Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Neutral Post on Scottish Arts

Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival, has said that the festival next year will not feature events concerned with the Scottish referendum on independence, so as to preserve the festival’s political neutrality.

This announcement has come as a great relief to everyone. The idea that the arts might have any connection to the world around them was obviously absurd. The idea that people might be influenced by anything other than professional politicians and opinionated journalists was clearly to be resisted in the name of common sense. The festival next year will feature only artists who have nothing to say about anything, which is as it should be.

Already booked to appear is George, infant son of Edward and Kate. His (ghostwritten by Justin Bieber) autobiography, ‘First Months as a BRITISH King-in-Waiting’, is set to become a bestseller. George, named after the patron saint of Britain England, has the middle name, James, and will be known as ‘Jimmy’ when he comes north in an attempt to simulate stimulate political neutrality.

Of course, it is not just the festival that aspires to neutrality. No one in Scotland ought to have thoughts about anything in the lead-up to the referendum. Ideas are dangerous! In the name of neutrality, television stations in Scotland will be required to broadcast only an endless loop of repeats of ‘Eastenders’, ‘I Love My Country’ and Jessica Ennis being presented with her gold medal at the London Olympics. Such neutral programmes will keep Scottish people from dwelling too much on the independence question. This is for our own good. To ask why it is good is an invalid and biased question. It is clear that the only people who know what is good are (a) people who do not live in Scotland, and (b) people whose bodies exist in Scotland and whose souls navigate a parallel universe.

Finally, the entire population of Scotland will be enlisted during September 2014 to re-enact the First World War in celebration of its centenary. George Square in Glasgow will be the venue for the Battle of the Somme, and similar battles will take place all over Scotland with live ammunition until most people have been wiped out. The Edinburgh International Festival will stage a patriotic operatic war jamboree, heavily subsidised by the taxpayer, at the end of which an empty tram will glide down Princes Street and the union jack will be raised from Edinburgh Castle by David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage, who will join to sing the national anthem, 'We're All in This Together' – all in the name of neutrality...