Our contemporary times has made fantasy the biggest of all industries in the world. Fantasy as distraction; as movie, as game, as Internet distraction; the fantasy of perennial fulfilment through white wires running into your ears; and continuous communication through cell phone fantasy. The fantasy that you can only be whole and human by digital connection. Fantasy is our way of coping, of making a dry cake cream laden in our imaginations. It is going to bed with one person but having sex with a dozen others. This is how we get to fuck the stars, the celebs; by fantasy. Fantasy keeps the world ticking over. Take fantasy out of Capital and you have nothing left.
We have the largest creative sector in the EU which contributes over £76.9billion a year and, relative to GDP, is probably the largest in the world. In an odd sort of reversal of fortunes, the problem we now face is that we become too comfortable - convincing ourselves that our creative sector is so brilliant and innovative that we can wipe the floor with the rest of the world.
England's largest arts festival, arrived this weekend with a record 3,584 performances of 784 shows at 171 venues across the city for the entire month of May. Ticket sales are already 15% up on last year, meaning that we should be expecting audiences of close to 290,000 people.
I do not have the likes of Ms Hopkins social presence and media privilege in which to air my views, but as a mother of a child with autism, what I do have is a voice and the right, as does anyone else, to say how her views impact upon those with a disability. Her words impact upon me, my family and wider society.
We can't change the terrible experience these children have already lived through, but we must try to ensure that each and every one of the children affected are kept safe, and provided with the food, water and supplies they so desperately need.
The Writing the Future report puts a figure on this lack of cultural diversity, estimating that ethnic representation within the publishing industry is just eight percent. Another key statistic highlighted in the report regards UK literary festivals; at Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Hay festivals, a measly four percent of the programme was made up of UK Black and Asian writers.
If there's anything I've come to know over the years, it's that the edge of things is where the arts tend to flourish most creatively and anarchically... I've learned not to underestimate what's truly possible in Brighton, on its bright edge, at festival time, the borders vanished, the arts everywhere you look, everything on the wing.
John Schlesinger's 1967 rich interpretation of Thomas Hardy's literary classic 'Far From The Madding Crowd,' with Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Terence Stamp swept audiences along and is a hard act to follow. Thomas Vinterberg's version will please audiences and Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen are outstanding.