Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The Runagates Club - dot com

John Buchan, soldier, diplomat and author of spy thrillers. From 1935 - 1940, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir was Governor General of Canada. The Runagates Club was his creation.

The Runagates Club is of course named for the men's club in Edwardian London which was once the private reserve of retired colonial officers. The club was the literary creation of John Buchan, a prolific writer of thrillers whose most famous novel, The Thirty-Nine Steps, was filmed three times. (Another remake is currently in development.) From 1935 - 1940 Lord Tweedsmuir served as the Governor General of Canada. In his stories "The Club" was a comfortable retreat where old sweats could relax in fellowship. Once a week, each in his turn recounted a personal adventure which was expected to delight and amaze his chums.

We all need a place like the Runagates Club. A place to feel welcome and where we can share a story or pass along something of interest which may benefit others who enjoy the same tastes. Old Runagates might boast of trophy hunting, exotic firearms, sexual conquests, uncovering an espionage case, or of combat in colonial wars. Crowd pleasing stuff. But interests change, as do people.

In our time, the world of the real and of the imagined is merging. Many no longer even try to separate the two, accepting the premise that all the world IS a stage, and that life is a series of bit parts and (if we're lucky) the occasional starring role. Popular culture predominates in our lives and the movies in particular are driving our thinking. They certainly create the heroes and myths which our young people respond to. Novels, computer games, web site design, comic books and even architecture are all driven by the movies. Cities worldwide now lobby aggressively to attract film industry money, abhorring the heavy industries which were once the guarantors of longterm employment and social stability. You've heard of Hollywood and Hollywood North, and Bollywood (which means something a tad different) but the trend to construct competitive film production centres is much more significant than you might guess. The Runagates Club will explore this and other fascinating phenomenon arising in our Global Village. Sometimes we will examine popular culture, and in other reports describe the grimmer reality which popular culture often attempts to conceal. Everything is fair game in the Blogosphere. Here there are no sacred cows. Guns, violence, and sex must often appear, as they are staples of the real world and essential ingredients of the mindscape.

Blogging has it rewards but also its limitations. With that in mind I have purchased a web domain http://therunagatesclub.com to better expand on these ideas and also to let younger Runagates have space to join in the discussion. It will take a few months to realize the concept, but for now we will continue to meet here.

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