:- Justiﬁed sinner
1n the 1960s, Glaswegian psychiatrist R.D. Laing was as much a part ofthe fabric of the times as Timothy Leary. Castaneda or the Maharishi. and although his name is rarely invoked nowadays his ideas have left a lasting impression. With a couple of books to be published about Laing. he looks set to recover at least some of his former 'iconic status.
BBC Scotland has completed a documentary. Just Another Sinner. which draws on the reminiscences of colleagues, family and patients, and some revealing contemporary footage. lt’s largely based on the account of Adrian Laing. the youngest son from the psychiatrist's first marriage. who has just published a biography of his father.
As a young psychiatrist. Laing had worked in institutions where patients were routinely lobotomised or put into insulin-induced comas. Repulsed. he set about reforming the system, encouraging empathy instead of incarceration. Schizophrenics reported that in his books. which included The Divided Se/fand The Politics of Experience, they were at last able to read accounts ofthe condition which mirrored their direct experience.
The books crossed over into the best- seller lists (devoured both by professionals and a generation which found comfort in theories which explained, or at least acknowledged. the gulfbetween them and their parents) and Laing enthusiastically embraced a role as one of the gurus of
the new age.
1 While his charisma and talents as a
3 self-publicist contributed to his success. Laing found that level hard to maintain. Long before the heart attack that killed I him in 1989. he was finding it increasingly difficult to get new work
3 published. and much of his intellectual rigour was dissipated by alcohol.
i The BBC Scotland documentary is
0.0. Laing: new age guru
i scheduled for Scotland-only broadcast , at first, but a BBC2 Mental Health
; Week, proposed for April. could mean ! a network showing and a chance to
; reconsider the contribution of this
i distinguished but neglected Scotsman. : (Alastair Mabbott)
, Just Another Sinner. theﬁrst ofa new ; series of [ix-S. is on 'litesday I
November on BBC! at 10.20pm.
_ In both camps
Two Scottish gay and lesbian organisations have announced plans for major events next year. Clasgayl, last year’s one-off arts festival, now aims to become a regular event with a benefit this month to launch it. Meanwhile activists have formed Pride Scotland, an Edinburgh-based branch of the international Pride movement. London’s Pride event in June attracts well over 100,000 people, including a large travelling Scottish contingent.
There are now plans to hold the first Pride Scotland in Edinburgh with the possibility of it moving to other cities in subsequent years. ‘As well as increasing visibility, we aim to create a focus through which we as lesbians, gay men and bisexuals can project our unity, diversity and fundamental right to equality,’ says the organisation’s chair, Duncan Hothersall.
Meanwhile Glasgay! will be doing a bit of maintaining visibility when it transforms The Arches into a fairy grotto for a kitsch fund-raiser later this month. Acts appearing include American stand-up Scott Cappurro and the Camp Vamps from Newcastle. The party is an attempt to generate
interest in holding Clasgay! again next October, though artistic director Cordelia Ditton admits it’ll be harder finding the money this time. ‘The District Council has been reluctant and we can only ask so many favours from people,’ she says. Last year’s prominent gay activists like Ian McKellen waived their usual appearance fee.
A second Clasgay! and now proposals for a Pride event shows Scotland’s gay community in buoyant mood, but is it possible the famous pink pound could
The Camp Vamps: fund-raising knees-up
be over-stretched by two major events? Ditton doesn’t regard the Pride organisers as competitors: ‘Just as you could never say people should give money to Clasgay! rather than Aids charities, these events are not mutually exclusive,’ she says. ‘Hopefully we will help each other.’ (Stephen Naysmith)
The Glasgay! Party is on Sunday 30 October at The Arches, tickets £7 (£5). Anyone interested in helping get Pride Scotland off the ground should call 031 661 8640.
I Positively Unemployed A drama project for unemployed people has been organised at Springwell House, Ardmillan Terrace, Edinburgh. to run from the end of Omber to December. Professional tuition will be given to participants who will have the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of creating and producing a new piece of theatre to be shown in local primary schools in December. Volunteers should be available every Fri and Mon. 2—4.30pm. The first meeting is on Fri 21 Oct at 2pm. Contact 031 337 1971 for details.
I Conservation Auction The Scottish Conservation Projects Trust is holding a charity auction on Thurs 27 Oct at the Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh. Money raised from the auction will be used to fund improvement ofthe local Edinburgh environment through practical conservation work. ltems ranging in value from £10 to £3000 will be on sale. Viewing is from 6.30pm. with bidding from 7.30pm and entrance is £1.
I Pollok Estate Training Workshop Opposition to the proposed Ayr road route through Pollok Estate continues on Sun 23 Oct with a non-violent direct action training day. Potential activists will leam how to organise and take part in such actions as lying in front of bulldozers — without getting run over! The training starts at 10am at Pollok Free State. off Barrhead Road (opposite the National Savings Bank). On Mon 31 Oct there will be a Hallowe'en party in the park from 6pm and a demonstration has been organised for Thurs 3 Nov at 10am. outside the Strathclyde Regional Council HQ in India Street.
I Slow Down Scotland Friends of the Earth (Scotland) is organising a day of action on Mon 31 Oct to highlight the need for substantial traffic reduction in cities. towns and villages. Actions will take place throughout Scotland, with the main action in Edinburgh taking the form of a human chain through the city at 9am. For details of actions near you, or to get involved in the Edinburgh action, contact George Baxter on 031 554 9977.
I Edinburgh's Transportation Strategy will be discussed at a meeting organised by Friends of the Earth (Edinburgh) on Thurs 3 Nov at the Pentland Room, Edinburgh University Societies Centre. 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh. The speaker will be Dr George Hazel. Lothian's director of transportation.
I Can Communities Survive? The Scottish Environmental Forum is holding a one-day conference on Sat 5 November at Panick Burgh Hall. Glasgow, 10am—5pm. to examine the threats to Scottish communities and the successes of some communities in overcoming these threats. With the accent on strategies for sustainable development. the conference will be of interest to those involved in community organisations. Contact Andrew Clarke
on 041 248 6864 for details.
I If you have news of any events or courses which you want publicised in this column, please forward them to ‘Action’ at The list, 14 High Street, Edinburgh Eill 1TB and include a day- time phone number.
The List 21 October—3 November 1994 5