Just an Observation

Those pesky rock stars of today are at last making the news with their outlandish behaviour. Actually, referring to Justin Bieber as a rock star is a bit off the mark and pelting your neighbours with eggs can hardly be termed outlandish if you are out of nursery but there were prescription drugs involved- can’t the new form of celebrity even get that right and purloin some illegal substances? – and there was a speeding dayglo yellow car by Dinky, on every five year old’s wish list, that I wasn’t even aware he was old enough to drive. Then you discover that the drugs were given to him by his mother-perhaps for a spot of colic or the like- and the story loses even more of its insipid bite. In fact who is Justin Bieber anyway? Perhaps he should go to jail/ do community service/ pay a fine for making the news with the most un-outlandish behaviour and giving modern day celebrities an even more boring rep than they already have.
Anyway this weekend sees celebrations take place around a real ‘celebrity’ who also has a decent legacy as original Scots bad boy with ‘offstage’ behaviour which still provokes discussion today, more than two hundred years after his death. On the side he was also an extremely talented poet and has earned his place in our hearts and heritage as our national Bard. I am of course referring to Robert Burns and what appears to be an abundance of Burns night celebrations.
Certainly there seems to be more appreciation this year than usual and I am sure the independence debate has something to do with this as the poems of Burns ring with a poignancy and relevance central to the whole Scottish identity.
I Hope this is the reason however and not that it is going the way of Christmas/ Halloween-I have been invited to Burns themed nights every evening this weekend- suffering from being commercialised and taken over until the actual work and identity of the man are consumed by turning it into am elongated piss up.
However I doubt this as there seems to be a genuine belief in Burns’ poetry and his poems will still play a large part in each of the individual evenings output.
My own particular way of celebrating will be by attending the Neu Reekie tribute to the great man. As far as I can see they have done more to bring poetry, literature and the spoken word to Edinburgh culture in a long time and in a way that seemed unthinkable only a few years ago. Somehow they seem to have imbued it with a sense of cool. I do hope however it is cool enough to enable me to forget that I abhor whisky and have always been unable to contemplate eating haggis-the two staples of a Burns supper- although as the whisky is a special cask of their very own Neu! Reekie whisky-to be launched soon- I may force myself to partake. Out of politeness of course!
There also seems to be a rash of good films on at the cinema at the moment, as there always is in January, after a dearth during the run up to the festive season when family orientated slush and big branded outings seem to predominate. This month has already offered up 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street and, my personal favourite so far, American Hustle. However the new Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis is out today and although it is too unconventional to win any major awards this may work for it rather than against it when pitted against three obvious award winners.
Set in the burgeoning Greenwich Village folk scene in the early sixties before Dylan flew like an eagle into global consciousness –the central protagonist is allegedly Dave Van Ronk, one of Dylan’s earliest and staunchest supporters- it attempts to capture a scene in flux trying to find its own niche in a world about to go through many facets of social change. A review will be posted here as soon as it is viewed.
So with January nearly over and a few good nights in February already marked in the diary-Lux Lives and Rammed being at least two must attends- let’s get the last weekend of the first month of 2014 underway!

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