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10/9 - Gerard Butler's 'warzone' at Paisley


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from: http://www.paisleydailyexpress.co.uk/renfr...87085-24886280/

Geard Butler's 'warzone' at Paisley

Oct 9 2009 by Cameron Hay, Paisley Daily Express

HOLLYWOOD tough guy Gerard Butler was told to 'shut it' last night after he claimed that growing up in Paisley was like living in a "warzone".

The Paisley-born star has made it big in the movies by taking on muscle-bound roles in hit films such as 300.

However, comments he made about his home town in an interview for American style magazine Angeleno have left Paisley's civic leaders raging.

Butler – who spent part of his childhood in the upmarket area of Ralston – claimed that, as a youngster, he regularly crossed through an "insane" part of Paisley to buy shopping for his mum.

And the 40-year-old actor told how he imagined himself becoming a hero soldier, battling to survive.

Butler, who has been romantically linked with a string of beautiful women, including Jennifer Aniston, added: "It was like going into the land of the movie The Warriors.

"I'd go down there and play SAS, trying to get in and get out without being wounded or killed.

"There were so many people on that street that ended up in prison. It was truly an insane area."

In his magazine interview, Butler also told how his family quit Paisley when he was just a tot and moved to Canada. They later moved back to Scotland after his mum Margaret and dad Edward split.

Last night, Paisley East and Ralston councillor Jim Sharkey hit back at Butler.

He told the Paisley Daily Express: "I was considering challenging Mr Butler to a duel to defend the honour of the town until one of my colleagues pointed out he was the muscle-bound star of 300.

"However, in light of this revelation, I'd prefer to debate the issues he has raised and show him why he should consider spending his many millions here in Paisley instead of in his home in Canada.

"I am disappointed that someone who has memories of Paisley 30 years ago has been dragged up to damage the reputation of the area today.

"It really does give the wider world a bad impression of the town when it is described as a warzone, especially by someone who grew up on the mean streets of Ralston!

"It is time to talk up Paisley and not talk the town down."

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay has also slammed Butler's comments about his home town.

He said: "Any town has some less glamorous areas than Gerard is clearly now accustomed to.

"On a more serious note, it's a shame that, in an effort to promote their latest project, someone chooses to use their fame to denigrate their home town in this rather stereotyped way."

Butler, who also starred in the romantic comedy P.S. I Love You, is not the first celebrity who was born in Paisley to offer a stinging assessment of the town.

Back in May, singing star Paolo Nutini blasted Paisley and remarked that it is now plagued by drug abuse, boozing and gambling.

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Sorry but I'm reading & somewhat laughing. How do you "buy shopping"? Also I'm confused about the comment of something that happened 30 years ago. Gerry is about to be 40 in November. You aren't considered a "tot" at 9 or even 10. I'm guessing he left Paisley & moved to Canada at a much younger age meaning 30 years is too short of a time. Sorry it makes me giggle when someone can't write a proper article. :lol:

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Thanks for posting that Barb!

I agree, Gerry is entitled to his opinion. Yes, his recollections may not cast the Paisley of his youth in a very good light; but that is not to say he is not proud of his roots. Even though he lives in NY now; he was and will always be a proud son of Scotland.

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Maybe it was a warzone back then. Although in America I connjure up thoughts like The Robert Taylor Homes (Cabrini Greene in Chi, which were shut down because they were so awful. I knew a Chicago cop that refused to take calls in that area, because he was afraid of getting killed. Yes, I'm dead serious.), Red Hook, and Bed Stuy projects in New York, and anywhere in South Central. So, when he says it's a war zone...I'm thinking it was straight ridiculous, like some of the above mentioned projects. Then I think, hell it was Scotland 30 years ago, so he must be exagerating a little bit. JMO

Gerry is entitled to his own opinion. He was ten years old thirty years ago. The two men in the article need to have a seat, and realize that in the eyes of a ten year old it was probably a war zone.

Everyone is quick to defend their position without taking into account the other person's view. I'm pretty leary of people when they can't atleast acknowledge that they, or where they're from have a bit of a past or reputation.

JMO,

D

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All I can do is laugh at this. When you're a kid, everything seems so much bigger and badder and meaner than things usually are. If that's how G felt when he was a kid, then that's how he felt! Not to mention, especially in light of the career Gerry has chosen, his imagination was probably helping him along as well.

The guy talking about dueling over the town's honor had me rolling. What an idiot!

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Personally, I think that Gerry's comments were totally taken out of context here. If I remember correctly, at that part in the article Gerry was talking about being a kid with an active imagination, and how that naturally fed into his future career as an actor. I don't think he literally thought that it was a "warzone," and I don't think he was literally "trying to get in and out without getting wounded or killed" (afterall, if it were that bad, I doubt his Mum would have sent him to do the shopping!). I just think he just recognized as a kid that it was a rough area, and he took what would otherwise be a chore and used his imagination to turn it into something fun, by pretending he was a commando in a warzone.

At the same time, I understand why the politicians stood up and complained. You can't sit by when someone makes what appear to be denigrating remarks about your town without some kind of response, even if you think they didn't have bad intentions. As long as they let it die down now that they've said their piece, I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

Our Gerry obviously loves Scotland, and takes great pride in his Scottish roots. While he seems to indicate that he didn't have the easiest childhood, he definitely looks back on it with fond memories. I very much doubt that he was intending to disparage Paisley with his remarks. And I wouldn't let comments like that stop me from visiting Paisley, if I was inclined to do so. (Heck, I'm living in the city with the highest murder rate in the US right now!)

Anyway, that's :2cents:

Steph

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Thank you Steph. Gerry was giving a child's perspective with imagination. I can't believe how easily someone can get their back up over (pulled out of context) a comment about his youth. The writer himself used the term Mean streets of Ralston. Those were the writer's words.

Sally

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You know, the press attempting to bad mouth Gerry is not surprising to me at all, theyve done so ebfore and they really will do anything they can to besmirtch his good name.

He has said goodness knows how many times he loves Scotland, there shouldnt be any questions raised about that. And it is all together entirely possible that Gerry happened to have lived in a very poor area in Paisley...which I believed he did. And that comment about Canada..where did that comes from? First off Gerry only lived there for like 2 years when he was barely a toddler.

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Politicians are going to say whatever they have to in order to keep their jobs. I agree completely with what everyone else has said ... Gerry's memories are based on a 10 year old's memories. From what I understand, Paisley was a rough place to grow up and there's nothing wrong with speaking the truth.

When I grew up in NYC it was a lot rougher and scarier than it is now. When I was there in March I felt a lot safer than I did when I was there the last time when I was 19. I don't take Gerry's comments as putting Paisley down but more of just remembering what his childhood was like.

I think these politicians need to stop stumping and just do their jobs.

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"However, in light of this revelation, I'd prefer to debate the issues he has raised and show him why he should consider spending his many millions here in Paisley instead of in his home in Canada.

Hah; I had to laugh when I read this part. His home in Canada....where? I was brought up in a tough as nails neighborhood call "The Point" in Montreal but survived only because of my fighting ways. He lives in New York too so there must be some corners of that city that are most scarry?

Poor Gerry; he can't win for losing when it comes to some journalists! Go ahead and give that "jerk" a good old Glasgow kiss why don't ya Gerry?

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They're razzing on someone's CHILDHOOD memories?? Oh puh-leeze - get a grip over there! Gerry is talking about his perceptions as a - what? - 10-year-old KID?

Sounds to me like a few of the Paisley town council are trying for 15 seconds of notice at Gerry's expense.

I guess one could say this is one of those "consider the source" articles...

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Just as an aside, May, your siggy cracks me up!

Steph

Thanks Steph; it was just a little something I slapped together after watching that movie. I couldn't help myself; he looked so "raw".

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You Ladies are all on point.I have lived in Detroit, MI.,Washington D.C.,Suitland Md. and of of course was born in Philadelphia and I've been back here since '79.I've done a far amount of traveling in between(I remember Windsor,Canada being very clean back in th 70's)and I must say in the immortal words of the song by WAR"the world is a ghetto"! I'm currently reading Craig Ferguson's memoirs ,"American on Purpose".Chapter 3 painted a stark and vivid picture of the city of Glasgow after WW II.Dilapidation and dreariness,tunnels being used for gang violence and glue sniffing.He even said that fairly recently the town of Cumbernauld was named the second worst town in The United Kingdom! They both have similar recollections more or less.So they need to leave Gerry alone.He can live where he wants and spend his "millions" any way he sees fit.It is what it is.Why do people have a problem dealing with the truth?

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If you have even read Scottish author, Ian Rankin's, books you will see a side of Glasgow and Edinburgh that I'm sure the politicians wouldn't want you to see. Ian lives in Edinburgh and grew up just north of there. From what I have read it coincides with what my parents told me and what Gerry has said. Why would Gerry lie anyway? He loves Scotland. My parents were both Scottish and went to Scotland every year to stay with their Scottish friends who have always lived there. They learned a lot about Scotland. Yes, it has improved over the years but at the time Gerry was growing up in Paisley/Glasgow it was a rough place for a boy.

Gerry once talked about staying in a Project in Chicago. He was right on about that place. I lived for 34 years in Chicago so I knew exactly what he was saying. He didn't lie about those living conditions and he isn't lying about the area around Paisley/Glasgow where he grew up. This politician accused Gerry of lying and I think that is very unfair. There is nothing wrong with speaking the truth even if it hurts tourism.

Kathy

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Huh? Gerry lives in Canada?

Having just visited Paisley two months ago, I do have to admit I was surprised how clean and lovely the downtown appeared. There were pots of flowers everywhere and not a speck of litter. Of course, we were in the downtown area, but even the streets leading in and out of the areas we visited were quite lovely. As to how it appeared 30 years ago, I haven't a clue. Gerry is entitled to his childhood memories, and the powers that be should get a grip! They weren't there!

Suzie

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This politician accused Gerry of lying and I think that is very unfair. There is nothing wrong with speaking the truth even if it hurts tourism.

Kathy

I was originally only going to post the words "the truth hurts" so thanks for saying it. I don't think for one second that Gerry's words will hurt tourism at all. Let's face it - how many non-Gerry fans are going to read it? Well, more now that the politicians brought it into the spotlight.

And if you ask me, this was all done on purpose, at Gerry's expense, to GET more tourism to Paisley. Bad form ...

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As a rule I avoid all public comments sections that follow articles such as this. One can easily predict the responses. But I will say this: As an urban dweller in the SF Bay area for well over 20 years, neighborhoods change, become gentrified over time and what was once a rough neighborhood becomes the new hot spot with sky high housing prices. I don’t doubt that Gerry was being truthful in his recollections; he was raised by a single Mom and cheap, affordable rent would be a necessity for a woman with three kids and the only places you will find that is in the less desirable neighborhoods. No reason for him to lie and since GB is clearly talking about his childhood there is no reason for politico’s to get their knickers in a twist over the damage to local tourism. What, they think folks are going to travel back in a time machine to 1976? Uh, no. Sometime people want to bloviate over nothing and that is what is going on here.

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So what's wrong with telling the truth? Geez, and us people can tell the difference between 30 years ago and now anyway. it wouldn't make me think Paisley is skanky NOW. Good Lord. Drama Queens!

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If you have even read Scottish author, Ian Rankin's, books you will see a side of Glasgow and Edinburgh that I'm sure the politicians wouldn't want you to see. Ian lives in Edinburgh and grew up just north of there. From what I have read it coincides with what my parents told me and what Gerry has said. Why would Gerry lie anyway? He loves Scotland. My parents were both Scottish and went to Scotland every year to stay with their Scottish friends who have always lived there. They learned a lot about Scotland. Yes, it has improved over the years but at the time Gerry was growing up in Paisley/Glasgow it was a rough place for a boy.

Gerry once talked about staying in a Project in Chicago. He was right on about that place. I lived for 34 years in Chicago so I knew exactly what he was saying. He didn't lie about those living conditions and he isn't lying about the area around Paisley/Glasgow where he grew up. This politician accused Gerry of lying and I think that is very unfair. There is nothing wrong with speaking the truth even if it hurts tourism.

Kathy

There's nothing wrong with that but very often politicians don't want you tell abroad how your country sucks. Here in Italy we have the Army

in our squares, for our security, yes...sure! Yet, we cannot talk about that, we should still keep on promoting Italy as the land of the pizza, spaghetti and

mandolino. Wow, everybody is happy here...except that 30% of the population is unemployed and young people started emigrating again, me included...

I'm leaving in a month to go Down Under and I guess one day I will talk as Gerry did (I won't be ever so famous as him, so I don't fear local politicians suing me ;) )

Scottish hypocrites... They'll even get more tourism after Gerry said that... :tantrum:

Edited by Kyriem
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I think one thing the politicos forgot was that Gerry has INCREASED tourism to a degree just by having been raised there. Had it not been for Gerry, WE certainly wouldn't have visited there at all!

Suzie

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