Saturday, January 12, 2008

Heavy Metal Guilt

impossible songs - Lost again

impossible songs

Presbyterian Guilt amongst other things.

Scratch an East coaster and you’ll pretty quickly get to the engine room of the Scottish psyche, the one and only inbred little time bomb that controls and cripples half of this nation, Presbyterian Guilt. An invisible, mighty and misunderstood force that creates and promulgates impromptu and automatic apologies for living, breathing, eating, sleeping and taking up valuable space on this earth. If you are doing anything beyond these things it’s even worse because you "don’t know your place" and slightly beyond that "you don’t deserve to be there (or here)". This extreme behavior is triggered by illness, success, winning the lottery, being on your deathbed, getting caught out at something and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Guilt is the great corrosive cancer of our time controlled by the SMG, BBC Scotland, the Daily Record and some of the more agile minds in Holyrood. It’s been with us since the Reformation, having it’s first full guilty piece of incendiary bombing in the burning of a few thousand witches, imagine having that on your conscience. Let’s hope that a few more generations of Polish, English and Asian immigrants dilute it all down a little. It is understood that the Church of Scotland is squeaky clean on this, they are so detached from seeing any meaning in modern or ancient religion that they would never try to capitalize on it… or have they by stealth?

Rumour also has it that there is an independent primary school in West Lothian where small children are being taught from the Lord of the Rings and told that it is ancient Scottish history. Copies of Oor Wullie, the Broons and the Dundee Courier are regularly burned in the playground. It will be interesting to see if their levels of guilt are reduced over time compared to those who have stuck with a more traditional educational path.

For West coasters I should also say that they are not without the somewhat significant equivalent, namely Catholic Guilt. Possibly more extreme and abstract and quite worryingly a worldwide phenomenon that knows no bounds, just imagine half a billion guilt ridden Hispanics and a few hundred folks from Motherwell purging themselves after watching an episode of Ugly Betty. At least Presbyterian Guilt is limited to our green and pleasant land and shores, bits of Germany and the buckle of the Bible Belt where it seems no intelligent human life has been detected so far. I’m surprised they haven’t started a heavy metal chapter yet that could tour Scandinavian in the summer illustrating their points with pigs heads on stakes in an attempt to win converts amongst the young and the bewildered.

Just in case you’re wondering about me, (and I am wondering about me), I don’t really believe that there is a great sectarian or tribal dotted line that crosses Scotland with age old rivalry and a territorial bias. That would be ridiculous though it might be wise to check now and then on Google Earth in case the picture ever changes. Someone might have a new satellite fitted with different and more sophisticated sensors financed by the people that gave away the Nobel Peace Prize. The whole idea of visible particles of division and ways of seeing them is a crazy flight of fancy and totally unacceptable in our modern, enlightened, Adam (bloody) Smithed, New Labour infested heartland. It’s all just another heavy metal guilt trip.

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