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Are we a nation of perverts?

by Auld Sneekie,
News Edinburgh Festival, Festival Diary
The Times, Thursday August 20 2015

  Jim Haynes by Alastair Miller for the Times
photo by Alastair Miller


Jim Haynes made two enormous contributions to Edinburgh life in the 1960s: he helped found the Traverse theatre and inaugurated the sexual revolution. For the former he was fêted, for the latter he was "run out of town" he concedes, decamping to London, then Amsterdam, now Paris.

He's back in Edinburgh, and on Tuesday he hosted his annual party at the Scottish Arts Club. Talking to Jim is a ticket back to another world, of flared jeans and flowery shirts, where our hero Haynes runs the UFO rock club.
Then, in 1969, he establishes Suck, the magazine of sexual liberation. "I was wandering along Rue Saint-Sulpice in Paris, and I bumped into Mick and Bianca Jagger," Jim tells us.

"Mick said 'Come with us to Brasserie Lipp.' So I went along and Yves St Laurent was there. Yves said, 'Have you got a copy of your magazine with you?' " Jim winks: "I had, so they all gathered round, Mick, Bianca, Yves. Everyone in Lipp was doing Suck." Perhaps more people should have listened to Jim Haynes's mantra. Because, apparently, Scots have grown up to be more "perverted" than everyone else in Britain.

Well, according to Ian Rankin, who was introducing Hitchcock's classic, Rear Window, at the Cameo cinema. "We're all perverts," Rankin told his audience. "Every human being is a pervert. This is a film about voyeurism, and were all voyeurs. And what this film does is to say it's OK to look at people and study their lives." Rankin himself isn't quite so voyeuristic as he might have us believe. Recently he said he had been relieved when an editor asked him to remove a sex scene from one of his Rebus novels. "I'm not keen on following Rebus into the bedroom," he said.

To the Meadows for the inaugural Talent versus Industry charity cricket match. It was a low-scoring game, but any lack of quality on the pitch was more than made up for in the commentary box, where Henry "Blowers" Blofeld and Peter Baxter, late of Test Match Special, were ensconced. It was, declared Blowers, "the most exciting test match I've ever commentated on."

Alex Horne captained the Talent team, their innings of 98 sufficient to secure a one-run victory in a surprisingly competitive game. "I'm very pleased with myself," said Alex. "I've seen a side to me I've never seen before, a really good, macho victorious side." Steve Marmion, leading the losers, was understandably bitter. "I'd like to say the best team won but I don't think they did," he said. "We were robbed and there was some very dodgy umpiring."

read the article on line on The Times' Website
©The Times, 2015



2015, The Times : Are we a nation of perverts?

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