Webster's Online Dictionary

with Multilingual Thesaurus Translation


But how will these “national standards” and the striking idea of “cultural entitlements” affect the arts via the funding mechanisms?

My second worst fears are that a Scottish-made micky mouse canon of “what arts is” will emerge — driven by the quest for “national standards” aka lowest common denominator and the idea of being able to consume “culture” (i.e. cultural entitlement) representing a new breed of “human rights” which all help people being “normal”, average, main-stream, middle class, sub-urban watchers of national TV programmes, members in charitable societies, attending performances and exhibition sponsored by the (ruling) corporations of New Scottland plc., all inline with marginalising the right of free speak as measure agains terrorism etc.

Let me just expand on the “cultural entitlements”. I am a strong believer in the free movement of people — you should be allowed to settle wherever you choose to. So if you choose to live on the Outer Hebridies that’s your choice … however that includes no National Ballet and no Edinburgh Festival on your doorstep. Equally if you live in Inverurie you don’t get the Dundee Rep, you don’t get the Tramway in Edinburgh, and if you live on Orkney you don’t get Aberdonian taxi drivers. But what now with “cultural entitlements”? Would you be entitled to get your Dundee Rep, Tramway and Aberdonian taxi driver delivered to your doorstep … certainly not. What you will be entitled to will most probably be culture according to “national standards” — maybe a bus tour to the closest performance of the Scottish National Orchestra (the unavoidable 15 must-have-heard pieces…) and the local museum praising the good ol’ times.

My worst fears actually are that this vision of a centrally controlled creative “industry” will become reality in Scotland as of 2007. Your £2om-a-year will quickly be burnt for such UNcreative exercises , and so will the critical cultural substrate sustainably be starving; all for the sake of a “flourishing” and “ambitious” cultural Scotland.

(By the way: have you noticed how flourishing and ambicious have replaced vibrant as the most abused adjectives…)