“There’s nothing in the rulebook that says a giraffe can’t play football!” – Abraham Lincoln (Clone High, 17 November 2002)
This quotation won’t make sense to you at this moment, and the historical Abraham Lincoln didn’t even say it. But a symbolic giraffe representing him on screen did, and that’s all that matters. Nothing in the rulebook means just because things have been done one way and it’s all we can remember doesn’t mean that’s the only way, or even the right way.
Nothing in the rulebook is a creative collective and a community of echidnas, giant salamanders, giraffes and even people who all swear there’s nothing in the rulebook that says a giraffe can’t play football.
More than ever, it’s becoming increasingly hard to sit by yourself and think your own thoughts or think carefully and hard about something for thirty minutes instead of thirty seconds. The society we live in wants to keep us afraid of these moments; afraid of thinking independently or hard or creatively about anything. Why else are libraries closing, arts funding slashed and grants and scholarships for gifted students cut while university fees are raised? People are being priced out of culture: creative people seen as threatening. How do you explain the traditional fear of the ‘dull’ and the ‘boring? Music piped into waiting rooms, gyms and shopping centres; TV everywhere you look, on your treadmill, in pubs, bars and clubs, in the back seats of cars, in green parks and open spaces, art galleries and museums. They want us to be distracted. They want us to focus on things that aren’t our own thoughts. We have to stop that. We have to start helping each other to focus on the things we actually want to do; the things we actually want to create. We find new ways of looking at the world through stories, seeking out the strange and impossible, the sad, the joyous, the funny, the ludicrous. Stories can take you to the edge of the world, to the edge of reality and break down walls. You just have to find these stories. We’re simply trying to illuminate the path ahead.