The panto season is upon us, and, as George Bush said after 9/11, the patriotic are urged to spend . But what does patriotic really mean? How should a Scot be feeling now, for example? Does the panto stage of our national life matter? Does anybody really care care?
The theatre once used to be a channel for inspiring and motivating people, for saying the otherwise unsayable, for spreading a dream of a better world. But the political apathy that is so widespread in our land, and accompanies our pantomime politics, has spread to the theatre, writes Scottish poet and playwright George Gunn in that most intelligent and humane of online newspapers, Bella Caledonia – bookmark it, I suggest. He writes:
“A recent study has shown that our glorious political leaders in Westminster, almost to a man, went to boarding school. This private/public school dragoon-like education takes them out of the family structure and removes them from general society, as well as contact with the opposite sex, rendering them, in the main, incapable of displaying human sympathy or grasping the everyday realities of ordinary people going about their lives. In other words they find it difficult to relate other than to those who have had a similar experience. Their “education” has nullified their life-skills, robbed them of spontaneity and humility, installed competition into them above all else and taught them that self-promotion and self-preservation is the primary purpose of life. My contention is that most of our theatres – most of our cultural institutions in Scotland – are managed by such people.”
Oh – there too?
I didn’t know that.