Cancelling Janey Godley

Janey Godley’s cancellation for some pretty vile racist Tweets does not come as a massive shock. She made her name through edgy humour, and although over the last few years she’s tried pandering to her new more middle-class audience, not to mention figures high in the Scottish government but you can’t be a mate of government and an edgy comic at the same time. It was clear that Godley was trying to reshape herself by quoting things she clearly didn’t believe but would see her in good stead with government, but you can’t hide from your past online and that came back to hurt her.

Yet this isn’t really her fault. Whoever authorised her to be the face of a government campaign and paid her £12k (which somewhat takes the piss out of anyone’s progressive credentials to cash in on the public purse during a pandemic)should have been soundly bollocked but I doubt they will.

And I also dismay of the feral packs who hounded her to cancellation, even though she’d indulge in the same herself sometimes with people who were not abusive Rangers fans, but political opponents to the SNP for I assume, a few brownie points. Here’s the thing about cancellation; these packs will turn on anyone and find anyone. I remember seeing one Tweet when Lindsay Ellis was cancelled that said ‘they didn’t care’ about the facts but that they’d now got the chance to go after someone and effectively try to destroy their life. Which is the problem with cancellation; it never stops. One day you’re the head of the pack and the next the pack is savaging you.

Godley’s mistake was to ignore this fact and because of that she’s suffered a public shaming which ultimately, is the entire point of this thing. It’s medieval, cruel and needless, and unless we find ways to curtail it we’re all fucked.

Seven years since the independence vote…

Seven years ago today millions of people woke up to a future tied to the British state, but yet that first weekend contained some hope that maybe soon, there’d be another referendum especially with the lurking spectre of Brexit then only a vague possibility. The Yes movement was pretty united, and a new media grew along with new media voices and hope was not lost. Sure, things would be tough but this was a fight we’d win!

And here we are in 2021 probably further away than that weekend seven years ago. Brexit has happened, with Scotland ripped out of the EU against its wishes, yet all the promises from the SNP about ‘protecting Scotland’ and how a referendum would take place just after the UK exits was shown to be bullshit with a vague promise now putting a second referendum in 2023 even though absolutely zero work is being done on building the case for independence. That post-referendum unity is gone, the new media is all over the place, many of the new media voices have taken the mainstream grift of the previous generations and become part of the establishment. Nicola Sturgeon now gives lip servide to independence but it is clear she’s a gradualist, so it isn’t really a prioroty, nor is much which will transform the lives of people trapped in poverty. Everything now points to a status quo where the SNP/Greens speak out strongly in support of independence without having propelled the cause any further.

The thought seven years ago to be here, with the Yes Movement openly mocking other aspects of the movement with some supposed Yessers in the SNP clearly not bothered about independence. The power has ensured for many it’s entirely comfortable to keep things as they are. As said, the independence movement spawned many a grifter of many a scale.

So seven years later we’re in a awful situation. Brexit is hurting badly and there’s still worst to come once we come out of the pandemic. There’s a Tory government in Westminster stretching ahead at least another decade, any lasting social change will be for the worst and the Scottish government is stuck in a rut tweaking the edges at best, deliberately ignoring it at worst for other projects which aren’t going to change Scotland’s long-term issues and the worst of it is we don’t have anywhere to go in order to politically change things.

It’s a horrible thing but we were really in a better place seven years ago and again, I hope I’m wrong.

The horror of the second speculator era of comics

First of all here’s a nice video giving a basic rundown of the first big speculator era back in the 90s.

It was a glorious time for a while. Comics published a day or two ago would be hitting 50 quid and higher by the weekend. Massive amounts of money was spent by speculators and dealers, while publishers pumped out masses and masses of shite, much of it being utterly unreadable.Market went BOOM and overnight dealers and companies were dropping like flies.

Fast forward to 2021 and the market now is bloated with variant covers not to mention speculators pushing the prices of comics to the level where they’re unaffordable to most people. At least in the 90’s a ‘key book; would be expensive but you didn’t have to have a Swiss bank account to look at one. Added to the horror of slabbing comics it means vitally important, major comics will never, ever be read which destroys the purpose of what a comic is. It is to be read, and if you want, collected so you can read it again.

A mix of the Covid pandemic, a lack of conventions/marts and Youtube channels like Comictom101 are pushing this agenda at the expense of the medium. Speculation doesn’t help grow the medium or improve the quality of mainstream comics, or stop creators writing purely for their Netflix deal. It just creates a bubble and that bubble is unsustainable for collectors which is going to be dismal for the industry overall. But yet the bubble grows.

What worries me is the POP when the bubble bursts.The industry as a whole for your mainstream Marvel/DC title is not anywhere near as secure as the 90s, nor are there the same quality of creators, especially now Substack has signed consistantly selling Big Two creators leaving Marvel and DC with not an awful lot. So we shall see, but I dread the worst in a few years time once superhero fatigue kicks in.

A small word of appreciation for Gilbert Gottfried

When I first saw Gilbert Gottfried on UK TV in the late 80’s, I thought I was going to die as I couldn’t breathe frm laughing so much, so quite a first impression. Since then I’ve enjoyed his act,with his infamous post 911 gag being a work of comedic daring, audacity and skill to turn it into something vastly different.

In this video he talks about that joke as welll as comedy in general in what is an increasingly sanitised medium which makes his words worth listening to.

20 years of 9/11

It is astonishing to me that 20 years have passed since 9/11, which means there are people now becoming adults who have known nothing but the 911 era and can’t remember the relative decade of peace (unless you lived somewhere like The Balkans) tyhat had taken place just before it. At the time it was very, very clear the world was going to change, yet few would have predicted the Taliban winning the war 20 years later while even more barbaric fundamentalists have emerged since then, both in the Middle East and America, while the lives of ordinary women, gays and lesbians come under threat worldwide by very different types of fundamentalism.

And all of this and more came out of that glorious autumn morning 20 years ago.

I always remember new things about it. Only this week I was telling a mate about how all the news websites went down through the sheer weight of people trying to get onto them (and this was in the days of dial-up so there were nowhere near the numbers of internet users there are today) so you had to go onto message boards to find out what information you could. For example, the Fortean Times site ended up being a great resource as news sites were crashing, but by late afternoon UK time news sites were coming back online, in a somewhat basic form. Sadly much of that digital record is lost so the best reord of how the world reacted that day is lost.

But we’re now two decades into whatever this is and there’s no signs of whatever this is ending as we have no leaders on any side capable of bringing it to an end which is why part of me sees myself worrying about this carnage probably til I die, and those born in the era of 9/11 will never know any better. .

Scottish independence is maybe, perhaps,possilbly coming in 2023. If it doesn’t rain.

The SNP and Nicola Sturgeon announced their plan for this session of Holyrood and Scottish independence is coming!! Maybe. In 2023. But at the end. And it might not be then. Actually, might be next term if you vote for us again. Maybe.

This rampant cynicism is because at my last rough count we’ve had nine ‘this is it, Indy is coming’ moments since 2016 added to around half a dozen mandates for a second vote, and frankly I don’t see this planned 2023 date happening either. In fact, I’m pretty resigned for independence not to happen in my lifetime and a chance to change lives, and transform communities has been lost. Generational poverty and all the conditions of that poverty will become worse over one more generation. This isn’t to say there’s not good stuff in there but virtually all the stuff which might affect the major issues of Scotland is kicked down the road for middle class tickles and identity politics.

I hope to be proved wrong. I WANT to be wrong, but I have this voice going through my head saying this…

And I can’t help saying ‘yes’.

Edinburgh isnae Scotland

Comedian and gamer, Limmy claimed that Edinburgh isn’t really Scotland to the wailing cries of media types across Scotland and the UK.

He is of course ripping the piss (and so many took it seriously much to I assume, his delight) but he’s got a point. Edinburgh isn’t Scotland, or at least what most people outwith of Scotland think of as the city. It’s a theme park for tourists, just as large parts of London are, or New York or any major world city, the difference with Edinburgh is it’s such a tale of two cities as one of the shortbread tin version of Scotland sold to the world, and the other is a city and people struggling to keep up with being priced out of their own city by incomers pushing up prices.

And he’s right, you want to experience Scotland, don’t go to Edinburgh, don’t come to the nice parts of Glasgow, but go to the parts off the tourist trails where might see how most people live, and how they struggle. Sometimes that struggle is because of the gentrification thrown up upon them as this is the problem with coming to live in what you see as an authentic area. Once the incomes move in that area changes and rarely for the best.

But come to Scotland. Say hello to Nessie as well.

Lee Scratch Perry RIP

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry was unique. There won’t ever be anyone like him as these days most artists are sanitised to a ridiculous degree, but Perry could never be accused of being dull or bland. This man was a giant in reggae, and music overall as his influence spreads large, but he was not for the faint hearted as can be testified by the crowd at Reading Festival in 1998 who watched him in puzzlement doing his thing which as said, was a unique one.

I only say him a few times, once at Reading which was bizarre, and there’s sadly no footage of it online, and the other times in London over the years but I’d not seen him live in decades and was only talking about him a few weeks ago about maybe seeing him on his next tour. That sadly won’t happen but we are left with things like this…

He’s going to be seriously missed.

Geordie Protect & Survive

If kids today think they can’t cope with potential armageddon, then cast your mind back to the time when armageddon could have been any minute of any day anytime from the late 50s through to the early 90s thanks to the very real threat of nuclear war. There was even a time when people not just thought they’d win such a was but also that people would survive it by stocking up on Fray Bentos pies, cat litter and remembering to wrap your nan in black bags and throw her out on the street for the council to pick up. How we got through the 80’s especially is a mystery still, but we did only to face another type of armageddon further down the line.

So people thought we’d survive and this resulted in utterly bizarre bits of fiction being peddled by governments like this bizarre, surreal bullshit in the video below. Check it Out was a kids programme, and taking a break from it’s usual stuff it decided to show us how to survive the end of life as we know it in the most children’s TV way possible.

Enjoy?

A short tale from the days of the Reading Festival

It is Reading Festival this weekend, the largest festival to take place in the UK for nearly two years since Covid kicked in. It is of course a shadow of its former self where barring the likes of Stormzy, there’s a barren roll of talent (Liam Gallagher??) on the main stages, though to be fair there’s some decent stuff if you search through the smaller stages.

Back in the day, Reading used to be the big end of summer blow out to the festival season which kicks off properly with Glastonbury, and now lasts from April through to the dog-end of September. See, climate change does have some advantages…

1999 was a pinnacle of sorts. Looking back at it now the lineup seems even better than it did at the time plus at the time I never paid to get in having gotten freebies for everyone, I mean, just look at this lineup!

The only sort of naff day was the Friday, where The Charlatans produced a glacially tedious set which was improved only by people coming running to get mates to see the insane filthy antics Nashville Pussy were doing in one of the smaller tents. That isn’t the story I’m telling though, the one I’m on about is one of the most talked about festival sets in UK history that was watched by far, far fewer people who’ve actually been in a field watching it at the time. I’m talking about Kevin Rowland’s Saturday afternoon slot.

Rowland had just brought out an album of cover versions, My Beauty, for Alan McGee’s Creation label, and it was generally being savaged by the music media though time has been kind to it.I can’t remember why, but Rowland was offered a 15 minute slot after Pavement but before The Divine Comedy so it seemed a nice fit for Rowland to play before a band with obvious Dexy’s influences, and also Rowland hadn’t played live in at least a decade so interest was high. I’d spent most of the morning and early afternoon in the arena since the ear-bursting glory of Atari Teenage Riot, but decided to nip back to the tents to changes clothes (it was by now a glorious summer day, as was all the weekend) grab some food and the rest of the crew for the late afternoon onwards.

We were camped in the field the furthest from the arena which was a trek and a half as you’re talking about the field on the far right of this picture. In years prior I’d camped relatively close to the arena so this year I was pretty remote which ended up being fine as this year was the first year of kids starting fires and generally being cunts on the Sunday night which ended up becoming a big thing in the decade afterwards.

Aerial shots of Reading Festival - Berkshire Live

So we marched through the fields on a boiling hot day, and got into the arena as Pavement were closing their set. The others weren’t bothered with Rowland, but I wanted to see it out of interest but I have to admit to seeing if there was going to be a disaster playing out on stage in front of 80,000 people. Anyhow, I grabbed myself a cold beer just as Rowland came on stage to perform You’ll Never Walk Alone (I think) first. I wondered why there were some boos and laughter, then I turned round and saw what was going on up on the stage.

Rowland was in a dress with two ‘exotic’ dancers turning out heartfelt cover versions of songs many in the audeince neither knew or cared about, especially on day two of a festival where people by now were in full festival mode and drunk. To say it was a garish sight was an understatement but I’d seen more garish on a UK festival stage in the previous decades, but this set would have went down a blinder had it say, been on a stage in the Green Fields of Glastonbury a few months earlier. However it wasn’t the repulsive sight the tabloids claimed it was, nor did it go down as badly as the music press said it did but it was a bizarre set at a festival not known for it’s tolerance of anything which wasn’t guitar based music. A crossdressing 80’s icon turning out covers pushed that to the limit, though not to the scale of Daphne and Celeste the following year.

Sadly the aftermath broke Rowland who took years to come back from that 15 minute set and much of that can be laid at the feet of those journalists drooling to lay into a celebrity but he wasn’t even the worst act on the main bill that weekend. That was the Red Hot Chili Peppers who are shite, and probably somewhere in another reality turning out 15 minute bass solos but that’s another story for another time…