Four years after Scotland fucked up

Four years ago the people of Scotland voted to remain part of the UK based upon a multitude of false promises, and in doing so Scotland lost all power it once had as no longer could it stand on its own but then the UK held the EU referendum where England and Wales voted to leave, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar voted to remain and now the Union stands ready to rip itself apart from its contradictions.

Barring the diehards, nobody pretended in 2014 things would be honey and unicorns upon independence, but the ability to shape Scotland’s future would be in the people of Scotland’s hands as opposed to whatever Tory or Labour PM who would see Scotland as votes and/or resources to exploit when they need to.Few expected a Tory victory in the 2015 General Election which meant few expected an EU referendum in 2016 and nobody expected us to be in the fucking disaster we’re in right now with Brexit looming and jobs, even lives at stake.

In short Scotland fucked up in 2014.

Some things were good. A creation of a genuine socially aware, progressive left wing grassroots movement which wasn’t hijacked by SWP types/snobbish lefties more interested in their own advancement/wankers was fantastic. Discovering the flaws in the media being another highlight. In fact much of the referendum campaign was artfully pinched by Corbyn’s Labour A Tory Party we can’t get rid of tha

But the last four years has been grim. A Tory Party we can’t get rid of and an official opposition too busy with cleansing itself to bother fighting the Tories, and of course Brexit which Corbyn clearly wants anyhow. So we’re left with Theresa May; a totally useless PM who sadly is the last thing standing against the far right of her party gaining control and power. Scotland lies in the middle of this all because four years ago it fucked up.

There is a mandate for a second independence referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon has been wise not to use it when it could have been easy to do so, but at some point this parliament it’ll need to be used and indeed, it could not just give Scotland a route out of the UK, but an end to Brexit itself in the aftermath.

What we have to do next is ensure we don’t fuck up ever again because the fact is Scotland votes to stay in the Union again and independence is over for generations.

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Wax and wane

I am broken today. Two comic conventions in as many weekends and no break has pretty much outlined my limits post-stroke but thanks to events outwith my control I only have one more event this year before being thrust into the year 2019 where lots of things may be happening.

But the latest show I’ve done was probably the weirdest place I’ve done one in 35 years (and that includes nearly selling comics at Glastonbury) which was Mark Millar’s old primary school, St. Barthlomew’s, in Coatbridge. Upon driving to the school it dawned on me and my driver Jordan, that it was a fucking primary school, and that means everything in it would be wee, and of course it was. So big hefty units such as myself squeezed into tiny wee chairs meant for frames far, far, far younger than us. Also,we expected to turn up and for the dealers to be in a central gym or hall but we were strewn through the corridors of part of the school like discarded Panini World Cup 2018 stickers.

Luckily I ended up with a spare table, so managed to take over the end of one such corridor like this.

Plus I was positioned next to someone I’ve only spoken to online, so it was nice to put a face to the name and as the doors opened at 10am that was consolation for the fact nobody came to where we were. but with a wee prompt for the staff, and some carefully placed arrows, there were soon people coming up our alley for comic, and comic-based, delights.

And I ended up having more fun (while obviously making enough money for the day to not just pay for itself, but so I can put money in the bank) than I was expecting as it wasn’t just the faces that have become familiar to me over the last year, but loads of kids who were attracted by the impressive spread Mark and his staff had laid out with lots of guests like Frank Quitely, Leah Moore and cast members from Still Game and Burnistoun. Many of these kids had no idea what comics to collect having just come down to see what was going on, or come with a mate. I was taught years ago by someone wiser than me to encourage the kids because if you don’t, there won’t be an audience in the decades to come.

And that’s what made this event something a bit different, and a bit more fulfilling than just flogging comics to folk. Keeping the flame burning and passing it on to kids, boys and girls, was great but it’s worn me out . As for the show overall, it’s always hard to say when you’re stuck behind your tables, but people clearly enjoyed it and although there were problems (the cramped space being the biggest one, and although some of the issues were teething pains some things will need to improve if there’s a next time. Having a free for all for tables at a show where to be honest, too many tables were sold, was a big mistake especially when dealers left better positions very, very early in the day leaving some areas virtually dead)  I’d do this again next year.

But I’m done for now. One more show this year, which means I can regroup and plan out 2019 a bit better than just letting it happen and hope for the best which to be fair, is how I’ve led my life up to now but look where that’s led me!?!

It’s crap being disabled: Part 245

I’ve got some time off at the moment so I finished work last Friday and spent the weekend & Monday recharging as I’ve rather overdone things of late, and my doctor advised me to take some time to just basically relax. This means I’ve been catching up with things like Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Better Call Saul, and playing loads of God of War, and finally getting on with GTA V. If it sounds like I don’t sleep much that would be right. It’s been this way since my stroke in 2016 so if I get 4/5 unbroken sleep of a night then I’m doing good but this time off has allowed me to slowly start to recharge.

Today I popped into town to do some odds and sods at the bank and a few other places while trying as much as possible to have a wander. The problem about doing this in a city is bad, but in a city like Glasgow it’s far worse than it should be through a mix of stupidity, ignorance and idiocy.

.Glasgow has a good, effective underground system. The subway is often the quickest way to get round a city which is often gridlocked on the roads but there is no disabled access in most stations, and most stations don’t have escalators which go to the platform so stairs are the way in and out.

Today I thought I’d jump on the subway to the West End after coming out the bank. Getting off at Hillhead saw me confronted by hordes of people coming down the stairs slamming into me with their backpack because if you walk the streets with a stick or move with a wheelchair for 90% of the population you become invisible. After nearly being knocked over a few times I managed to get onto Byres Road by this point I was tired and fed up of being a pinball.

So today’s lesson is that if you see someone disabled don’t knock into them. Don’t pretend they’re not there. Don’t be a dick because you want to rush somewhere or you have no spacial awareness.

Now back to GTA V where I can imagine I’m laying waste to arseholes in the street…

Attack of the bag wankers

This is of course a sweeping generalisation, but seeing as its August in Glasgow, the bag wankers have descended upon the city like locusts.

This is one of the reasons why it’s taken me bloody ages to get home this week, and although I like (most) tourists & been one myself, standing around blocking entrances isn’t fun for those of us who are just trying to get home.

So please, I know Glasgow is going to be rammed because of the European Championships, but please, a request if you’re coming to the city: don’t be a bag wanker!

Channel 4 at Glastonbury 1994

Back in 1994 the Glastonbury Festival was still an underground event that sort of scratched the surface of the mainstream as something NME readers, students and the unemployed lefty would go to.  The festival itself in 1994 was undergoing a change as it moved out of their more anarchic early years into a major event but til 94 it’d never been something that television would pick up until Channel 4 decided upon giving it a go.

I used to have all the coverage on a load of VHS tapes but they were lost in a move years ago, which is a damn shame as some amazing performances were on them & the coverage was as chaotic as the festival itself. Plus they were a great wee reminder of what is still, one of my favourite festivals, and musically it bridged that time between the early 90’s and the more conservative Britpop years.1994 is also one of my favourites years to have been alive.

So imagine my joy to stumble across some footage of Channel 4’s coverage from 1994. It isn’t complete, but it has great stuff like the Beastie Boys Friday afternoon set, a chunk of The Pretenders set from the Friday night, Katie Putrick being glorious, John Peel and lots and lots of fucking wonderful stuff.

I love this sort of archive anything (unedited TV programmes with ads included) but this is just a joy even if it is incomplete. A reminder of the festival before it became part of the mainstream and the UK’s cultural fabric but also a reminder that the 90’s weren’t just about Oasis and Blur.

If anyone out there has a complete set of videos or footage from 94 then please upload it and give me a shout.

Michael Barrymore’s Pool Party

So today is the tale of a visit to the hospital for a couple of procedures I’ve not had the joy of having before and let’s just say that I’ve got plenty of cushions and ice cream at hand and the title of this blog and the following image should fill your imagination with wonderful pictures.

The problem is my iron levels. For a year now they’ve been low. Nothing horrendous to worry about but they’re normal for someone who is a vegetarian, as opposed to the committed carnivore that is myself. Some recent samples were concerning so cameras went where no man has gone before to see if there’s any bleeding, etc. Everything looks fineish for someone of my age and what’s went on with me for the last few years but those troubling samples lurk so I’m being booked in for a CT scan.

At the minute I’m not too worried, but I do have to ask as to why they didn’t do the scan before having cameras shoved where the sun don’t shine!

Another year where I’m not at San Diego Comic Con

Today is the start of San Diego Comic Con which if you’re at all into comics is the Glastonbury Festival of comic conventions, even if like that event, it’s somewhat diverted from its roots.

To what it is today.

Today it’s a bastion to late capitalism but at it’s heart lies a convention about comics and it is that as a fan I would love to actually do one year, but it won’t be this year or next year as Worldcon is heading to Dublin and that’s too good a chance to miss.

So 2020 seems like a goal.  It’s also Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary and that’s too good a chance to have two huge events in one year, but until then for those friends who are there now or turning up today have a fucking good time!