Theatre critic, and social commentator, Joyce McMillan warns of the wider implications of the new Public Entertainment Licence legislation coming into effect in Scotland on 1st April. This is not just about creative freedom, but personal freedom in general.
JOYCE MCMILLAN for The Scotsman 2.3.12
THERE’S AN image currently doing the rounds on the internet that speaks volumes about the current state of western culture, and its growing ambivalence about the idea of freedom, supposed to be one of its core values. The image shows the street sign for a square in Barcelona named after George Orwell, one of the great freedom fighters of the Spanish Civil War, and the author of 1984, perhaps the greatest of all novels about the creeping authoritarian power of the state.
The irony is, though, that the sign is almost obscured by a notice announcing the presence of a security camera, designed to film all that happens in the square; the image implies that two generations on from the publication of Orwell’s great novel, we are sleepwalking into the world of continuous official surveillance that he most feared and dreaded.
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