Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crowdie, cream, cockboys and cocks.

The superb adaptation for television of Finlay J MacDonald's book 'Crowdie and Cream' has just finished a rerun on BBC Alba. The book tells of MacDonald's childhood between the wars on the Isle of Harris and the richness of Gaelic customs at the time.

It's been a while since I read the book but I recall that it was a pretty comprehensive account of life in Harris at the time, warts and all. I also recall a part which didn't make it into the BBC version. It described how the worst swearyword in Hearach Gaelic that you could say to somebody was that he was a 'cockboy'. This originated from the practise of helping horses mate. The job of leading the stud to the mare and subsequently guiding his member home was not much sought after and would invariably fall to the young and unfortunate.

By sheer co-incidence this week, I also learn of the alleged aversion to sex by the late Queen Mother. The debauched lives and bizarre times of the undoubtedly inbred royal family never cease to amaze me. A new book by a minor member (ho-hum...) of the aristocracy claims that the Queen Mum's offspring were conceived through artificial insemination. Or maybe divine interference. The QM 'didn't do sex' apparently and one has to presume relied upon her own cockboy to provide the next generation of upper-crust scroungers.
Test tube celebration hoodies for the Jubilee.

The book itself was written by Lady Colin Campbell. I don't get the 'Lady Colin' bit. Must be a posho thing. To further obscure matters it seems as if Lady Colin was born a girl but due to a genital defect was raised as a boy until her teens. Like Rastamouse, she has Jamaican connections - namely being born there, albeit to wealthy white settlers. Unlike the animated rasta-rodent though, Lady Colin had her wedding tackle 'realigned' and went on to forge a career as a model.

This family, it should be remembered, with the Queen at its head is charged with 'defending the faith'. Given the perversion, evil, wrath and many contradictions of the holy book, I'd say that this 'job' was entirely apt for the blue-blooded butler botherers.

Finally though, from cockboys to cocks.

Neil Lennon. The man has undoubtedly been the victim of hate-fuelled bigots. He was driven out of the Six Counties by Unionists angry at a Catholic playing for Northern Ireland. This bit I don't understand. If a Northern Irish Catholic choosing to play for NI isn't a statement of Unionism then I don't know what is. Ditto, the braindoners who sent letter bombs to various 'Celtic-minded' people. However, last year's victim is this year's loudmouth and bully.

Any neutral observer of last week's Celtic-Hearts Scottish Cup semi-final would've noticed a number of refereeing mistakes that were favourable to Celtic. Wanyama and Ki-Sung Yeung both tripped over blades of grass in or near the Hearts' box and Celtic's goal was clearly offside. Despite this, Lennon claims that decisions made against Celtic are part of a personal vendetta against him. Why?

Is it because he's not Scottish and is a Catholic? Could be true but then again, what about Hibs' Irish manager Pat Fenlon and Hearts' Paulo Sergio, a Portuguese Catholic? Barr a minority of troublemakers, the dark old days of sectarianism are over. Those who persist in aggressive and anti-social behaviour look increasingly like unhinged, bullying blawhards with a poor grasp of reality. A bit like Lennon actually.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Günter Grass, Richard Dawkins etc...

Surprise, surprise. Grass compares Israeli aggression with Iranian repression and states the obvious when comparing Israel to a bully. Therefore, he is "anti-Semitic". He is also German and has a moustache. Also, like the Pope, he had a thing going with the SS during his ignorant youth.

On the other hand, anarchist punk band Oi Polloi have faced similar criticism from some in Germany for their pro-Palestinian stance. Though this is the same stance that Oi Polloi's tour and label-mates, Israeli peace-activists Nikmat Olalim take. Hebrew-speaking Israeli anti-semites? Or maybe some, on whatever side, see the never-ending cycle of violence as past its sell-by-date?

Israel's government have reacted predictable fury and banned Grass from travelling to yon war-torn holy land. One voice of reason decreed that Grass should go to Iran if he likes it so much there. Except of course, he doesn't which is why Iran - or its leaders - were also criticised.

Which begs the question. Is Richard Dawkins sectarian for criticising the Catholic Church? Sure, those who say so are missing the bigger fuckin picture and are the probably the kind of blinkered morons who see the entire world in simple black and white terms. Anyway, here's a few more simpull black and white statements to mull over...
  • George Galloway hates publicity
  • The Old Firm are good for Scottish football
  • The Lib Dems are to be trusted
  • Scottish Labour is very relevant to the future of Scotland
  • Trident missiles keep the peace and keep us all safe
  • The English Defence League are a repository of culture and Anglo-Saxon intillegence
  • The Tories are not a London-centric grouping of self-serving millionaires 
  • bankers and company CEOs deserve higher pay as it attracts the right people - nurses, teachers, firefighters and other public servants deserve less pay as it attracts the right people

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A thought for Easter from Somhairle

Chan eil mo shùil air Calbharaigh
no air Betlehem an àigh
ach air cùil ghrod an Glaschu
far bheil an lobhadh fàis,
agus air seòmar an Dùn Èideann,
seòmar bochdainn ’s cràidh,
far a bheil an naoidhean creuchdach
ri aonagraich gu bhàs.

My eye is not on Calvary
nor on Bethlehem the Blessed,
but on a foul-smelling backland in Glasgow,
where life rots as it grows;
and on a room in Edinburgh,
a room of poverty and pain,
where the diseased infant
writhes and wallows till death.

More eggs:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Glastonbury and Topman back in the dark ages

Imagine that David Hume never was. Or that everything Richard Dawkins wrote was a lie. Imagine that women didn't have the vote and were just baby factories. Imagine that women, because of baseless rumour and absence of science, were still burned as witches.

Welcome to Glastonbury and Topshop.

It transpires that vandals have desecrated a 'sacred' tree at a site near the happy-clappy town of Glastonbury - a town apparently populated only by people with double and triple-barreled surnames. Hippies, spiritualists and bible-bashers have, it seems, being trying to kill the tree gradually by embedding coins in the trunk or hanging fabric from its branches. These offerings to... god/ gods/ goddesses/ demons/ whatever were purely for selfish gain in the spiritual department. These rituals have now come to an end with the work of one selfless chainsaw wielding ned.

As to the town itself... here's what the Beeb reports:
"It's the heart chakra of the world," says Georgina Sirett-Armstrong-Smith, who is a priestess of Avalon at the local Goddess Temple. Others see strange forms and figures in the local landscape - a swan, a dragon, a pregnant woman.

Apart from witches and goddess worshippers, there are fairy followers, astrologers, shamans, alchemists, geomancers, druids, spiritualists and every possible variety of alternative healer. 

The ex-mayor chimes in with his own brand of mania:
The apparent takeover of the town by new age believers disturbs him. "There's nothing wrong with paganism but there is a certain taste of Satanism as well and I have always regarded Glastonbury as a Christian town." 

And then there's the local priest:
The local Catholic priest, Father Kevin Knox-Lecky, has also come across signs of Satanism.
"I have in the past found signs of rituals having been performed on the church steps. And that usually would involve candle grease and herbs and feathers, and sometimes blood," he says.

Of course, it goes without saying that when it comes to 'clear and present danger' to our children then Satanists are some way behind the Roman Catholic Church.

On another subject but one that is equally incredible is 2012, is the new line in offensive T-shirts by Topman/ Topshop. One compares women to dogs and one has a 'tongue in cheek' view of wifebashing - though of course significant numbers of men are also victims of domestic abuse. And, bearing that in mind... perhaps then the owner of Topshit, Sir Philip Green - supporter of David Cameron and whose political views are described in Wikipedia as 'being to the right of Thatcher' - wouldn't mind it if some hardened, crabbit and drunk feminists 'joked' his head into a kerbstone? Just for a laugh like.

Or, alternatively, Topshop could prove that they really have cajones and produce a range of 'X-treme' and 'Ultimate' items of attire for plook-ridden teenage boys everywhere. How about a range of shirts with a manly platinum-like finish and mottoes like, 'We are all Sutcliffe' or 'Free Gary Glitter'?

The ultimate dilemma of 2012. Who to hate most - raving mumbo-jumbo spouting lunatics or fat millionaire tax-dodgers like Sir Pip Green who make money from misery?