Saturday, April 28, 2012

On The Scottish Spring

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Seeing both Rangers Football Club and the Scottish National Party in such turmoil could almost make one think we are seeing could be called a 'Scottish Spring'; like the Arab Spring, but with more rain. A considerable portion of Scottish society is now rudderless, their bearings to their environment completely uprooted. For the student of universal history, watching a civilisation undergo an existential crisis of the type that Scotland is undergoing right now makes for riveting viewing. This is the collapse of Easter Island and the Sack of Rome all rolled into one. The only thing that would shock them some of them even more than they have been already would be the captain of the Royal and Ancient performing a pole dance with the flag on the eighteenth green.

Yet even now, some of them are behaving as if nothing has happened, their denial of reality almost absolute. I remember hearing Arthur Miller being interviewed years before his death, and how he described how his father, having lost everything in '29, just went about with the same smile on his face afterwards that he had worn before, completely unable to reconcile himself to the change in his circumstances. I have a lot of time for Ally McCoist; the image that he presents is of  a genuinely nice guy, certainly a very thoughtful one, and his work with SCIAF tells me he carries no unpleasant baggage. Yet in my opinion his demand for the names of the SFA judicial panel that meted out due and lawful punishment to Rangers Football Club was the product of a moment's frustration born of almost Plantagenet hauteur, of the type that Henry II momentarily but fatally suffered with regard to Becket. Some people will just never get over the idea that their faction, their clan, are no longer top dogs.

In years to come, the whole 'For every fiver Celtic spend, we'll spend a tenner' mentality exhibited by Rangers will be held up as a textbook example of the phenomenon that anthropologists call 'overshoot'. Given that the civilisation he created at Rangers has shown virtually no resilience to changes in circumstances, and a subsequent lack of cultural staying power, Sir David Murray might as well have been dragging giant stone heads up a hillside on Rapa Nui, some of them maybe more mobile than the Rangers back four.


Friday, April 06, 2012

What Alex Salmond's Next Conversation With The Chinese Ambassador Might Sound Like