Just an Observation Friday November 9th


 The main news of the last week has to be the collective ‘Phew!’ which accompanied the news of Barack Obama’s re-election to a second term in office as President of the United States. Whilst he is not faultless, by any means, he is certainly the lesser of two evils by a huge landslide and his re-election-like his initial appointment- assists the rest of the world in hating America a little less after the Bush administration managed to alienate a good portion after unjustified attacks, first in Afghanistan and then later the demolition of Iraq and the beautiful historic city of Baghdad in particular.

Obama’s second term means that some political alliances can be strengthened and hopefully this will benefit our economy quite significantly especially as our government constantly-rightly or wrongly- aligns itself with this super power. Now if we could only stop gloating about his victory and try and sort out our own political mess- we are now two and a half years under a government no-one actually voted for- and clear up the mess in our own back garden: Flailing economy, unemployment, unfair benefit cuts for starters.

The government’s profile cannot have been helped by David Cameron’s confrontation by Phillip Schofield- how lame is that by the way? A bit like being savaged by an anaesthetized sheep- on This Morning after he handed him a list of alleged paedophiles  on air. Personally I think this was a cheap shot and Schofield’s indignation whilst reflecting most people’s attitude towards the subject, was inflammatory and likely to ignite violent reactions and misinformed attacks.

Matters weren’t helped by Cameron’s response automatically associating paedophilia with homosexuality. This has been a wrong assumption in the past and admittedly the majority of people on the list were from the nineteen eighties when attitudes towards gay people –this was the era of the anti-gay rulings of Clause 28- from the government were hostile and anything to declaim them was fair game. Categorizing them alongside paedophiles was an all too convenient action which in some sections seems to have stuck. Considering that it was a Tory government headed by that sharing, caring right wing matriarch Margaret Thatcher it is interesting that her descendants seem to share the same views.

In Cameron’s defence however-this is a one off and will never happen again- the people on the list he was handed were essentially from this era and therefore the link to homosexuality was already there. It does however reveal how anti- gay Thatcher and her cronies were, not that this comes as any surprise.

Enough of the politricks and onto what else has been happening in the real-and not so real- world. ‘Envelope’ last Sunday was another great night at the Institute and also witnessed my own solo film debut. The two musicians Graeme Stephens and Freddy Tanner turned in excellent performances which managed to interpret the four films by Gavin Evans which were shown on the evening.  I always said beforehand I wouldn’t let being in movies change me but must concede the following morning-after being out all day and consuming at least two bottles of Champagne and several Gins- I did want someone to brush my teeth then bring me Coffee and cheese on toast in bed. The disappointment when no-one volunteered to perform such a simple task was short-lived and it was back into the land of reality… or as much reality as I am willing to embrace which, let’s face it, isn’t very much at all. A full review of Envelope can be found here.

Also on this week is the French Film Festival at the Filmhouse and there are several selections I want to catch. This Festival hasn’t received much attention at all and like the EIFF last year seems to be operating as a low profile event which isn’t much use when the whole point of a Festival is to raise profiles in the first place.

Coming up next Friday is the debut gig by Edinburgh supergroup Opium Kitchen. Made up of stalwarts on the scene – boasting an ex-Scar, Rezillo, Human Leaguer and Fire Engine amongst their ranks- the open rehearsal night I attended was mightily impressive and had an energetic promise I can’t wait to encounter again at their first gig proper next Friday-16th– at the Citrus Club. A full and more detailed preview will be posted within the next couple of days in the run up to the performance.

Also due to open in the next week is Tippi a new shop in the Bruntsfield area which specialises in the restoration of old furniture and the sort of pieces which are firmly lodged in the fondest part of your memory. Having had a short tour round the premises this could be the perfect place to indulge yourself whilst also solving many of those Christmas gift dilemmas. Unfortunately due to council licence problems-which make no sense to anyone but the council and even they seem unaware of what they mean- this weekends opening has been curtailed and it should be next week before the grand unveiling although I will keep you informed and a full preview will be posted shortly beforehand.

This weekend also provides the last chance to see the impressive TRANSFIGURATIVE exhibition at Patriothall in Stockbridge. A  full review of this can be found here.

That is it for this week and not sure what my actual plans are for the weekend as the last week has been particularly hectic, spontaneous and unexpected on several occasions so it will be a case of just going with the flow. I just hope the flow comes out of a champagne bottle or a cocktail glass.

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