\The boundaries of possibility are set before we open our mouths. The exhibition space becomes no longer filled with art, but whatever happens in there remains art all the same.’
Hunting for elephants
” Meanwhile, the SNP will hope that the request for #indyref2 will hold renewed credence. Or perhaps May will use any possible gains in Scotland as an excuse for maintaining her current rebuff.”
T2 Trainspotting: back to what future?
“Except for a brief cameo of the Parliament building, you would be forgiven for not realising how much political upheaval there has been in Scotland alone since the first film was released—in 1996, before devolution—for there is a feeling of stasis throughout.”
The relentless present of the future
“One thing is certain: to look at the future and see nothing but an impassable end is destructive in itself. Because, in reality, we’ve always known how the world ends – the same way it starts – with you.” A young man’s take on what’s next…
Jimmy Shand or male adolescent anxiety
“Nobody really knows when they first heard, or heard of, Jimmy Shand. Like the force of gravity or your mother’s maiden name, you cannot recall a time before your awareness of his existence.” On ceilidhs, prom dances and growing up in Scotland.
A brief lesson in home rule with Mr Brown
“What I did say, and had you been listening you’d have written it down as such, was that Scotland achieved effective home rule in 2020.” A frivolous musing on Gordon Brown, The Vow and Home Rule aka federalism.
Defining the centre of the world
The Olympics are not going to disappear anytime soon, but they risk becoming unsustainable in a world facing climate change, rising inequality, corporate corruption and growing anger among those left behind by globalisation. And until that day comes, we are perhaps best investing our legacy in smaller pots. Like Perth, the new wannabe city of culture.
Brexit, rage, depression and the young
Why anger among young people at the state of the world is never enough to prompt political activism. Thoughts on the 2016 referendum, the one before and where next.
Commoditising student life
Is this the shape of higher education to come? In Scotland we worry about widening access; in London about being able to afford it all. The sheer cost of student living must act as a deterrent – and turn the entire HE experience into a commoditised service.
The ‘Scottification’ of literature: now and then
Kirsty Gunn has warned of the dangers of “Scottification” in public support for the arts in Scotland. But the issue is far from new. We look back at the House with Green Shutters and George Orwell on ‘Englishness’ to probe further.