Jun
23

Voter Apathy? Who can be bothered?

At The Derby in 1913, a woman named Emily Wilding Davidson threw herself under a horse to gain the vote. In Tiananmen Square in 1989, an unnamed Chinese man carrying two shopping bags held up four Red Army tanks in a peaceful democratic protest that saw hundreds lose their lives. This year, we’ve seen the […]

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Jan
25

From babies to bams

You know you’re in trouble when your nursery school teacher thinks you’re heading for jail – and there’s an 85% chance she’s right. That’s the grim statistic from a study where nursery teachers predicted which of their little charges would eventually face criminal charges. Started in 1972, the Dunedin Study tracked the children into adulthood, […]

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Sep
06

Vanishing Scotland

Vanishing Scotland It’s a big question. Is Scotland becoming less Scottish? Answer, yes. Bigger question – does it matter? Nationalistically, no. Economically, yes. (I think.) The above illustration depicts the demise of (perhaps superficial) ‘Scottishness’ in Scotland’s culture: from the deep seriousness of Burns and the global caricature that Harry Lauder helped to coin… to […]

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Jan
21

Arrogance Gave Him Up

“Is it time for an outbreak of humility in Scotland?” asks Pete Martin.

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Jun
08

Obsession Magnificent

If you recognise the headline, then you won’t need anyone to tell you what this note is about. Baffled? It’s about Billy Mackenzie. Who? The Associates. Nope? Jeezy Peeps, as Oor Wullie might say. You can find a few Mackenzie-esque gems on YouTube – of which this from French TV is my favourite. The video […]

4 Comments

Mar
15

Seconds Out

Boxing in the Depression era. Fairground boxing, also known as booth boxing. The memoir of Johnny Kelly of his life as a professional fighting man in 1930s Scotland.

7 Comments

Feb
21

The Castrol GTX of love and friendship

Or how people go mental Your brain is like a little motor.  Most of the time, it purrs away under the bonnet of your ‘bunnet’, baseball cap, hat or hairdo. Life, on the other hand, is like a bucket of grit and grief that fate pours into your petrol tank, (usually just as you’re going […]

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Feb
07

James Grant – Strange Flowers

James Grant. Strange Flowers. Possibly the best album ever made by a Scottish artist. Buy it now at www.verticalrecords.co.uk

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Jan
08

Marlowe meets Tarantino

Just been re-reading ‘The Reckoning’ – Charles Nicholls’ brilliant account of the murder of Christopher Marlowe. (So titled since the playwright’s final reckoning came about when he was stabbed above the eye in an alleged bar brawl over ‘the recknyng’ – ie who was paying the bill). What strikes you about the real story isn’t […]

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Jan
07

Sadie’s Story Music

Sadie’s Story An excerpt from the beautiful, sad, sweet orchestral score composed by James Grant for the film Sadie’s Story, directed by Pete Martin.

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