Archive for the ‘culture’
Today we’re a boxing site, and that’s all there is to it.
I was born to be a Rangers supporter. I had no real choice in the matter. My father was a Ger, as was his father and his father’s father. I was accepted that as soon as I was old enough to be lifted over a turnstile I would attend Ibrox, faithfully.
From 1964 (aged 5) I worshipped at the shrine of Rangers for almost three decades. Fortunately for me, my father was the least bigoted man you could wish to meet. His religions were the trade unions and Rangers. Because he wasn’t bigoted our next-door neighbour and dad’s friend used to take me to Parkhead to watch Celtic too, which I found thrilling as I was convinced the “Tims” could see right through me.
This caused me a bit of confusion at school, because some of my family were “Tims”. In fact my favourite aunty was a convert to Catholicism and was as devout and decent a Catholic as you will ever meet. The conflation of football and religion was as normal as the smog-filled air we breathed. It just was what it was. You were either Proddy Ranger or Timmy Celtic. It wasn’t to be questioned.
Except my dad questioned it, loudly and often. He tried to explain the wrongs of the situation to me many times. I remember asking him why he still was a Rangers man if he disliked the whole Proddy/Tim thing that went with it.
“They’re my team, son. The morons can’t change that”, he told me.
So a few things need said about the events of the weekend.
In what may be a new all-time low for the broadsheet press in Scotland, this morning’s Scottish edition of the Telegraph makes a front-page lead story out of a petition with a pathetic 4500 signatures, put together by some extremist Yoon nutters to express their rage that there might be a peak-time news show actually made in Scotland.
The idea of a so-called “Scottish Six”, whereby the main six o’clock news bulletin would be a single programme made by BBC Scotland and covering Scottish, UK and world news – rather than the current half-hour London-centric UK programme followed by 30 minutes of regional murdur’n’fitba in Reporting Scotland – has been exercising the media (and pretty much nobody else) for the best part of 20 years.
But now it’s become a constitutional battleground, and the funny thing about it is that the two sides are fighting bitterly over something neither of them actually really wants.
Last night, MP Natalie McGarry made another heavily-qualified semi-apology to the popular abusive-tweeter enthusiast JK Rowling, because that’s how bullying works. (As far as we know McGarry has still refused Rowling’s demand that she make a sizeable donation to Rowling’s charity under threat of legal action.)
One of George Orwell’s most-quoted lines is “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
We wonder who was trying to silence the torrent of drivel below, then.
Sometimes it’s the smallest, most trivial things that give you away. Graham Grant is the Home Affairs Editor of the Scottish Daily Mail, and earlier this morning he tweeted this snarky dig at prominent independence supporter and pundit Pat Kane, also of the primarily-1980s band Hue And Cry:
Ostensibly it’s a throwaway gag aimed at puncturing an opponent’s pomposity and over-inflated self-regard while portraying the journalist as an arch, wise cynic.
But hold on a second.
We listened to an interesting chat on Good Morning Scotland earlier today (it’s right at the start, just after the news) featuring Gerry Hassan and the sharp New Statesman reporter Stephen Bush, which briefly discussed a curious political phenomenon of the 2000s where people said they liked certain policies until they were told they were Tory policies, at which point their opinions changed.
It put us rather in mind of a classic 2000AD comic strip called The Ballad Of Halo Jones, and in particular a short episode from it about a character called The Glyph, which seemed to us to sum up the current dilemma facing the Labour Party on both sides of the border – but especially in Scotland, as was rather strikingly illustrated by a revealing interview with Kezia Dugdale on Friday.
So we thought we’d share it with you, because sometimes pictures say a thousand words. Especially if there are several of them and they also have words on them.
The Herald columnist Iain Macwhirter has had some wise words to say on the subject of social media in the past few weeks, most recently on New Year’s Day:
The month before, though, he’d been even more to the point.