Scotland’s Cranky Culture.


Sometimes when I look at Scottish Culture (which isn’t that often if I’m truthful) I feel like a dress-maker staring at a gaggle of mismatched bridesmaids all aiming to be stuffed into the same style and thinking ‘but how?’.

We’ve got some unnaturally happy mostly adorable slightly suspicious Nats in a Celtic Twilight Braveheart Tartan Kailyard.

T.V. raised suburbans steeped in London and L.A.

A post-industrial sprawling Glasgow that mentally lives in The Steamie and remembers when they got an inside loo (for once I’m too young).

Some children of the Manse – somewhere.

Calvin! – he’s in the bones.

Catholicism! – back like Cronus.

A bright indie scene of student hipsters who get old down their local without updating their retro shirts.

English Arts administrators padding round the press clippings.

Militants and cranks.

Irish-heritagers (I’d call them plastic paddies – but sometimes a snappy phrase is too nasty and mean) who flit between being fiercely tricoloured and mildly bewildered (like me – the bewildered part).

A ton of incredibly visible yet totally submerged Irish Protestants still motivated by the strictly taboo Scullabogue Massacre.

Lost soldier types tagging along and never fitting.

Serial killers.

Gangsters (although they’ve been out-gunned recently by London and Dublin).


Chinese people who prefer not to be noticed.

Asians – mostly from the home of my childhood icon Benazir Bhutto (the eyeliner!).

Poles etc (unless they’ve left already).

Africans! – mostly from the right true countries that approve of fat girls.

An Aristocracy who prefer not to be noticed.


The mentally ill.

Weird crimes – like threatening someone while smeared in mince.


Viking parades! (if Shetland goes to Norway taking their lovely money with them – we’ll either laugh at the Nats or get Iceland to invade and wave quota fish at them).


And a kind of Mandarin Class whose exact working life could be replicated in any city on Earth.

Everything that is us is too us; everything else could be anywhere.

I’m sure all the materials will be fabulous once I work out what to do with them.

Unless it looks like this :


4 thoughts on “Scotland’s Cranky Culture.

  1. In a dying market town, I live amongst the TV Suburbans (great phrase), soldiers and Eastern Europeans. Glasgow, meanwhile, is run by the Irish Heritage lobby- hence the bizarre obsession with Gaelic railways signs – in Giffnock for example, that Hebridean bastion.I’m more surprised there are still any English Arts Administrators left!

    1. The English are still here & mostly so nice I feel terrible when I get all failed and bitchy and mutter darkly about the Oxbridge Elite… The lowlands especially is a very odd mixture – I wish we spent more time pondering what it all means & less time defending our tiny corner of it or ignoring it altogether.

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