It’s both sad and disappointing that Iain Banks died last year. Sad for him and for his family because he wasn’t old by any means and disappointing because he had a lot of books left in him.
It’s obvious that I’m a fan of his books and I’ve read them all bar one. I read both of fiction and science fiction books and I’ve also read some of them more than once. Initially I enjoyed his books because they were set in places I had been or knew a bit about. I think my first was Complicity, which was set in Edinburgh and then Espedair Street, which was a great book, based on a rock band. I was slower to get into his Sci-fi offering although I’ve been a sci-fi fan since I was old enough to get into the main library.
Just this past couple of weeks I re-read The Business and The Player of Games. The first, a book of fiction about a secretive corporation and the second a Sci-fi book which deals with a game expert within the “culture” who is tricked into playing a game which forms the basis of the hierarchy of a distant civilisation who happen to be pretty barbaric and definitely not politically correct.
Once again I enjoyed both books, however, not as much as I had before. It’s wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy the plots etc. it was because this time I’d read them whilst considering the politics and doing that changed the books significantly.
The Business was all about a small country being manipulated into doing a deal which would change it forever and not for the better. The woman, who was the main character, stopped it from happening, making a decision, which significantly affected her future but of course she had to be selfless unlike the men who ran the “business” as it was called.
The Player of Games described a society not like our own monarchy albeit in a more backward and far more violent society. Very, very, very un PC. The games player, who’s society didn’t use money, own things and had no real laws won and brought down the civilisation he was playing against.
It was socialism. Leftie stuff. Nice and warm socialism with no secret police, no progroms, no queues, and on and on. Now why would that be?
Why is it that so many of our artists, actors, musicians, writers, etc. have a leaning to the left? I mean it’s up to them to choose their own political beliefs? But why? Is it down to those sorts of crafts being a significant way of informing people of political views? But why?
I know folk music has played a part in recording, performing and safeguarding music with a political message, but why would Sting, Bono, George Clunie, Darryl Hannah, Jane Fonda, Bob Geldoff, etc. etc. etc. and I shouldn’t miss out Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, all think they should get up and offer their views.
Of course some of that is down to having a platform and also having the adulation of thousands if not millions of fans. They all have things to say about how WE should all get off our bottoms and DO something, like they have. They have given their name or a bit of cash to a cause they think is worthwhile. They may be wrong or they may be right!
Maybe I’d pay more attention to them if they got up one day and shunned the limelight, sent back all their humanitarian awards, sent all their worldly goods to charities, given all their cash to charities and started living a lifestyle which is the same as you and me.
Of course they won’t.
There are others too that could do with a bit of reality. How about the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and David Attenborough giving up their space in the world as a means of reducing the size of the worlds population?
If they did maybe all the zealots and fake charity people should do the same things as the slebs could? But they wouldn’t. They are great about saying what is wrong and what should be done but they don’t want to do anything, which might impinge on their lifestyle and standing.
Go on… give it a go… do what you say we should do…