Monday, September 21, 2015

If pigs could fly...

Get Over It

...their graceful porcine wings would take them far away from the debauched cesspit that is Westminster and the establishment of rich white men who run it - give or take the odd Corbyn or Mhairi Black. And they are roundly ridiculed as extremists by people who engage in or support arms-dealing with Saudi Arabia and others, penalising the poor and disabled, renewing Trident and sexual intercourse with dead mammals.

To be fair though, they'd probably fuck dead fish were the opportunity to present itself.

It now seems beyond doubt that when Flemish master of the canvas, Hieronymus Bosch painted his triptychs he was envisioning the future governing class of Great Britain.

Westminster debauchery
Rule Brittania fellows!

The MPs expense scandal was only the tip of the iceberg - the apparent coverup of paedophile rings working within the corridors of power would allude to the depths to which these people would sink. Hell, I hate foxhunting but these people fuck and kill kids and people. The dead foxes are probably just a carnal digestif.

And, it isn't just the sordid image we have of a young dish-faced, shiny-chinned David Cameron inserting his sausage into a dead pig's mouth - it's the fact that he and others do this because it, er, lubricates the wheels of advancement.

For us in Scotland... at least us Yes voters in the #indyref can hold our heads up high. We didn't vote to be ruled by swinefuckers.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Or to be more exact, it's a hatred of something that's not understood. Ignorance, in a word. While Stuart Campbell may bleat about feeling like an 'alien in his own land' due to other people using a language he doesn't know and may question the role of an 'ancient' language in modern society - he sounds more like the dark-age peasant who fears the forest and darkness due to not having the wherewithal to shine a light.

Let's be clear, no-one is forcing the Rev Caimbeul to light a torch instead of cursing the darkness but surely it isn't too much to ask for those us who possess two (or more) torches to live without ridicule. To stretch this metaphor further, our taxes go to support the supply of batteries for our big torch (some may say an 'alien' Anglo-Saxon torch) so surely some cells for the wee torch must also be provided?

That sounds like a progressive and just solution.

And, if we aren't fighting for a progressive and just Scotland that can stand on her own two feet without fear of being derided as 'too wee and too stupid' then frankly, it's not gonna be fuckin worth it.

And if the Rev Caimbeul - ironic, eh? - isn't deriding the language of the Scots, or her speakers, as 'too wee, too stupid' then what the France is he doing?

This seems to be the sum of his logic:
spoken by a minority = obsolete, no-one speaks it
Gaelic is ancient = so is witch burning, castles, mountains, fossils (is this actually an argument?)
Gaels are bilingual = force them to speak English then (and the Danes and Dutch too?)
I don't understand it = bad
it's the indigenous tongue of the Scots = Nazi blood and soil stuff

This is the vicious cycle of Scottish bilingualism: Speak it = don't force your elitist language on me. Don't speak it = it's a dead language, no-one speaks it.

Jackson Carlaw, who kicked off this stooshie, is one huge balloon of a man. If the usually sharp and well-researched Stiùbhart Caimbeul - he does make several good points in the latter half of his posting - can't hit a closach this size with his darts without nailing Scotland's Gaelic speakers then maybe his is a bubble that's burst.

Carpark sign in Islay. Resulted in closure of Scottish schools.

Someone mentioned that the worst enemies of Scottish are Scots themselves hence why people with Gaelic names like Caimbeul often seem to revel in their ignorance and celebrate their kicking of the wee guy. This would seem to be the case. And that begs the question, how will we ever gain our independence if we're trying to stagger forward under the burden of yon massive chip on our shoulder - that self-loathing grudge known as the Scottish Cringe.

Elvis Costello - the Sionnach Fionn here -  sang about 'one less white nigger'. Are we still, to use a another crude term, still just 'porridge wogs'? Carlaw and Caimbeul think so.

Entry in the 'Urban Dictionary'

I mean to say and if you pardon my French - otherwise useless to me despite two years of it in school - what the fuck? If a modern Scotland can not encompass diversity and bilingualism then it deserves to be forever the lackey of Westminster and the runt of the Union, being laughed at by the rich, the idle and the debauched in the House of Lords. Would an independent Scotland only care for the poor in the Mother Theresa style - speak the right tongue in the right way and I may help you?

As to Jacksy Carlaw - he's the loose cannon of the Tories. What kind of ersepiece would lift a crude and erroneous image and statement from a group of right-wing EDL-types known as 'Smash the SNP'? I trust that Ruth Davidson is taking action? Or do only those 'vile CyberNats' warrant our disdain?

Lastly,  some biographical and other points.

Scottish Gaels have worked for and paid taxes to the Scottish/ British state for centuries. From Bannockburn to Dunkirk, they have been the backbone of 'our' many armies on the frontline. They received neither reward nor recognition for this and indeed were punished and repressed until modern times. During the Clearances, Gaelic was good enough to entice Scottish speakers into the army and to warn them of the consequences of trying to reclaim their own land. This, while it was beaten out of their kids at school.

A warning to backward teuchters in an obsolete tongue. Know your place bumpkins.

As to myself, I am half-immigrant and my children are half-immigrant. My grandparents and great-grandparents were immigrants and emigrants due to poverty and famine in the Ireland and Scotland of their time. If this is 'blood and soil' nationalism then which blood, which soil? I thought the Nazis only wanted 'ein Spraeche, ein Volk'?  My children speak three languages - two of which are 'useful' should they wish to communicate with millions of others. Their Scottish tongue is also useful - not for the millions, who says big numbers only matter - for day to day conversation in their home, for decoding their local and ancient placenames in the Lowlands (is knowledge of the past/ present a bad thing?) and for enjoying the modern cultural output we can now enjoy in our Scottish tongue - from dad's Oi Polloi CDs to BBC Alba to Dotaman to Peppa Muc to Tormod Caimbeul to the film Seachd.

The talk of Carlaw and Caimbeul is almost fighting talk and it's clear that neither frequent local Scottish hostelries very much - goading and ridicule of this sort in sometimes met with a response that's not as polite as that of Gaelic speakers.

Maybe that's what we need to do more. Fight.

One of the most positive aspects of the pro-independence campaign was the prominence of strong, Bolshy, outspoken women. Why should 51% of the population continue - in the year 2015 FFS! - to be silenced or subjugated? Scottish Gaels may be less than 2% but that won't improve unless we become as crabbit and impolite as the Basque speakers, the Welsh speakers and  the Maoris.

Go for it. Na gèill is tu beò.

Other responses:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sow good. The championship season.

It's been a belter. Obviously for those of us who watch the fitba through maroon-tinted goggles it was unexpectedly painless, at least in the league. The cups were another story but if Robbie Neilson's plan was to concentrate on the league then it worked a treat. The three-horse race with Hearts, The Rangers #2 and Hibernian didn't work out. Instead, Hearts had the league sown up before Valentine's Day with Falkirk and Queen of the South in particular forming a cluster of four some distance behind.

I was lucky enough to be at the Whisky Fringe when news of Sow's last minute winner at Ibrox came through. Probably the most important goal of the season. It instantly dented the unfounded and undeserved self-regard of Sevco Rangers and their lapdogs in the media. From that game on, they were trailing Hearts and proceeded to go to pieces. That was followed up by another important defeat of Hibernian who after the previous season's farce hadn't really got going yet.

Hibs then lost two on the bounce to Falkirk and Alloa while Sevco dominated all teams until they too met the unpredictable Alloa with only a late goal saving them from defeat. More points lost to Hearts though. The gap was to grow even larger after Hibs visited Castle Greyskull and handed Salary McCoist's overpaid duds a 3-1 defeat. Hibs had looked uncomfortable at first, barely able to string a pass together, but then the Sevco defence imploded and Sevconian FC were fortunate to keep the score to 3. In typical Hibs fashion though they followed up that satisfying win by drawing at home to Raith Rovers. The much ridiculed Christian Nade creating havoc in the Hibs defence. Hearts were still undefeated when they met Hibs for the first Easter Road derby. Hibs were up for it and Hearts despite having possession and chances didn't look like scoring. Hibs did, Hearts got a man sent off and Hearts were heading for defeat. With the Hibs fans bouncing and taunting, the Hibs players inexplicably gave Hearts the freedom of the pitch. Ozturk took the ball and this happened... 

Late November and Hearts hammered yet more nails into McCoist's coffin with a 2-0 win at Tynecastle. Rangers turned up with a mission to hurt and that they did. Incredibly, only one of them saw red but young Kevin McHattie was forced out for months after a horrific kick from Kenny Miller. Hibs meanwhile lost again to Falkirk. Mid December saw McCoist have his ass handed to him in Dumfries after a convincing win for Queen of the South against 'The People'. Hearts marched on regardless. The start of December saw Sevco in a cup semi-final and plucky wee Alloa. Surely this would bring some comfort for Salary and his well-remunerated players? Maybe not. One of the results of the season... 

Ally McCoist then became the first(!!!) Rangers manager of the season to leave footballing duties in favour of 'gardening leave'. With a glum Kenny McDowall now in the throne, Sevco's defence went all LibDem and things could only get better...


High-score of the season is an easy one to call. Again, an important win came when Da Rangers were labouring to draws with Falkirk and er... Cowedenbeath the week following this mauling.


In March, Stuart McCall who had done a grand job leading Motherwell into danger took over at the Ship of Fools and went on an unbeaten run. Or in other words, a series of draws against teams in the second tier of football whose player budgets would barely stretch to buying a pair of spades for both of Rangers' gardening-leave managers.

Hibs meanwhile were looking good and were now the closest of 'the other two' to Hearts. When they met Rangers at Easter Road on March 22 anything other than a Hibs win would give Hearts the title. As per usual in games of high significance, Hibs went to pieces and McCall was the toast of the Blue Derry Boys of Billy Union Orange or whatever the Rangers' fans sing about themselves.

When the fixtures were announced, the Hearts/ Rangers match on the final day of the season was seen by some to be the title decider. In the end, Hearts won it without kicking a ball. In the middle of March. All that were left were the play-offs. Alloa deservedly secured their Championship status while the formidable Queen of the South narrowly lost to Rangers. The idea of Da Rangers back in the top flight was as appealing to most of us as being caught in a sandwich between Eric Pickles and Jackie Baillie. Could Hibs stop them? No. Only Motherwell, who had under Stuart McCall, been sacrifical lambs for Die Rangers stood between the Premiership and the Forces of Dunkelheit.

In the end, all's well that ends well. Sevco were trounced over two games and their cartoon defender Moshni is facing police action after giving Motherwell's Irwin a bit of doing after the final whistle. At least for another year, Scotland's top flight will be spared the violent play of Rangers players as well as the violence, sectarianism and racism of their fans. Some further financial woe is not out of the question. 'Glib and shameless' Dave King who had a hand in the previous Rangers going bust is now at the helm. What could go wrogn?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Labour: missing

John McTernan

Murphy is in hiding. Perhaps in a designer McTernan chrysalis and about to re-emerge as yet another Jim Murphy - "At my service folks. One for me, all for me!"

Labour were horsed. Many in the party acknowledge that. Even their sole winner in Scotland - the UnionJack-clad Ian Murray seemed dumbfounded at the realisation that he, after polling well in the posh parts of south Edinburgh, was the last man standing.

It has been a slow demise though. To me, the best thing Labour in Noff Bwitan could do is to separate from the party HQ in London. If the prospect of Chukka Umunna as leader comes to pass and he does indeed take the party further to the right in order to win back the all important Middle-England, then what's left of Labour in the Scottish Parliament is sure to be further eroded.

Hearts fan Murray, or is it Rangers?
The problems are many and stretch back many years. Here's a wee saunter - in no particular order (hell - I don't enjoy Ian Murray's office expenses!) through Labour's shining path to oblivion in Scotland...

- Fascist Bastards! No, not the BNP, Ukip or even the SNP (patent pending Ian Smart) but striking firefighters. This came from the then Labour minister Dr Richard Simpson. Surely a man whose moral compass lies somewhere north of Tony Blair's broon-eye...

- Iraq. Maybe this over all others encapsulates the poverty of the modern Labour Party. Joining with a rabid neo-con US president to mercilessly bomb another nation that in no way threatened us with the loss of up 1 million lives is beyond belief.

- Immigration Mugs. This isn't the first time that Labour has tried to appear tough on immigrants but this was surely one of the most crass. I mean, what the fck! Labour, instead of taking on Ukip and the BNP and fighting for immigrants and explaining the benefits of immigration get into bed with der kleine Englander. 'We can goose-step' further than you....' Gordon 'moral compass' Brown himself lifted a National Front slogan from the 1970s - British Workers for British Jobs - to bolster his flagging campaign in 2010.

- Trident. I can mind the auld days when people like George Robertson and Murphy et al would join the CND marches. Even if you considered nuclear weapons a deterrent back in the days of the Cold War, there can surely be no justification for them now. Even army high-heid-yins and Portillo agree. It's vanity. A white fucking elephant. Even lonely Ian 'UnionJack' Murray agrees. How did he vote though...?

- Drones. No. Not the ones that Obama uses to massacre tribal children in Pakistan but the soulless careerists that took over the Labour Party... when? I don't know but probably around Kinnock's time. Just look at the likes of Murphy, Dougie Alexander, Alastair Darling as well as the 'new generation' of smooth city slickers already jostling for Weird Ed's vacated seat ... not a principled bone between them. I hope that the SNP never attracts this sort.

- Jim Murphy. There's so much been said about this guy and much in ridicule. The fact that he sits - not just as a supporter - but on the political council of the Henry Jackson Society is something that he should be confronted with. Somehow, I can't see Kaye Adams broaching the subject... Suffice to say, Murphy is toxic and only the gleeful coverage in the Unionist media of his Better Together antics has hidden this fact from some.

- PFI. It's still incredible to me that this was Labour's egg. And some wonder why many folk don't see any difference between Labour and Tory? The schools and hospitals that will be paying private-business pirates rent for the next century know this only too well.

- Better Together. And not only in the slimy campaign of scaremongering to save the bankrupt UK political system... Labour members were photographed not only with the Tories but with Ukip and National Front (!!!) activists in a desperate attempt to keep the Westminster trough open. During the #GE2015 campaign, Tories were seen at Labour Party stalls presumably to encourage a 'tactical' vote against those dangerous Nats.

What's left of a genuine left-of-centre Labour membership in Scotland needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Break from the Eton kids and banker-class of the south of England. Actually support the progressive policies of the SNP and Scottish Green Party when required to instead of blindly opposing everything they do like some buttock of an Old Firm tribalist. Lastly - when the next referendum comes - throw your weight behind the yes-campaign. A modern left-of-centre Labour Party that Keir Hardie would feel at home in, starting anew in an independent Scotland might just be the answer to SNP domination.

Friday, May 8, 2015

#GE2015: they said what?

It doesn't become Tocasaid to gloat in others misery but... seeing the queues of taxis taking away a succession of Labour and LibDem 'Portillos' is immensely satisfying. So, GIRUY. And, I really fkn hope that you do find out for real what it is like to survive on £55 a week.

Anyway, how did the high-heid-yins and talking heads in the world of politics fare - not only in the runup to #GE2015 - but in the previous years. Years that are important if we wish to examine the painful but deserved decline of the RedTories Labour Party in North Britain. Did the politicos really know any better than the footballers?

Firstly, here's the one-time socialist cum NATO chief, George Robertson AKA the Baron of Analingus Port Ellen:
"Devolution will kill Nationalism stone dead"
Now, there's the 'spider' that pulled the strings behind Jim Murphy's meltdown of a campaign - and other failures - John McTernan. The Mr Nasty of UK and Australian politics who makes Alasdair Campbell look like a life-giving ray of sunshine said,

"The No vote brings that fantasy (the SNP) to a juddering halt. The Tories will lose the 2015 general election."

oh, the Spider again,

"A no-vote will rejuvenate Scottish Labour".

Well, that one worked out well, eh?

Another nasty is George Galloway who himself is out on his arse.

"The SNP won't win a single seat from Labour."

Galloway needs to take the words 'single', 'seat' and 'Labour' and rearrange them into a new sentence.

Tha last word goes to the Dead Man Walking that is Jim Murphy,

"I'm astonished at how easy it's been to outwit the SNP"

Off to prepare the groundwork for some good drams later on. I'm sure this post will be a work in progress.

Edit: final word goes to Wings over Scotland, of course, with a pretty comprehensive account of the utter bullshit spoken by the deluded. Sure, we all make mistakes but even at the time these statments were patently ludicrous.

Revolution singalong: Murphy v. Leatherface

It's the song of the moment. Tracy Chapman's classic 'Talking 'Bout a Revolution' is the song of the morning and beyond. Jim Murphy and his election-lifebelt, Gordon Brown, were famously trolled by a young boy and his father in a pre-election school visit.

Murphy was cringeworthy in my opinion but then again, i'm no muso. Apart from the original, Sunderland's proletarian melody-makers Leatherface #fundilymundily get my vote.

Well, Jim Murphy thought he could schmooz a wee guy with a guitar at Braehead. So I played 'Talkin' About a Revolution' - I think the irony might have been lost!!` Lol
Posted by Matthew Gibb on Saturday, 2 May 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Football celebs vote in #GE2015!

We all know that Alex Ferguson is a Labour man, whatever their policies are. Also that ex-Hearts and Hibs red-card junkie Michael Stewart is an intelligent advocate of independence and is backing the SNP. Terry Butcher is, or at least used to be, a Tory. But, let's face it, fitba celebs rarely put their heads above the parapet on the political front.

Tocasaid will hazard a few guesses though.

So, with the election upon us and episodes of mindless sickening violence (see above) now in the past, let's enjoy some 90-minute nuggets...

First up is house-favourite Leigh Griffiths. Hibs fan and righteous Celtic FC forward has been banging in the hat-tricks lately. His ongoing hat-trick seems to be the triple-grudge of racism, homophobia and Islamophobia. That's surely makes him a Ukip man.

Moving slightly to the left, we have Ally McCoist. He's a well known Unionist and with Oldco Rangers having corned the right-wing conservative market for fans in recent decades, he's sure to be a Tory. In fact, I reckon he's so taken with Scottish Conservatism that he's morphing into Ruth Davidson.

Anne Budge of Hearts and Leanne Dempster of Hibs are two independently-minded women with clear visions of what their respective clubs should look like. They also thrive in an otherwise backward-male environment. That makes them SNP fans of oor Nicola.

Robbie Neilson. Young manager who's quiet demeanour has nevertheless yielded spectacular results for Hearts this season, albeit in the second tier. They won the league by a country mile as the SNP are predicted to do on May 7th. SNP again for this winner.

Lee 'Elbows' McCulloch. Past the sell-by date footballer and vicious hardman of The Rangers FC. Even his own fans don't like him. Other fans detest him. Referees don't know he exists. He's not very popular. He must be a Lib Dem.

Alan Stubbs. Used to be a likeable guy but has grown into one hell of a bitter man this season as Hibs yo-yo all over the place - one minute they're horsing Sevco and the next allowing Christian Nade of all people to dance around their defence and score. Given his bitterness towards other teams and fans coupled with the fact that his team finished a very distant second to winners Hearts, he has to be a Labour man. No Jim Murphy though as Stubbs is just bitter, not evil.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Hell, we may not all support them but most of us have a soft-spot for them. There's Yogi for a start who's gone from buffoon to manager of the year. And, there's the excellent Twitter account. The Frankie Boyle of the football Twitter world though not as foul-mouthed. They also love beating the corporate-corpse of Scottish fitba - Celtic FC. I'm sure they're partial to a few jars and a 'wee smoke'. Defo a Green Party team and what's wrong with that?

Angry denials or accusations of hate-speech here? Contact the Daily Mail. Corrections or suggestions? Post below.

Vote early, vote often, vote SNP.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Play Murphistory bingo now!

What do you know about Jim Murphy?

As we go to the polls with North Britain expecting a Labour meltdown, can you really get to the bottom of the enigma that is Jim Murphy? Is he a nice guy? Is he a nasty guy? Did he sniff glue? And, can he remember?

Now we, the once Labour-voting plebes, can join in the fun. What is true? What is fiction?

For added mystery, you can spin our Murphistory Quadruple Chance spin wheel!

Quadruple fun!

So, get the family. Get their bahookies on those IrnBru crates (only provided with MPs' expenses) and play all night long! UHU too can be a Murphy!

For further research:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tormod a' Bhocsair...

Also known as Norman Campbell - Niseach and writer - in his additional language has passed away.

Clach air a chàrn.

Taing mhòr dha airson an iomadh pìos, alt agus leabhar taitneach bàrdachail is eirmseach. Sàr ghaisgeach saoghal nan Gaidheal. Dh’fhàg e iomadh pìos saothrach as a dhèidh agus gu cudromach, dh’fhàg e a’ Ghàidhlig aig a chloinn.

A true Gaidheal who worked on the croft and railways before becoming a teacher and writer. There are some who call themselves 'tradition bearers' at less than half Tormod's age and with a fraction of his life experience - both of the Gaelic world and of the inner city working class that he knew so well.

It's a testament to him that both I and my children still regularly enjoy his output for both adults and children. Deireadh an Fhoghair should rank as one of the finest works of Scottish literature and it would were it to be translated. For kids, his translations of a' Chaparaid, an Gruffalo and Spuinnedairean Dubh na h-Oidhche are full of entertaining and idiomatic Scottish/ Gaelic.

More importantly perhaps, he left Gaelic on his own kids' tongues unlike some of the bàrds and academics of the Gaelic.

Some question the need of Gaelic today when all of us can speak at least one other tongue. Without Gaelic, you couldn't appreciate Tormod a' Bhocsair's work. Literature and culture greatly adds to our experience. His work would be well worth learning our language for.

Tormod a' Bhocsair at BBC Alba

At Gaelic Wikipedia.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Hand of Meekings

If Carlsberg made conspiracies...

The ridiculous Celtic FC has taken their culture of grievance to new extremes. The biggest and arguably most 'establishment' club in Scotland - two of their current squad are racists, another professed support for Israel's bombing of Palestine and their former chairman is a war-criminal who commanded the British Army in Iraq - have made an official complaint regarding a penalty kick they should have been given against the mighty Inverness Caley Thistle.

Here's hoping that the crusaders of the moral highground also mention their forward John Guidetti's dive to get a penalty- see above - against Hearts earlier in the season. Perhaps their goalie Craig Gordan getting sent off and conceding a penalty for a kamikaze challenge in the box may also have lead to Celtic's downfall? Perhaps, ICT themselves should've had a penalty when their forward was flattened by Celtic's second goalie late on in the game?

An honest gurn to the SFA would mention all of this.

Or maybe not. Swings and roundabouts, eh?

This wasn't a mistake though. It was, according to tens of thousands of their mainly Scottish and godless Protestant support, a conspiracy to stop Celtic FC winning the treble.

No doubt the arch-unionists and Brits who make up Celtic FC's ruling class will be quick to point out that the SNP have not ruled out allowing ICT fans to bring down Celtic players in the box... 

I knew this season would be one to remember.


This video is for real folks! that's a typical deluded Tim for ya!
Posted by The Revival on Sunday, 19 April 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Labour/ Ukip coalition on the cards?

Many have looked on with a morbid fascination as Labour in recent years has moved further and further to the right. It's been truly horrible though the reality of what's happened has been evident enough. It's as if Jackie Baillie rolled up to your house just to squat on your lawn and lay a huge steaming log. You'd look on, intoxicated by the novelty of the scene but horrified by the spectacle and consequences.

And, what are the consequences of Labour's latest attack on Johnny Foreigner? I hate to think.

Or to put it another way, Labour are unashamedly going for the racist/ Ukip/ Bnp/ EDL/ Britain First vote at a time when the Daily Mail's bogeyman du jour, Alex Salmond, is talking up the benefits of immigration.

For the Middle-England audience, Labour have been falling over themselves to distance the party from the SNP. Yet up here, Murphy is trying to airbrush his many past misdemeanours by embracing any 'Clause 4' ideology from free tuition to free prescriptions.

Labour too should be confronting the Little Englanders head-on instead of stoking their fears. Whether they come from Germany or Nigeria, whether to pick our veg or perform brain surgery - immigration is good. Culturally too, the benefits are evident all around us. The fact there are some dinosaurs in every group of people - be they immigrants or 'natives' - who are scared of 'the other' makes it all the more important to stand up to the bullshit of the anti-immigration rhetoric. Labour have form on this though. From local-campaign leaflets to Gordon Brown lifting NF slogans from the 1970s - British Jobs for British Workers.

Why does this need to spelled out in the year 2015?

And the consequences? The political spectrum of the 'paedo-parliament' in Westminster is pulled further to the right. Roll on the next indy-ref.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Facing the wrath of an audience scorned

If I may digress from the important matters in life such as @jimforscotland, Gaelic profanity or Hearts winning the Championship, I'd like to offer my final comments on Outlander and its obsessed devoted audience and their jihad concerns.

Actually I loved it. Well done folks. Does it still matter that I only sat through the one pilot episode? Is my volte-face negated by my ignorance of Diana Gabaldon's body of work?

Sure, my partner told me that in Germany, many loveless middle-aged women are obsessed with the scintillating blend of sex, adventure, fantasy, Celtic landscape and... romance. She's only read one Gabaldon book though, so what does she know? Plus, you could easily stereotype many niche markets. Football fans, for example, who are similarly navel-gazing and who often take aggressive umbrage to those who question their chosen devotion.

Adventure and history

Anyway, back to the delicious melange of adventure, history, sex and 18th century square-gos that is Outlander. Some may say that were you to remove the 'adventure' scenes, you'd be left with a slushy soft-porn production of the sort Channel 4 were once famous for broadcasting but clearly they are ignorant. Most probably douchenozzles in Gaelic even - srùb tòin (?)

And then there's the glorious history. Highlanders escaping the redcoats were most probably hairy and dirty. Most did speak Gaelic without subtitles (I bet the modern-day Redcoats will hate that!). Some may take issue though with the concept of Invernessians of 1946 partaking in pagan rituals in stone-circles and generally being backward superstitious bumpkins. Some like my very own mother! She, in her ignorance, claims that in her teenage years, almost all Scots were strict followers of Calvinistic Presbyterianism! No stone-circles for her - only dour adherence to a diet of Sabbatarianism and hellfire (a fate that I now believe is too good for Outlander critics). They even worked on Xmas day or so she says. Plainly, she hasn't read every Diana Gabaldon novel.

Certainly, were I a Jacobite sudger escaping murderous Redcoats hellbent on ethnic cleansing, I wouldn't say no to getting a lumber from a beautiful older woman who had just appeared from 200 years distant. She could lay her hands on my biodag anytime...

Some in their heretic lunacy may even suggest other Scottish films that portray Scotland as seen by real-life Scots.

Like Trainspotting maybe. Aye right - the language there is terrible and there's no Gaelic. Plus, who could love a junkie?

Or there's Seachd - lots of Gaelic, one or two nefarious Sasannaich and even mystical folklore. No sexy bare-chested Highlanders though. And we know that's very important given the beseeching of some on Twitter for readers to 'fix' an online competition for the 'best on-screen couple'.

I just know that the British public will love this! It's a shame that it's not on terrestial telly and we've had to leave it to tax-dodging pirates Amazon to show it but... that's life folks.

If any douchenozzle or ignoramus says otherwise then let them write their own blog with their own opinion. How dare they!

Btw: I found Outlander at Online Movies here. It didn't cost me a penny but that was before Amazon's announcement so who knows how long that will continue. Dèan maorach is an tràigh ann....

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dirty Gaelic, the Black House and crap telly

After a winter hiatus indulging in the above while also allowing myself to become bewitched by the ironic Tartan Noir that is Kezia Dugdale's online presence, I've finally found time to praise and to bury.

First up is Outlander. I had read all about this expensively made thriller - a Scottish Game of Thrones apparently - and the notable inclusion of Scottish/ Gaelic in its script. I usually prefer Nordic Noir to mystical American stuff like GoT but the Scottish angle hooked me. It seems that even though it was filmed here and has received a fair amount of attention, it wasn't to be released this side of the Atlantic or the North Sea - both American and German audiences have so far been eagerly lapping it up. A spot of proletarian browsing online came up with the goods though.

What a disappointment. As the credits rolled, I spotted the name of the writer - Diana Gabaldon and various doomladen bells rang in my heid. Having run it past die Frau, I learn that her translated novels of horny Scottish clansmen and willing ladies are hugely fucking popular. It's basically Mills and Boon in the heather with groins moving to a port-a-beul. Minus the midges in the pubes and ticks on your scrote.

Outlander - rach air muin?

It's pretty shit to be honest but the gist of it is this - a posh English lady and her typically effete and stiff lipped husband find themselves in a post-war Inverness where pagan rituals are still commonplace. The lass goes to stone circle and the tursachan quickly spirit her away to the same spot but 200 years distant and in the midst of a skirmish between hairy Highlanders and Redcoat villains. The Gaelic Jacobites are portrayed as they probably were - hairy, smelly and plaid-wearing. All except one who is inexplicably clean-shaven - even his 18th century torso is hairless - and handsome. Nuff said.

Though tax-dodging pirates Amazon have announced it's release online, I am not inclined to watch the remaining episodes - one dose of romantic slush is enough though Outlander is not without its attributes. The excellent Bill Paterson is in the cast somewhere down the line and... there is some attempt at authenticity by having the Highlanders speak Gaelic, at least some of the time. To be fair, the Gaelic spoken is not bad though it is a tad wooden and forced coming from the mouths of non-Gaelic speaking actors. Some bits threw me - trobhad (come here) was pronounced as 'trew-ad' and not trow-ad for example but that's a minor gurn. Especially when everything else was so, so bad...

Unlike the Black House by Peter May. I always thought the Western Isles would make the perfect place for some Tartan/ Nordic Noir. So did Peter May, who has now produced a trilogy. This is the clachan a' choin. It's got gore, sex, authenticity (May knows the Isle of Lewis and her culture very well indeed), the Gaelic, the culture - warts and all, dour Presbyterianism and intrigue.

This is what BBC Scotland/ BBC Alba should be producing and exporting to the world...

...instead of cac like Bannan. Like Outlander, the PR lie-machine was busy grinding out comparisons to whet the appetite. This one was 'Gaelic's answer to the Killing'. It's like comparing Thomas the Tank Engine to  Steven Seagal's Under Siege 2 simply because of the locomotive angle. Except Bannan doesn't have any killing in it - only a jealous boyfriend lamping his love-rival. The only other crime to speak of is an underage quad bike rider escaping from the cops over the machair. Seriously.

No Nordic Noir here...
Nordic Noir - not the Skye Bridge

The Killing was dark - in all senses. Loads of night scenes, always raining, the vile excesses of human nature on display and no simple solutions to complex, multi-faceted issues. Bannan on the other hand was just a tourist advert - stunning scenery, no rain (in Skye??!!) and a transparent plot with too many lightweight characters. At best, this was a mid-evening soap opera filmed in a wild location. Strangely, it was given a slot after the 9pm watershed - perhaps it was thought that the one illicit kiss between the main character and her ex-boyfriend would cause a spike in teenage pregnancies amongst young Gaels?

Sadly, Bannan has been given a second series. Could BBC Alba's budget not go on something a bit more gritty?

To be frank, lift your dogshit.
If you want 'salty' language in the tongue of the Gael then one could do worse than purchase 'The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic'. Unfortunately, it is a slim volume but I hope it's one that will be added to in future editions. Indeed, an online 'Urban Dictionary' of everyday filthy Gaelic would be excellent.

Some delicious dirt I encountered included:
 Buinneach o'n teine ort - May you suffer diarrhea from the fire
Tòn air eigh dhut - may your arse hit the ice

Some good ones from the nether regions:
Pit air iteig! - Flying vagina!
Bod ort! - A penis on you!

The language also covers terminology for decadent or frowned-upon habits such as drinking and smoking. Responsible drinking is very much a new-fangled idea... from 'The Four Drams of the Morning' we have -
sgailc-nid - a nest-dram (sgailc = a slap or thump)
friochd-uillin - a nip of the elbow, taken while beginning to arise...

There is a healthy section on genitalia in which such gems are to be found:
bodach beag a' bhàta - little old man of the ship, i.e. the clitoris, stupid!
cirean-coillich - the rooster's comb, vagina
dos - the bagpipe drone, penis

For a French kiss, go to Sgalpaigh, Harris - pòg Sgalpach

The brevity of the volume may be down to the sources, most of whom seem to be of the academic nature. Perhaps, someone should fund an indepth study that travels the Highlands and Islands to interview fishermen, crofters, bar-workers, labourers, hotel workers and the like?

While not claiming to be an authority on the matter, I would, off the top of my head, add my tuppenceworth...
cuir corrag nad thòin is leig fead - put a finger in your arse and whistle
goc(an) - (little) tap, penis
rachamama - motherfucker
ith bod - blowjob

Someone pass a volume to the producers of Bannan please.