Aug 132012
 

The British Council and the Edinburgh Writers Conference

On a recent Sunday the Herald had a twenty page full colour supplement in association with the Scottish Tourist Board. Stories from the land that inspired Disney Pixar’s Brave. That’s us. The land “Where Legends Come to Life”. People wonder why we get irritated occasionally. It isn’t to do with the movie itself. I havent even seen it. The storyline involves loveable indigenous aristocrats, which is familiar: the kind of shite favoured by Scottish politicians, cuddly comedians and cuddly actors, cuddly rockstar rebels, millionaire sportstars and, of course, the cuddly ruling elite. This particular movie has a royal daughter hero rather than a royal son, which appeals to some as a blow for female emancipation, apparently.

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Jul 112010
 

The Partisan – Le Partisan (1969 – Leonard Cohen)
When they poured across the border I was cautioned to surrender, this I could not do; I took my gun and vanished. I have changed my name so often, I’ve lost my wife and children but I have many friends and some of them are with me. An old woman gave us shelter, kept us hidden in the garret, then the soldiers came; she died without a whisper. There were three of us this morning I’m the only one this evening but I must go on; the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing, through the graves the wind is blowing, freedom soon will come; then we’ll come from the shadows.