celticman's blog

In Loving Memory: Robert Russell 30th April 1975 - 15th September 2019

Mary warned me, anybody that calls Robert ‘A Legend’ is going to be tied to a chair and beaten with condolence cards and smothered with lilies. Most of us remember Robert, or wee Rab Russell, with a rucksack on his back. He’d have a drawing pad. A pair of socks. He was obsessed with clean socks. I was looking for a book I’d lost, Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow , Robert had flung it into his rucksack, he was reading it in the right way...

Darren McGarvey’s Scotland. West Dunbartonshire – Worst Place to Be a Woman, written and present by Darren McGarvey, directed by Stephen Bennet.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0008ncz/darren-mcgarveys-scotland-series-1-3-west-dunbartonshire-worst-place-to-be-a-woman I live in Clydebank. That’s in West Dunbartonshire. The place where women in Scotland are most likely to be beaten up. Poverty is not gender blind. Women, for example, are 60% more likely to be carers than men. Women (and men) living in poverty are far more likely than their more affluent neighbours, such as those...

Rennes 1—1 Celtic

This is a tale of three penalties. Two of which were give. One for Rennes, in the first-half, and two for Celtic in the second-half. Celtic started well. That’s always a bit worrying, usually, after a bright start, they usually concede, especially when playing away from home. Rennes had beaten PSG in the French Cup final last year and in the league this year. They sit second to PSG in the French league. In other words, they are no mugs. The...

Rise of the Nazis, BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, directed and produced by Julian Jones

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00084tb/rise-of-the-nazis-series-1-1-politics https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0008c79/rise-of-the-nazis-series-1-2-the-first-six-months-in-power I wasn’t sure about the three-part series Rise of the Nazis . Documentary-dramas rarely rise above mediocrity. I was brought up on the gold standard, World at War series, shown on BBC. Then, of course, we’ve got Bruno Ganz’s portrayal of Hitler, cut and...

Benjamin Percy (2016) Thrill Me Essays on Fiction.

If like me you like to read and also do a bit of writing, then this is a book you should read. I like the measured approach of Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer . Benjamin Percy gets it from the word go. Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions of Writing and Life prioritises writing before life, but, hey, nobody is watching and nobody is perfect. You can do both. Benjamin Percy bombed on creative writing courses, or workshops, as they...

Leila Slimani (2018) Lullaby, translated by Sam Taylor.

Lullaby, the bestseller and Prix Concourt, winner, written by Liela Slimani, sticks the ending at the beginning. I got to page 65, before giving up. I couldn’t shake the thought that I’d turned my back and that it had been written by software programme as nearly all books will in the future. The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds…The little girl was still alive when the ambulance arrived…Eyes bulging, she seemed to be gasping for air. Her...

Conspiracy Files: The Billionaire Global Mastermind? BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, directed by Mike Rudin.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0008c6g/conspiracy-files-the-billionaire-global-mastermind George Soros is a billionaire. In 1992 British taxpayers handed Soros over $1 billion. Soros gambled that the British pound would continue to fall in value. He shorted the pound in the currency market and won his gamble. Britain’s financial loss was Soros’s gain. Soros also happens to be Jewish. Remember the Protocols of the (Learned) Elders of Zion...

A Black and White Killing: The Case that Shook America, BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, directed by  Guy King

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0007zb6/a-black-and-white-killing-the-case-that-shook-america-series-1-episode-1 https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0007zbb/a-black-and-white-killing-the-case-that-shook-america-series-1-episode-2 This is a two-part investigation into a killing. The viewer is left in no doubt that a white man in his mid-forties, Russell Courtier, in his Jeep, ran over and killed a black man, nineteen-year old Larnell...

Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein, BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, directed by Ursula Macfarlane.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07hbyjc/untouchable-the-rise-and-fall-of-harvey-weinstein I watched this with interest. For those of you that don’t know the story, Bob and Harvey Weinstein came from rags to riches, rent-controlled housing, worked hard and lived the American dream. They created a media monster, Miramax, named after their mum and dad, which was gobbled up by an even bigger player, Disney. And they went on to live happily...

George W MacPherson (2019) Sgaith Amazon Queen of Skye

I read George W MacPherson's Sgaith Amazon Queen of Skye straight through in about four hours. It seemed to me an early draft. There were a number of grammatical errors. Characters seemed one dimensional. Descriptive prose that did take hold was often spoiled by an over-reliance on cliche. Here are a few examples from the start of the book. Without further ado, she stepped forward naked as she was born The cold and the dark seeped into her very...

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