The Brighton Salon
Reports from the Brighton Salon, which holds monthly talks and discussions on a range of topics in Brighton, England.
If the public is treated as if mere information is required before the correct view of its significance can be arrived at, then attempts to engage the public with big ideas or really change their attitudes will fail
With the inward turn that positive thinking brings comes the problem of procrastination. When teaching tennis players, a common problem is the decision to avoid competition until a particular stroke is working properly. I call this the ‘perfect forehand syndrome’.
Adrian Hart was prompted to research and write his report after working on a film with an anti-racism awareness drama group at schools in Essex in 2006. He described this as his ‘wake-up moment’ where he realised the pressure on schools to provide reports of racist incidents led to the misinterpretation of ordinary childhood exchanges.
Ben, a teacher, was the first to get passionate: ‘I disagreed with everything you said. I can feel myself getting angry!’ he said. ‘I think that what you’re saying shows an absolute lack of compassion.’
The technology has heightened our perceptions about things that are going on in our culture and highlighted the concerns that we have about it, such as privacy, risk, celebrity and the intergenerational relationships between adults and children. Social networking technology is reflective of these concerns; it doesn’t generate them.
After discussing many aspects of the booze ban in Brighton last week, it struck me that many of us were thinking about how this law might be fought in a legal way. I think that bringing it out into the open and forcing the council to defend it, politically, has a much better chance of reversing the DPPO sooner than any challenge in the courts.
It was the Rushdie affair that marked the beginning of a new kind of battle between a minority and the state, where instead of taking action against discrimination or poverty, Muslims burned books and attacked publishers on the basis of their hurt feelings. The principle that it is morally unacceptable to offend was established in relations between different people in a way that we still suffer from today.
’We realised that we had to look much more carefully at energy and its uses and production. The politicisation of climate change is a serious issue because it stands in the way of solving problems and stifles debate,’ said Joe.