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Alan Conchar

 
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marianneh



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 1933

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:31 pm    Post subject: Alan Conchar Reply with quote

I'd known Alan Conchar slightly since at least the mid nineties. He came across as a quiet bookish man. It was only since Dafydd ap Geler Thomas began to take me round to Alan's flat from 2011 on, that I began to appreciate how nice and funny and interesting Alan really was. He was a revolutionary who wanted to destroy capitalism but was humorously aware of the contradictions in wanting to sell his books to a global market. He cared about social justice, but deflated bigots on the internet with lighthearted audacious wit, instead of stirring them up to greater hatred by getting all earnest as I am wont to do.

A Scottish nationalist, Alan also supported Welsh nationalism. In this, he showed greater maturity than some Scots who go on the internet to put us down because we didn't keep our autonomy till 1707 and our own laws thereafter. 'Huh, call that a country!' is the motif. Alan also defended keeping our language going against those who try to destroy it by making ignorant attacks on it.

I never did get a chance to see Alan's wild side as Dr Conker. I didn't prioritise seeing his gigs as there seemed to be plenty of time. Nobody expected him to die when he did. There are a few videos of him in Sicknote available on the internet.

I remember Alan waxing very amusing about conspiracy theories. The one thing where we did not see eye to eye was the New Age spirituality which he'd turned to in recent years, and was surprising in one who came across as a rationalist through and through.

According to Serbian sources I've just had translated, support for Scottish independence is growing. It still doesn't look as if it's going to happen this year, but if it does, I think some of us will find it bittersweet because Alan will not be here to appreciate it.

Those who share his spiritual beliefs might believe that he is still aware of what's happening on earth. A speaker at his wake said ''He's looking down on us. His kilt is on and his balls are out"
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Marianne,

I was very pleased that Daf paid tribute to Alan Conchar at Cilmeri in 2013 after his unexpected and mysterious death. It is true that Alan had those qualities that you describe and I was taken by surprise that he had become something of a local pop / rap / blah whatever his kind of act was that he had that seems to have become iconic, not that I would ever know because that is not my choice of recreation. Whilst I found Alan pleasant enough company he was only easy to work with if only I did what he told me too. He was also instinctively partisan in his loyalties, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and without going into it the fact is that he and I had a falling out along these lines many years ago : a sort of " Yo-u're the only gay in this village ??? " - V - " Yeah, well you're the only id-iot in this village ! - Ye-es ! - You bloody well are Dave ! " " Oh - f-f-fuck off Alan ! " ... it was that sort of scenario, but not exactly in those terms ... I found it interesting to hear that after years of criticising me for arguing about the importance of religion he finally found a way to express his own sense of spirituality ... but most probably he still wouldn't have been describing himself as ' religious ' though : perhaps he might have accepted the appellation of " a Bard of the Lalans " ?

Did anybody ever publish Alan singing etc on Youtube ? I see that his best speech is here -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI3RMu5BOmY

( - those of you who are non-plussed have to remember that this is the krazy-gang side of things, quite unlike ... uh ... the rest ... a selection from Sick Note - )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TCTXWrcjk4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIlCQz687Xw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecZgVVIwqtM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EobJXARyBc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZMFCE4rKPM

I very much liked the image of the broken ' Manus ' with the all-seeing ' Eye of Providence ' in there by http://norrisnuvo.co.uk so I hope that he doesn't mind me using this in return for advertising his work -



I POSTED THIS ALSO INTO THE ' OPEN HAND ' THREAD -

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=2290#2290
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marianneh



Joined: 30 May 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:40 pm    Post subject: reply about Alan Reply with quote

Yes, his wild flamboyant side was something else. One of his friends said that in ordinary circumstances, he was 'a quiet man who hardly spoke.' This doesn't mean he wasn't interesting. What he said was to the point. This is not a hagiography blog; I'm not saying he was perfect. I don't think I'd seen enough of him to pick up on unpleasing traits as you apparently have.

I'm not surprised, particularly, that he was sometimes unassuming and at other times flamboyant; people are complex. What did surprise me was that he said he'd had a mystical experience a few years ago, and was now into spirituality and supernaturalism. I just said feebly, "Why, Alan, I'd no idea", and later, "But Alan, you're not into organised religion, are you?"

He wasn't. He didn't believe in God but did subscribe to karma. I don't think there's much evidence to support this. What goes around must come around sometimes, if only by chance. But overwhelmingly it looks as if the Sea of Galilee pedestrian was right when he said the rain falls on the just and unjust ...but chiefly on the just as the unjust has the just's umbrella.

It's potentially very harmful as it can be used to justify persecuting those who are already unlucky. At best, you're likely to be indifferent to them. I don't think telling people they will incur bad karma if they misbehave is much better than telling them they'll go to hell.

Of course, the best people in the world can hold these beliefs, but these memes won't give you any help when you're in a bad place yourself. I was a bit surprised to hear Alan expound on the radio about the Roswell incident as if it was a mystery that deserved attention.

Life almost certainly exists on other planets, but if you apply Occam's razor, a visitation from outer space is the least likely explanation, not the mot likely. Only marginally more likely is the horrible story that Josef Mengele, in his Argentinian lair, continued with his diabolical experiments on twins and deformed people. In this scenario, he sent over a craft occupied by unfortunate kids who were deformed in the same way as each other. The craft smashed up and the poor children were given an autopsy.

This begs the questions, why would he do it, even taking into account he wasn't the sanest of people? What need would there be to hush the autopsies up?

OK, there is some sick idiot in the USA who publishes his starchild hypothesis that a skull of a pre-Columbian Aztec child which was found in a cave somewhere, is not a human skull but that of an alien from outer space. In fact, the skull probably looks unusual because the child had hydrocephalus. Even in a world where passers-by often stare at deformed people as if they came from outer space, this is a cruel and disrespectful deception.

It's not very likely that this kind of crass error was made at Roswell. If it was, the people would have to be more pig ignorant than the ones who hanged the Hartlepool monkey.

It 's most likely that impressionable people saw some weather balloons and let their imaginations run away with them. Or at most, the US authorities were keen to cover up the interception of spy craft from the Soviet Union. And neither scenario is very important.

Why would a sensible guy like Alan waste a second of his valuable time on this tripe? Well, it was part of his delightful complexity. I've never been renowned for having any sense myself. But it's a little surprising in this case. I'd have expected him almost always to look at the world in an incisive, empirical way, like a gentler version of Richard Dawkins. I think that's what he was like, most of the time. But a few years ago, he had an experience like Paul on the road to Damascus.

It's not that believing in aliens is conceptually like believing in fairies or ghosts. Aliens almost certainly exist. It doesn't require the leap of faith necessary to make you believe in the supernatural. But in practice, the same sort of people who believe in angels will believe in alien visitations.

I remember Dafydd going round to look at Alan's books which were in Uralic or Slavic languages. He'd establish that -say -one was in Estonian not Finnish or Bulgarian not Russian , and Alan would trust his judgement. Ah, happy days!

We can only speculate on the cause of his death. We'll never know as the autopsy was inconclusive. This is very unsatisfying psychologically but there it is. I hear from a reliable source that some of his friends have been very badly affected. It's not just grief; it's the horrible shock.
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