It seems the world’s going to pot: Britain’s finances are rooted, there’s that whole Gulf oil spill thing, and Australia’s stuck in a very unspiring federal election campaign – down here it’s all say nothing, just kiss babies, over and over, press repeat until your brain turns to mush. And that’s just for starters.  BUT there’s no need to hide under the quilt with a packet of chocolate biscuits (not just yet anyway), because the artists are here to save the day, as they always do.

How so? I hear you ask.  Well, just click on this tasty little link and see what’s going on over in Verita La land, because my VL co-editor Alec Patric has been a very busy person indeed.  For your reading and viewing pleasure are the following:

  • interviews with poet Andy Jackson and short-story writers Ryan O’Neil and Pierz Newton-John;
  • fiction by Kirk Marshall and Rjurik Davidson;
  • poetry by Andy Jackon and Maxine Beneba Clarke; and
  • artwork by Maxine Beneba Clarke (a sample’s above).

How’s that for…well, the cost of bugger all?

Oscar Wilde might have reckoned that all art is ‘quite useless’, but the French dramatist Jean Anouilh said, ‘Life is very nice, but it has no shape.  It is the purpose of art to give it shape.’

And it’s the purpose of the arts to save us.

From hell.