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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Nature of Magic: Dr Susan Greenwood

Just found the transcript of a very interesting talk given by Dr Susan Greenwood at the launch of her new book , The Nature of Magic : an anthropology of consciousness , on Phile Hine's website -see

I have snipped a bit and pasted below, since the mentions of Lucien Levy Bruhl and Stanley Tambiah relate to my ' Culture as Heat' blog - based on an article I wrote for Chaos International.

If we see 'consciousness' as something wider than just our own minds; as something that enables us to connect with other beings through our imaginations - there are no limits: we can change shape, shape-shift, with all manner of beings - and thereby gain knowledge. We can experience what it's like to be an owl, for example. We can feel what it's like to have feathers and to feel the air moving through our feathers when we fly. Magical consciousness is a source of knowledge that has been devalued and trivialized in Western societies.

Connections are made through our personal minds linking with other minds in a wider consciousness or consciousnesses.

- through participation, an ancient concept in philosophy which means that things 'take part' in something bigger…

The term was developed by philosopher Lucien Levy-Bruhl to refer to mystical thinking - a unity of thinking that made associations between things based on the idea that energy suffuses everything. Levy-Bruhl initially said that this was how non-western peoples thought.

This started something of an aggravated debate in anthropology in the early 20th century with various celebrated anthropologists claiming that Levy-Bruhl made native peoples more mystical than they really were. Levy-Bruhl then modified his position but what he said about participation still remains relevant.
Anthropologist Stanley Tambiah developed Levy-Bruhl's notion of participation to argue that people everywhere have two co-existing orientations to the world:

causality (logical thinking: abstract, separated, focused)

participation (analogical, holistic thinking: works with patterns and connection, though myths, ritual, and symbols) - basis of magical consciousness.


Culture, Imperialism and the Society of the Spectacle

Just pausing to draw breath a bit. About a dozens 'things to do' circling around me and seven weeks school holidays / full on 'carer mode' start on Friday. Three days to go...

So whilst there is still some free time, will take some mental exercise.

After re-reading and re-re-reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, turned to Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism. (Whilst listening to Wagner Gotterdammerung -oh dear). Culture and Imperialism - C/I for short - was written during/ against 1991 Gulf War by Said who, although a USA based academic, was a Protestant Christian Palestinian Arab.

His underlying theme in C/I is that the USA is functioning as, but shies away from the word, an imperial power. His more overt theme is to ask why 19th century imperialism is absent from the huge body of academic analysis of 19th century/ early 20th century European (British and French) novels? From the study of 'culture' generally.

So, to give an example, he looks at Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (1814) where a main character's English country house lifestyle is maintained by slaves in Antigua. (Where Tulip, my next door neighbour in Hackney came from. She worked at Hackney Hospital. One time, 1991 , I was woken by loud crashing sounds and shouts in the middle of the night. I went outside to find Tulip sobbing. The police had kicked her front door in, looking for her nephew who they suspected of a mugging- since he was young and black and lived in Hackney. I didn't know what the hell to do, but I put my arms round her. I have never forgotten what she said "Alistair, even after all this time, we are still slaves" . She came visit me after Pinki died- we had moved to another estate nearby- and to Pinki's funeral, which I really appreciated.)

Back to C/I... re- reading it slowly last thing at night, thinking about it as I drift off into sleep.

What is Said saying? That empires and imperialism are based on an innate sense of cultural superiority by the imperialists over their subject peoples. That this sense of superiority existed even where and when it was not directly stated, it was almost 'invisible', taken for granted, 'natural'. So that those within it could not imagine any space outside or beyond it.

Also that, since so much of 'our' culture refers back to the 19th/ early 20th centuries, 'our' sense of who 'we' are contains/ is contained by imperialism. That we are and remain cultural and even physical ''imperialists'. As current adventures (post C/I) in Afghanistan and Iraq reveal.

What I wonder, even if I can't quite articulate the thought, is if there is an overlap between Said’s 'imperialism' and Debord's 'spectacle'? I am sure there is. If there is, then may be there is hope in the failure of power to control the totality of 'situations' the overt use of power has created. Empires fall. This is the lesson of history. Debord may be right, and the Spectacle may, as with Orwell's 10984, attempt to negate and deny history by locking us into an eternal present, but history has not ended. Even if no-where recorded and no-where remembered, history is still being made. And right here, right now, this, along with millions of other blog sites and personal web pages, is recording and remembering history.

Ideas have their own power. Part of my reason for doing this is test the theories. To find a space where there is time. To re-affirm William Blake's brave cry "Rejoice, Empire is no more!"

So many little spiders spinning their webs around the whole wide world.

But are the spiders conscious of history, are they aware of what they do? I cannot speak for other spiders, but this one is certainly doing its best to be as conscious and aware of history as possible. But to become so means reading a bit more of Culture and Imperialism, which is what I will now do. Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Importance of history and logic

Just found and copied a short section from a piece by Guy Debord.

Full text at http://www.notbored.org/commentaires.html

I have highlighted in bold a few sentences and phrases which jumped out at me. But really, the whole text needs to be read . Debord certainly seemed to have anticipated the 'war on terrorism', but sections on 'disinformation' are also spot on.

Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord, 1988

The society whose modernization has reached the stage of the integrated spectacle is characterized by the combined effect of five principal features: incessant technological renewal; integration of state and economy; generalized secrecy, unanswerable lies; an eternal present.

Technological innovation has a long history, and is an essential component of capitalist society, sometimes described as industrial or post-industrial. But since its most recent acceleration (in the aftermath of the Second World War) it has greatly reinforced spectacular authority, by surrendering everybody to the mercy of specialists, to their calculations and to the judgments which always depend on them. The integration of state and economy is the most evident trend of the century; it is at the very least the motor of all recent economic developments. The defensive and offensive pact concluded between these two powers, economy and state, has provided them with the greatest common advantages in every field: each may be said to own the other; at any rate, it is absurd to oppose them, or to distinguish between their reasons and follies. This union, too, has proved to be highly favorable to the development of spectacular domination -- indeed, the two have been indistinguishable from the very start. The other three features are direct effects of this domination, in its integrated stage.

Generalised secrecy stands behind the spectacle, as the decisive complement of all it displays and, in the last analysis, as its most vital operation.

The simple fact of being unanswerable has given what is false an entirely new quality. At a stroke it is truth which has almost everywhere ceased to exist or, at best, has been reduced to the status of pure hypothesis. Unanswerable lies have succeeded in eliminating public opinion, which first lost the ability to make itself heard and then very quickly dissolved altogether. This evidently has significant consequences for politics, the applied sciences, the legal system and the arts.

The manufacture of a present where fashion itself, from clothes to music, has come to a halt, which wants to forget the past and no longer seems to believe in a future, is achieved by the ceaseless circularity of information, always returning to the same short list of trivialities, passionately proclaimed as major discoveries. Meanwhile news of what is genuinely important, of what is actually changing, comes rarely, and then in fits and starts. It always concerns this world's apparent condemnation of its own existence, the stages in its programmed self-destruction.

Spectacular domination's first priority was to eradicate historical knowledge in general; beginning with just about all rational information and commentary on the most recent past. The evidence for this is so glaring it hardly needs further explanation. With consummate skill the spectacle organizes ignorance of what is about to happen and, immediately afterwards, the forgetting of whatever has nonetheless been understood. The more important something is, the more it is hidden. Nothing in the last twenty years has been so thoroughly coated in obedient lies as the history of May 1968. Some useful lessons have indeed been learnt from certain demystifying studies of those days; these, however, remain state secrets.

In France, it is some ten years now since a president of the republic, long ago forgotten but at the time still basking on the spectacle's surface, naively expressed his delight at "knowing that henceforth we will live in a world without memory, where images flow and merge, like reflections on the water." Convenient indeed for those in business, and who know how to stay there. The end of history gives power a welcome break. Success is guaranteed in all its undertakings, or at least the rumor of success.

How drastically any absolute power will suppress history depends on the extent of its imperious interests or obligations, and especially on its practical capacity to execute its aims. Ts'in Che Hoang Ti had books burned, but he never managed to get rid of all of them. In our own century Stalin went further, yet despite the various accomplices he managed to find outside his empire's borders, there remained a vast area of the world beyond the reach of his police, where his schemes could be ridiculed. With its new techniques now adopted globally, the integrated spectacle has done much better. Ineptitude compels universal respect; it is no longer permitted to laugh at it. In any case, it has become impossible to show that one is laughing.

History's domain was the memorable, the totality of events whose consequences would be lastingly apparent. And thus, inseparably, history was knowledge that should endure and aid in understanding, at least in part, what was to come: "an everlasting possession," according to Thucydides. In this way history was the measure of genuine novelty. It is in the interests of those who sell novelty at any price to eradicate the means of measuring it. When social significance is attributed only to what is immediate, and to what will be immediate immediately afterwards, always replacing another, identical, immediacy, it can be seen that the uses of the media guarantee a kind of eternity of noisy insignificance.

The precious advantage which the spectacle has acquired through the outlawing of history, from having driven the recent past into hiding, and from having made everyone forget the spirit of history within society, is above all the ability to cover its own tracks -- to conceal the very progress of its recent world conquest. Its power already seems familiar, as if it had always been there. All usurpers have shared this aim: to make us forget that they have only just arrived.

With the destruction of history, contemporary events themselves retreat into a remote and fabulous realm of unverifiable stories, uncheckable statistics, unlikely explanations and untenable reasoning. For every imbecility presented by the spectacle, there are only the media's professionals to give an answer, with a few respectful rectifications or remonstrations. And they are hardly extravagant, even with these, for besides their extreme ignorance, their personal and professional solidarity with the spectacle's overall authority and the society it expresses makes it their duty, and their pleasure, never to diverge from that authority whose majesty must not be threatened. It must not be forgotten that every media professional is bound by wages and other rewards and recompenses to a master, and sometimes to several; and that every one of them knows he is dispensable.

All experts serve the state and the media and only in that way do they achieve their status. Every expert follows his master, for all former possibilities for independence have been gradually reduced to nil by present society's mode of organization. The most useful expert, of course, is the one who can lie. With their different motives, those who need experts are falsifiers and fools. Whenever individuals lose the capacity to see things for themselves, the expert is there to offer an absolute reassurance. Once there were experts in Etruscan art, and competent ones, for Etruscan art was not for sale. But a period which, for example, finds it profitable to fake by chemical means various famous wines, can only sell them if it has created wine experts able to con connoisseurs into admiring their new, more distinctive, flavors. [5] Cervantes remarks that "under a poor cloak you commonly find a good drinker." [6] Someone who knows his wine may often understand nothing about the rules of the nuclear industry, but spectacular power calculates that if one expert can make a fool of him with nuclear energy, another can easily do the same with wine. And it is well known, for example, that media meteorologists, forecasting temperature or rainfall for the next forty-eight hours, are severely limited in what they say by the obligation to maintain certain economic, touristic and regional balances, when so many people make so many journeys on so many roads, between so many equally desolate places; thus they can only try to make their names as entertainers.

One aspect of the disappearance of all objective historical knowledge can be seen in the way that individual reputations have become malleable and alterable at will by those who control all information: information which is gathered and also -- an entirely different matter -- information which is broadcast. Their ability to falsify is thus unlimited. Historical evidence which the spectacle does not need to know ceases to be evidence. When the only fame is that bestowed by the grace and favor of a spectacular Court, disgrace may swiftly follow. An anti-spectacular notoriety has become something extremely rare. I myself am one of the last people to retain one, having never had any other. But it has also become extraordinarily suspect. Society has officially declared itself to be spectacular. To be known outside spectacular relations is already to be known as an enemy of society.

A person's past can be entirely rewritten, radically altered, recreated in the manner of the Moscow trials -- and without even having to bother with anything as clumsy as a trial. Killing comes cheaper these days. [7] Those who run the spectacle, or their friends, surely have no lack of false witnesses, though they may be unskilled -- and how could the spectators who witness the exploits of these false witnesses ever recognize their blunders? -- or false documents, which are always highly effective. Thus it is no longer possible to believe anything about anyone that you have not learned for yourself, directly. But in fact false accusations are rarely necessary. Once one controls the mechanism which operates the only form of social verification to be fully and universally recognized, one can say what one likes. The spectacle proves its arguments simply by going round in circles: by coming back to the start, by repetition, by constant reaffirmation in the only space left where anything can be publicly affirmed, and believed, precisely because that is the only thing to which everyone is witness. Spectacular power can similarly deny whatever it likes, once, or three times over, and change the subject, knowing full well there is no danger of any riposte, in its own space or any other.

For the agora, the general community, has gone, along with communities restricted to intermediary bodies or to independent institutions, to salons or cafes, or to workers in a single company. There is no place left where people can discuss the realities which concern them, because they can never lastingly free themselves from the crushing presence of media discourse and of the various forces organized to relay it. Nothing remains of the relatively independent judgment of those who once made up the world of learning; of those, for example, who used to base their self-respect on their ability to verify, to come close to an impartial history of facts, or at least to believe that such a history deserved to be known. There is no longer even any incontestable bibliographical truth, and the computerized catalogues of national libraries are well-equipped to remove any residual traces. It is disorienting to consider what it meant to be a judge, a doctor or a historian not so long ago, and to recall the obligations and imperatives they often accepted, within the limits of their competence: men resemble their times more than their fathers. [8]

When the spectacle stops talking about something for three days, it is as if it did not exist. For it has then gone on to talk about something else, and it is that which henceforth, in short, exists. The practical consequences, as we see, are enormous.

We believe we know that in Greece, history and democracy entered the world at the same time. We can prove that their disappearances have also been simultaneous.

To this list of the triumphs of power we should, however, add one result which has proved negative: once the running of a state involves a permanent and massive shortage of historical knowledge, that state can no longer be led strategically.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

This is Carlin's Cairn. Carlin means 'witch' in Scots. It is on top of a 2600 fet high hill. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Friends of the Earth -Tesco

FoE have produced leaflet and a background briefing paper on Tesco, both of which feature our local campaign.

See http://community.foe.co.uk/resource/marketing_material/tesco_takeover_leaflet.pdf

and http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/the_tesco_takeover.pdf

and www.tescopoly.org

The meeting I couldn't get to is subject of this FoE Press release:

Britain's supermarkets are damaging British business, are bad for consumers and bad for the environment, MPs will be told today (Thursday 23rd June) at a Friends of the Earth briefing, hosted by Andrew George MP [1]. The warning comes on the eve of the supermarket giant Tesco's AGM and follows record profits for the company [2].

Friends of the Earth will ask MPs for action to control supermarket practices and to curb Tesco's huge market share to prevent farmers and consumers paying the price of its success. The environmental campaign group will be joined by ActionAid, the New Economics Foundation, union representatives and a UK farmer to illustrate the wide-ranging and damaging impacts of supermarket power.

Tesco controls nearly one third of the UK grocery market, setting the standard across the retail sector. But while the company boasts about its commitment to fair trade and "corporate responsibility" [3], a new report from Friends of the Earth shows that Tesco's practices are putting many UK farmers out of business; while on the high street, some 2,000 independent stores went out of businesses in the last year alone, unable to compete with promotions and planning and taxation policies which favour the multiples over smaller shops [4].

Friends of the Earth's Supermarket Campaigner Vicki Hird said:

"Tesco is lauded as a British success story but the image is a deceptive one and it is beginning to tarnish. Farmers and consumers are paying the price of its uncontrolled expansion here and overseas. MPs must act now to curb the growing market power of supermarkets and ensure that Britain's booming supermarket industry does not kill off farmers, consumer choice and the traditional British high street."

Supermarket practices are also driving climate change, the new report claims, as the rapid growth in trade brings demand for extra transport, refrigeration, heat and light. Tesco claims to have spent £3.7 million on energy saving schemes in the last year, but failed to meet its commitment to cut emissions by 4.2 per cent [5]. Its stores consume nearly two times more energy than the national average [6].

While Tesco has signed up to the Ethical Trading Initiative, it has also been active in promoting banana price wars leaving many banana workers with less than a living wage. It has also refused to join the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil, despite palm oil being found in more than 1,000 products that Tesco sells.

Friends of the Earth is calling for an immediate investigation into Tesco's monopoly position and a stricter code of practice, enforced by an independent regulator, for all supermarkets to ensure suppliers are treated fairly. Friends of the Earth is also calling for corporate accountability legislation to be introduced to make UK companies responsible for their impacts on communities and the environment worldwide [7].

1] The MPs Briefing, hosted by Andrew George MP, takes place in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House at 11am on Thursday 23rd June 2005. Speakers include Didier Leiton Valverde from the Costa Rican banana workers' union, Julian Oram from ActionAid, Chris Hull - Norfolk constituent fighting a superstore development, UK strawberry farmer William Hudson, Andrew Simms from the New Economics Foundation, and Vicki Hird, Senior Food Campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

[2] The Tesco Annual General Meeting takes place at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster at 11am on Friday 24th June 2005 and will be attended by Friends of the Earth.

[3] www.tesco.com/everylittlehelps/

[4] See www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/the_tesco_takeover.pdf (PDF†)

[5] www.tesco.com/csr/index.html This is also a drop in spend on energy efficiency schemes as they spent £6million in 2003/4

[6] See www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/the_tesco_takeover.pdf (PDF†)

[7] Friends of the Earth's main demands are:

A much stricter code of practice to ensure that suppliers in the UK and overseas and along the whole chain are treated fairly, and which covers sustainability, labour and health standards.
A supermarket watchdog to ensure that the grocery market is operating in the interests of consumers, farmers and small retailers.
An immediate investigation into the Tesco monopoly position and a moratorium on Tesco taking over any more shops including convenience store chains.
Enlargement of competition policy to address impacts on suppliers (not just consumers) to prevent misuse of buyer power.
A market study by competition authorities to examine the wider effects on society of the over-concentrated retail sector with a view to presenting policies to address market share.
More robust planning policies to protect town centres and high street shops including a cap on retail floorspace.
Corporate accountability legislation which makes companies accountable for their effects on communities and the environment worldwide.
To revisit the case for international commodity agreements for products such as palm oil and bananas to ensure fair play and sustainable production and trade.
Development of codes on buyers' activities for international supply chains The Tesco Takeover (PDF†)
†To view PDF files you will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. Visually impaired users can get extra help with these documents from access.adobe.com.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tesco blocked?

Further to below- front page Galloway News today Thursdau 23 June - Garden Centre plan rejected.

Many rumours flying around, but although I haven't found a way to post direct info here, local anti-Tesco campaign taken a new twist. It is a pdf file, see it here http://rpu.dumgal.gov.uk/xpedio/groups/public/documents/committee_reports/008966.pdf

Part of site Tesco want to build on currently occupied by a garden centre. Owner wanted to relocate to just outside of town site - but planning officer recomended refusal. Went to planning committee today (just- midnight as I write) Wednesday 22nd June. Already speculated that planning permission would be refused. Alleged by rumour/ gossip that if refused, owner would stay where he is and not sell site to Tesco...

Local info is that son of garden centre owner not keen on inheriting business. Maybe owner will use ( as yet unverified) planning refusal to ask Tesco to pay more for site and retire on proceeds...

Who knows. I am just confused. Why give Tesco planning permission for site and then refuse permission for relocation of garden centre, since without relocation of garden centre, Tesco can't happen? As Spock would say, it is "Illogical, Captain Kirk". If one Wills the end - Tesco- then surely one also Wills the means - relocation of garden centre ?

It makes no sense. Which is good at one level and worrying at another. Good if it scuppers tesco, but worrying if it means the planning process is irrational. Or maybe even that is good?

ARRGH! My brain hurts. Time for bed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ants lyrics KYPP 4 Posted by Hello

Picture this...

Ah, the wonders of modern technology! It looks as if I have managed to post / blog the cover of KYPP 3 and my book(let). Ufortunately a lightning strike a few months back zapped my scanner so only a limited number of images to use. So it goes. Still,once I have got the hang of it, will be able to illustrate future texts.

Cover of y Tref - my book! Posted by Hello

Kill Your Pet Puppy 3  Posted by Hello

Alone in a darkened room with Bauhaus

I do get bored, I get bored
In the flat field I get bored,
I do get bored In the flat field
Bauhaus/ In the Flat Field

I get bored easily. Although I can't get down to London to give a speech to 20 or so MPs in Westminster ( for Friends of the Earth on Thursday 23 June) about Tesco I should really be sitting here writing up one to send down any way. Got it all honed down to a bunch of soundbites, people seem surpised at how well I can articulate on Tesco for the media (even got on Radio 4 Today doing it) - but being saying the same things for tv and radio and press many many times for a year now. Like a tape loop - put me in front of a microphone/ camera and out it comes - even when I am knackered after spending 9 hours at a planning meeting.

Sure, it needs to be done and no doubt I could have done it... but I get bored saying the same thing over and over again. So here is something else. Which is also getting a bit boring by now - that although Kill Your Pet Puppy was part of the 'anarcho-punk' scene 79/84 we faetured as many 'goth' groups - like Bauhaus and Southern Death Cult- as anarcho ones...

So I have spent the past couple of hours listening to lots of Bauhaus and typing up the following from KYPP 3 / summer 1980. Not the full interview, just highlights. Please note the quote which says the only affinity they felt was with 'the spirit of punk'...

I have the cover of KYPP 3 saved as an image but can't work out how to put it here. Soon as I can will do so. Later- Have done so see KYYP 3

Kill Your Pet Puppy 3 Summer 1980 "Still only 25p"

Cover - drawing by Brett of mohican haired punk couple kissing 'she' wears armband which reads ' Obedience is slavery', 'he' has tattoo which reads 'beyond the law' and t-shirt ' conformity is death'.
We had a bit of an editorial discussion on this cover, which resulted in 'female' punk being made more masculine and 'male' punk being made more feminine. [She got a pair of DMs and he got a bit of make up but jaw lines reveal gender]. The couple are sitting on the ground in darkness, behind them is a cityscape of black tower blocks and behind that a setting/ rising sun. Above them is Ms. Puppy clutching a pair of scissors dripping blood...

On one of the tower blocks is written Bauhaus, Honey Bane, Chaos, Cuddly Toys...

Review of Telegram Sam/ Crowds and Interview

Bauhaus/ Telegram Sam
The perfect example of hot to make a cover version your own. It screams, shrieks, crawls from the nether regions of your consciousness and scrapes its black varnished nails across your slowly awakening , red sun glossed etc etc.. In other words Bauhaus do it again - not a patch on their live version, but undoubtedly their best single yet. Forget "CBS darlings" Adam and the Plastic replicas, THIS is what Sex people eat between meals. If our 2 page interview doesn't convince you, listen to this. Inspiring. One to smear your make up to.
Gotta say (only 25 years on) the Telegram Sam side sounds pretty tame, but the other side of 12" version with John Cale's Rose Garden Funeral of Thorns and Crowds is a lot more atmospheric.

They Came from Northampton: Bauhaus in jeans and tennis shoes shock

We went to interview Bauhaus after their recording of a session for Peter Powell early this year [1980] . The interview was something of a washout , not being helped by KYPP mobile recording studio which records and mixes interviews below the ability of the human ear to hear. So hear it is as remembered by our derring do reporter who rung the rags of his flu-wracked brain to remember what questions he asked and what they replied.

Bauhaus spoke to me after a day of unsuccessfully trying to record a session. I must report in accord with KYPP policy of sickening honesty that they did not speak to me from their coffins, nor did they call me from Vienna, they looked pretty ordinary apart from their professionally peculiar guitarist Danny Ashman...

q: What do you see as your main purpose?
A: Well to have fun mainly, of course. To continue our little experiments...

Pause. The text is printed dark pink on a lighter pink photo of the group. It is very diffiicult to read. To save my beautiful eyes from damage, I will pick out a couple of highlights rather than try to transcribe whole damn thing.

A: The Flat Field is about boredom really.

Q: Terror Couple Kill Colonel might seem to be about the RAF (German variety) especially with the newspaper clippings quoted in it.
A: No, it is about the IRA! Or rather it is about the way newspapers tend to trivialise importnat subjects and sensationalise unimportant ones. The track [also a single] is a precis of an article about the killing of a British Colonel in Germany by the IRA that had the catchy title of the headline. It was a tiny piece rubbing shoulders and god knows what else witha whole page of assorted trivia. tits and arse.

q: Tell us about your reason for recording Rose Garden Funeral of Sores [Thorns] (B side of latest single).
A: The lyrical content and mood of the John Cale track fits in with the genral diseased scheme of things. Cale's great.

q: What do you feel about the currently hyped London bands, Spandau and their scene? You did play Billy's which was part of the scene?
A:I f we popularised the scene then it wasn't by our own design at all. Billy's was just somewhere to play. We have never associated ourselves within any particular scene . The only affinity we have with any movement, is in the original spirit of punk. .. We don't feel ourselves to be part of the Blitz scene. That goes for glam rock as well.

q: Could you expand on the subjects mentioned by the group in the KICK interview I.E. 'Sexual energy is vital' 'Primeval magick is not planned' ?
A: Sexual energy, the electrical energy that sparks, is vital to the group's approach, especially on stage. It is the energy that runs like an undercurrent through a good performance. If it is not there or if it is weak , then the performance will be weak as well. It needs to be present when recording as well. The primeval magick mentioned is connected with this. It is the spontaneous energy contained in a record or a live gig that makes the thing exciting , special atmosphere is important. The right atmosphere of a venue, studio, audience, climate can promote the magick. It is a question of chemical, electrical interaction, and reaction. It is hard to talk about it has to be sensed. Felt.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Otters and Oak Trees.

OK, this is another lengthy wodge of oldish stuff, but it does vaguely connect with 'Heart of Darkness' theme. It was written in 2001 and published in Chaos International 25 in 2002. It is an 'urban/ rural' essay sparked off by me seeing an otter in January 2001. Despite living in the countryside near rivers for about half my life, I had never seen an otter 'in the flesh' before. Within a few days, all access to the countryside was banned to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease. I can still recall the stench of half-burnt sheep and cattle which used to drift over the town from the funeral pyres - and the convoys of trucks guarded by soldiers carrying the slaughtered animals to be burnt or buried. Tres apolcalyptique...

Otters and Oak trees
Alistair Livingston

The text starts here. The situation out of which its being constructed is at once familiar and strange. Familiar, since I am sitting only a hundred yards or so from the house I was brought up in. Strange since my past contributions to CI have all been written in London and informed by an urban perspective. My local radio station is no longer a pirate station pumping out house music from a nearby tower block, but West Sound FM broadcasting from the Loreburn Shopping Centre in Dumfries, the 'Queen of the South'. [of Scotland]. Rather than a glimpse of a heron over Hackney Marshes, I can watch otters and even an osprey fishing in the river, a short walk away over the fields.

Can chaos be found in such a 'quintessentially rural' environment? Yes, if you can wait around for long enough. The rock which underlies the local landscape was formed on the floor of an ocean 700 million years ago. 450 million years ago it got very dramatic and chaotic as millions of tons of molten granite erupted. Huge chunks can still be found with names like Mullwarchar and Criffel, local hills. I haven't climbed Mullwarchar yet, but I have climbed its neighbours, some of which are getting on for 3000 feet high. Hardly the Alps, but big enough. Not many people either.

It used to be quite shock to my system, to spend a week camping in the hills and see no-one and then pack up and find myself waiting for a tube at Euston station later the same day. The two worlds did not seem to connect, a shift in reality occurring somewhere around Carnforth as the train from Carlisle dropped down towards Lancaster. Each world in itself making sense, but only in isolation , only so long as the mental boundaries between 'here' and 'there' could be maintained. And now London has become an unreal city, the 18 years I spent there symbolised by a couple of boxes of punk singles and fading fanzines.

I dug out all my old copies of CI the other day to photocopy the articles I had written in them for a friend. The energy with which I had enthusiastically written them still remained, but I wondered what purpose they served. Did I add anything to the Chaos Current by writing them? Or were they just absorbed by the city of dreadful night?

The thought was inspired by reading the first piece I wrote back in CI 3 after a trip to Glastonbury Festival. I remembered sitting under an oak tree above the Green Fields, looking down on the huge, pulsing, sprawling chaotic mass of the main festival at night. The music from the main stage was a distant roar, flares and fireworks rose up occasionally, generators pounded, powering strings of flickering lights. Smoke rose from hundreds of campfires. It was awesome, as if, as I described, a spaceship had landed in the fields around Worthy Farm.

I was there as a 'performer' in the Earth Mysteries Field. That meant arriving during the week, when the whole festival site was still recognisable as a farm. A farm not unlike those I have once more become familiar with in Scotland. Given that most of the site crew were local 'Glastafarians', indigenous hippies, the atmosphere was relaxed and laid back. [Man]. But as the trickle of festival goers became a torrent, the whole process of industrial evolution was played out at high speed. The farm became a city overnight.

Given that I had only just [1986], via an exchange of mags with Joel Biroco, become aware of 'chaos magick', I am sure that my understanding of 'chaos' was influenced by this experience, this glimpse of the city as a totality, of full on techno-culture. At the same time it has always struck me as puzzling that although both emerged in the late seventies, chaos and punk remained separate currents. Or at least none of the punk magicians I encountered were aware of chaos magick at the time. Bob Short of Blood and Roses was a Thelemite when he was doing his magic in the squatted Old Street Fire Station or in Campbell Buildings.
But then if one reads through the back issues of CI, chaos has always been a much more ordered system than punk. Most punks were young teenagers with little interest in the complex messages and metaphors people like Jamie Reid managed to smuggle into popular culture. What intelligence punk had was swiftly overwhelmed once it became tabloid fodder. And yet as I am discovering as the parent of a teenager, aspects of punk are still there to be re-invented by another generation, from musical styles, simplistic lyrics and cut-up art-work. An image from US group Amen's cd insert shows the Hollywood sign placed on top of a pile of corpses. Very punk.

In contrast, chaos magick seems almost too controlled, too formal, too structured.

Terminal identity speaks with the voices of repressed desire and repressed anxiety about terminal culture. In postmodern science fiction, a pervasive parallel population comprised of genetically engineered wetware wonders, electrically addicted buttonheads, fragmented posthuman enclaves and terminal cyborgs has arisen to embody our new, and inescapable, state of being. Terminal identity negotiates a complex trajectory between the forces of instrumental reason and the abandon of a sacrificial excess. The texts promise and even produce a transcendence which is also always a surrender. Bukatman/ Terminal Identity/ 1993/ 329.

My construction of chaos magick was of it as a path, a trajectory into and beyond 'terminal identity', a magick of post-modernity which swooped and dived with William Gibson's fictional characters through cyberspace as a metaphor for the Otherworlds of industrial culture. Terminal identity the black hole at the centre of the spectacle of modernity, a text like this smeared out along the event horizon in the pursuit of transcendental surrender...

The danger always being the erosion of meaning, the collapse into incoherence, the onset of terminal chaos. No risk, no gain. Taken to such extremes, the limits of language and instrumental reason allow the deconstruction of 'magick'. Such deconstruction is essential if we are ever to leave the eighteenth century, the Age of Reason and so grasp the transformation of the world brought about in the nineteenth century by a combination of technology and romanticism. Isambard Kingdom Brunel- now there was a magician!
Coming up to the edge now. Do I dare to drink another cup of coffee and carry on into the abyss of eternal night? Or do I call it a day and go to bed now? The illusion that somewhere just beyond the moment of now lies 'the truth'. A concise summation of chaos magick perhaps. Some key insight which you, dear reader, will slap your thighs to and say "By Jove, I think he's got it.". But it never comes, or rather when it does it is not quite the expected answer.

Early this year, before foot and mouth disease denied access to all land, I walked out to the river along an old railway line. I'd been trying to decide if I wanted to write a continuation of my 'Bhakti as Bondage' [CI 11] article as part of an 'Organic Sex: Natural Bondage' project. Interesting as writing about sex is, it seemed a distraction from more practical work such as a 'food and biodiversity' project which I was also working on.
The remains of a bridge give access to a small island on the river. At the far end is a bird-observation hide. It was very cold and not very comfortable. I sipped some medicinal red wine and watch the river roll black and powerful before me. Then I spotted an unusual bird. But it was not a bird. It was an otter. Almost entranced, I watched the otter swim and dive powerfully for 15 minutes or so. Even after it had finally vanished I remained entranced, watching ripples and eddies in the river, mistaking each in turn for the otter.

I had never seen an otter before. Its fortuitous appearance as a memory of the land from a time before her forests had been felled by farmers was magical. It was a powerful symbol of a world which exists independently of human culture, of human existence even. Of a world more interesting to me now than that of Fetish Times or even, dare I say it, of Chaos International.

If I was to aspire to pretension, I could even construct a shamanic metaphor. The river in flood carrying all before it, with its dancing pattern of ripples and eddies represents chaotic reality, the tantric flow of events and phenomena, ever pouring forth from the womb of the goddess as space and time. Yet within that powerful current, the otter swam and dived as in a placid pool, able to swim upstream as easily as downstream. It cared nothing for me, unaware of my watching presence, yet by appearing as it did at that time and in that place it spoke to me and answered my half-formed question.

Posed in another form, the question arises again on the front cover of the September 2001 issue of Classic Rock. "Black Magic" is its theme and the usual suspects get their 15 minutes of exposure. Well Crowley does. Several times. No mention of chaos magic, nor Psychic TV though. Not even the merest hint of Diamanda Gala [spell check] nor Coil. Although apparently Slipknot have taken to using a satanic goat symbol. Smelly things billy goats. I once helped take a female Anglo-Nubian goat to be 'serviced' by a billy. The transport was a Mini Traveller estate car. The journey back was made with all windows open.

Does it matter that popular culture endlessly regurgitates the psychic equivalent of junk food? Isn't that what it is for? Well, yes, but... popular culture can be fun. Ever since reading Dick Hebdidge's Subculture: The Meaning of Style [a post-modern critique of punk] 20 years ago and discovering that a safety pin and a black plastic bin liner could be used to symbolically annihilate dominant cultural reality, I have paid more attention to the semiotics of everyday life. I still have kicking around a book 'Decoding Advertising' by a female academic whose name I forget. Part of her argument, illustrated by numerous images drawn from adverts, is the use of 'magic' in advertising.

Her use of 'magic' is anthropological, but then anthropological constructions of magic are based historically on a mass of fieldwork carried out amongst people still living in pre-industrial, pre-secular rationality based colonial cultures. Popular culture exists to attract us to the 'buy, buy ,buy the damnation of your soul' messages embedded in it. Or as a pop song by Maya put it rather directly, "If you buy this record, your life will be better.". [Yes, I did buy the record, and it did make my life marginally better.]. Popular culture is a form of magic.

"Oh no it isn't.", I hear you respond. OK then, lets go back to basics. I believe, but stand to be corrected, that 'chaos magic' was originally called 'results magic'. The aim was to cut away the crap and get down to the core elements of a magic which worked, which got results. Nothing was taken for Granted [Typhonian pun], everything was to be challenged. Unfortunately by 1978 I suggest it was a bit late. Just as Marxism failed to realise that the working class had already been mobilised by capitalism, thus precluding any actual revolution, so results magic failed to realise that magic had already been mobilised by spectacular society. Not as a freemasonic style conspiracy, but as a Darwinian process of survival of the cleverest marketing strategies. The Conservatives won the 1979 election using a 'Labour isn't working' campaign designed by the Saatchi brothers and a dole queue of actors. It was a con and a trick, but isn't the Trickster the earliest image of the magician? The point is it worked. It got a result.

The universe is basically a magical structure and we are all capable of magic. The really useful theories of magic are those which explain why magic tends to work so erratically and why we have such enormous inhibitions about believing in it, making it work, and recognising that it has worked. It is as if the universe has cast a spell upon us to convince us that we are not magicians.
P. J. Carroll: Liber Kaos- First Edition page 149.

Aha. Surely it is not the universe which has cast a spell upon us, but rather that we have, as my friend the otter pointed out, constructed a self-deluding magical universe which is spectacular society. This spectacular society is visible as popular culture. Once upon a time there may have been distinctions between popular and unpopular culture, between artist and artisan, low and high culture, but not no more. The spectacle is a totalisation of myth, and of magic. It is a Groundhog Day, a tape loop sample of 'reality' endlessly repeating the moment of 'bourgeoisie triumphalism' [See post September 11 postscript]

Is there anyway out of here, anyway beyond trancing out to the noise of the machines?

Of course there is, it is the path of the otter. I can trace that path back to its source in the hills, hills I have climbed. I can step outside my front door and see the hills. Once they were part of a post-Ice Age forest. Generations of farmers and warriors stripped them bare or burnt them to drive out rebels. Now they are blanketed with Sitka spruce, 300 square miles or more. A mere fraction of the 10 000 square miles of virgin forest Latvia contains. Latvia and other post Communist Baltic states can sell their timber cheaper than my local forests can produce it. Economic forestry is dead.

The forest is large enough to maintain 30 wolves. The minimum number for a viable wolf pack is 23. 300 wild goats are culled each year, even more red deer. Beavers could survive, as could lynx. Golden eagles and ospreys already do. Brown bears? Not so sure. But if farming begins to fail post foot and mouth disease the available area would increase. The first step is to maximise planting of native trees and other indigenous plant species to restore the habitat. Or will global climate change add chaos to the situation? No-one knows, one theory is it will get colder rather than warmer in Scotland as the Gulf Stream fails.

It is a vision. A dangerous vision, one I keep close to my heart in case it panics the farmers. It is a generation thing, maybe my great-grand children, should such persons exist will see it fulfilled. I nudge it forward step by infinitesimal step. This is one step.

It could be part of the chaos current or equally a sign confirming my distance from it. This text, as with my past contributions, an act of magic in itself, an exploration of possibilities and potentials. As ever I don't know. Maybe I am just an otter swimming and diving in the river of chaos, hunting for a fish to eat. Oh dear, that does sound a bit New Age, doesn't it?

Struggling for closure, to snap my jaws around the salmon of wisdom. How about a local story?
Up at Drumness on the Polmaddy Burn there is a long deep pool beneath a great oak tree. A young fisherman many years ago tried to catch a great salmon which lurked in the pool. After days of fruitless effort he made a spear from the branch of a nearby sapling. He managed to spear the fish, but then he lost it.

Many years later, now an old man, he returned to Drumness one evening. To his amazement he saw a small tree moving over the water of the pool. Hardly believing his eyes, he lay on the bank and managed to grab the tree. It came away in his hand and a huge salmon leapt up into the air before disappearing into the black water. Examining the 'tree' he realised that it was the same spear he had used so many years before, now grown on the salmon's back. He planted the spear which had become a tree in the earth above the pool. The oak tree which can be seen there today is that very tree.

I have camped at Drumness many times, and seen the oak tree which hangs over the deep pool. It is nearly thirty years since my first visit, when I brought back a tiny oak sapling from Drumness. It is still growing now, not far from where I write these words. From myth to reality, from reality to myth. Long after myself and these words are dust, the oak tree will still be growing. And if this age also ends, from that tree a forest may yet return to reclaim the land.

Post 9/11 Postscript

Does the endlessly repeated moment of the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, symbols of 'bourgeoisie truimphalism', imply the death of the spectacle? Does it hasten the end of this age? Only if the will to avenge creates sufficient chaos to choke off the supply of oil. If you want a sound track to any acts of magic inspired by recent events, dig out David Bowie's 1974 album 'Diamond Dogs'.

"And in the death as the last few corpses lay rotting on slimy throughfares...." is how it begins. Terrorism and an oil crisis provoke by an Arab-Israeli war were part of its background. I remember power-cuts and a three-day working week in the UK, miners on strike and reading Orwell's '1984'. Such delicious gothic gloom it is hardly surprising that the Sex Pistols 'No Future' [God save the Queen] became my generation's anthem in 1977.

And yet we survived even the apparent apocalypse of thermo-nuclear global war. Survived to live rather dull and boring lives. So dull and boring that the sight of an otter swimming in a river can become a magical vision. Perhaps that is the point. Real magic, the magic of reality, is not spectacular. It is quite ordinary. As ordinary as a tree growing where a tree did not grow before. Once there was a forest. Then there was a city. A tower falls in the city. What will replace it: a tree or another tower? Today it is a tower, but tomorrow it will be a tree. One day it will be a forest. Such, I suggest, is the nature of chaos.

London as Heart of Darkness?

I have been looking at other links to Heart of Darkness. The reference to London/ Jack London is at 4 below.

1. T.S.Eliot's The Waste Land [Mistah Kurtz- he dead]

2. Film Apocalypse Now- fairly direct

3. J.G. Ballard - claims no direct influence:

PRINGLE: Conrad?BALLARD: It's a funny thing, but when The Drowned World was published people said it was heavily influenced by Conrad. Oddly enough, though I was 31 or 32, I'd never read a word of Conrad. I remember Victor Gollancz the publisher, taking me out to lunch after they'd bought The Drowned World, and turning to me jokingly, and saying: 'Well, you stole the whole thing from Conrad'. I thought 'oh, what's this?', and going away and actually reading some Conrad - which I found rather heavy going, though he's obviously a great writer, with a unique evocative style - I could see a resemblance. But that's partly because if you're going to try and build up the atmosphere of steaming jungles, there's only one way of doing it. PRINGLE: I think it was Graham Greene who compared The Crystal World with Heart of Darkness. Was there any influence there?BALLARD: I don't know whether I'd read Heart of Darkness at the time I wrote The Crystal World. I honestly don't think I was influenced by Conrad. I don't mind being influenced - after all, we're all influenced to some extent - but if you're talking about conscious imitation: certainly not.


4. Not so much an influence, more a parallel:

Jack London's 'The People of the Abyss' was published in 1903 and so is a near contemporary of Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' which was first published in book form in 1902. London's book describes his venture as an 'explorer' into the East End of London.

Jack London was a lifelong fantast. The first money he ever received as a professional writer was for the science fiction story "A Thousand Deaths" published by The Black Cat in 1899. Thirteen of his 188 published short stories and four of his twenty-two novels fall readily into the category, and other stories contain fantastic elements.

London explored numerous styles of science fiction: pre-history, apocalyptic catastrophe, future war, scientific dystopias, technocratic utopias. Running through most stories are the ideas of social evolution, racialism, and anti-capitalism. In some stories, London emphasizes "social science fiction," the problems of society, particularly the exploitation of workers and the materialism of capitalism. By positing extreme cases of social order or disorder, he hopes to convey how human suffering based in economic inequality may be eliminated. In other cases, his imaginary societies were meant to demonstrate the validity of Social Darwinism with its emphasis upon the rise of the superior Anglo-Saxon race.

London's science fiction shows the influence of such horror fantasy writers as Mary Shelley and Edgar Allen Poe, and the popular science fiction writers of the late 19th century, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, H. Rider Haggard, and Stanley Waterloo. Themes already familiar to turn-of-the-century readers reoccur in London's stories: invisibility, humans turned into beasts, worldwide pestilence, cataclysmic war, indefinable terrors, ghosts, time travel, extra sensory perception (this, before the term was even in the vocabulary).
Yet to be studied are the possible influences London's writings had upon later fatasts. The clearest connection is to George Orwell, who produced programs on London when he worked for the BBC, and acknowledged his debt to such books as Before Adam,
The Iron Heel and The People of the Abyss upon his own writing. Did London's writings influence later creators of fictional alien worlds? Perhaps some readers of this page can do the research to answer that question!

From http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/Essays/scifi.html

I have found the whole of Jack London's book online at http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/Writings/PeopleOfTheAbyss/

`BUT YOU can't do it, you know,' friends said, to whom I applied for assistance in the matter of sinking myself down into the East End of London. `You had better see the police for a guide,' they added, on second thought, painfully endeavoring to adjust themselves to the psychological processes of a madman who had come to them with better credentials than brains.
`But I don't want to see the police,' I protested. `What I wish to do, is to go down into the East End and see things for myself. I wish to know how those people are living there, and why they are living there, and what they are living for. In short, I am going to live there myself.'
`You don't want to live down there!' everybody said, with disapprobation writ large upon their faces. Why, it is said there places where a man's life isn't worth tu'pence.'

`The very places I wish to see,' I broke in.

5. Ursula Le Guin: The Word for World is Forest


This story was written during the height of the Vietnam War, as a parable of colonial exploitation. The native people, the Athsheans, of this planet have evolved into a Close relationship with the ecology of their world. Here they have dwelled in harmony, dwelling peacefully among the forests of their world, until human colonists arrive and start plundering the planet for its valuable timber. We are shown the conflicts which arise and the disruption and destruction of the Athsheans way of life.

In the introduction, Ursula Le Guin, speaking about Vietnam in 1968, gives an insight into the writing of this story:- The lies and hypocrisies redoubled, so did the killing. Moreover, it was becoming clear that the ethic which approved the defoliation of forests and grainlands and the murder of non-combatants in the name of 'peace' was only a corollary of the ethic which permits the despoliation of natural resources for private profit or the GNP, and the murder of the creatures of the Earth in the name of man.

We are shown that the Athsheans' culture places great emphasis on the importance of dreaming; the experiences while dreaming and awake are considered equally real and valid. The society which they have evolved is gentle, and peaceful; murder and war are unknown.

Again, in the introduction it is pointed out there is, or at least was in 1935, a real world corollary in the Senoi Tribe from Malaysia, who it appears have not had a war or a murder, for several hundred years.
The organisation of the Athshean society is that for the most part women run the cities and towns and men are the dreamers, with their roles portrayed as equal and compensatory.

From http://www.takver.com/me/odonian.htm

6. More? No doubt, but then in theory all texts connect...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Isn't it fun to be lost in the woods?

This bit is further to Heart of Darkness in Southern Uplands.

Following up Merlin in the Southern Uplands, found a lengthy and rather academic article by August Hunt on The Spirit of the Woods [Merlin]

There is also an ace project to re-forest a nearby area with native species , rather than Sitka bloody spruce.


The Merlin article is at


and gives the Procopius quote :

The ancient Classical writer Procopius (in his HISTORY OF THE WARS, VIII, XX. 42-48) said:

“Now in this island of Britain the men of ancient times built a long wall, cutting off a large part of it; and the climate and the soil and everything else is not alike on the two sides of it. For to the south of the wall there is a salubrious air, changing with the seasons, being moderately warm in summer and cool in winter… But on the north side everything is the reverse of this, so that it is actually impossible for a man to survive there even a half-hour, but countless snakes and serpents and every other kind of wild creature occupy this area as their own. And, strangest of all, the inhabitants say that if a man crosses this wall and goes to the other side, he dies straightway… They say, then, that the souls of men who die are always conveyed to this place.”

And some interesting placename research involving Norse origin of 'tarn', which indirectly supports my argument that some Norse looking place names - like holm - are original late dark ages ones rather than being introduced later via settlers from north England in the middle ages. Also (as Tolstoy does) uses the psuedo Arthurian 'Romance of Fergus' as a source - which may or may not have a connection with Fergus of Galloway..

Mind you, I have also been reading a more recent edition of Conrad's Heart of Darkness which includes tons of scholarly notes and references - the fetishisation of the text?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Heart of Darkness in the Southern Uplands

in the heart of darkness

I have a very battered Penguin paperback copy of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Faded but still visible on the title page is the date I bought it -1976. I read it today during pauses on a journey to the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh. The outward journey along the A 701 the Devil's Beef Tub' route which cuts up and over the hills beyond Moffat.

http://www.tartantammy.co.uk/hartfell.htm -describes a walk with photos of Hart Fell and Devil's Beef Tub

As a young child, the 'Devil's Beef Tub' was a frightening place. The hills above it rise up to 2600 feet and the road skirts its brim, allowing glimpses into its depths. Returning at dusk after a day out in Edinburgh, with mist drifting up from its gloomy interior, it was an eerie, haunted place, lost amongst the empty barren miles of moorland. I could easily imagine a great horned figure rising up out of the darkness. Still half-believing in God, I still half-believed in the Devil. And every year at Halloween Robert Burns 'Tam o' Shanter' would be read to us. Forty years ago, Burns' world not so far away from rural life in south west Scotland, his rich Scots language still the language we spoke in the playground and at home, if not in school. The biggest difference, and that only a generation or so distant, was that tractors had replaced horses on local farms.

Today, I was looking out for Hart Fell, just beyond the Beef Tub and the source of the Tweed, but the clouds were down too low. Hart Fell being, according to Nikolai Tolstoy's The Quest for Merlin, the sacred mountain where a historical Merlin took refuge after a being on the losing side in the battle of Arderydd fought in the mid sixth century. But even though I could not see Hart Fell, now I know where it is, know I have seen it many times before it and can connect the mountain viscerally with the sense of mingled awe, mystery and fear I experienced forty years ago.

I think it was Sir Walter Scott or perhaps James Hogg (Confessions of a Justified Sinner) who described the cauldron beneath Hart feel as the Devil's beef Tub, suggesting it was where Border Reivers from north of Hadrian's Wall hid the cattle they had 'reived'. Practically I doubt this, the Beef Tub is a good 30 miles from the Border, on the very edge of the reiver's territory. (George Macdonald Fraser in The Steel Bonnets' agrees). Nikolai Tolstoy is perhaps closer when he suggests the area was associated with the persistence of paganism in the 'Dark Ages' between AD 400 and 600, and with the 'Horned God' of forests and wild nature rather than the Christian Devil. Tolstoy quotes a description by Procopius of the region of Britain 'beyond the Wall' as a desolate and savage region filled with the spirits of the dead, wild beats and venomous serpents.

Even today, in June with the hills all green and sleeping like peaceful giants, the crossing and re-crossing of the Southern Uplands was still a disturbing experience. Conrad's narrator, Marlowe describes how he was fascinated as a child by blank spaces on maps. I have an old atlas from 1862 which has just such blank spaces on it. Some are in Africa, another is in the USA - a featureless space in the centre simply marked 'Indian Territories'.
The space I moved through today is not blank on the map. Every stream, every hill, every house, every patch of forest is marked and plotted. We returned via a motorway which runs through this space, running parallel with a railway and a Roman road, all in turn following the rivers Clyde and Annan up and over the watershed which divides them.

And yet it is also a blank space, an absence. For my son it is literally so. He has travelled the Beef Tub road to Edinburgh twice a week for the past seven years, but has never seen anything of it. Every year millions of people travel between central Scotland and England by road and rail. But how many actually see the land, see the Southern Uplands? Or is the hour or so of travel a journey through a blank and empty space?
So far, so literary. Yet the distance between Conrad's Heart of Darkness and my everyday world is not so great. My aunt married a third generation farmer from what was then Rhodesia and is now Zimbabwe. One of her nephews is now working for my brothers and living in the house I grew up in. His father, mother and sister are living in England.
Just off the motorway service station at Abington where I finished reading Heart of Darkness this afternoon is Glenochar. Glenochar is an abandoned 'fermtoun'. All that can be seen of it now are a few piles of stones which mark the sites of peasant farmers 'houses'. What Glenochar reveals is that once the empty landscape of the Southern Uplands was filled with human life. Every patch of fertile ground was farmed and where now only dozens live, once there were thousands.

The story of Glenochar is told in The Lowland Clearances by Peter Aitchison and Andrew Cassell. This was first a radio series, and is now a book. The people driven off the land by agricultural 'reformers' first made their way to new industrial villages, towns and cities. Some stayed, but others moved on. Most to the 'white' colonies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but some to Africa.

At Broughton through which passed today is a John Buchan museum. In Colonialism's Culture, Nicholas Thomas uses Buchan's novel Prester John (published in 1910) to illustrate the theme 'Imperial Triumph, Settler Failure'.

It was little more than dawn... before me was the shallow vale with its bracken and sweet grass, and farther on the shining links of the stream, and the loch still grey in the shadow of the beleaguering hills. Here was a fresh, clean land , a land for homesteads and orchards and children. All of a sudden I realised at last I had come out of savagery. the burden of the past days slipped from me . I felt young again, and cheerful and brave. Behind me was the black night, and the horrid secrets of darkness. Before me was my own country, for that loch and that bracken might have been on a Scotch moor.

The scene, however, is southern Africa not the Southern Uplands.

Unfortunately, although he discusses Heart of Darkness in Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said, does not mention Buchan. However, in discussing late 19th century 'openly colonial' fiction Said does bring in the importance of history and geography.

The appropriation of history, the historicization of the past, the narrativization of society, all of which give the novel its force, included the accumulation and differentation of social space, space to be used for social purpose...
Underlying social space are territories, lands, geographical domains, the actual geographic underpinnings of the imperial, and also the cultural contest. To think about distant places, to colonize them, to populate or depopulate them: all of this occurs on, about or because of land. The actual geographical possession of land is what empire in the final analysis is all about. At the moment when a coincidence occurs between real control and power, the idea of what a given place was (could be , might become) , and an actual place -at that moment the struggle for empire is launched. The co-incidence is the logic both for Westerners taking possession of land and, during decolonization, for resisting natives reclaiming it. Imperialism and the culture associated with it affirm both the primacy of geography and an ideology about control of territory. The geographical sense makes projections- imaginative, cartographic, military, economic, historical or in a general sense cultural. It also makes possible the construction of various kinds of knowledge, all of them in one way or another dependent upon the perceived character and destiny of a particular geography.

Is it possible to take Said's dense and powerful themes - the appropriation of history and particular geographies by the culture of imperialism - and use them to construct a 'knowledge' of the Southern Uplands? To bring back into collective consciousness the blank psychogeographical space which lies between 'Scotland' and 'England?

Probably not. What I am doing is slowly working away at the history and the place names. Spent a month last year spotting and recording about 500 place names from across the western Southern Uplands and down to the north Solway coast. I started with water courses. Professor G W Barrow had mentioned (in his chapter in The Uses of Place Names, ed Simon Taylor ) that the survival of about 100 ‘pol-’ water course place names in the Southern Uplands shows the persistence of P- Celtic (Old Welsh/ Brittonic) in the area.

I knew that another localised place name are the Galloway ‘lanes’. These are large streams, not paths or roads. I found 70. I also found ‘strands’ ‘sykes’ ‘gills’ and ‘grains’ which show and east/ west distribution split. Lanes and strands to the west, sykes, gills and grains to the east. It gets complicated, but all to do with languages spoken over a 1000 year period.

In AD 400 the language was P-Celtic Brittonic or Old Welsh, which evolved into Cumbric (as in Cumbria and Cymru/ Wales) and probably died out around 1200. From 650 Anglian/ Old English enters the picture, but mainly in the lowland/ Solway coast area - not up in the hills. Over on the east coast, in Northumbria and up as far as Edinburgh, the language never died out and evolved into Scots. But in the west? Unknown.

At some point Q- Celtic Gaelic enters the picture. In ‘pure’ form, coming down from the north with the Scots of Alba as they took over Brittonic Strathclyde down as far as Carlisle and into Cumbria. But also came from the west, but spoken by ‘Hiberno- Norse’- Vikings who had colonised parts of Ireland after moving down the west coast of Scotland. They then crossed the Irish Sea via the Isle of Man to Cumbria and over to York. Some had set up trading posts along the north Solway coast (at Whithorn and Kirkcudbright). Dates? 850/ 900? They then moved inland, taking over as ruling elite from the Northumbrians. And then… it all depends on trying to date place names. Holm, fell and dale are all Norse words. They are found right up into the hills, alongside Gaelic place names - some of which may originally have been Welsh.

I reckon what happened was the people and languages mixed and fused. Welsh and Gaelic, English and Norse. The end result was Creole tongue - Scots.

Did fanzines destroy the Mob?

When I became 'manager' of All the Madmen record label, a small ceremony took place where was given a large carrier-bag full of 'Letters to the Mob'. Amongst these letters, to which I did my best to reply, was the following, to which I did not reply.

Please note Question 29.

From Daz Russell of Caution fanzine circa 1983

1. Why do you always say that the individual are more important than The Mob?
2. Are you pleased with the lp?
3.Tell us about the 'Youth' single?
4. How many gigs have you done? How do you feel about doing them? Do you ever get any trouble at them? How do you deal with it?
5.How come you did 'Is God a Man' at one of your gigs? Do you do any other covers?
6. What is 'Roger' about?
7.Why did you put 'Witch Hunt' on the lp?
8.What and who is 'All the Madmen Records'?
9.In what way are you associated with Flowers in the Dustbin? What other bands are on 'All the Madmen' and do you gig with.
10. Have you ever been abroad to do gigs?
11.Are you a punk? Are you a punk band? What do you think of punk at the moment?
12. What is your definition of anarchy?
13.What are the songs about?
14. Which songs go down better live?
15. Why is there such a lot of old stuff on the lp?
16. Why are your records all rather expensive?
17. Would you go on Top of the Pops?
18.What is 'Raised in a Prison'' based on?
19.Have you been in the studio much? Do you enjoy studio or live working?
20.Is The Mob a money making venture? Do you work in any job? What are your views on work?
21.Have you any plans for gigs/records in the immediate future?
22.What would you do in the four minutes before a nuclear war?
23.What do you think of the current alternative scene?
24.What would you do if you were Prime Minister?
25.What do you think of all the 'punk' record compilations there are now?
26. What tapes are available? Do you have any live, practice or demos which are unreleased?
27.What do you think of the music press?Have you been in any? What do you read? Do you like fanzines?
28. What do you think of politics?
29.Is it true you have split up?
30.What is for the future?
31. Anything else you would like to add?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

anarcho (non goth) punk photos

Just found this web page http://www.gb0063551.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/anarchopunk/ which includes photos of Crass playing wapping Autonomy Cente and zig zag squatted gig.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Patterns of the Past

To see the actual place described in this poem, look at http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/20720

The 'modern' reflection of the ancient carvings is shown in thebottom left hand corner of the web page

High Banks Cup and Ring Marked Rocks - August 2000

The past is not dead, but lives in every moment of our being
the patterns in the rock are ripples of desire, ripples in the quantum ocean
they are at once our flesh and the world, which contains us, constrains us
even the thoughts and beliefs, the imaginings : all are patterns.

The land is not dead, but lives in each blade of grass, each handful of earth
is world enough, is suffused with life and time
the heron's pool an ocean vast, each layer of mud and silt
is a horizon wherein the pollen grains persist- they resist decay.

So we construct our imaginings of other landscapes
made by others lives, burnt bones within fired clay
in the silence of this place, a green field open to the sky.

voices murmur - whose are the voices
what do they say, ancestral voices, or the whisperings of the land?
Galweia is the land, the rock, the earth, the rivers, the lochs, the streams
the patterns on the rock are marks upon her bones
her speech is slow and deep, we measure her age in millenia
the fierce heat of her passion crystallised in granite
Mullwarchar and the Dungeon Hill, the three Cairnsmores, Criffel, Screel, Bengairn
her granite limbs entwine Merrick and the Rhinns, through which her waters flow
Deugh and Ken, the Cooran Lane - all gathered up by the Dee
fresh waters mingle with salt in the rhythmic dancing of the sea.

Of the Solway Firth, driven by the moon's gravitic pulsing
in a ceaseless motion forth and back, ebb and flow
storm driven white flecked faster than horses over the sand
or slow gentle ripples in the mist.

Panthea is all the life that lives with Galweia's embrace, her voice
the sighing of the wind in a tree, the cry of a curlew in the night
she is the grass the cattle graze, she is the milk and meat they give
she is a salmon in the stream
she is the voice of the new born child
her's are the bones the cairn entombs
her eyes saw the glaciers retreat
her eyes saw Rome's legions advance
her wisdom carved the recumbant rock
she is the lichen upon it still.

For all the knowledge we have found, yet still we depend upon her gift
standing here on this fertile ground
without the gift of life there would be but barren, sterile rock
without the presence of the past no marks, no patterns, no memories
no voices of the land, no voices of the ancestors
to speak to us in symbols unknown.

We of the present stand for ever poised between past and future
lives lived out within the narrowest of archaeological horizons.
Here we may gaze in curiosity at some patterns on a rock.
Are we so certain of ourselves and our time that we can define the past
within the limits of our knowing?

Our actions are an answer, patterned in a wordless map carved in stone which stands beside and with the other patterns. Circles reflect circles, image mirrors image, symbol speaks to symbol, past to present, present to past... in so doing past speaks to future through the present. Thus the gift of mystery is exchanged and renewed.

Thus "The world already possesses the dream of a time whose consciousness it must now possess in order to actually live it".[Guy Debord]

Sic hominum cuenos graui de morte uocatos
Duxit ad astriferi rutilantia sidera celi
["Thus many were summoned from grievous death to the golden glowing constellations in the starry sky." From the Miracula Ninia Episcopi written at Whithorn in Galloway, late 8th century.]

History as landfill

Three years ago I did some historical and placename research for a campaign to prevent a landfill site being extended. It was fun to do, but had no impact on the eventual decision to grant planning permission. Unfortunately the Council had already committed themselves to a PFI waste management scheme to be run by Shanks plc and the extension of the landfill site was a key part of the project.

I had a bit of a run in with the Council Archaeologist over it. I spotted an old chapel site marked on early maps right next to the entrance to the landfill site - but she said it was actually 500 metres away on the other side of a road. I then got a phone call from a local achaeologist who said he had found the chapel site ten years earlier -in the location I had identified. Unfortunately he had 'borrowed' a mechanical digger to help excavate the site and managed to sink it in the bog on which the landfill site lies, which terminated his explorations...

So it goes. The campaigners used the following in an attempt to get the Scottish Executive to step in and stop the plan. But without the support of the local expert - the Council Archaeologist- it got brushed aside.

Still, I recently got a pat on the back from the editor of the book mentioned in Section 4. The 'lane-names ' he mentions are a local puzzle. I have found over 70 streams which are called 'lanes' but no-one is sure why and how they became 'lanes' rather than burns.

Dear Alistair (if I may)

Very many thanks for your material on lane-names which you sent me, along with a copy of your letter dated 25 Jan 05 to Prof. Nicolaisen. I was pleased to see you had been inspired by Heather James's chapter on Gwaun Henllan [ see section 4 below] - funnily enough I will be seeing her next week when I visit Carmarthen following the Society of Name Studies conference in Swansea this weekend - she will be pleased to hear of your work. I'm sorry your attempt save the possible site for St Bride's chapel from landfill was unsuccessful.

You lane-research is excellent, and is well worth working up into an article. You might want to do a short piece on it for the Scottish Place-Name Society Newsletter, but it deserves much fuller treatment - there are various possibilities- Nomina and Dumfries and Galloway Transactions being the most obvious. There are plans afoot to produce a Journal of Scottish Name Studies (which I would be editor of), to appear probably Spring 2007, but you might not want to wait that long.

I don't think I can help much with your lane-research - though I'd be pleased to see anything else you might write on it. From a quick perusal of the material, it did strike me that there might be simple phonetic assimilation of lean(a) to lane when the former was borrowed into Scots either as a lexical or an onomastic item.

The boundary charters you mention [see Section 1 below] are brilliant - I might come back to you on these when I get back from Wales.

Best wishes

Simon Taylor

Aucheninnes Landfill Site [Extension]

1.Holm Cultram Charter Evidence

On 15th September 1927, R. C. Reid presented a paper to a Field Meeting of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society held at Kirkgunzeon Church. In this paper [attached] Mr. Reid drew on the Register of Holm Cultram Abbey in Cumbria to illustrate the history of the Parish of Kirkgunzeon. The relevant section of Mr. Reid's paper concerns the boundaries of the 'grange' lands rented by Holm Cultram. These still form the boundaries of the Parish of Kirkgunzeon.

The road leading from the bridge of Polatkertyn to Crosgile ultan, thence by the straight way to Cloenchonecro, and going down by the steam called Grenethfalde, as the stream runs into the water that comes out of Lochart[ur] and as Polnechauc falls into the same water at the foot of Locharthur, and from Polnechauc to the Munimuch, and from Munimuch by the top of the hill to Glastri straight to Poldere-duf, and so across to the source of Poldereduf, and as Poldereduf falls into the great water which runs between Culwen and Boelwinin, and then down the water which runs between Blareguke and Halthecoste, and so up the middle of the alderwood to the great moss, and across the moss to Polnehervede, and as Polnehervede falls into Polchillebride, and the last into Dufpole and so up steam to Polatkertyn.

The Dufpole is identified by Reid as the Kirkgunzeon Lane [or Dalbeatttie Burn], the Polnehervede as the Arnmannoch Burn, and the Polchillebride which links these two, as the Little [Kirkgunzeon] Lane. The Little Kirkgunzeon Lane flows through Aucheninnes Moss and past the existing Aucheninnes Landfill site. Reid translates Polchillebride as "St. Bride's Kirk burn".

Since the charter quoted above [Register of Holm Cultram No. 129] was one obtained from Alexander, King of Scots [reigned 1214-1249] confirming an original charter granted by Uchtred of Galloway [died 1174], it would seem reasonable to assume that a church or chapel dedicated to St. Bride existed in the Aucheninnes area in the 12th century. This church or chapel gave its name to the stream.

2. Edyngaheym: Daphne Brooke's evidence

Dr. Richard Oram is the author of 'The Lordship of Galloway' [published by John Donald, Edinburgh, 2000]. This is the most academically authoritative study of the history of medieval Galloway. In an Obituary of Daphne Brooke published in the 2002 volume of the Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society, Dr. Oram wrote the following:

The first indication of the scale of her finding came in 1987 in vol LXII of the Transactions, where her 'The Deanery of Desnes Cro and the Church of Edingham', pointed towards the former existence of an Anglian minister or monastic community in the heart of the territory between the rivers Nith and Urr. When presented in isolation in this article, her arguments appeared rather thinly stretched, but the publication in 1991 of "The Northumbrian Settlements of Galloway and Carrick', which appeared in vol 119 of the proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland, set Edingham into a broader context and provided compelling evidence for a complex administrative structure extending through Galloway from the Nith to the Rhins. In conjunction with the steadily emerging archaeological evidence for a highly organised Northumbrian monastery and estate based on Whithorn, this article revolutionised historical interpretations of the nature and extent of the historically obscure period of Anglian hegemony in Galloway from the later 7th until the 10th centuries. By 1991, her research had demonstrated beyond question that place-name evidence could give voice to the silent centuries in Galloway's history.

In the article 'The Deanery of Desnes Cro and the Church of Edingham' referred to above [also attached, page 54], Daphne Brooke suggests that

There was also a chapel in Colvend dedicated to St. Bride. A bounding title of 1185-86 [Holm Cultram 121] refers unmistakably to the water course which is now called the Little Kirkgunzeon Lane as Polchillebride. It is too far from Blaiket to be named after that church. A separate chapel of St. Bride must have existed here, and possibly became the parish church of Colvend (the patron saint is no longer known).

3. Evidence from the Ordnance Survey

Unfortunately neither R.C. Reid nor Daphne Brooke appear to have connected the place-name evidence of the Polchillebride with the work of the Ordnance Survey carried out in Galloway between 1847 and 1850. Fortunately the Rev. David Frew in 'The Parish of Urr, Civil and Ecclesiastical: A History' [first published in Dalbeattie, 1909, republished in 1993] did. On page 186 he mentions that a chapel site near Aucheninnes farm is recorded on the current OS map of Kirkcudbrightshire.

It is difficult to precisely correlate locations given on Victorian OS maps with modern OS maps. The old maps use latitude and longitude rather than numbered kilometre squares. A possible location of the chapel site has been given as NX 8464 6098 by Dumfries and Galloway Council Archaeologist. However this is some distance from the apparent location in a field opposite the entrance to the existing Aucheninnes Landfill Site. The Council Archaeologist did keep a 'watching brief' on the old OS map location when the B 793 was under construction in 1994, but noticed nothing of significance.

[Note: see above on this. Using www.old-maps.co.uk I have got a modern map ref for chapel site as NX 84779 60945 or their Grid Reference 284779,560945 ]

The Ordnance Survey were approached in an attempt to clarify this anomaly, but were unable to do so. The OS suggested that RCAHMS [Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland] might be able to help. Unfortunately RCAHMS depend on the local expert knowledge provided by, for example, Council Archaeologists.

Where, as with the B 793 road construction in 1994 and the proposed extension of the Aucheninnes Landfill Site, a Council is acting as both Planning Authority and a partner in the development, issues of conflict of interest can arise. Where, as in this case, evidence for 'significance' is ambiguous and depends upon interpretation, objectivity becomes problematic and could be swayed by subjective factors. Mapping evidence for a chapel site in the immediate proximity of the proposed development exists. In this case, independent assessment of its existence or non-existence is required to ensure objectivity.

4. Importance of Place-Name Evidence: a Welsh Case

In 'The Uses of Place-Names' [ed. Simon Taylor: Scottish Cultural Press: 1998], Chapter 7 'Gwaun Henllan-the oldest Recorded Meadow in Wales?' Heather James illustrates the significance of place-name evidence in the context of a Planning Appeal against an open-cast mining development. [Attached].

The parallels between the Welsh case and the present one lie in the ability of place-name evidence to reveal continuities and changes in a historic [i.e. documented] landscape. Aucheninnes is a Gaelic place-name with the meaning 'the field in the water-meadow'. [Maxwell: Place Names of Galloway]. The fact that Aucheninnes is now described as a raised bog or moss rather than a water-meadow reveals changes in the agricultural/ land-use patterns of the area. In 'The Lordship of Galloway' [Oram: 2000: 258] the neighbouring farms of Arnmannoch, Meikle and Little Cloak are specifically referred to in this context.

Daphne Brooke has drawn attention to one particular place-name element that apparently charts the process of bringing land from the waste into cultivation or pasture. This is the Gaelic noun earann(a share), which survives in the prefixes arn-, ern- or iron-. The earliest surviving documented mention of an earann names dates to 1408...but the specific elements of several of the names implies the use of the generic at a much earlier period. Certain of the place-names, such as Arnmannoch (the Monk's Share or the Share of the Monk's Vassals, depending on whether the specific is a corruption of monoch or manach) and Ernespie (the Bishop's Share), point to ecclesiastical involvement in the formation of assarts. Armannoch in Kirkgunzeon (NX 858 605) lies on land that formed part of the Holm Cultram Estates. It is probably to be identified with the 'Clochoc of the Monks' mentioned in a perambulation of the estate in 1289, where it was described as lying across the boundary line from 'Clochoc beg of Culwen'. Modern farms lying immediately across the old parish boundary from Arnmannoch are Meikle and Little Cloak. A second Arnmannoch lies on the northern edge of Lochrutton parish... in both cases, the farms lie on marginal grazing lands and may represent land taken out of the waste by monastic estates managers or their tenants.

It is significant in this context of land being 'taken out of the waste' and returning to 'the waste [i.e. bog or moss status] that land at Little Cloak farm is to be managed under a separate legal agreement to provide a 'waste' habitat for the Bog Bush cricket as part of the Landfill Development of Aucheninnes Moss. The 'natural heritage' value of Aucheninnes Moss has been recognised. Its 'cultural and historic heritage' value has not.

5. Conclusion

On the basis of the above, would a 'reasonable person' [famously described by Lord Denning as 'the man on the Clapham omnibus'] conclude that Dumfries and Galloway Council neglected to take into proper account the archaeological, historical and cultural significance of the Auchenninnes area in the planning process?

That the residents of Dalbeattie who objected to the proposal at the local stage were not aware of, and so did not draw attention to, the evidence presented above does not affect this argument. As the Planning Authority, it is Dumfries and Galloway Council who should have carried out this research. That the Council Archaeologist carried out a 'watching brief' when a new access road to the Aucheninnes site was built in 1994 in case remains of the 'Chapel' recorded on old OS maps were uncovered is significant. That it is claimed that no significant finds were revealed in 1994 does not mean that this chapel does not exist. Detailed mapping suggests it lay just to the east of the route of this road and immediately north of the entrance to the existing Aucheninnes Landfill Site. Place-name and historical evidence supports this location.

The preservation of the Holm Cultram records for the area makes it unique in a local historical context. Both Daphne Brooke and Richard Oram have drawn upon this documentation to extend and develop our understanding and knowledge of the history of Galloway.

Unfortunately, since the proposed development is part of a Private Finance Initiative agreement between Dumfries and Galloway Council and Shanks Waste Management Ltd, a potential conflict of interest exists between the role of the Council as Planning Authority and as partner in the development. Dumfries and Galloway Council have an urgent need to find a solution to their waste management problems. If it had not been for the intervention of Scottish Natural Heritage as an external agency, it is unlikely that the conditions subsequently imposed to protect the Bog Bush cricket would have been imposed.

In the parallel case of the Edingham Waste Transfer Station part of this regional Waste Management strategy, the issue of potential impact on a historic site [the former Edingham munitions factory] was taken into account in the planning process.

6. Suggestion

That the Scottish Executive should, taking into account the historical and cultural significance of the Aucheninnes/ Edingham area, make their approval of the Aucheninnes Landfill Site Extension conditional upon an independent archaeological assessment of the possible chapel site.

In addition, should it be felt that there are sufficient similarities with the Gwaun Henllan case, that an independent assessment be made of the possible national historical and cultural heritage value of the Edingham/ Aucheninnes area.

On this last point, Shanks Waste Managment Ltd have announced that they are to appeal to the Scottish Executive against the decision by Dumfries and Galloway Council acting as Planning Authority to reject the Edingham Waste Transfer Station. Since the Waste Transfer Station aspect is integral to the Landfill Site Extension aspect, then the importance of Daphne Brooke's evidence needs to be assessed.

It is unfortunate that, in this particular case, rather than taking the opportunity to extend local historical knowledge, Dumfries and Galloway Council have chosen not to.