And the last shall be first
Dunfermline Athletic Football Club - Match Detail: "Campbell's impact was immediate. Fouled for a free kick just inside the Celtic half on the left touchline the youngster picked out Andy Tod on the far side of the box and Greg ROSS ran on to his header to slot past Boruc from inside the six yard box. The visitors celebrated their 17th minute goal way way out at the left corner flag as Celtic Park observed an eerie silence."
Well, gave this armchair Pars fan a laugh anyway.
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:: Saturday, November 26, 2005 ::
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:: Friday, November 25, 2005 ::
Don't Mess with the Boggarts
Fairies stop developers' bulldozers in their tracks Got to love this story from the Times. Local people halt development on a site containing a rock with a lot of history. Interesting to me as I just finished reading Susannah Clarke's excellent 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell'. And have followed it up with reading some of the source material, the scary folklore stories of Katherine Briggs in particular (and the wee folk in the Lothians seem especially nasty.)
The angle here is the funny bumpkins who believe in fairies, but many "fairy" stories and traditions are based on older beliefs. So the Celtic god Lug became leprechauns. This site was of significance to the Picts, and this is the likely origin of the "fairy story", older beliefs going underground in the face of the arrival of Christianity. But this is based on my limited reading, other better informed opinions welcome.
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:: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 ::
The Scotsman has an opinion column from George Kerevan today which is essentially a review of Gregor Gall's new book 'The Political Economy of Scotland: Red Scotland? Radical Scotland? '. Gregor analyses the degree of union membership, militancy and influence in Scotland as compared to England and Wales. He concludes that, yes, these traditions have retained their strength here in a way that compares favourably with our neighbours.
Worth a read certainly. George quite likes it too and praises the left for taking the study of unions more seriously than the right. But George, a former trotskyist turned neo-liberal adviser to the SNP, see's it as a warning and a challenge to take on union 'power' in Scotland. Don't worry George, I'm sure New Labour and your SNP pals will be on to it soon.
Sorry, the abysmal filler-filled Scotsman makes you pay to read this online.
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:: Monday, November 21, 2005 ::
New teaser posters for the V for Vendetta movie. I've talked about this previously. Based on Alan Moore's great classic, but disowned by Mr Moore, which does not auger well. Again, I wonder if the whole "terrorist/hero running round London blowing things up" plot might be somewhat watered down? V is an ambiguous character, victim, hero and villain and holywood is not known for its love of subtlety, at least in adaptations from the world of comics. Excellent posters though.
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:: Thursday, November 17, 2005 ::
John Howard is a lying...
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:: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 ::
SAVE THE CAMEO
SAVE THE CAMEO is one campaign well worth signing up for. By popular acclaim the best cinema in Edinburgh and one of the last independents it faces transformation into another bar. I used to live above the Cameo and believe me that Tollcross needs a cinema more than it needs new bars. I used to see a fight at least once a week as bold binge drinkers weaved there way home and that was before Edinburgh became a big stag night destination. Already the Lothian Road "stag and hen" zone is spreading out. Time to draw a line in the sand.
Ken Loach is among those who have spoken up for the Cameo. Join them now.
Via submit response.
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I had a bit of a shock to see myself on TV last night. For all of three seconds. It was during the BBC4 documentary on the G8 protests. I was sitting in the audience listening to Eamonn Mcann give a rather good speech and taking photos as he threw Brechtian shapes in a very photogenic manner. The rest of the doco was interesting to see who was wandering in the background, but it never quite got to the point. Anarchist clowns are all middle class...who knew?
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:: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 ::
More from Bilbao.
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:: Monday, November 14, 2005 ::
A Catholic Education
I'll be posting a few pics from my trip to the Euskal Herria. This graf was from a wall in the old town. I don't imagine it is a reference to the first teenage fanclub album.
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:: Friday, November 11, 2005 ::
Back to New Orleans
This blog is worth checking out. It is written by community activists who are working in New Orleans as people start to return to the city.
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:: Thursday, November 10, 2005 ::
Neil Gaiman was in Edinburgh last night promoting his new book Anansi Boys. Gaiman came to prominence as the author of the acclaimed Vertigo series Sandman, the story of Morpheus the Dream King. It was a bit shocking when Neil revealed that Sandman is coming up for its 20th anniversary. Me = old.
I had anticipated a big demand for tickets for the signing and sure enough the venue was moved from Waterstones to the Roxy - a nice old converted church down the Bridges, perfect for this kind of thing. You can sit at a table, order beer or tea and cake. Very civilised. It even has a wi-fi connection and I could see at least one person writing up their livejournal on their laptop (I did ask, but have forgotten the name of the site, if I can track it down I'll link it. UPDATE: Found it! ) The last event I attended there was a book launch by Gregor Gall, the attendance was a bit higher this time.
It all kicked off with the Waterstones person laying down some rules about signing, which Gaiman immediately overturned and said not to bother about. Then on to a reading from Anansi Boys. The book seems to cover some familiar territory for Gaiman, the relationship between Gods, myth and everyday life and he chose a funny section to read which got lots of laughs. As did the Q and A which followed.
Here is a quick resumé based on my notes.
Q: What is happening with Miracleman? (A vintage British superhero and Captain Marvel rip-off brilliantly resurrected by Alan Moore and then written by Neil Gaiman who bought the rights to the character when its original publishers went belly up. Very long and complex copyright wrangle click the link above for more info.)
A: Miracleman is in legal hell. Todd McFarlane who claimed the rights when he bought Eclipse (although MM was creator owned and not owned by Eclipse) was taken to court and all was going well until he went bankrupt slowing the whole process down enormously. Gaiman noted that "Todd McFarlane loses court cases like others lose biros".
Q: Why do you write about Gods and stuff?
A: If John Grisham, Stephen King and himself were stranded in a house in the middle of a lake, Grisham would write about lying low to escape a legal rap, King would write about the creature in the lake and Gaiman would write about the house sprouting legs and walking away. As a kid his favourite book was "tales of the norsemen" and he saved up his pocket money for "tales of egyptian gods".
Q: What is he working on now?
A: A really dark childrens book called "The Graveyard Book"
Q: When will Mirrormask get a proper release? (See here for the Perspective review of Mirrormask from the premiere with the Sandman and Mirrormask co-creator Dave McKean)
A: Dunno, the DVD will be out soon.
Q: Did he intend to return to the sort of themes of old stories used in Sandman: Dreamhunters?
A: Those weren't really old stories, the page of references used at the back were all made up. The small typeface used made it convincing. He still gets letters from librarians who have been asked for the stories referenced. He is very sorry.
Q: Any plans for future Sandman work?
A: Coming up to the 20th Anniversary likely to do a 6 episode Sandman series, Sandman Zero, looking at what the Dream King was up to before the Sandman series began. There is also a possibility of doing Good Omens II with Terry Pratchett.
Q: Given the political comment in his blog, has he been tempted to write more political work?
A: He was annoyed at being dismissed as apolitical in the past. That changed when the Iraq war started and people began to look back at some of his work in a new way, specifically Sandman issue 50, Baghdad, which looked at the city through the ages and was the only modern work by a Western writer that journalists could find that did so. He doesn't like to be didactic and lecture but the personal is political and politics is unavoidable. Politicians are all untrustworthy and anyone who wants to be a politician should be disqualified. MP's should be appointed like juries, compulsory service by ordinary people.
Q: Has he read any of the slash fiction based on his work? (slash fiction, dear reader, is erotic fan fiction to be avoided at all costs.)
A: He was made horribly aware of some slash featuring not just his characters, but himself. It was impossible not to read a couple of paragraphs. He once was browsing at a stall at a sci-fi convention and was horrified to discover he was reading Knight Rider slash fiction! Hmmm, "he caressed my gear stick..." (that will get my page hit count up for all those people googling for Knight Rider slash!)
Q: What happened to the plans to write Dr Who?
A: Would still like to do it and has some ideas.
And apart from a very long queue to get my book signed, that was it. A cool evening.
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:: Wednesday, November 09, 2005 ::
Teenage Fanclub, Bilbao
Teenage Fanclub headlined the gig on the Wintercase tour along with the Delays and the Go-Betweens as part of the Wintercase tour, Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao.
The most popular band on the tour, all the people we spoke to had travelled some distance to get there, from San Sebastian, and even from the Asturias (not to mention the hardcore few tourists from Scotland and England.)
In my experience, TFC never let you down. This was no exception. The songs they introduced as "new" are actually pretty familiar by now (well, I guess I have seen them three times this year). All great stuff and with so many solid gold classics in their repertoire you can't go wrong.
A few more people dancing and jumping around for this. And the friendly Basques passing us nice cold beers to keep us going. Muy gracias (sorry my basque isn't quite up to the job so you'll need to put up with castillano.)
More pics on flickr if you like.
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Robert and Grant
Robert Forster and Grant McLennan of the Go-Betweens.
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The Go-Betweens, Bilbao
The Go-Betweens playing with the Delays and Teenage Fanclub as part of the Wintercase tour, Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao. November 3rd 2005.
There were some initial sound problems with the band's monitors which led to Robert re-starting the second song twice. Later Grant ran into issues with his guitar and had to borrow Norman from Teenage Fanclub's guitar for 'Bachelor Kisses'.
Despite that the band played a good set. I guess experience helps you keep your focus. They were not headlining so no encore, but highlight for me was 'Surfing Magazines'. As my companion and I tried to whip up the crowd we were at least acknowledged by Robert..."now everyone else join in!" he advised as he winked at us.
The Go-Betweens are less well known than Teenage Fanclub in Spain, but seem to have won most of the crowd over.
"Round and round, up and down, through the streets of Bilbao."
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:: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 ::
Dens Den a new Scottish blog taking up the scandal of "extra ordinary renditions" - the deportation of people to face torture abroad.
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EconoCulture is a little online e-zine blog thing that I came across. Nice watt style name and an interview with Teenage Fanclub. Speaking of the fannies, I will be off for a few days to see them and the Go-Betweens in sunny Euskadi. So see you next week hopefully with decent pics.
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:: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 ::
BBC: "A pastor was electrocuted during a baptism in Waco, Texas, after grabbing a microphone while partially submerged.
Rev Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in a small pool used for baptisms at the University Baptist Church when he was electrocuted on Sunday morning.
Rev Lake reached out to adjust a nearby microphone, which produced an electric shock, said church pastor Ben Dudley.
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