I have no idea how true this is.
However, I would love to see it brought into some of the debates around museums, galleries, libraries and places of cultural value. Debating rights and wrongs and budgets can be done as a cold exercise, with facts and numbers. But there are also deep emotional issues around these places, their messages, and the work they do. Though these two sides do need to be carefully balanced out (there isn't a pot of magic funding, no matter how good all the projects) it would perhaps help perception if some of the inhibitions were removed from the debate.
Recently I was told of a Councillor who broke into tears during a council session, because they couldn't face the cuts they were having to make. Some of the public gallery apparently heckled, but for me, that breaking of self restraint shows how human and troubled the budget slashers can be - trying to implement cuts imposed from above. If a drunken member of the board, or local councilor, could open up on how they feel about the processes, their frustrations, the complexity, the decisions, those on the front line may find it easier to stomach the end impact (still not liking it, but perhaps not bearing any personal malice)
Likewise if those trying to save services and scrape money together were given an open and relaxed environment to describe the deep personal and societal impact of the changes, then stories might emerge where they are listened to, and truly empathised with. These may, in some cases help sway and secure choices, but if nothing else, it would hopefully make the decisions makers honestly feel the drip down impact as more than numbers and stats.
Whether you believe Herodotus or not, there is good reason for the proverb: In Vino Veritas.* Open, honest and emotionally uninhibited debating may not bring opposing sides into agreement, but it may bring them closer to appreciation.
(The other side, is that being uninhibited and slinging vitriol about may put back careful negotiations, but as with any drunken evening, having someone sober enough to pull you on track helps.)
*In wine there is truth - yes, I'm quoting Latin.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
Follow The Attendant:
All text and images are produced by and copyright of the artist, holder of the domain name of attendantsview.com