JUST AN OBSERVATION

indexJust an Observation

I can’t imagine by now that there isn’t a single soul who hasn’t been touched by the horrific images of a Syrian toddler washed up on a Turkish shoreline this week. You’d have to be pretty inhumane- cue bile infused rant from Katie Hopkins courtesy of The Scum- to not be deeply moved by this potent and poignant photo as it drives home just how very serious this problem actually is.
At the same time this photo was eliciting sympathy and distress on all forms of media our beloved prime Minister was on the BBC news claiming that there is no way that Britain can offer refuge for these unfortunate people who have had the most despicable circumstances inflicted on them through no fault of their own. Admittedly he made this statement before the photo hit the media but it still doesn’t detract from the fact that his immigration policies were an integral part of his campaign policies and now he can’t back track. That is assuming he even wants to. In complete contrast Nicola Sturgeon speaks on behalf of her party and possibly most Scots when she volunteers any support that we can possibly give.
I don’t feel that I can offer much more on this situation in this column as so many more people can express it far more eloquently and are equipped better factually to do so but I can say that everyone should sign however many petitions they can, attend as many demonstrations of support as possible and if there is any way you can offer any help whatsoever then please do so.
Already plans are afoot in Edinburgh for a benefit night Sanctuary in Studio 24 on October 3rd with many local bands, DJ’s and other performers taking part in what is a very worthwhile event. More details nearer the time but for now clear a space in your diaries.
Now that the Fringe/ Festival has finished it seems that Edinburgh can now breathe again as opposed to the high blood pressure fuelled mood of August. With the benefit of a week’s hindsight I now feel the same as I did throughout the three weeks of its tenure that this year marked a significant change in the atmosphere which impacted on the overall effect of it all. The standards of some of the shows were as excellent as ever and whilst I saw many worthwhile things and most shows were busy enough-busier than usual I must admit- but what seemed to be missing was any form enjoyment from anyone.
Every day out on the streets seemed a constant battle and neither performers or those attending seemed to be having any fun instead merely concentrating on making their own determined way to wherever they were going. There was no ambling about soaking up the atmosphere just a constant barrage of queuing, pushing, shoving and shouting. I know this is usual during August in Edinburgh but this year it felt different and a new hostility and disdain entered the fray. Admittedly the unpredictable weather didn’t help but when is the weather during the Fringe ever any good?
No, it seems that the huge wheel of commerce is in full spin and nowadays your show is only worth its own advertising budget thus diluting its original premise. Hopefully this is a blip rather than a harbinger of what is to come but admittedly I am doubtful.
Now that the city has settled down I thought it would be a good idea to catch the David Bailey ‘Stardust’ exhibition at the RSA. It certainly is worth a visit but I am still unsure whether it is worth the £12 entry fee. I know the arts have to be funded and I don’t mind paying and also that Bailey is a draw who has captured iconic images of our most iconic stars but £12 for an exhibition of photos which have been seen on numerous occasions before with very little new added-unless you count his artworks which I don’t to be frank- seems a little steep.
One thing you notice about the end of the Festival that is a little disappointing is that suddenly the choices of what to do seem rather limited in comparison to the weeks preceding. Personally I am using the time to relax and enjoy the city before the next influx of students in a couple of weeks busy everything up again. Until then the first two seeks of September is traditionally the time Edinburgh belongs to its residents so make the most of it while it lasts.

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