Susan Sontag’s principal gifts to our civilization were not that easily packaged, but were a brilliant, non-stop commentary on contemporary art practices and their effects on our emotions. She did get off one sound bite in an interview on television, which was to me a stunning sermon in and of itself. She was asked what she had learned from the Holocaust, and she said that 10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and that 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and that the remaining 80 percent could be moved in either direction.
Rick Burgess @TenPercent I’m a human, artist, fool, depressive and carer. I was co-founder of the WOW Petition which was signed by over 104,000 people and made history by being the first motion brought to the main chamber of the British parliament by disabled people. Despite winning the vote the current government still refuses to abide by the motion. I have survived many attempts on my life by successive neoliberal governments in the form of fake medicals and the consequent legal appeals. I was first ‘assessed’ by the pilot of LiMA in 2003 when it was run by Schlumberger Sena before Atos bought it. Along with Nancy Farrell I drew up and got passed a motion by Amnesty International UK to recognise and fight the abrogation of the rights of disabled people by our government. Together with Occupy London, Disabled People Against Cuts, Black Triangle, Mental Health Resistance Network & the Dean of St Paul’s Dr David Ison & Mohammed Ansar we held a commemoration ‘10,000 Cuts & Counting‘ on Parliament Square, of the people who had died after being abused by the Government’s ‘Welfare Reforms’. Together with my colleagues we organised the first ever grassroots summit of disabled activists. I have been asked to leave the House of Commons public gallery for accusing the Coalition of genocide. Together with Mark Thomas & the Centre for Welfare Reform I authored the report ‘Assessing the Assessors‘ which collected evidence from survivors of the abusive Work Capability Assessment, it was accepted into evidence by the DWP Select Committee in 2014. I have attained the enlightened and/or state of ennui where I understand the human condition is simultaneously tragic and comedic, for example: Many concentration camps had orchestras, thus one of the highest expressions of creativity, culture and co-operative achievement by humanity was to be found slap bang in the middle of the very worst depths of human depravity. So go figure, people eh? (as I believe Wittgenstein put it in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus). I live in South Manchester with a cat, Mogwai, who no more believes in god than I do but is considerably furrier than me. I cofounded and work with:-