A friend of mine has posted some lyrics and this is my response.
Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted – one moment
Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?
A hundred years ago, when the Titanic sank, I think we lost a lot more. I think our current track of celebrating the memory of the ship has changed us. Our heroes are drunk footballers and snooker players and not literary academics or physicist philosophers. We talk about the Titanic in terms of what it could have been – like our national heroes – if they had stayed off the bottle, they could have conquered the world. We glorify the almost and the could have been.
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting
What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
He’s chokin, how? Everybody’s jokin now
The clock’s run out, time’s up over, blow!
Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity
Whether we’re talking about freestyle rap or an angel network pitches, the idea is the same. We want the pitches to drop a bomb, we have hundreds of “could be greats”. Everyone is hoping that someday someone will notice them for their brilliance and pluck them from the nightmare.
The soul’s escaping, through this hole that is gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a, new world order
A normal life is borin, but super stardom’s close to post mortem
It only grows harder, homie grows hotter
He blows us all over these hoes is all on him
Coast to coast shows, he’s know as the globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows
The people I meet every day have passions to succeed. But most of them won’t get the chance. The combination of environment and bias, the restraint of being a poor person in a poor region and, perhaps most damning, maybe the killer idea isn’t all that killer. Passion alone is not enough, it’s all about the delivery.
No more games, I’ma change what you call rage
Tear this mothafuckin roof off like two dogs caged
I was playin’ in the beginning, the mood all changed
I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
Taking a stand is always unpopular when people are comfortable with the status quo. But that’s what we have done. We have found our feet, we have stamped our feet. And sometimes we were booed off stage. Sometimes things that were inspired had to be removed. But these things do not go away, nothing ever disappears from the Internet.
But I kept rhymin’ and stepwritin’ the next cypher
Best believe somebody’s payin’ the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the fact
That I can’t get by with my 9 to 5
And I can’t provide the right type of life for my family
Cuz man, these goddamn food stamps don’t buy diapers
And it’s no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it’s getting even harder
While we might campaign for corporation tax, it’s not the only story. I’m actually more concerned about skills gaps in the workforce and how to plug them considering that there isn’t the ability (nor the will) to quickly respond to industry. Too much focus on credit and qualifications means the real work doesn’t get done. The Northern Ireland Block Grant is going away; the question being, when it goes, what will we have in it’s place?
This is why we started NISINE two years ago. This is why we started NISW eighteen months ago. This is why we started StartVI a year ago. We have to change culture among industry and make them speak out for what they want. We have a status quo which rewards poor behaviour. We have a too-heavy public sector and no-one seems willing to address the inevitable: There will be job losses, they will be severe. So what are we going to do about it?
Too much for me to wanna
Stay in one spot, another day of monotony’s
Gotten me to the point, I’m like a snail
I’ve got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only mothafuckin option, failure’s not
Success is the only motherfucking option, failure is not.
Yesterday on the train, we were talking about the gender bias in ICT and software. One of the options for resolving this was positive discrimination. My solution was promotion of computer programming to the status of reading, writing and mathematics. My school had five compulsory subjects: maths, english language, english literature, french and religious education. Bollocks to that. Mathematics, English and Software Engineering are the three core disciplines of 21st Century Northern Ireland schools. We need to make it compulsory so we not only manage to catch every opportunity to educate potential software engineers but also we train them in spite of the gender bias; a bias that might be genetic, but again it also just might be cultural.
We need to take bold steps to establish what they call a “knowledge economy”. Bold steps – not gentle gradients which lead into ineffectiveness. And if the will is not there, then we need to take matters into our own hands.
So here I go, it’s my shot.
Feet fail me not, this maybe the only opportunity that I got
Tomorrow is a new day. It would be lovely to think that I wasn’t alone in doing this. But, in the end, everyone has to stand alone.
You can do anything you set your mind to, man