One O'Clock Gun Number 17
Volume 4 Number 4
Back with a vengeance!
This is the DUALITY ISSUE of the OOCG, published to counter the constant, pernicious and lazy belief that Edinburgh is a city of enormous duality. Featuring:
Uptown Top Rankin by Craig Gibson
Let's Be Frank by Eoin Sanders
Stop This Shit Now! by Peter Burnett
Some Reflections Upon The Late Angus Calder by Craig Gibson
The Fetch Goes by Raymond Bell
Duality, Come In, Your Time Is Up by Kevin Williamson
AFTER A brief sabbatical the Gun has returned like the proverbial bad penny! Our short vacation has given us plenty time to recharge our batteries and regain our original antagonistic stance. I have come to terms with the fact that the Gun is never going to generate any money, so there is little point in kissing any arses. No, literary Edina, it is time to pay the ferryman once more! Lucy McKenzie’s futuristic depiction of a plague doctor to your right sets the whole tone of this issue, for we are out to destroy the poxy Edinburgh Duality Myth once and for all. There is no need to go into the reasons for this here, for my contributors and I do that more than adequately, as you will fi nd if you care to read on. No simple polemics, mind you; inside you will be enlightened, entertained and amused in equal measure. We do not debate the concept of Edina’s socalled ‘duality’, we literally fucking demolish it with mirth and panache. A tad one sided, but there you are. It is our intention that the literati will never utter the term ‘duality’ again; it will become a dreaded word, akin to ‘MacBeth’ in the world of the theatre, to be avoided at all cost. At the very least we hope that any individuals who continue to peddle this simplistic, yet odious fantasy will be revealed as the unimaginative drudges they truly are. Nonetheless, I am a fair man and if this issue pisses anyone off (and I sincerely hope it does, otherwise I’m not doing my job properly) feel free to make y’r grievances known, publicly or otherwise, and a debate of sorts can begin if so desired. Y’rs in Sport, Craig Gibson, Editor, Summer 2008
Stop This Shit Now
Stop This Shit Now! by Peter Burnettt THAT’S RIGHT, the year is 2008 and Edinburgh‘s nature is fractured and dual. At least, according to the writers, academics and critics (WACs) that have been telling us this. From their warm, gadget fi lled studies, these WACs have been concocting a fantasy about the miraculous and mind-blowing duality of our lovely city. YOUNG OFFENDERS It all became too much when Irvine Welsh stunned audiences of the South Bank Show with the staggering revelation that Edinburgh was a divided city. Sitting in a bar he used to ken, Welsh told Melvyn Bragg about how Edinburgh was uniquely divided into Old Town, ken, and New Town, ken, which was a metaphor for the whole thing like. This was accompanied with much twattish muttering on Jekyll and Hyde, Burke and Hare, James Hogg and OH NO HE COULDN’T THINK OF ANY OTHER EXAMPLES and that was about it. IAN Then Ian Rankin swooped, presenting Hidden Edinburgh on BBC4, in which he unexpectedly attacked the same cliché with more twattish glee. Viewers were shocked when Ian stepped to camera to ask: “What are the roots of the split in Edinburgh’s nature?” After much of the usual twatting about Burke and Hare, Jekyll and Hyde and twatting in the Old Town and the New Town, Rankin came up with the genius conclusion: “The city’s division goes a lot deeper than between rich and poor.” Stop this shit now! MINGERS And then Hidden Edinburgh turned on the brothel at 17 Danube Street. According to the show, “Edinburgh also has a dual attitude towards sex.” Stop this shit now! We were enjoying that bit about the brothel, and revelling in the photography of one of Edinburgh’s most attractive neo- Greek streets, with its crescent and grand centrepiece. And all we got was more twatting about Edinburgh’s supposed dual nature. No! Then Edinburgh’s committee for the Six Cities Festival exhibition picked up the baton. “Edinburgh has a schizophrenic nature, caught between the rational and the irrational, nostalgia and modernity, the urban and the natural,” they said. Stop this shit now! It’s unbearable. Crazy Englishman Wyndham Lewis has even given his support for this, and says “Stop this shit now!” Duality and the divided mind have been a source of fascination for literary artists in other places for a long time now, and we don’t just mean Glasgow and Aberdeen, you mingers. EXPLOSION The action heated up in August last year at the Book Festival in Charlotte Square Gardens, when in a discussion on the Armenian genocide of 1915, Taner Akçam talked of the duality of the Turkish nation, which he suggested has “different subcultures, and different collective memories.” Later Akçam was accused of stealing Edinburgh’s thunder and was shown to the massive Gothic spire of the Sir Walter Scott Monument and asked to climb the 287 narrow and winding steps to the top and take in the view of the city, where below him, enshrined in the open vault, was the seated statue of Sir Walter Scott dressed in a border plaid and accompanied by his favourite deer-hound Maida, all carved from a lovely 30 ton block of Carara marble. Akçam was implored to recognise the duality of Edinburgh, but instead he chose to talk about the Armenian genocide of 1915. WACs were shocked. WANKER Chilly player-hater Hector Snipe recently cornered the Gun outside Edinburgh’s The Hot Dong, and had this to say: “Those WACs are all wrong. Did you know that Leith has a split personality, what with its wine bars and cock-injecting junkies? And that Bruntsfi eld is heaven to Morningside’s hell? And that there are at least fi ve different types of architecture in Colinton! And did you know that we’ve got a brand new Polish ghetto! And that I’m fucked if I’ll ever ride no tram? And that Jenners is no better than John Lewis! No! What I’m telling you is that Edinburgh has at the last count 28 personalities! I think these WACs are all wrong!” ASK NO QUESTIONS In case you are a WAC and are still spouting this twattish crap about Edinburgh’s dual nature, here’s a quick quiz which you should repeat until you get all the answers right: 1. Who wrote The Double? a) Robert Louis Stevenson b) Deacon Brodie c) Louise Welsh d) None of the above 2. The opposition and combination of the universe’s two basic principles of yin and yang is a large part of which religion? a) Presbyterianism b) Taoism c) Orangeism 3. In his study The Double in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, John Herdman concluded what? a) That although William Godwin, Charles Brockden Brown, ETA Hoffman, James Hogg, Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Stevenson, Wilde, Kipling, Maupassant, Poe and Chekhov all employed doubles in their fi ction, it was only Hogg and Stevenson that really mattered. b) That although William Godwin, Charles Brockden Brown, ETA Hoffman, James Hogg, Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Stevenson, Wilde, Kipling, Maupassant, Poe and Chekhov all explored the selfdivision inherent in the Doppelganger fi gure and were infl uenced by a much wider Gothic tradition, all their ideas were stolen from Edinburgh. c) That if you mention Edinburgh’s dual nature in an interview, you might look as if you had read something other than Harry Potter. 4. You are an up and coming WAC and asked by the Herald to comment on the novel Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. What do you say? a) That Jamie Bell should defi nitely play David. b) That Kidnapped really demonstrates the dual nature in Edinburgh. c) “Oooh, see that Alan Breck Stewart, he’s got a real Jekyll and Hyde personality.” 5. Paris, Lisbon and Berlin are all beautiful European capitals. But which major tourist attraction do they all seriously lack? a) Greggses b) Deacon Brodie’s pub c) A dual nature, obviously. For more on Edinburgh’s dual nature, and the latest allegations in the Peter Burnettt must shut up or die scandal, go to www. whatacrockofshite.com and click on STOP THIS SHIT NOW! Next time: Only Three Glasgows: Triple Personality on the West Coast. Peter Burnettt is a writer, academic, novelist and critic. In short, a WANC.