Sunday, October 30, 2011

Real and imagined horrors for Halloween

First you, then the Sunday sailors, then the gay brides.

Last year it was multiculturalism and for some timid souls, that's a bogeyman that will never go away. It shouldn't be but as guising time and dooking time comes round once again, there are new fears to contend with. How many of them really stand the test though?

First of has to be...

Gay marriage. As someone who sees the 'institution' of marriage as outdated, unnecessary and generally about as relevant to modern society as the Scottish Labour Party then I fail to understand the clamour by some gay and lesbian people to be involved in a system of belief that generally despises them. However, should some people wish to believe that their love needs to be 'officially sanctioned' in some god's eyes then go for it. The point for some though is that this actually threatens the foundations of our society. How? One person's choice of sexuality or celebration of it has as much bearing on my life as their bowel movements. If I don't worry about someone's toiletry habits then why should their bedroom habits or love-life matter? Get over it or else choose other cherries from god's word to pick like... waging a war on tattoos, masturbation, menstruation, working on a Sunday or promoting incest (see Lot et al...)

Hey! Some people already wage a war on Sabbath breakers. The 'Tartan Taleban' would be a fitting term for them if only the word 'tartan' didn't conjure up an image of colour. For, in the dour world of Scots Presbyterianism, people shouldn't be free to work, play or even travel on the Sabbath. Hence the dire warnings of impending doom from the Bible bashing lobby over the new Sunday sailings of Cal Mac ferries on the Isle of Harris. The warnings are that allowing people to think for themselves and decide whether or not to travel, work, play or go to church will lead to a 'change of life' for Hebridean islands like Harris. There are some difficulties with this approach though. One, other Hebridean islands such as Barra, Tiree or Islay have not been overrun by sodomites, goat worshippers or Islamists despite Sunday sailings and indeed all three of these islands are as traditional as they were ten years ago. Two, I am not sure of where the Abrahamic god of the King James' Bible decrees that the Sabbath be kept holy in order to maintain a quiet and rural way of life in the Western Isles. If Sabbatarian travel restrictions are to be applied to Lewis or Harris, then why not to Glasgow, Edinburgh or even London?

No jobs in Caithness for Norse speaking Picts then?
Next up is Gaelic in Caithness. Incredibly, the past and present Gaelic culture of Caithness is a persistent problem to some Highland councillors there. First they objected to bilingual roadsigns, claiming that 'Gaelic was never spoken in Caithness' despite the last native speaker of the Caithness dialect of Gaelic being recorded by the School of Scottish Studies in the 1950s and the whole county being littered with Gaelic placenames. Not only that, but because of Gaelic in-migration from other parts of Scotland and local Gollachs learning the auld tongue, Caithness has a Gaelic present too. However, even the one Caithness councillor who now accepts Highland Council's Gaelic plan still claims that Caithness only has 'Norse and Pictish' heritage. This is very handy as it means they can just leave the dead languages in the past. Or are the Caithness councillors going to show us exactly what they're doing to advance Caithness' Norse and Pictish culture? And, virtually every part of Scotland could claim the same heritage. Furthermore, if the Picts adopted the Gaelic language - see the The New History of the Picts for more on this - which was probably very close to their own, why can't modern day beancounters and bigots in Caithness?

Its somewhat fitting that auld terrors are revived now and again, like zombies, to scare the populace. One of these is Gypsy travellers (see excellent article in Bella here). In an age where naked bigotry against blacks, Asians, Jews and gays has more or less been banished to a lunatic fringe, bigotry against Gypsies is still tolerated. Ordinary white English villagers took exception to some Gypsy travellers having redeveloped a derelict scrapyard and demanded that they be turfed out onto the roads whereby they could then be hounded by different authorities using slightly different laws. It seems as if some of the travellers may have broken the law on occasion. Something that never happens at any level of ordinary English society, be it the lager louts at the bottom of the pile or the fraudulent lying MPs at the top.

Lady killers. Unfortunately, a very real threat to half the population. Labour's very own loose cannon and London hardman Jim, er,  Ian Davidson may fantasise about giving female SNP MPs 'a doing' but other nutjobs take it all the way. This sorry state of affairs gives the usual right-wing tabloid brigade another opportunity to gie it laldie with the flamethrower of prejudice. Disappointingly for the Daily Star, Express, Scotsman, Mail and others most misogynists and murderers are home grown 'Brits'. Therefore, any attempt is made to disown the suspect. 'Look, he can't be one of us... he... er he's... a GOTH!' Or maybe he once attended a Gin Goblins concert. Listens to Marilyn Manson. Smoked dope? Defo. Or, as in the case of Chris Jeffries, he happened to be old, eccentric and in possession of a face that only a mother could love. Unfortunately for the moral crusaders of the Brit tabloids, looking like the bastard son of the Grinch and Archie MacPherson does not a murderer make. Fortunately, the cops eventually saw past the hatred and hysteria that was whipped up by scummy tabloid journos, who most folk would agree are themselves only one step above murderers and other such low life on the ladder of public esteem.

Lastly, as if the guy in the sky wasn't busy enough dealing with gay marriage and Sunday ferries, his self-appointed propagandists on earth are agonising over what do with the Occupy London protesters outside St Pauls in London, Some of the godly few in the Church of England have shown support for protesters who they view as embodying the principles of Jesus. Others in the church have taken a more traditional Christian view and called for God to smite them or else to manifest himself in the shape of the Metropolitan Police, wade in and introduce skull to righteous truncheon. The church has also suppressed a report that is critical of the greed and moral standards of bankers. Its only days since Gaddafi was killed at the hands of a mob apparently seeking vengeance for years of brutality - or else incited by French agents and oil-loving NATO types. Whatever, his spirit lives on in the wounds of those peaceful and unarmed protesters shot by rubber bullets in the past few days.

They said that the world would be a better place if Bin Laden was killed, Saddam seen to and Gaddafi gubbed. Thatcher sorted out the unions. Labour gave our schools and hospitals to the private sector. David Cleggeron said that we were all in it together. Despite all this, er, progress... fear still reigns.

Enjoy those pumpkins.

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