The Heritage in Tourism conference in Listowel on 21 April demonstrated yet again the complete anarchy that currently exists in the related fields.
Glossy publications are everywhere – no doubt helped by Wikipedia – and they are supposed to distract and sidetrack the tourist. They cost a mint to produce, and the czars of tourism and heritage and grant organizations support them all with the taxpayers money. And all this is expected to bring tourists to the region and keep them there. It is all a disaster for those of us who address some kind of core curriculum.
And the biggest scandal is that the czars making the decisions are MBA qualified, who don’t know their core curriculum to start with and have the fashionable prejudice of the secular Left against what truly distinguishes Kerry, the Christian centuries. So they favour instead geology, archaeology, botany and lichens and molluscs, producing glossy brochures designed to send folk into bogs or up mountains or wade up to their knees in brine.
There were lots of pious aspirations, but they ignored the guiding imperative, which is paper and procedures and all the roadblocks put in place by officials to justify their fat-cat jobs; the real genius of officialdom, including the offices of the czars, is to foil initiative and play at being ceos. Some of the participants tried to wring blood from a stone. Example: the B&Bs of Dingle – those outside the town – are making no money; what can we do? nothing, it’s all down to the drink driving laws.
Even if you solved the problem of heritage illiteracy among the heritage elite, or demoted some of them to subsidiary positions where they belong, there would still be the problem of clutter. The clutter arises from grants i.e. free money; politicians and community groups become involved because of grants, and the effect of this is that the fat-cat ceos get the opportunity to play God by turning applications into a game of management. I can tell you for one that none of them ever phones a writer, or hangs out with anybody but a politician or the leader of a community group.
AGM of the Kerry Historical Society on 8/1/2013 a Fiasco
The Society AGM on 8/1/2013 was the usual display of hype and positivity. Any criticism was batted away.
I branded the failure to prepare for the Charter 400 (1613-2013) a fiasco for the Society. Clonakilty, with a similar 400, had organised a raft of activities for the year.
I called the Magazine committee rejectionists, printers of their own articles and those of their friends. I should have called it a cartel.
I branded the photograph of the Magazine launch and the Annual Lunch as a “vulgar display of exclusive lifestyle”; a PR disaster for the Society in time of recession.
I questioned if there is a free ticket for foreign trips; appears not; but they should call the trips something other than Kerry Historical tour if members of the Society are not canvassed to participate.
I objected to a politician appealing the rejection of a member’s submission for the Writers and Artists tax exemption; and I rejected the defence that the politician is also a member – the politician would not have been asked to handle the appeal were he not a politician.
I questioned the giving of the Heritage award – always to friends of the givers, a sub-set of the Council; one Council member stated in the past that in 24 years on the council she had never been asked to nominate.