My buddy Mitch once praised the Grateful Dead, not for their music–which he detested–but for their ability to get money out of hippies. He considered that one of the strongest legacies of the 60’s.
Conversely, this writer at the Herald (UK) contends that Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, who recently “came out” as a Tory, is a traitor to the cause.
Of course, people’s views change over time, and there’s no shame in that. There’s nothing more common than for a youthful socialist to evolve into a middle-aged Tory. What is distasteful about Welsh’s apparent volte-face, however, is that he has made his fortune from exploiting a grotesquely picaresque community whose brutal existence has provided the most colourful, horrifying, virulently anti-establishment material for fiction since Balzac’s backstreet Paris.
While with one hand Welsh was guddling a hungry readership, many of whom had scarcely seen a book since school, with the other he was holding a champagne flute at Edinburgh’s New Town soirees.
Moreover, despite the “guddling,” she (sorta) knew it all along:
From the start of Welsh’s career doubts have been raised about just how closely his widely reported wild behaviour matched reality. Former colleagues at Edinburgh City Council remember a dapper, punctual employee who, they said admiringly, “could have gone right to the top of local government”. Even as his novels were being devoured by the poverty-stricken, the addicted and the terminally unemployed, he is believed to have been dabbling in the property market, and we’re not talking council houses.
Needless to say, I think she’s an idiot, even when she concludes that drug dealers are the “most successful capitalists of our time.” After all, Renton doesn’t really want to deal; he just wants to get away to Amsterdam, be a DJ, and live with a model. Is that so wrong?