Scotland the Grave

Just in time to desecrate National Tartan Day, a study says Scotland is the "worst small country to live in." It's all Roger Moore's fault.

By Alan Black
April 6, 2006 3:16PM (UTC)
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Being Scottish, I am easily insulted. Scotland was recently selected by a group of so-called European experts as "the worst small country to live in." It's top of the charts for manic depression, alcoholism, lung cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, heart disease and yellow, plaque-infected teeth. The end of the Scottish race seems guaranteed. We are the national equivalent of the dodo.

And who is to blame for this? Who is to blame for a country with a negative population growth, for a country that ranks 96th in the world of international soccer, for a country that harvests men at 4-foot-5 with sperm counts as low as the nation's year-round cloud cover? Someone has to pay for the corpse of a nation!


Roger Moore must die! The English bastard stole the greatest cinematic role from the only modern Scotsman who ever reached over 6-foot-2. Everyone knows that Scot Sean Connery was the greatest James Bond, always on target with a Beretta and between hot female thighs. He was a man who surely fathered thousands of children by wearing a short bathrobe in the international cock ring of spies. Then he was pulled off the secret agent beat by an effete English private school ninny, a cad who could not act his way out of a paper bag. Scotland's negative population growth would have been eliminated if Big Sean had been allowed to keep up his end of the bargain with the ladies.

And who else must be placed in the grave with the Scots? Try the Australian, fundamentalist Catholic actor-dwarf who portrayed "Braveheart." Mel Gibsons portrayal of Scots hero William Wallace as a 5-foot-4 freedom-freak missed the mark completely. Wallace was a 6-foot-7, 16 pints of whisky a day champion. This cultural robbery exemplifies the sclerosis that threatens to rot the liver of any society: revisionist history. "Freedom!" yelled the passionate kangaroo, but we all know in Scotland that Wallace raised an army not for silly ideas like liberty but because the English were forcing their warm, tepid beer on us.

Thanks to Gibsons 1995 Oscar-winning role as the pure-blooded spirit of goodness, the United States Senate affixed April 6 as National Tartan Day. This acknowledgment of Scottish influence on the destiny of the republic proved that Hollywood history could lay pretty carpets on a dirty floor. The Scots' inventiveness in the modern world (roads, bridges, penicillin, the TV and the telephone) mark a remarkable influence, but the other side of the Scottish coin in America is tarnished by some ugly facts. The Ku Klux Klan (its not called Klan for nothing, you know) was set up by angry, defeated Confederate officers, many of Scottish extraction; their emblematic Southern battle flag was derived from Scotland's national flag, the St. Andrew's Cross. Those burning crucifixes that many black folks woke up to in their front yards were ancient Scottish symbols. Almost as ugly as this is the fact that Newt Gingrich was born Newt McPherson. Now we know why he wore those plaid ties while setting the dogs on the urban poor during the '90s.


Self-loathing -- it breeds blame, an infection worse than malaria, enough to knock out a nation. But those European experts failed to note some important points. Scotland parties seven days a week, the bars and venues are packed with imagination and performance, the street patter is vibrant and constantly evolving. Conversation is viciously warm and threatening at the same time. And Scots are less likely to kill themselves than those poor souls who live in the shattering monotony of places like Sweden and Norway, where the clouds are the most interesting feature. Scotland is not boring, it's the opposite -- exciting and crazy and filled with the absolute freedom that violent mood swings offer. It's the best small country in the world! So shut up, Europe!

But lets not get distracted from finding the guilty. Who's next on the blame them list?

Well, there isn't really anybody else, is there? That's it. OO7 and Braveheart. That's our contribution to reality. So down the sunset strip we go. Shortening men, barren wombs and the nation ravaged by a tsunami of orthodontic disaster. Chained in the cells of decay, harmonizing to the exiting wind and whoosh of the broken bagpipe, the lament of the dying fleeting across the mountains and the streams, the heather turning black, the whisky mash rotted. It's Scotland the Grave. And we love it.

Alan Black

San Francisco-based writer Alan Black hails from Glasgow.

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