Monday, August 4, 2014

The Asterisk Years-One Year On

So the final stretch of work needed to complete the film is this week. Just over a year from when I launched this project, it's been a year that even sitting down to write about makes me question my own sanity. What the aim always was was to disrupt the planned David Murray comeback to Scottish football and highlight the role of the Edinburgh Establishment in the demise of Rangers, the constant cheating that went on and the attempted murder of our club so to say that every trophy Rangers won in that Murray era should have an asterisk beside it,

The means to do this was a book, audio book and documentary. Now, let me address the book first. If I've learned one thing it's that folk like me are not supposed to have an opinion on things like this. I've documented the level of hate that has came from one third of Glasgow, at times so bad that you'd think I'd been a serial killer and was documenting how I did it, but this and the style of book attracted a certain type of Celtic supporter who went out their way to stop people buying it. You see what I attempted to do is parallel my own life growing up in Edinburgh with that of the Edinburgh Establishment. There were two reasons for this: To "fashion the narrative" as they say in the Boogie Down Bronx and to tip my hat to those who had bought and loved my books previously and the style they were written in. This upset some Celtic supporters so much that they would take to reviews and Social Media pleading with others not to buy the book. A staggering level of hate came towards me from about five supporters who just seemed hell bent on slaughtering the book no matter what and still goes on to this day. My own take on that is I've read plenty Celtic books I didn't like but the fact that they were written by Celtic supporters kind of stopped me going out and slaughtering them and the writer at every opportunity since reading them. Yet it's me who is the "Schemie embarrassment who should be put down" as one of them so eloquently put.

On a similar note I am often asked about prominent people in the Celtic world and the level of help/publicity they have given this project. One thing I pride myself on is highlighting who helps me and so if you've not heard a name from my lips then you can be sure they haven't helped. To be fair, loads have noticed this and often ask me why? That, for someone with a lot to say, is something I can't answer. For years I punted others stuff in good faith but when the roles were reversed it wasn't to be. As Tony Benn always said "Keep focused on what you're doing and never wrestle with chimney sweeps"

Moving to the audio book and this was when I knew that other information was coming and I would be in a position to start dropping stuff of substance. See a couple of folk still haven't understood that the book was just the start. It was a transition from the sort of "Punk Fanzine" writing I'd done previously into a more investigative style. Yet even two weeks ago I saw someone slaughter my research skills. At this point I point you in the direction of the other blogs that are here and let you be the judge.

Anyway the audio book was a tough slog but worth it. There was a great reaction to it and I was helped by some wonderful voices that brought the book to life. We also added a few new things just to see if folk were paying attention and bit by bit they noticed. This was the final jet fuel needed to do the documentary. It was almost derailed immediately by someone who, to this day, did things that still baffle the rest of us and none of of us have any clue as to why. Another thing you learn, never underestimate the queerness of folk. From total disappearance to an inexplicable unfollow on Twitter, you realise that a lot of folk need their balls cupped constantly in life and I've only got two hands. Similarly some folk start holding you responsible for things others do and say. Remember Tony Benn.

Of course the level of support has been both staggering and humbling to the point of almost being overwhelming. For all the shit I've had to put up with, there have many so many warm bath moments that it's all worth it. You come to expect abuse, and it come from many angles, one person was upset I said Barry Bonds was a cheat whilst another went berserk one day because I said I was off to see my son in Ireland ("You have a fucking duty to answer my messages!!!") and that was someone I've never spoken to in my life before.

Even when the trailers came out, a couple of people who claim to be friends to my face couldn't wait to slaughter them behind my back. No doubt whilst holding their Academy Awards. One thing social media is brilliant for is you know within minutes when someone is talking shit about you. I say to folk like this now, if you don't like me, the project or others involved, fine, but don't run down to the bingo and start bitching about it. Love is all you need.

Hey though, I learned really quickly that with a thing like this, it's easy to spot your real friends and and it gets easier to hold your tongue.

Moreover though, a look back and I am proud of what has been achieved so far,. I think we have brought to the fore some names that were not known and a part of the story that wasn't out there. I also think we have put a serious dent in Murray's comeback and massive obstacles in front of the narrative that certain people wanted to put out there when Rangers were liquidated (Brechin v Sevco anyone?). From Ally McCoist to Neil Doncaster, hopefully their constant two faces are now there for all to see. Plus the photo of Murray and "The man I never met" in Charlotte Square was nice. A dedicated team of researchers make that happen.

So where do we go now? Well, I won't be bombarding you with promo for a while. The premiere is sold out and the charity screening is a third of the way sold out three months before it happens so we can give you a break from it. If you want tickets, they are here www.theasteriskyears.com 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has supported this project. Especially those who "Got it" from day one. I'd also like to bend at the knee to those wonderful people who are helping to ensure that this documentary is blasted all over the world. The tour is the last stage and without the use of enhancements either.

Finally, "Bob", Merci.


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