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Pat Kane
Glasgow
Author of The Play Ethic, one half of Hue And Cry, father, partner
Interests: The future, love, sex, funkiness, great technology, classic life-changing songs, the multitude, longevity, Scottish culture/independence/prospects
Recent Activity
My lecture delivered on Oct 12th, 2016, at King's College Arts and Humanities Festival, "PLAY". All shares and comments most welcome. "Radical Animal: Constructing the Creative Self" - Pat Kane from Pat Kane Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2016 at The Play Ethic
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Contact me at: playethical@gmail.com Notes from my speech at the Readie conference in Berlin, today, 11 October 2016 * * * I'm a writer, musician, curator (of FutureFest), activist - my interest is in cultural, social & human-development drivers of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2016 at The Play Ethic
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Published on Linkedin, Jun 13, 2016 So my current hat - in a lifetime of oddly-shaped headwear, worn in the course of a long career in creativity - is curator. Specifically, my curatorship of Nesta’s FutureFest since 2012, this year... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2016 at The Play Ethic
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By Pat Kane. First published on DECEMBER 19TH, 2015 YES, I sat there with a huge smile on my face, all the way through. No doubt many of you watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens this weekend will be suffering exactly the same face-ache afterwards. The reviews (including yesterday’s excellent piece in these pages from Ross Miller) are generally agreed on director JJ Abrams’ achievement, in particular his blend of the past and the coming future of the Star Wars mythology. The vigour and skill of the actors playing the new heroes bodes well for the next few films. I’ll... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on DECEMBER 12TH, 2015 IT’S easy for me to define who the two most important men in my life are: my father and Frank Sinatra. The former, well, I’m still taking a voyage round him, even though he passed away in 2007. But today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Francis Albert Sinatra (who died in 1998). Given that Dad lived, breathed and crooned Mr S, no doubt any consideration I might make of the Voice (or latterly, the Chairman) will bear the traces of what I made of my father. But one... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on DECEMBER 5TH, 2015 IT was one of the most original encounters I’d had in the indyref. The head of Glasgow City Council swept into our debate room packed with eminent worthies, at the very last minute. He was a vision in pinstripes, trailing a minor retinue behind him. Gordon Mathieson – nowadays a mere plebeian – harrumphed a little, and then launched into what I could only call a vision of “independence for Glasgow” (as opposed, that is, to independence for Scotland). This was August 2014, and Mathieson was not only flush from the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on NOVEMBER 28TH, 2015 TO the Tramway, to see this year’s Turner Prize nominees. The cab gets nearer the great brick shed, barrelling through the tinseltown rain of Glasgow: I feel calmer as I get closer. There is almost nothing I don’t like about cutting-edge contemporary art, or contemporary artists. This will be a beautiful, puzzling, annoying, contemplative morning. And so it proves. One white-cube room comprises of a few tubular chairs, draped with fur coats, and little else. Another looks like not much more than a pop-up shop for hand-crafted building materials. Yet another... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on NOVEMBER 21ST, 2015 ENOUGH Islamophobia! It’s exactly what the extremist jihadis of Daesh want to generate in us. They want to destroy what they call the “grey zone” between Islam and “the West” – that pluralist space in which the faithful and the secular can accept their differences, and find their commonalities, as a working society. It should be enough just to think for a moment of those professing Muslims among our own friends and networks to quell any fear or worry. But reflecting on the aftermath of the Paris attacks, I realised that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on NOVEMBER 14TH, 2015 THE rows of family faces at the dockside are tearful, or grim. They look up at the high railings of a huge ocean liner. Hanging over them, much younger faces also wave and mostly cry – though a few are already looking steadily out to the high seas. For the heroine at the centre of the screen, and her relatives below, this is a terrible moment. Like tens of thousands of other young Irish people in the 40s and 50s, Eilis has been given the chance of a better life in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on NOVEMBER 7TH, 2015 THERE is one thing to be said for Theresa May’s proposals this week, contained in her Investigatory Powers Bill, to make the UK “the most intrusive and least accountable surveillance regime in the West” (tweets Edward Snowden). At least the argument is now firmly in the wide open spaces of public debate. We don’t need to wait for a Bond movie to ponder the perennial question of “who watches the watchmen”: that is, how we, the people consciously permit our security to be defended. The technology in question isn’t invisible Aston... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on MAY 21ST, 2016 FROM out of the mists of cyberspace, they’re looming towards you, like chuggers you know you won’t be able to avoid … two indy-friendly websites are starting up their yearly fundraisers – Bella Caledonia this week and Common Weal next week. I’m a contributing editor to the former, and on the board of the latter (I know: small country). So my opening gambit is, as you would expect me to say, please give generously and wildly to both. But as we rattle the tin before you, I want to explore this... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on OCTOBER 31ST, 2015 WHAT do free-market fundamentalists The Institute of Directors, and revolutionary info-warrior Edward Snowden, have in common? Well, they both have a problem with the Scottish Government’s University Higher Education Governance Bill (or “HE Bill”), to be debated in Holyrood next week. They both seem to have roughly the same problem – that the Bill threatens political interference in the affairs of universities – but for different reasons. The first (the IoD) worries that if universities begin to look like they’re part of a public sector controlled by government, and not like... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on OCTOBER 24TH, 2015 SATURDAY morning. I’ve had the usual six-and-a-half hours, seven if I’m lucky. But the eyes pop open anyway, the hand reaches for the screen; yesterday’s online feuds to be continued, today’s online grief and possibilities to be sampled. The daylight is calling, the weekend chores, that long walk… I should get up. But today, after the habitual finger-tapping, I let go of the rope and slip back into a second sleep (no kids to pull me out of bed, so it can be done). I wake up later in the morning,... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Thoughtland
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By Pat Kane. First published on OCTOBER 17TH, 2015 I’M not a religious, or even a spiritual man. But if those two words pose any questions to this hard-core materialist, they are often answered by a piece of art. And for me, above every other art form, film provides the most answers. You may be surprised to hear that it’s not music. As a lifelong commercial performer, by now music feels more like physiology, a basic function for me. Music-hearing, as well as music-making, represents my daily craft and graft, with occasional hard-won epiphanies. But when I go to the... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Thoughtland
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My Saturday column in The National, October 10th, 2015 (online version and PDF of paper version). All comments welcome. Game of Drones Pat Kane in The National You know a technology has become truly pervasive when it makes a fuss in Auchterarder. Last Friday, residents of the douce Perthshire town reported to the police that a flying drone had been seen moving “close to people and buildings”. A Police Scotland representative noted the current popularity of drones “to film or take photographs”, but urged users “to adhere to existing aviation laws and regulations.” So nimbyists can now add the buzzing,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2015 at Thoughtland
Sounds like a long essay or book Edward - is one in process?
1 reply
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My Saturday column for The National, Oct 3, 2015 (online version, PDF page file). Note: the column generated some useful and enlightening comments on The National site from Mark Sorsa-Leslie, an entrepreneur who had direct experience of Finnish state support of his start-up in the 2000s. I append it for interest below the fold of this blog. Innovation can be at the heart of our nation if we give it the help it needs Pat Kane for The National LEADING business-friendly female Scots politician caught giving public money to risk-laden private enterprises! Or: Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement this week of a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2015 at Thoughtland
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My Saturday column for The National, September 19, 2015 ( PDF page file, online edition). All comments welcomed. Plugging in... How the new politics are powered by a buzzing culture Pat Kane for The National A scene from a surgery in Partick: I am exchanging pleasantries with a cheery and tender medic, who is attending to my klutzy leg wound. So what’s your schedule like for the weekend, nurse? “Oh, I’m off to the Citizens to see the Lanark play. The reviews so far have been wonderful. I’m a deep reader of all Alasdair Gray’s work.” A Yes voter? Need... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2015 at Thoughtland
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My Saturday column in The National, dated Sep 12, 2015 (online version here). All comments welcome. *** Is it still OK to be shaken and stirred by Bond? Pat Kane for The National The James Bond circus is kicking into life again. Spectre, the next blockbuster in the Ian-Fleming-based franchise, hits our screens in October. Already, the trailers throb with impeccable tailoring, sportscars used as guided missiles, and purring, Euro-accented superbaddies, with Daniel Craig looking more and more like one giant knuckle wrapped in a white tuxedo. Since I was of an age to watch them, I’ve rarely missed a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2015 at Thoughtland
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My Saturday column for The National, dated September 5th, 2015 (online edition). How photos can change the world Pat Kane for The National FOR all adults with beloved children in their lives, seeing Alan Kurdi’s toddler body prostrate at the water’s edge is like a nightmare made real. It’s the kind of mental image that shoots you bolt upright in the middle of the night, panting with relief that you’re under a familiar quilt, and that your darlings are safely located. But there’s no relief with this picture. And thus – even in a digital age where we presume almost... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2015 at Thoughtland
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My Saturday column in The National, dated August 29th, 2015 (online version). All shares and comments welcomed. Note: ***response to social media criticism of the column, below fold at end of the piece. Isn’t it time the BBC started taking Scotland seriously? Pat Kane for The National THE First Minister took the stage at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Thursday, and sought to insert a new Scots cog in the grinding wheels of the BBC’s Charter Review. Not easy. Between Alex Salmond and the BBC’s Nick Robinson bumping chests like silverbacks, and Armando Iannucci hymning the “British soft power” of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2015 at Thoughtland
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I did a fun interview - and in the course of it, it was pretty self-revelatory - with the Scottish creative and artistic hub site, Central Station. The main revelation being that I've probably only HAD five proper "jobs" in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at The Play Ethic
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This was a great pleasure! Not just being sought out by Varoom magazine's editor John O'Reilly, who is an academic at St. Martin's Art School in London, and who asked very meaty questions (the full interview text is below). But... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at The Play Ethic
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Just did a ton of updates from my various bits of Scots, UK, and blog journalism - op-ed, features, reviews, thinkpieces over the last 9 months. Here's a handy compendium post (most recent first, down to January 2015). As ever, comment and sharing most welcome. The National column: The Arts aren't about where you're from, but what you know The National column: Is this a smartphone which I see before me? Why Shakespeare was a pioneer of social media The National column: We save our souls, and recover our humanity, by opposing the renewal of Trident Scottish Independence and “PostCapitalism”... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at Thoughtland
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My first Saturday column in The National (online version), May 23rd, 2015. It might be worth explaining the basic idea of the column that The National's editor, Richard Walker, and I came up with. The thing is, we both like US cultural criticism - Greil Marcus, Nick Tosches, Susan Sontag, Malcolm Gladwell, etc. How could we bring some of that power to bear on Scottish, UK, European and - sometimes - American matters? I've already written this kind of piece for Richard on the Sunday Herald (see this on Micheal Jackson, and the Virginia State University shootings) and and we... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at Thoughtland