Friday, December 18, 2009

Bolshevism and Other Kids' Stuff

Plastic gangsters or toy-town bolsheviks? I can't decide.

Someone thought it was a good idea to make lego figures of Trotsky, Lenin, Gorky and Stalin.

He - am I being too presumptious in assuming it's a he? - also has a go with Marx and Engels and Che Guevera. I'm intrigued on so many different levels. Especially on the question of whether or not the Karl Marx lego figure looks more like Charlton Heston's Moses or Billy Connolly in his dotage?

Not coming to a toy store near you this Consumermas.

Hat tip to sks over at Leftist Trainspotters (though I have a sneaking suspicion that Ally had previously blogged about this kids stuff.)


mikeovswinton said...

Hope they have labels on the back telling you who's who. Maybe my eyes really are going, but I reckon they don't look anything like the real thing. If you weren't an SPGBer and constitutionally and irrevocably bound to dissaprove of anything to do with religion, I'd be tempted to add "Thank Gawd".

mikeovswinton said...

The Marx is rather like Charlton heston's Moses. The Engels looks like a rather angry Billy Connolly in his dotage. Perhaps he's just read one of Pamela's columns in the Guardian and can't quite work out why he doesn't quite get what she's talking about, but thinks he may be missing out on something.

Darren said...

Yeah, they are a bit shit, aren't they?

Saying that though - and as previously touched upon on the blog - it turns out that there's a thriving lego sub-culture out there on flickr, generating a volume of positive comments that puts the likes of Harry's Place and Socialist Unity blog firmly in the shade.

Billy missing out on something? Maybe it's his razor sharp wit? Last seen circa 1984.

mikeovswinton said...

Did you ever hear that story that he was in the Glasgow branch (or whatever they called it) of Solidarity? Before he hit it fairly big with the Humblebums and then went on Parkinson and never looked back? And is it true?

There may well be a thriving lego sub culture on the web. There's a fairly good Chinese Checkers one, too. I'm in that, but I think I'll give the lego a miss.

Darren said...

Connolly in Solidarity? I've never heard that story before. Where did you hear it?

I'm sure if there was even an outside chance of there being any truth to it, then the story would have done the rounds around the usual suspects in both print and on the net.

I know that Connolly was great mates with Matt McGinn, and just presumed that McGinn was a major influence on Connolly's politics.

The anecdote I heard about Connolly and radical politics in Glasgow is that he was a very noticeable attendee of the SPGB's outdoor platform in Glasgow back in the sixties when the Glasgow SPGBers were known for their wit.

I genuinely think there could be some truth in that story 'cos some of the older Glasgow SPGBers are (or were) witty bastards. Real cutting tongues.

But I would say that, wouldn't I?

mikeovswinton said...

Oh, I dunno. Here and there. Round and about. Can't actually remember. I think he was a bit more of a Solidarity type in those days rather than an SPGBer. I had some friends (still do, actually) who worshipped the Humblebums. A lot of folk from Bolton call Baker Street tube Station Rafferty to this day. Think that might have been due to another record though.

Darren said...

Slow Burning Fuse author, John Quail, has been threatening to put out a book about Solidarity for years now, so maybe he'll have the last word on whether or not Connolly was hovering around Solidarity back in the day.

Just to clarify one matter, though; I wasn't claiming that Connolly was influenced by the politics of the SPGB. I was just repeating the anecdote that he apparently hung around their platform on occasion and might have *cough* borrowed a couple of jokes here and there. Probably the ones taking the piss out of religion.

It might explain why Connolly hasn't been that funny in recent years . . . . Glasgow Branch no longer do the outdoor platform. ;-)

mikeovswinton said...

Has Connolly been to Glasgow in recent years? Unfair; I seem to recall that his Wikipedia entry says he has a house in Scotland. Airdrie, I think. Probably not, but I think it begins with A. Strange; I always used to think that Airdrie was the abbreviation of a town called Airdrieonian.

I look foward to the John Quail book, but detect the undertone in your comment that its likely to be coming out around the same time as the legendary fourth Dexys album. (Kevin is allegedly in the studio with Mick Talbot as we speak. Yeah, right.)

mikeovswinton said...

Aberdeenshire. Suppose its easy to confuse with Airdrie. He has a place near Union Square NY as well, so he can go and see Jeff Blythe play the sax in Black 47 at Connolly's any time he wants. Or come round and give you a talking to if he catches this and doesn't like it. Isn't that huge second hand bookshop near Union Square? Once got mistaken for Sting in there. Its given me one of my best after dinner stories. To appreciate it you need to know that there is no resemblance at all between me and Sting. In any way. The guy was persistent, though and so I autographed his book. Should've charged him.

Darren said...

That bloody Quail book! When is it coming out?

I remember Terry Liddle telling me back in 2003/04 that Quail had just interviewed him for the book. With that sort of timekeeping, Quail should be in the SPGB.

Never knew that Connolly had a place in New York, though I sort of knew that he now owned Aberdeenshire. Mark McGhee and ten thousand sheep. He must be chuffed to bits.

I know the book store you mean but I can't remember the name of it. I've only been in their a couple of times because I think it's a bit overrated and the staff can be annoying as only people who work in secondhand bookshops and record shops can be.

My favourite secondhand bookshop in New York is Village Books in the East Village. You can always find a bargain in there.

See how I didn't comment on the matter of someone mistaking you for Sting? I can be sensitive like that, sometimes.

Darren said...

That book store. Is it The Strand (or maybe Strand Books)?

mikeovswinton said...

Yeah, The Strand. Stragely enough the best song (perhaps the only one I ever re-listen to) by Black 47 starts in The Strand - The Bells of Hell on Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes.
And you are right - it ain't much cop.

mikeovswinton said...

The Sting thing was one of the funniest things that has ever happened to me. It was the sheer persistence of the guy. Trudy and I laughed so much.