… so as the torpor of indolence (a good name for a band that – or even a geographical location, opposite the Torpor of Lassitude) developed through over consumption of chocolate, watching films and battering the liver with a complicated melange of high-class bevy begins to recede, it is time to look ahead. One New Year’s resolution – this blog will be topped up weekly – honest.
A few gigs already lined up – launching A New History of the Picts at Pitlochry Book Festival in the Festival Theatre at 11.45 on Sunday 31st January. Also booked in for at least one appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival – very dangerous that as it allows constant access to the writers’ tent throughout the whole event – a dangerous option for a drouthy laddie! Other dates worth noticing – start teaching Resistance and Radicalism in Scotland 1700-1900 Thursday 14th at EU night class and next day The Jacobites course begins at the Castle again. 6th March sees me chairing the 2nd Scottish Arthurian Conference at the Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow with an interesting line-up of speakers, and March 20th teaching a day course The Grail in Scotland, again at the castle. April should see publication of a new bunch of stories Tales of Whisky, like the Picts book with Luath Press.
As we all shiver in the wintry conditions we saw the sight of the First Minister talking up the development of off-shore wind farms. This is a further attempt to present the SNP as having decent green credentials. Am I alone in seeing major contradiction in their obsequious support for the megalomaniac golf development of M Bumfluff Trump near Aberdeen. This revolting development is aimed at the filthy rich who are supposed to fly in, in their private jets for a game of golf – how many air miles and consequent pollution will that create? The interests of the rich a.k.a. investors, shareholders, the free market, market forces etc. seem to have a much higher profile than the people of Scotland amongst the SNP, who like every other modern politician raised to accept the partyzan structure of Westminster as real democracy – act like parrots in repeating developer’s claims of future jobs and thus prosperity for ‘ordinary’ people. Does anybody know of any development, anywhere, anytime that actually fulfilled these fantasy job figures?
This is all particularly sad when in other fields the SNP are doing good things– in education and culture and Gramsci said it in the Prison Diaries– politics never leads culture, culture always leads politics. There is hope.
However it’s not just the SNP that are acting like numpties. Patrick Harvie of the Greens was on the radio supporting the pylon development form Beauly to Denny. The answer to the the world’s energy problems will never be solved as long as grandiose projects – beloved of politicians who are wined and dined and given hurls in big cars by developers’ PR and lobby parasites – continue to be presented as the solution to humanity’s energy needs. Yes we need to use less but we also need to be thinking globally and acting locally – big schemes mean big profits (for shareholders, bankers and other species) and are always presented as having ‘no alternative’. When the Green Party falls for this guff we can see just how sorry a state our politics is in. Just like in agriculture all evidence shows that energy use is much more efficient when created and consumed locally – in the world as a whole the drift to the cities continues – what is happening in the developed world? Check it out.
But enough of this diatribe, a new year is a positive time and let us all hope for more communal action and understanding throughout the world as the more we work together the more we learn that we do not need leaders.
The next blog will contain a series of links to various articles, music and other creative stuff but in the meantime a wee poem from a while back
Aside the well, the tree
Aside you, jist me here
Silence nou in the gloamin
Birdsang stilld, nae win
Amang the hills, derkness
Sternlicht ower the lift
Aff, a hoolet in the lang glen
Summonsed, comes the muin
Ayont the dawn, day bricht
Ayont thocht, flicht o prayer
Suin agin, time o kennin
Bi the tree bi the well