Blog Life After John Smeaton

Having missed most of the excitement of Weegies being interrupted heading off to the sun by some loony Al McQuaeda and his buddy Singe Majeep and their single handed effort to reduce the number of Four Wheel Drive Gas Guzzling Carbon Emitting Vehicles, one car at a time, I am forced to look for more uplifting material. Well at least some optimistic stuff. I am a Scot after all and that may be difficult.

OK Had to settle for funny. And now for the serious stuff.

Richard Havers has started a new blog, Airline Confidential. Nothing to do with the disruption at Glasgow Airport, but he does have a funny story about the day Robert Mugabe came to Edinburgh Airport. Is that an AK47 in your pants or are you just glad to see me. You can also learn really useful stuff like the fact that a 747 takes off every 30 seconds somewhere in the world. That is a real killer for the dinner table. How come mine were always in a 40 minute queue?

Continuing along the airport theme comes the New Scottish National Anthem, named after our new national hero. Groanin Jock has us singing along with an alternative to Flower of Scotland. We’ll need all of John’s energy when the Italians come to Hampden in the Autumn. Sing with Drunken Gusto.

O John of Smeaton
When will we see your like again
That fought and panned in
Two Al Qaeda men
And set about them
Osama’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

The airport’s bare now
And cherokees lie burnt and still
O’er land that is saved now
Which brave Sir Smeato held
And set about them
Osama’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be a nation again
That set about them
Osama’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Speaking of Terrorism, Lady McLeod has an interesting Dubya chases Osama option for those early birds looking to stuff their kids Christmas Stockings. Or is this an adult joke present?

Flying Rodent also weighs into the War on Tetrirism. Clearly there are just so many Tetrirists plotting the downfall of the world as we know it. I mean we have all been trained in the mechanics of the evil game.

Dr Maroon in his inimitable style pays tribute to the United States and how it got away. Most people probably think that it is not such a bad thing, given the way some of the political leadership are behaving over there. Editors Note: The author would like to apologise for that completely unwarranted condemnation of current US policies. I am having anger counselling and it just slips out sometimes. Scottish Roundup has no assets, so don’t expect too much if you sue.

Pat the Chooks likes to get out into the wide open spaces. Nice weather. Not what I remember from many miserable, windy, sleeting, foggy, raining…. days that I spent on Scottish hills. I forgot that you have this sort of weather back in Scotland.

If getting out into the great outdoors is not for you or if you are just bored with your life, there is always Scotland in Second Life, where you can now talk in real time, with the enabling of voice in parts of Scotland. That will rumble all those quasi Scots, masquarading around with their L$1,000 Highland Outfits. Latest buys available for raunchy wannabee Scots include the

The Tartan shop now has a new line of “Strip Me” kilts that can allow your partner to rip off that kilt in a moment of (virtual) passion. Custom-ordered a kilt for L800 or just the script alone for 300L.

I think I will stick with the real life version.

In real life, true Scots stand to be harrassed by EU Sporran Polis. David Farrer reviles the impending regulation of the hairy sporran. Me too. Luckily I am in Australia.

Scottish Blogging Diversifies

Redemption Blues documents a recent Scottish Blogmeet, where the rich cultural diversity of contemporary Scotland was on view. I am not sure that I would be that keen to meet other bloggers since some of the jenesaisquois of the blogging experience may be lost. That said, having met some bloggers in Second Life at the Blogpower Awards, there is some merit in getting to know them a little. The photographs of the Maasai are spectacular however. There is something incredibly incongruous about the Maasai, with all the colour with a dour Edinburgh stone building in the background.

Addressing issues of cultural perception Robert Sharp has some thoughts on the non PC aspects of Tintin. Based on his writing, Tintin was pretty progressive compared to my grandparents generation.

I’ve read Tintin in the Congo, and it is indeed appalling. In addition to the obvious racism, it is also distinctly environmentally unfriendly. Tintin blows up a rhino with a stick of dynamite, shoots an entire herd of impala by accident, makes a snake gobble its own tail, performs a summary execution of a chimpanzee, attempts to shoot a crocodile in the face, and poaches an elephant for its tusks.

Where to begin with the racism in the book? Throughout, the Africans are portrayed as simpletons, who idolise Tintin and Snowy and fetishize anything western they can get their hands on. The chief of one tribe has a rolling pin for a sceptre.

We have certainly come a long way in our world view. The current Australian Labor leader, Kevin Rudd is very succesfully portrayed as Tintin by Bill Leak, one of the leading cartoonists here in Australia. I am not sure that he would share Tintin’s political outlook however.

Besom Abroad a Scottish student in Texas covers a lot of material on life in Texas with the interestingly titled post Testicles and Eggs .

One of the reasons I am such a Scottish nationalist is because it is quite sickening the way Scottish culture gets subsumed by English culture all the time. Americans seem to be very aware of Ireland and Irish culture, but they haven’t got a fucking clue when it comes to Scotland. A lot of the time, Americans will use the word “England” when they actually mean “Britain”. I’ve even heard professors at UT say this, which is disgusting. In the English department at UT (and I imagine in plenty others across the US) they hold classes called “The British Novel” but, if you look to see what writers are included, there’s never a single Scottish one there (or Welsh or Northern Irish, for that matter). They should just call the class “The English Novel” because that’s what it is. Scottish has such a thriving literary culture and yet hardly any Scottish novels are taught in the US. “Irish Studies” on the other hand is a field. If you study Irish literature, then you can join the “Ethnic and Third World Literature” interest group. It pisses me off that the Irish get to be “ethnic” and not me!

In a master stroke of positioning an American from Texas has his Beer Blog placed on the list of Scottish Blogs. We can only assume that this is a function of the importance of beer to our culture. The Scottish angle is not clear, but WTH. Perhaps Mr Smeaton can use this to help clear his bar tab.

Bloody Bus has a very entertaining look at late night Scottish Culture, focussing on a gentleman who had probably tried one of each from the Beer Blog. Who would be a late night bus driver? It certainly doesn’t seem to be like this.

Speaking of drugs, Richard Leyton mourns the end of a dear friend. These kinds of coffee makers were very popular in America when I lived there. Personally I prefer to plunge it myself. I wonder if they have the equivalent of needle exchanges for retired coffee makers.

Gordon McLean muses about social networking sites. Good and Bad. How many of these do we really need to function? Gordon has an amusing quasi legal disclaimer.

Site is copyright © Gordon McLean (1998-2007)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Basically if you use any of the material here without permission, I’ll hunt you down and spork you to death.

This site is best viewed on a computer screen. Any attempts to view this site on a wet haddock are not supported (for, as everyone knows, a slightly damp aardvark is better).

And if that is not depressing enough, head to Glastonbury. Peter Urwin maintains a very nice Edinburgh Photoblog. His blog is a little difficult to navigate, but the photographs are great. This one on the front page Glastonbury #4 reminded me of my trips to Manila without all the people, the Jeepneys, the houses, the pollution, the rubbish, the San Miguel, the people….

Speaking of grim living, Gareth Saunders has a plea for support for homeless people. A very worthwhile cause.

You see the solution to the homelessness problem isn’t in pouring money into hostels to remove these ‘inconvenient’ homeless folks from the streets: out of sight, out of mind. The solution, surely lies in investing time and money in trying to help transform these people’s lives.

And finally, on more upbeat note, Mr Eugenides is considered funny in Australia.

Until the next time toodleoo from Adelaide.


  1. Re the Real Beer Blog, I think the reason that’s on the list of Scottish Blogs is that it used to be Scottish. It had some good reviews of a numbers of (Scottish) ales and related topics.

    It was run by Bagger (don’t know his real name), who also blogs at Hillwalk Scotland. Although that might soon read ‘used to blog’ as well, the blog hasn’t seen an entry since late April.

  2. As Armin points out, the site is run by a Scot, and so retains his qualification.

    If you spot any other dodgy entries do let me know!

  3. Great site, and thanks for the link. I am still recovering from all that Glastonbury mud. You called my blog ‘a little difficult to navigate’ – please explain yourself! 😉 I obviously haven’t done my usability studies right…