‘Why do the seagulls follow the trawler?….It is because they expect sardines to be thrown to the sea.‘ As Eric Cantona eloquently displays, football and philosophy very seldom come to a sensible confluence point. If its not seagulls and trawlers its Rafael Benitez’s priests and mountains of sugar. As the professional game moves further from reality philosophical meaning becomes obscured. However the relationship between football and philosophy is far from over. From the chubby five-a-side player falling over himself doing a stepover to big clubs running community projects philosophy thrives. Critically though this relationship rarely has an impact that spreads much further than the locale of its practitioners. But there is one movement that has broken through onto the global stage and is making a difference to thousands of people worldwide. Continue reading
At the end of 2011 I was involved in a project making a documentary about girl’s football. Here is the result.
This piece was a collaboration between myself and Ewan Angus (his gibberish is in italics, mines is not).
On racedays in Musselburgh the ‘Electric Bridge’, constructed for heavy vehicles used to build Cockenzie power station, is opened to all traffic. The whole town froths at the mouth at the novelty of trimming a couple of minutes off a journey through the town centre. Racedays are huge for the town; local restaurants thrive off them and anyone who can do gets along to watch. As we approach the racecourse itself I’m reminded of exactly how my innocence was lost in this town. Just a lad, I used to come along to the races with my mates and jump the fence and get into all manner of scrapes and shenanigans. However, after the age of eighteen going to the races took on an entirely different meaning. Once I came of age a dreadful beast was revealed to me, the terrible vice of gambling. A seductive bitch that tempts you in, pulls you to bed, tears the shirt from your back and then promptly leaves you to the will of the evil dominatrix Lady Luck. This was the downfall of my tender youth and the descent into a gambling addiction that would last until just shortly before I turned twenty. Continue reading
Curiously for a single male student living in Edinburgh I have only ventured into one of the city’s many famous lap dancing bars once. Inside an altogether mind-altering experience awaited me. As a stag group we were targeted from the outset. ‘Twenty quid a head, lesbian show, and we’ll shove a bottle up the stag’s arse.’ Needless to say an offer like this can’t be refused and we all saw some fascinating things. Speaking to one of the girls after it was clear that once abstracted from their profession these are remarkably intelligent people, many of whom use the job as simply a means to an end, occasionally to fund degree courses. After a lengthy search and a bundle of rejections I managed to find a girl studying Architecture at Edinburgh whilst working as a stripper willing to talk to me. Continue reading
A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Woman
Ally bally, ally bally bee,
sittin on yer mammy’s knee,
greetin for a wee bawbee,
tae buy some coulter’s candy
– ‘Coulter’s Candy’, Traditional Scots Song
What does father look like? I haven’t seen him for a long time, but I know he has blue eyes like me. My eyes are Mum’s favourite but I wish I had Margot’s wriggly yellow hair, she gives me the tightest cuddles in bed but I’m still jealous. I’m really sleepy today; Peter’s being an awful pest rifting and tickling all night long keeping us all awake. I love him because he’s my brother but today I don’t like him at all, he’s so naughty. Continue reading