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hammer6

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BOOKS:

 

holy blood, holy grail...

First published in 1982 to immediate international acclaim and controversy, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln's seminal book 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' has spawned an international media industry and entirely new academic disciplines. Many of its themes have become part of conspiriology's substrate, including political secret societies, the Knights Templar and the search for fragments of an Alternative Christianity.

'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' is a powerful example of investigative journalism meme-spliced with religious conspiracy theory, a 'fictive arcanum' whose provocative thesis continues to undermine the Catholic Church's institutional reading of Judeo-Christian history. Its trash literature veneer has introduced memes that have led readers to subsequently study the scholarly work of Robert Eisenman, Barbara Thiering and the Dead Sea Scrolls researchers that reveal the suppression of early schisms within Christianity. The book's central hypothesis - that Jesus survived the Crucifixion and together with Mary Magdalene founded a bloodline that later became the Merovingians in France (protected by the Knights Templar and later by the Freemasons) amounts to a stunning re-write of Western history. Banned in Catholic-dominated countries including the Phillipines, the book remains an incendiary example of why culture-jamming official 'grand-narratives' is the frontline of new information wars.

In 1885, the Abbe Berenger Sauniere discovered a collection of parchments beneath a church in Rennes-le-Chateau. One of the complex ciphers and codes read: 'To Dagobert II King And To Sion Belongs This Treasure And He Is There Dead.' Sauniere quickly became part of the Parisian esoteric underground and extracted a fortune from the Church, which was spent on unusual interior designs that prominently featured unusually dark interpretations of Christ's crucifixion.

The solutions to this enigma involve a twilight world where modern intelligence agencies, a 'fake' secret society (the Prieure du Notre Dame du Sion) and the royal family claims of the House of David. Historical analysis covers Pythagorean and Egyptian sacred geometry and mathematics (symptomatic of post-industrial society hyper-specialization); the hidden cultural legacies of the Cathars and the Knights Templar; mythopoeic themes in Nicolas Poussin's painting 'Et In Arcadia Ego' and anything from Satanic Bloodlines and Richard Hoagland's 'Face On Mars' to Chaos Theory and DNA phylogenetic memories.

Embarking on the 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' mystery means exploring where Pop Culture and the Sacred intersect in an infinite regressing nest of quantum combinations. The original book spawned several television documentaries and brought contemporary occult subcultures into the mainstream (even influencing conspiracy theorists like Robert Anton Wilson), foreshadowing the impact of the 'X-Files' television series with a combination of foreboding and wonder that entranced audiences worldwide. If many early conspiriologists feel that armchair conspiracy theorizing has become too popular and too mainstream, then the 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' phenomena may be seen in retrospect as the critical turning point where a Culture exploded beyond previous thresholds and began to devour itself.


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George Orwell

 

1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four

 
Synopsis
An apocalyptic tale set in a nation ruled by Big Brother, where speech is doctored and thoughts are controlled by totalitarian agents. From the author of Animal Farm and Down and Out in Paris and London.

 


 
 
 

 

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BOBBY’S BEAT From his iconic portrayal as Begbie in Trainspotting to

his latest role as an IRA man adapting to peace in The Mighty Celt,

Robert Carlyle is renowned for playing hard men. Now 44, with two

young children, he talks to Alastair McKay about reconciliation, real-

life heroes and meeting with Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris.

 

There are two Hitlers in The Mighty Celt.

 

There is Robert Carlyle, who played §the Nazi leader in the TV movie,

Hitler: The Rise Of Evil, and there is Ken Stott, who essayed him in the

ITV drama, Uncle Adolf.

 

This profusion of Führers probably says something about the typecasting

of Scottish actors but it also illustrates Carlyle’s versatility.

Stott has settled into his Grumpy Old Men persona, dispensing

curmudgeonly asides from a face that would be shattered by a smile.

 

Carlyle can do hard (see Begbie in Trainspotting) but is just as likely to

be found trading in vulnerability. He was the gay lover of a priest in

Jimmy McGovern and Antonia Bird’s Priest, an unlikely stripper in The

Full Monty and a dope-smoking polis in Hamish Macbeth, the Scottish Northern Exposure. In his new film, The Mighty Celt, he blurs the lines

again, playing an IRA man returning home after the ceasefire, trying to

adapt to peace. (Stott is the man from the Real IRA).

 

Naturally, the two Hitlers met on the set. “It was so weird,” Carlyle recalls.

 

“Ken said: ‘I, eh, didn’t see your Hitler.’ I said: ‘I didn’t f**kin’ see

yours either’.” Carlyle pulls himself up as if reacquainting himself with a

bad memory. “I can’t watch it. There’s no way. I can’t look at anything

to do with the guy. I can’t even think about Hitler. Don’t want to think

about it. It cost me a lot of grief, in my mind, trying to get to some kind

of reality in my portrayal of this f**king monster.” Often, when people

talk to Robert Carlyle about acting, they mention Robert De Niro and the madness of his Method. It’s a tempting comparison and it works, up to

a point.

 

When De Niro was researching Travis Bickle for Taxi Driver, he drove a

cab around New York. When Carlyle was playing the Bickle-like Albie

in Cracker, he spoke in a Scouse accent for three months.

 

De Niro ate his way into the role of a flabby boxer in Raging Bull.

 

Carlyle slept rough to understand a homeless person in Safe.

 

These days, De Niro operates at reduced intensity, spoofing himself in

films such as the cartoon Shark Tale, which redefined the notion of

“sleeping with the fishes”. Carlyle, while reluctant to class himself as

an actor on a par with either, prefers the trajectory of De Niro’s Mean Streets co-star Harvey Keitel.

 

“Anybody who has any urge to slag De Niro off, you have to look at

what he’s done, and he’s given everything. He’s in a different world now.

But I think it’s hard for him. Like Keitel, you’ve always got to look for the interesting stuff, and try and find a world that you haven’t visited before.

 

That’s the only chance.” Carlyle took a chance on The Mighty Celt,

working with a first-time director, Pearse Elliott.

 

“That, for me, is a gamble.

 

I don’t know if this guy can do it or not. I believe through talking to him

that he can but that’s not always the case. But Keitel does that. He still goes and seeks out the dark, interesting stuff.” To understand how he

got here, you have to appreciate where Robert Carlyle came from.

 

Sometimes, when he talks about the challenges of acting – something

he is loath to do because it can sound, in his word, “wank” – he will

edge towards acknowledging his own surprise at his circumstances.

 

The challenge of playing Hitler, for example, was to convince the

audience that they were not watching “a wee ex-painter from Maryhill”. Carlyle believes he is the same person he was when he started out

(“I haven’t gone funny”) but he is conscious that standing still is not

an option. “I’m becoming aware that the generational thing comes about

and suddenly you’re like the remnant of another decade.

 

” He offers a small sigh. “So what do you do? Do you change who you

are? Do you change your perception of the business, and how you

approach it, or do you just keep going the same way? There’s no

decision to make there, really.” But some things have changed.

 

It’s odd to observe the transformation in Carlyle’s features when he

talks about his family. He has two children with his wife, Anastasia;

Harvey (17 months) and Ava, who was three on the fourth of July.

For all that he tries to keep his home life private, he can’t suppress

the delight he finds in his children. “Mid-40s, this is just a wonderful

thing to happen, and you realise that there’s other things. It’s a great leveller. It calms you down. It gives you more focus in your life.

 

You’ve got to prepare this wee person for the world.

 

What a phenomenal challenge that is.

 

There’s no bigger task. It’s an awful world we live in. But the children

have given me hope. I love them so much. It’s been the best thing

that’s ever happened to me, for sure. I’m less selfish now.” O, Carlyle’s character in The Mighty Celt, is a man abandoning the hard certainties

of youth for the compromises and rewards of family life.

 

“That type of subject’s speaking to me, louder than it ever has before.

It’s about reconciliation and forgiveness.”

 

He recognised the film’s theme of sectarianism from his childhood –

albeit from the non-aligned position of the Partick Thistle supporter.

Glasgow, he says, operated as a kind of shadow of Belfast.

 

“It’s a subject that was close to my heart, and anything you can do to

say ‘this is wrong, forget this’ is a good thing. Mighty Celt is one of

these rare projects that is worthy – really worthy – to be seen now and

into the future.” Since he turned 40 four years ago, Carlyle has been

thinking about his legacy.

 

He made some odd moves in the middle of his career.

 

The big-budget pictures – Angela’s Ashes, The World Is Not Enough,

51st State – were his least compelling. Subsequently, he has been

careful with his choices. All of which made it surprising to read he had

agreed to play the lead in a biopic about Paul Ferris, the real-life

Glasgow gangster.

 

But is it true?

 

According to those reports, filming of The Ferris Conspiracy was due to

start this month. Not so. What is true is that Carlyle met Ferris at a

Glasgow hotel in January, and found himself in the middle of “a media

scrum of madness”.

 

“I turned up at the hotel; a scrum of journalists outside, even television

– Scotland Today and Reporting Scotland. You can imagine how I felt –

what the f**k? I met with Paul Ferris.

 

A very personable guy and he certainly had a lot to say.

 

The only thing I would say is that, should a script come, I will certainly

read it and take it on its merits.

 

But it’s not something I’ve been desperate to play.

 

“I think it’s ideal for the press in Scotland, that kind of thing, with

my previous incarnations – Begbie, characters like that – they think,

‘That’s my headline made:

 

‘Psycho Carlyle plays the Psycho’. Well, wait a minute.

 

Let’s see what it’s about first.

 

This isn’t about the glorification of violence or gangsters.

 

If it is, I’m out the door. I’m trying to think of it as a social piece – how

it’s affected him, how his life has affected other people.

 

If it’s like that – if it’s Mighty Celt-esque – then it’s interesting.

If it’s just a biopic about carving up this or that person, then it’s not r

eally very interesting.”

 

I tell Carlyle that, by an unfortunate piece of timing, I saw the bodies

of Ferris’s associates, Joe ‘Bananas’ Hanlon and Bobby Glover, on the

slab in the Glasgow mortuary, and there was nothing glamorous about it.

 

He sighs. “I’ve known a lot of people in that world and, to be fair to them,

it’s about their own.

 

You and me aren’t part of it.

 

We’re not involved.

 

We’re innocents to them.

 

They’ve got no interest in harming you or me.

 

“They will kill each other, for territory or for whatever it is that

they want, but it’s a private matter.

 

I think they would be appalled if people thought they were monsters.

 

‘What do you mean,’ you know, ‘I only killed that c**t who killed my

brother-in-law’.”

 

The Ferris story does seem a risky move for Carlyle,

though it could be argued it is consistent with his interest in

reconciliation.

 

“If I thought it was going to hurt any innocent person that had been affected by anything contained in that script, then I wouldn’t touch it.

 

It’s not worth it at all. I’m good at spotting lies; I’ll be able to spot that.

 

 

No way is it a done deal.

 

There’s a salacious quality to these kinds of stories but I’m beginning to

get less attracted to the cut and thrust of it. I’ve done a lot of it. I’ve

explored these characters.

 

I’ve been down that road. I know I’ll f**king probably do them again

but it isn’t what I’m about.” To get a sense of what Carlyle is about,

you have to go right back to the start. Famously, he took up acting

after buying a copy of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the change from

a book token he got for his 21st birthday. He started acting at Glasgow

Arts Centre and endured an unhappy time at the city’s RSAMD. Carlyle’s

beef with the drama school was that their methods were irrelevant and

– paraphrasing slightly – pompously middle class.

 

The insistence on pupils learning Standard English was a fundamental

point of disagreement. Carlyle (professional motto: “Be who you are”)

insists that Talking Proper introduces artifice into an actor’s performance.

 

“If you’re speaking Standard English, you can’t help but raise yourself up

a little bit. Especially if you are an actor, because” – he slips into Donald Sinden-ese – “you are talking like that.

 

You become very, very posh. And some of these boys are from

Castlemilk. My argument is that this is irrelevant to them.

 

If you’ve got any chance of achieving anything, you have to achieve

it as you are, because you’re going to get found out.” By the time he

left drama school, Carlyle had discovered others who shared his world

view.

 

He was a founder of Raindog, the theatre group which developed a

good reputation for its re-interpretations of modern work. “It’s only afterwards you realise that was an interesting period. One Flew Over

The Cuckoo’s Nest, for example: I directed this piece and transposed everything into Glasgow. “The big Native American Indian became a

Western Highlander. The fishing industry – dead – seemed to fit. We

did this piece and it was very successful, people seemed to enjoy it.

 

Then other theatre companies started to take David Mamet plays and

do them. “I’m not saying we started that but we were certainly a

catalyst. We started to break down these barriers of voice and stuff

like that, and think: these people are talking about things we understand

 

. Just because they’re speaking in an American accent doesn’t mean to

say it hasn’t got any relevance to us. We did Conquest Of The South

Pole, written in German and set in Hamburg. It was an interesting time

in theatre.” Carlyle’s film career was launched in 1990 by his association

with Ken Loach, who cast him in Riff-Raff: “I’d done some small parts in

films prior to Riff-Raff – cough and a spit type stuff – but I had no sense

of the industry. When I worked with Ken, I thought, ‘This must be how it

is, this is great’.

 

F**k me: only one time since then, which was Carla’s Song, did I

experience that again. “But it enabled me to work with people like

Antonia Bird and Danny Boyle, Peter Cattaneo and Michael Winterbottom.

 

 People who were disciples of the Loach school.

 

They’re the people who would go and watch Loach films, and say,

‘Oh, this actor’s interesting, I’ll work with him’. Without Ken Loach I

don’t think I would be anywhere at all.” Carlyle suggests that his

favourite of his own films may be Winterbottom’s Go Now, in which he

played a man afflicted by multiple sclerosis. Winterbottom was the first director with the guts to tell him to turn down his performance: “I can

shout and scream but there’s a silence, a stillness, which I first learned

with Michael.” His future plans include The Meat Trade, in which he will

star alongside Colin Firth. It is a modern reworking of Jekyll And Hyde,

written by Irvine Welsh, and will be produced by 4 Way Pictures, the production company in which Carlyle and Welsh are partnered by

Antonia Bird and critic/filmmaker Mark Cousins.

 

4 Way’s most ambitious project, the ‘Scottish Western’ Jamie

MacGillivray, may yet be revived by the director John Sayles.

 

Cousins describes Sayles’s script as “the best screenplay about

Scotland I’ve ever read”. Carlyle also hopes to work alongside his

 hero, Harvey Keitel, on Abel Ferrara’s Go Go Tales, which takes place

inside a strip joint. “It’s a very dark thing – big holes in it for the improvisation. But, man, I’d cut my arm off to work with these people.”

 

Being offered the chance to work with Keitel was, he says, “a marker”.

 

If the clock was stopped, and Carlyle was forced to come to a

conclusion about his legacy, he would concede the film he is most i

dentified with is Trainspotting (1996). “It almost defines a time in

people’s lives. That’s what they say to me – they remember what

they were wearing when it came out, and what music they were

listening to.” He thinks it is exactly the kind of film at which British

filmmakers excel. “It was full of attack and bite and dynamism.”

 

He is aware, too, that fans of the film would love to see him reprise

his role as Begbie. “I wish, and a few of us wish. A couple of us don’t

wish, and that’s the problem. Work that one out.”

 

This sounds like a reference to Ewan McGregor, who fell out with

director Danny Boyle when he cast Leonardo DiCaprio, and not McGregor,

in The Beach. “I didn’t say that.” But if I did? “If you did, you would be perfectly entitled to your opinion. I think it’s there to be done. The piece

is there. It’s ready to be devoured. I would play the part again, because

I think Begbie’s an interesting character in terms of the Scottish psyche.

 

He’s a caricature. It’s like trying to turn that thing in on itself.

 

That was what I was trying to do with that part – trying to make him

so big it was ridiculous: that hard man thing. “There’s a journey to go

on with Begbie. I think we should visit the guy and see where he is now.”


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Reply with quote  #34 

BOOKS:

 

Both Sides of the Fence: A Life Undercover - David Corbett

 

 

 

As one of a handful of UK police officers trained in SAS deep-cover surveillance, David Corbett infiltrated the toughest communities, living among junkies, prostitutes, murderers and firearm dealers, in order to gather evidence that would lead to dozens of convictions. His rapport with hardened criminals was forged during his youth on the mean streets of Glasgow, where he ran with the gangs, joyriding and stealing. But when his friends began disappearing into borstals, Corbett decided it was time to take himself in hand and followed his father into the police force. His ability to mingle with gangsters was soon identified as an asset and, after serving time in the CID - where he was involved in investigating the murder of Arthur Thompson Junior, the son of Glasgow's Godfather - he became an undercover agent with the Crime Squad. He trained in urban and rural surveillance and invented a fictional past for himself.Like Donnie Brasco, the legendary US cop who won the trust of the Mafia, Corbett risked his life every day: one false move and his cover would have been blown. The pinnacle of his career was an operation in the former pit town of Blyth, where there had been 15 drug-related deaths in 12 months. Leaving his wife and family, he spent five months undercover, wired up, winning the confidence of the dealers, and had to cope with having his life endangered by a corrupt officer. Corbett's work led to 31 convictions and commendations from the Chief Constable and a Crown Court judge but, without any form of counselling, the stress took its toll and he was forced into early retirement. Now, betrayed by the force that sent him out on these dangerous missions, Corbett reveals the gripping story of life in the perilous world of an undercover cop.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scottish Hard Bastards
 
Meet the hardest men from a country where the streets are the most dangerous and the gangsters and criminals are the scariest in Britain. These faces have seen it all: the guns, the knives, the fights and the toughest prisons. This book will take you deep inside the rough, mad, bad, drug-infested, cut-throat, back-stabbing world of the Scottish prison system, bringing to light the last fifty years of infamous incidents that have taken place behind bars in some of the highest security prisons. With a frightening in-depth look at the most notorious prisons and institutions and the most daunting and fearsome of inmates, this compulsive guide covers them all from murderers to armed-robbers, a female crime clan with a family feel to it and some of the most notorious cases in Scottish criminal history.
 

 

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Product of the System: My Life in and Out of Prison

 

The autobiography of a man who has been in and out of penal institutions since he was eight years old. He has won two Arthur Koestler awards for his plays, and writes for "The Guardian" on prison reform.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The Roof Comes Off

 

The report of the independent committee of inquiry into the protests at Peterhead Prison.

 

foreword by Ludovic Kennedy

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

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Reply with quote  #35 
14 August 2006
TV COP TAGGART 'WASN'T STOLEN'
 
 
When Luvvies Bitch...

TAGGART writer Glenn Chandler last night denied his detective was lifted from another writer's book.

He spoke out after William McIlvanney said he was convinced the hard-nosed Glasgow TV cop was stolen from his detective novels.

McIlvanney, from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, sprang to fame in the 1970s after writing a series of books featuring Glasgow cop Jack Laidlaw.

But Chandler insisted: "When I started writing Taggart, I hadn't even heard of McIlvanney.

"I hadn't read his books and, in fact, I still haven't read them to this day."

He said he had originally suggested that Taggart be set in Edinburgh and it was inspired by Agatha Christie novels.

Chandler said: "I was extremely surprised when this guy McIlvanney popped up.

"Before I wrote Taggart, I knew nothing about Glasgow. I had to take a crash course. I went round pubs and sat talking to people."

McIlvanney said he was called by a source at STV just before the first series featuring Mark McManus was broadcast in 1983.

He said he called a lawyer about alleged similarities but he was told it would be a long wait for it to get to court and difficult to prove and he could be ruined if he lost.

Last night, Scots crime writer Ian Rankin said there were only limited similarities between Taggart and Laidlaw.

But he added that McIlvanney was unlucky not to have been given more credit and Laidlaw had inspired his stories about Edinburgh detective Rebus.


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23 August 2006
WRITE SIDE OF THE LAW

ACTOR James Gandolfini, who plays TV mafia boss Tony Soprano, will appear as tough guy US novelist Ernest Hemingway in a new series. Gandolfini, 44, won three Emmy awards for The Sopranos.


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Reply with quote  #37 
One of the Family (Hardcover)
by John Pearson

One of the Family
See larger image
Publisher: learn how customers can search inside this book.


 

Reviews
Book Description
John Pearson's The Profession of Violence created the myth of the Kray twins, and remains a classic of True Crime, the best book ever written on East London villains and a book that started a mini publishing industry. Pearson knows the London crime scene as well as anyone, which is why he was surprised while attending Ronnie Kray's funeral to see a man to whom all the other villains deferred, but whom he didn't recognize. Investigation revealed that this man, the Englishman, never mentioned in any of the previous books on villainy because everyone was to scared to mention his name, was as legendary a figure on the streets of New York as on the streets of London. Pearson persuaded him to talk to him - and the result was a story even more extraordinary than that of the Krays. He became the adopted son of Joey Pagano, the head of one of the major New York crime families. Here the Englishman tells the story that no-one else dared to tell.

Synopsis
In "One of the Family", John Pearson tells the inside story of the first Englishman to be admitted to the Mafia. The man introduced himself to Pearson at Ronnie Kray's funeral - and persuaded him to write his story - a story even more extraordinary that that of the Krays.

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Crimes Past Crimes Past
Robert Jeffrrey
A unique photographic journey through the crimes that shocked Glasgow. Using photographs from The Herald and Evening Times archive, Crimes Past shows the city as you've never seen it before.
September 2006


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24 August 2006
CUTTING IT IN MOVIES...

ONE of Scotland's hottest new authors is to have her best-selling crime books made into films.

Louise Welsh's debut novel The Cutting Room was penned just four years ago and has already been published in 20 languages.

The story - about a gay Glaswegian auctioneer who finds snuff photographs of a young woman in a dead man's belongings - also won her a clutch of awards, and now Louise has sold the film rights in one of two lucrative deals.

Scots hot-shot Robert Carlyle is even being touted for the lead role.

Meanwhile, her latest book The Bullet Trick - about an alcoholic Glaswegian magician on the run from a corrupt cop - has just been snapped up by the people who make Spooks, Life On Mars and Hustle for the BBC.

Louise, who wrote The Cutting Room after taking a masters degree course in Creative Writing at Glasgow University, admits it's all "pretty exciting".

She said: "The Cutting Room rights have been bought by a production company and the rights of The Bullet Trick have gone to Kudos productions who make Life On Mars, Spooks and Hustle.

"The latest adaptation is also for the big screen but I keep my feet firmly on the ground because it can take a long time to happen.

"Kudos make good programmes but with films you just wait and see what happens. It's a long slow process which involves a lot of money."

She did admit, though, to doing some hustling of her own after she was approached by the production firm.

She said: "I did a really bad thing when Kudos said they were interested. I asked my agent to get a boxed set of the Life On Mars series. I'm what you call a cadger.

"I thought I might be able to get Hustle too but felt that would have been too much.

"I can play DVDs on my computer so I don't need a TV anymore. The internet is great for news and current affairs so I'm not missing the TV."

The 38-year-old, who grew up in Edinburgh but now lives in the west end of Glasgow, is determined not to let her latest successes go to her head, however.

She said: "I don't want to get too carried away and talk too much about the film deals in case people don't want to come to the pub with me anymore.

"Having a book out is pretty exciting and the film is jam on top. A lot of actors could play that role and it would be good if it was somebody from Glasgow who wasn't too handsome.

"There is talk of Robert Carlyle doing it and that would be great because he has the right face and the right ethos.

"He was tasty in The Beach. It'd be great if it happened."

Now Louise, who also wrote the novella Tamburlaine Must Die - a fictional account of the murder of playwright Christopher Marlowe - between novels, has her eye on Hollywood's most desirable leading men.

She said: "I'd like Johnny Depp in Tamburlaine Must Die because he would look good in tights."

Louise will be appearing at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Sunday, to do a reading from her latest novel at the Scottish Power Studio, at 8.30pm.

That same evening, she will be reading the work of an imprisoned African writer at Amnesty International's Imprisoned Writers Series at Peppers Theatre.

But it doesn't come naturally. She said: "I'm better than I used to be at public speaking but I didn't do any before my first book, The Cutting Room, came out. The first time I was onstage was to do a reading for the book.

"People are paying money to see you so you have to be professional and practise and pick a passage that you think will work well onstage - but I'm not a performer.

"It's something I have to do but I enjoy the question and answer sessions."

She is pleased to be taking part in the Amnesty event too.

Louise said: "They have a tent set up for writers who are invited to read on behalf of imprisoned writers. It is an opportunity to highlight these people's situations.

"It's a good idea."

Published by Canongate, both The Cutting Room and The Bullet Trick may shock prudes and the faint-hearted.

There's one particularly graphic scene in The Cutting Room where gay anti-hero Rilke has sex with a stranger.

And The Bullet Trick flits between Glasgow and Berlin, and the seedy world of strippers, prostitutes and exotic dancers.

Louise laughed: "I don't get nasty letters saying, 'You dirty, dirty girl' which I thought I'd get so that's fine.

"With the gay sex scene I felt that was really necessary. I think most novels should have a bit of sex in them. Sex is a part of life and the sexual content in this genre can't be overlooked but I also wanted to have a counterpoint to these terrible images Rilke has seen and finds hard to get out of his mind.

"The characters aren't entirely likeable in my books and that's true to life too. All of us are flawed in some way."

She added: "Most people over a certain age know how sex works.

"The problem is making sure it is not gratuitous. I hold the camera on that scene a lot longer than is conventional.

"I think part of the reason for that is to do with Rilke's sexuality. In the 21st Century, we are living in a liberal Western society but gay people are not shown having sex.

"We like having Graeme Norton around but we wouldn't be so keen if we saw him out snogging his boyfriend. Rilke has a sex life and not everybody will like that.

"But they can always turn over the page. I give them permission not to read it."


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http://macintyre.com

 

Donal MacIntyre has made three one hour documentaries on abuse in care homes over the last four years.

He is a tireless campaigner for improved standards of care for the elderly and the learning disabled. He described his MacIntyre Undercover investigation into abuse at the Brompton Care Home in Kent as his most important investigation.

The programme highlighted abuse and the police found five assaults in just 21 days of filming. The film changed Government policy and is used as a teaching and training aid across the industry. Over 7 million viewers tuned in and a record number of viewers rang the help line. Subsequent Police criticism nearly decapitated Mac Intyre's care campaign as the Kent Police inexplicably said that the programme's allegations were false.

Donal Mac Intyre sued the Kent Police for Libel to defend journalist's rights and the rights of the learning disabled before the Law. He won a heralded victory in the £750,000 libel action which included damages, all legal costs and a full and total apology.

Mac Intyre gave his five figure damages award to three charities for the learning disabled. He is currently campaigning for a specific care home assault Law with Roger Graef, a fellow filmmaker and recently co-hosted a seminar on the issue at the LSE in London.

 

Zero Tolerance is a Must !

"Within our society today crime against people with learning difficulties has long been ignored or ‘downgraded’ as abuse rather than crime.

Time and again perpetrators of crime against people with learning difficulties are either excused their criminal actions because their victims have learning difficulties, or escape justice because their evidence is given greater weight than that of their victims.

Victims of crime who have learning difficulties often find themselves penalized twice, as their freedoms are further restricted in order to ‘protect’ them from further crime while their persecutors walk free.

If there is one lesson that should be learned from this - it is that all people should be treated equally before the law"

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Archive

Libel police ignored damning report

BBC journalist MacIntyre vindicated in court action

Matt Wells, media correspondent
Wednesday October 9, 2002
The Guardian


Police made libellous comments about a BBC television exposé of abuse at a care home despite having seen an independent report that was more damning than the original programme.

 

Kent police claimed Donal MacIntyre's investigation was selectively edited and misleading, even though a consultants' report recommended the home's worst staff should be barred from ever working with vulnerable people again. The force threatened to sue MacIntyre for the £50,000 it claimed it had wasted on a fruitless investigation into his programme's findings.

 

At the high court in London yesterday, the Kent force withdrew its comments, which were reported in the Sunday Telegraph last year. The force now faces a bill of about £750,000. MacIntyre hailed the victory as a vindication of his methods, and a victory for the rights of people with learning disabilities.

David Allen, clinical consultant psychologist at Glamorgan University, who would have been called as an expert witness had police not settled the case, welcomed the result. "Had the recent press views gone unchallenged, the care of one of our most vulnerable groups of citizens would have been set back at least 50 years."

Questions are being asked about why a criminal investigation into abuse at the Brompton home in Gillingham, Kent, turned into an attack on the BBC and its most prominent investigative journalist. The Guardian has seen an unpublished report, commissioned in the light of the MacIntyre programme by Medway council from the social services consultants Q-Trek, which made criticisms of the home. After viewing 42 hours of tapes supplied by the BBC, the report's authors described an "aggressive and paternalistic attitude" towards residents.

The report, whose interim conclusions, according to legal sources, were seen by police, went on: "Most of the staff seem to have accepted the culture where restraint and control that sometimes involves pain and always deprivation of personal rights is appropriate for people with disabilities.

"Many of the restraints witnessed in the tapes appeared to be illegal in that they did not follow a situation where a resident was posing a significant threat to themselves or others."

It concluded that five staff at the home, closed by the council 24 hours after the programme was shown, should never again be employed to work with vulnerable people.

It noted that the home manager, Jill Dargan, and Jeremy Cadby - who was seen holding a fist to a severely disabled resident - refused to be interviewed for the Q-Trek investigation. There are now calls for the report to be published.

Robert Ayling, Kent's deputy chief constable, admitted the force had libelled Macintyre. "Kent police have apologised to Donal MacIntyre for unjustified comments made by members regarding issues arising from the programme concerning the Brompton care home. The force accepts that the programme served the public interest by revealing serious shortcomings in the way the home was run."

 

Kent will pay its legal costs and those of the BBC, plus £15,000 in damages to be split between charities for people with learning disabilities. The bill will run to about £750,000.

 

MacIntyre said: "This was never about cash. It was about the vindication of the BBC's journalism and of the experts on whose opinions the programme was based."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Mencap Statement

MACINTYRE UNDERCOVER: A VICTORY FOR EQUAL RIGHTS


Kent police has apologised for accusations made about the MacIntyre Undercover BBC programme of November 1999, which showed staff at the Brompton Care Home in Kent abusing residents with a learning disability.

Mencap's Director of Public Affairs, David Congdon, said:
"Mencap was one of the first organisations to see the unedited footage from the programme and we were appalled by what we saw. It was wrong for Kent police to not take the BBC investigation as seriously as it deserved. These were vulnerable people with a learning disability who were being threatened and abused. They deserved to be believed by the police and given a fair deal by our legal system, but they were let down.

"Until we achieve a world where everyone with a learning disability is treated with the same respect as everyone else, the BBC and other media need the freedom to expose bad practice.

"The MacIntyre Undercover programme was one of the first to bring mass public attention to the inequality that people with a learning disability face. And we know that abuse is still going on. We hope the media interest from this case will also bring attention to our Behind Closed Doors sex abuse campaign. There are at least an estimated 1,400 cases of sex abuse against people with a learning disability every year, but only 6% of cases reach conviction. And if they are successful the derisory sentences act as no deterrent to determined abusers. The government must urgently change the law to give equal protection and the same basic human rights to people with a learning disability."

 

 

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Do or Die: For the First Time, Members of America's Most Notorious Gangs - the Crips and the Bloods - Speak for Themselves (Paperback)
by Leon Bing

Do or Die: For the First Time, Members of America's Most Notorious Gangs - the Crips and the Bloods - Speak for Themselves


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MUSIC:  THE JAM - THE SINGLES

 

In The City  All Around The World  The Modern World

 

News Of The World Down In The Tube Station At Midnight Strange Town

 

The Eton Rifles Going Underground Start !

That's Entertainment Funeral PyreAbsolute Beginners

 

Town Called MaliceThe Bitterest PillBeat Surrender

 

 

 

 

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Villains: It Takes One to Know One (Paperback)
by Paul Ferris


 

Synopsis
This is the real inside story of notorious villains, by one of their own. Murder, gunrunning, drug trafficking, kneecappings - Paul Ferris has been accused of many things in his life, some true, some not. What's not in dispute is that he spent twenty-five years as one of Britain's most feared gangsters. Out of prison and straight for five years, Paul still hasn't forgotten the common thugs and big-time players that surrounded him or the world of violence, fear and uneasy alliances that he inhabited with them. Now Paul Ferris recounts the stories of a tough existence that nobody knows better. The brutality you'd expect, the strangeness you might not. There's the man wanted by everyone from the Old Bailey to Glasgow High Court but who might just be a figment of the cops' imagination; the rise of women in the underworld, with unheard-of power and loaded pistols in thigh holsters; or the betrayed Manchester face who visited a gang's club and sprayed it with bullets, only to become the gang's hero overnight. The stories cover the underbellies of London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester and beyond, but the material couldn't be closer to home - from the job Paul's father, Willie Ferris, pulled with a school bus full of kids as the getaway vehicle, to the war Paul got caught up in between two of London's biggest teams. And, as you'll discover, when it comes to villains, it takes one to know one.

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Fuckin ell Hammer, you do know how to put a guy on a pedistool, and to be honest I cant think of another actor(universal) who deserves to be where you put him. But I have to totally disagree with you, when he played the scouser in 51st atate, I recon it was his best film, by far mate, apart from the "lookin after Joe- Joe" series,now that was the real Rabbie

                                                            Regards Giny   

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Was that the RABBIE BURNS? (Keep me right as its a Sunday thing....)

 

Robert Burns

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Robert Burns, preeminent Scottish poet
Robert Burns, preeminent Scottish poet

Robert Burns (January 25, 1759July 21, 1796) was a poet and songwriter. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and in a "light" Scots dialect which would have been accessible to a wider audience than simply Scottish people. At various times in his career, he wrote in English, and in these pieces, his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and after his death became an important source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among Scots who have relocated to other parts of the world (the Scottish diaspora), his celebration became almost a national charismatic cult during periods of the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.

Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (New Year), and Scots Wha Hae served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known today across the world include A Red, Red Rose, A Man's A Man for A' That, To a Louse, and To a Mouse.

Burns' Night, effectively a second national day, is celebrated on 25 January with Burns' Suppers around the world, and is still more widely observed than the official national day, Saint Andrew's Day, or the new North American celebration Tartan Day.

Contents

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Biography

Statue of Burns in London
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Statue of Burns in London

Robert Burns, often abbreviated to simply Burns, and also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire, and in Scotland simply as The Bard (see Bard (disambiguation)), was born in Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland, the son of William Burnes or Burns, a small farmer, and a man of considerable force of character and self-culture, and Agnes Broun, the daughter of a tenant farmer from Kirkoswald, South Ayrshire. His youth was passed in poverty, hardship, and a degree of severe manual labour which left its traces in a premature stoop and weakened constitution. He had little regular schooling, and got much of what education he had from his father, who taught his children reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history, and also wrote for them A Manual of Christian Belief. He also received education from a tutor, John Murdock, who opened an "adventure school" in the Alloway parish in 1763 and taught both Robert and his brother Gilbert Latin, French, and mathematics. With all his ability and character, however, the elder Burns was consistently unfortunate, and migrated with his large family from farm to farm without ever being able to improve his circumstances.

In 1781 Burns went to Irvine to become a flax-dresser, but, as the result of a New Year carousal of the workmen, including himself, the shop took fire and was burned to the ground. This venture accordingly came to an end. In 1783 he started composing poetry in a traditional style using the Ayrshire dialect of Lowland Scots. In 1784 his father died, and Burns with his brother Gilbert made an ineffectual struggle to keep on the farm; failing in which they removed to Mossgiel, where they maintained an uphill fight for 4 years.

Burns the Mason

Robert Burns was initiated into Lodge St David Tarbolton on 4 July 1781, when he was 22. His initiation fee was 12s 6d. He was passed and raised on 1 October 1781. Later his lodge became dormant and Burns joined Lodge St James Tarbolton Kilwinning number 135.

We do not know the location of the Temple where Burns was made a Freemason but we do know that on 30 June 1784 the meeting place of the lodge became the “Manson Inn” in Tarbolton and one month later, 27 July 1784 Burns became Depute Master which he held until 1788, often honoured with supreme command. Although regularly meeting in Tarbolton, the “Burns Lodge” also removed itself en masse to Mauchline, 4 miles away, to hold meetings in this town. Mauchline was only 1 mile away from his own farm at Mossgiel!

In those days the Master of the Lodge was a mere figurehead, and it was the Depute Master who carried out the working of the Lodge. During the Masonic season of 1784 he never missed a meeting and was heavily involved in Lodge business, attending nine meetings, passing and raising brethren and generally running the Lodge. Similarly in 1785 he was equally involved as Depute Master where he again attended all nine lodge meetings amongst other duties of the Lodge. During 1785 he initiated, and passed his brother Gilbert being raised on 1 March 1788. Burns' period in the lodge was a hectic one. He had a real zest for freemasonry and he appreciated that true Masonic friendship is intimately bound up with the company of one’s brethren and cannot be disassociated from the lodge room, hence the number of meetings under his direction. The minutes show that there were more lodge meetings well attended during the Burns period than at any other time. He must have been a very popular and well respected Depute Master.

The date of his publication by a Freemason of his first Kilmarnock Edition of poems on 16 April 1786 was five years after his initiation into Freemasonry.

Burns' popularity aided his rise in Freemasonry. At a meeting of Lodge St. Andrew in Edinburgh in 1787, in the presence of the Grand Master and Grand Lodge of Scotland, Burns was toasted by the Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Francis Chateris. When he was received into Edinburgh Lodges his occupation was recorded as a “poet”. In early 1787, he was feted by the Edinburgh Masonic fraternity. The Edinburgh period of Burns life was fateful as further editions of Burns poetic output were sponsored by the Edinburgh Freemasons, ensuring that his name spread around Scotland and subsequently to England and abroad.

After having spent 5 months in Edinburgh he set out on a tour in the South of Scotland, visiting lodges throughout Ayrshire, becoming an honorary member of a number of them.

On 18 May 1787 he arrived at Eyemouth, Berwickshire and a meeting was convened of Royal Arch and Burns became a Royal Arch Mason. He was never a Scottish companion because at that time although Eyemouth is in Scotland, it operated under the English Royal Arch constitution. The name was “Land of Cakes” 52 on the English roll. The Chapter is now Scottish, number 15.

On his return journey home to Ayrshire as he passed through Dumfries, where he later lived and is the site of the Burns Mausoleum, he was given the freedom of the town. On 25 July 1787, after being re-elected Depute Master he presided at a meeting where several well-known Masons were given honorary membership. A Highland tour followed with many other lodges being visited. During the period from his election as Depute Master in 1784 Lodge St James had been convened 70 times. Burns was present 33 times and was 25 times the presiding officer. On 11 November 1788 was his last meeting at his mother lodge St James Kilwinning.

He joined Lodge Dumfries St Andrew Number 179 on 27 December 1788. This was an unfortunate choice, made perhaps because of the Excise connection. Out of the six Lodges in Dumfries he joined the one which was the weakest of them. The records of this lodge are scant and we hear no more of him until on 30 November 1792 when Burns was elected Senior Warden. From this date until his final meeting in the Lodge on 14 April 1796 it appears that the Lodge met only 5 times. There are no records of Burns visiting any other lodges either.

From a purely Masonic point of view it cannot be said that he was either a great or prominent Freemason. The Masonic events were certainly very important to his life and conspicuous and important influences on his life. His association with Masonry was a means of enabling him to get his works published, to meet persons of a higher social status, and to help to raise himself from obscurity to the place he now holds as the national poet of Scotland.

Romantic life

Burns was reputed to have an affinity for attractive young women of culture. One of his objects of affection was the young Eliza Burnett, daughter of Lord Monboddo. Burn's father was a tenant at the Monboddo House, and Robert was a frequent visitor there at the learned suppers and as an excuse to see Eliza. He wrote several poems to her beauty and grace, but Eliza died at an early age and no serious consequence arose from their relationship.

Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect

Meanwhile, his love affair with Jean Armour had passed through its first stage, and the troubles in connection therewith, combined with the want of success in farming, led him to think of going to Jamaica as bookkeeper on a plantation. From this he was dissuaded by a letter from Thomas Blacklock, and at the suggestion of his brother published his poems in the volume, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect in June 1786. This edition was brought out by a local printer in Kilmarnock and contained much of his best work, including "The Twa Dogs", "Address to the Deil", "Hallowe'en", "The Cottar's Saturday Night", "To a Mouse", and "To a Mountain Daisy", many of which had been written at Mossgiel.

The success of the work was immediate, the poet's name rang over all Scotland, and he was induced to go to Edinburgh to superintend the issue of a new edition. There he was received as an equal by the brilliant circle of men of letters which the city then boasted – Dugald Stewart, Robertson, Blair, etc., and was a guest at aristocratic tables, where he bore himself with unaffected dignity. Here also Walter Scott, then a boy of 15, saw him and describes him as of "manners rustic, not clownish. His countenance ... more massive than it looks in any of the portraits ... a strong expression of shrewdness in his lineaments; the eye alone indicated the poetical character and temperament. It was large, and of a dark cast, and literally glowed when he spoke with feeling or interest." The results of this visit outside of its immediate and practical object, included some life-long friendships, among which were those with Lord Glencairn and Mrs Dunlop. The new ed. brought him £400. About this time the episode of Highland Mary occurred.

The Scots Musical Museum

In the winter of 1786 in Edinburgh he met James Johnson, a struggling music engraver / music seller, with a love of old Scots songs and a determination to preserve them. Burns shared this interest and became an enthusiastic contributor to The Scots Musical Museum. The first volume of this was published in 1787 and included three songs by Burns. He contributed 40 songs to volume 2, and would end up responsible for about a third of the 600 songs in the whole collection as well as making a considerable editorial contribution. The final volume was published in 1803.

On his return to Ayrshire he renewed his relations with Jean Armour, whom he ultimately married, took the farm of Ellisland near Dumfries, having meanwhile taken lessons in the duties of an exciseman, as a line to fall back upon should farming again prove unsuccessful. At Ellisland his society was cultivated by the local gentry. And this, together with literature and his duties in the Customs and Excise, to which he had been appointed in 1789, proved too much of a distraction to admit of success on the farm, which in 1791 he gave up.

Meanwhile he was writing at his best, and in 1790 had produced Tam O' Shanter. About this time he was offered and declined an appointment in London on the staff of the Star newspaper, and refused to become a candidate for a newly-created Chair of Agriculture in the University of Edinburgh, although influential friends offered to support his claims. After giving up his farm he removed to Dumfries.

It was at this time that, being requested to furnish words for The Melodies of Scotland, he responded by contributing over 100 songs. He made major contributions to George Thomson's A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice as well as to James Johnson's The Scots Musical Museum. Arguably his claim to immortality chiefly rests on these volumes which placed him in the front rank of lyric poets. Burns described how he had to master singing the tune, then would compose the words: "My way is: I consider the poetic Sentiment, correspondent to my idea of the musical expression; then chuse my theme; begin one Stanza; when that is composed, which is generally the most difficult part of the business, I walk out, sit down now and then, look out for objects in Nature around me that are in unison or harmony with the cogitations of my fancy and workings of my bosom; humming every now and then the air with the verses I have framed. when I feel my Muse beginning to jade, 1 retire to the solitary fireside of my study, and there commit my effusions to paper; swinging, at intervals, on the hind-legs of my elbow chair, by way of calling forth my own critical strictures, as my, pen goes."

His worldly prospects were now perhaps better than they had ever been; but he was entering upon the last and darkest period of his career. He had become soured, and moreover had alienated many of his best friends by too freely expressing sympathy with the French Revolution, and the then unpopular advocates of reform at home. His health began to give way; he became prematurely old, and fell into fits of despondency; and the habits of intemperance, to which he had always been more or less addicted, grew upon him. He died on July 21, 1796. Within a short time of his death, money started pouring in from all over Scotland to support his widow and children.

His memory is celebrated by Burns clubs across the world; his birthday is an unofficial national day for Scots and those with Scottish ancestry, celebrated with Burns suppers.

Burns' 1787 epistle to Mrs Scott, Gudewife of Wanchope House, Roxburgh, is a rare example of the rhyming of the word purple – it is a common myth that there is no rhyme.

I'd be mair vauntie o' my hap,
Douce hingin' owre my curple,
Than ony ermine ever lap,
Or proud imperial purple.

Burns' works and influence

A statue of Burns, complete with plough, outside the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia
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A statue of Burns, complete with plough, outside the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia

Burns' direct influences in the use of Scots in poetry were Allan Ramsay (1686-1758) and Robert Fergusson. Burns' poetry also drew upon a substantial familiarity and knowledge of Classical, Biblical, and English literature, as well as the Scottish Makar tradition. Burns was skilled in writing not only in the Scots language but also in the Scottish English dialect of the English language. Some of his works, such as Love and Liberty (also known as The Jolly Beggars), are written in both Scots and English for various effects.

Burns' themes included republicanism (he lived during the French Revolutionary period) and Radicalism which he expressed covertly in Scots Wha Hae, Scottish patriotism, anticlericalism, class inequalities, gender roles, commentary on the Scottish Kirk of his time, Scottish cultural identity, poverty, sexuality, and the beneficial aspects of popular socialising (carousing, Scotch whisky, folk songs, and so forth). Burns and his works were a source of inspiration to the pioneers of liberalism, socialism and the campaign for Scottish self-government, and he is still widely respected by political activists today, ironically even by conservatives and establishment figures because after his death Burns became drawn into the very fabric of Scotland's national identity. It is this, perhaps unique, ability to appeal to all strands of political opinion in the country that have led him to be widely acclaimed as the national poet.

Burns' views on these themes in many ways parallel those of William Blake, but it is believed that, although contemporaries, they were unaware of each other. Burns' works are less overtly mystical.

Burns is generally classified as a proto-Romantic poet, and he influenced William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Percy Bysshe Shelley greatly. The Edinburgh literati worked to sentimentalise Burns during his life and after his death, dismissing his education by calling him a "heaven-taught ploughman." Burns would influence later Scottish writers, especially Hugh MacDiarmid who fought to dismantle the sentimental Burns cult that had dominated Scottish literature in MacDiarmid's opinion.

Burns also worked to collect and preserve Scottish folk songs, sometimes revising, expanding, and adapting them. One of the better known of these collections is The Merry Muses of Caledonia (the title is not Burns'), a collection of bawdy lyrics that were popular in the music halls of Scotland as late as the 20th century. Many of Burns' most famous poems are songs with the music based upon older traditional songs. For example, Auld Lang Syne is set to the traditional tune Can Ye Labour Lea while A Red, Red Rose is set to the tune of Major Graham.

The genius of Burns is marked by spontaneity, directness, and sincerity, and his variety is marvellous, ranging from the tender intensity of some of his lyrics through the rollicking humour and blazing wit of Tam o' Shanter to the blistering satire of Holy Willie's Prayer and The Holy Fair. His life is a tragedy, and his character full of flaws. But he fought at tremendous odds, and as Thomas Carlyle in his great Essay says, "Granted the ship comes into harbour with shrouds and tackle damaged, the pilot is blameworthy ... but to know how blameworthy, tell us first whether his voyage has been round the Globe or only to Ramsgate and the Isle of Dogs."

See Cutty-sark for the popularity of the phrase "Weel done, Cutty-sark", a line from "Tam O' Shanter".

Robert Burns memorial, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (1935)
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Robert Burns memorial, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (1935)

Honours

There are many organisations around the world named after Burns, and a number of statues and memorials. For example:


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