again, 23×7, (which I could easily support as fact if I wanted to out my identity by posting links to the articles in Creative Review). And this from the man who refuses to think about the really serious significance of kit Harington’s levity, trying to pass it off with a stereotypical quip about “entitled clebs”!

    Oh, all of the above as hits for creativity and engagement in something bigger than the kind of reductionist thinking that has given us acronyms such as STEM as the summation of all human knowledge, to the impoverishment of education in general and our capacity to innovate in particular.