Susan Morrison: Conspiracy? If only the ‘evil geniuses’ could manage one!

Have your say

If anybody is pulling strings in the shadows, could they please do a better job of our roads?

The world, you know, is governed by clever, sinister, shadowy people, apparently unmasked by sad pint-nursing loners lurking in pub corners like funnel-web spiders, trapping the unwary into a lengthy tale about Elvis, right, he was actually undercover for the FBI in the war against drugs, right, and when things got hot with the Colombians, right, he had to be spirited away, right, and given plastic surgery and now he runs a newsagent in Dalkeith.

And, gosh, everyone knows the moon landings took place in Florida, although they could have used Cumbernauld, since it’s got no atmosphere.

The world, it seems, is run by super smart people who spend a lot of time planning super smart stuff just to banjax us.

Of course, that’s the hole in the middle of the conspiracy theorists’ Polo mint world view. Take a long look around you. Plans, schemes and plots need a mastermind, and all it takes is a quick walk around one of the most beautiful cities in the world – that’s right, the one you’re standing in – to make you realise no-one seems to be in charge.

You’ve probably forgotten just how stunning this city is. You can’t really admire the view as you stroll. Lift your eyes off the pavement and there’s a strong chance you’ll become part of the city’s history by falling into a hole the size of a bungalow in Corstorphine, never to be seen again, or tripping over a random tram rail.

And, please, if you are driving, don’t just keep your eyes on the road. Try, if you can, to keep watch on the diversion signs, which might not actually refer to the diversion you are currently in, but something they brought in when Cromwell hit town and, don’t forget, there are other road users who are similarly zooming lost and confused around the Mad Max 3 roadscape.

Oh, and if you can look up, forget it. A steady weave of scaffolding, plastic and huge advertising hoardings is slithering remorselessly over the buildings, creeping up to the Castle. One day we’ll wake up and discover the Castle’s been whipped away by Manchester to improve their chances of becoming a festival rival to Edinburgh

Evil geniuses in the background, pulling strings, running the world? Jings, I wish there were sometimes. Say what you like about Bond villians, they always built their lairs out of sight underground and were impeccably neat inside.

Heated debate on Titanic could thaw an iceberg

Oh, the reference to swapped ships, for those who haven’t heard this particular tale of treachery, is the baffling tale of the switching of RMS Titanic and her sister ship, SS Olympic.

To recap, Olympic was involved in a collision with another ship, sustained damage and wasn’t insured. Titanic and Olympic were swapped over, Titanic (Olympic, geddit?) now insured, sets sail, hits iceberg, plan goes wrong to rescue survivors, and the rest is history.

Incidentally, the shipyard Harland and Woolf employed about 3000 people. No-one breathed a word for nearly 90 years. Yeah, right.

Now, I know a lot about this. The RMS Titanic is something of a hobby. This is one conspiracy theory I take personally. I can get a bit heated about it. Apparently, it’s quite amusing to watch.

Years ago, a friend of mine, a young chap called Frankie Boyle – you might have heard of him – actually read an entire book about it just to annoy me. Now, that’s dedication to winding people up.

Just picture the serene as Buddhists bring calm to Great Junction Street

GOOD news from Leith 1: Old Doctor Bell’s is to be reincarnated as the Himalayan Centre. It might bring a certain, Buddhist, calm to Great Junction Street,

Buddhists have an air of serenity about them that takes the heat out of the most tense situations.

Even the website of the Dalai Lama is soothing. That man should have a helpline we can all reach for when those dilemmas of modern life overwhelm us. The route to work turned into a giant Crystal Maze because the council has dug up every road from here to Dalmeny? Lie-in scuppered because the builder next door is drilling for 13 hours straight? School wants a word about undone homework? Reach for the Dial-a-dilemma-Dalai-Lama-line. It just might work.

Decision day for community spending

GOOD News from Leith 2: It’s Leith Decides on Saturday, down at Ocean Terminal. There’s a pot of money and the community gets to decide which Leith projects get what.

The projects will be down there pitching to you – yes, you! No super villains, shady world domination monomaniacs, conspiracy string pullers or even councillors, but you, if you live in Leith, get to decide. Ocean Terminal. Saturday. Leith Decides. Get there and have a say.