Are Scots The World’s Crudest Men?

It’s almost impossible to find a good clean “Scottish” joke and the popular Scots “comics” just can’t seem to get through a sentence without using the “F” word, and other crude language.  This was a matter of embarrassment to me when I lived in England and found myself apologising for various foul-mouthed Scots, and not just celebrities.   I still feel the same nausea when I see the “jokes” online, and I just wouldn’t dream of watching the standard TV shows which pass for Scottish humour. About as funny as a sore head.  But, why am I writing about this now?  Well…

For a number of weeks, I’ve been refreshing my cooking and baking skills; if there’s one area of expertise in which I am tragically lacking, it’s cooking and baking.  So, realising that time is running out, companies are folding – think: Toys R Us –  and who knows for how much longer the ready-made meals industry will last.  I might well starve to death, I thought, so I took to YouTube to see if I could learn to cook and bake properly, albeit late in the day (I’m almost 29).  As an aside, I will admit that I’ve thrown out more inedible fairy-cakes in the past couple of weeks than Greggs have sold in any six-months period you care to name, but, hey, I’m sticking with it.  I’ll get there. 

However, when I decided to give the attempted murder of my eggs and self-raising flour stock a break and turn to red meat cooking, I was reminded of my contempt for alleged Scottish humour.  You see, having watched a string of YouTube videos, some on baking, some on cooking beef stew and the like, I saw, listed on my sidebar, “Scottish mince and tatties” (M & T) and curiosity got the better of me so I clicked to watch.  Don’t misunderstand. I’m a dumpling in the kitchen (so to speak) but one of the few things I can make is mince and potatoes.  Not well, but I can eat it without having to visit Accident & Emergency which, for me, is a clear sign of success. And having watched so many videos from various parts of the world, all very professionally executed, both male and female cooks sharing their expertise politely,  I thought it would be interesting to watch a fellow Scot explaining to the world how to make M & T.   Despite my long experience to the contrary, as outlined above, I thought this might be OK, good clean fun and maybe a tip or two on how to cook what some regard as a national dish (it’s not, of course – there were plenty of videos on the sidebar with well known English cooks advertising their mince recipes.)  Anyway, I settled down to watch the young man share his recipe and then, disappointingly, within a few minutes, he’d used the “F” word.   I switched off.  I’ll never been able to look at a plate of mince and potatoes again without thinking of that so & so on blankety blank YouTube. 

So, what has this to do with the mission of Catholic Truth to contribute to the restoration of the Catholic Faith in Scotland?  Well, I wondered if I am being prudish, if this is nothing to worry about, even if Catholic Scotsmen and women are as uncouth as their non-Catholic neighbours, so what?  I made a deal with myself.  I decided to Google variations of the title of this thread and if I could find the topic covered anywhere else, I’d stick the link on the General Discussion thread and leave it at that.  But no – I could not find any articles, reports, conversations anywhere. Indeed, the search threw up umpteen links headlined – for example – “Scots the most macho men….” and similar.

So, the question for discussion is this: if, as seems to be the case, a significant number of Scots – certainly the men –  are very crude people, filthy mouths, unable to express themselves in conversation or comedy without resorting to expletives, what can be done about it? Do Scots Catholic have a particular role to play, a particular responsibility to correct this disgusting behaviour?  If so, how?  Or is highlighting the issue here sufficient, raising the importance of modesty of speech and decrying the widespread bad example to the young etc.  Vote in the poll below, and then share your thoughts…

PS if you hear that I’ve been charged with a hate crime, please club together to get me released. If that fails,  bribe the judge – whatever it takes. I mean, if push comes to shove, I’m not that bothered really… Scotsmen will be Scotsmen, after all…  And people all over the world are still keen to claim Scottish heritage… Really, with the rattle of handcuffs ringing in my ears, I have to admit that I could be way out of line here and anyway… who am I to judge?  😀

Russia Increasingly Threatening – Pope Francis: Consecrate Russia NOW!

Comment:

I watched the entire Prime Minister’s Statement on Live Parliamentary TV this afternoon, and noted, with much interest, the alarm from MPs on all sides about the perception of growing aggression from the Russian State, as they questioned Theresa May after her formal Statement.  

One of the more famous Catholic MPs – Jacob Rees-Mogg – was notable by his absence.  I got to thinking, though, that even if  he had been present in the Commons, he is unlikely to have asked the Prime Minister, using the formal style of the House,  if “she agrees with me that Pope Francis should be approached with a request to consecrate Russia in accordance with the Fatima Message, since all other means of ending the threat to world peace from Russia seem to have failed…”  

There was representation  on the matter in the EU in 2012 – click here – and it would be wonderful if some insightful Catholic MP were to raise the matter in the UK Parliament – but I’m not holding my breath.  

Is the current incident, the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter, a sign that the geo-political crisis is worsening – or is it a storm in the proverbial teacup?  

Red Alert! Scotland’s Snowpocalypse?

Comment: 

I’ve been obeying the Government for once, and stayed indoors today. The snow just keeps coming… and I just keep asking what on earth is causing this? 

Or is nothing on earth causing this?  I’ve no idea, but I hear what our Transport Minister has been saying on this evening’s news, which has mostly been about the weather:  this level of snow is unprecedented.  This is the first ever “red” alert warning in Scotland, which means life is in danger.  

Personally, I’ve no idea what’s causing this, and the scientists seem to have gone to ground.  In any event, I’m not convinced by the Climate Change industry’s theories about population control and plastic bags.  What about you? 

May, 2018: Abortion “Rights” In Ireland – Be Careful What You Wish Vote For…

From the Spectator…

Ross Clark
14 February 2018

Most of the time I feel perfectly at ease in my own country, and that would be the case had we voted Brexit or Remain, Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. But just occasionally Britain seems to me an utterly alien place – bizarre even. Today, Jeremy Corbyn launched his manifesto for pets. He wants to ban foie gras, make it mandatory for motorists to report that they have run over and killed cats, and pass a law giving tenants the right to keep a pet. I don’t suspect that he will encounter a great deal of opposition on these things – bar a token protest on the last from buy-to-let investors. Fox hunting aside, no political party in recent times has come to much harm by doing something to help furry, feathery or scaly animals. In the past 20 years, we have had animal laws by the dozen, controlling the use of animals in circuses and in advertising campaigns, laws against sow stalls and numerous others.

This would all be fine – I can’t say I have a problem with much of the above – if it weren’t for the utter refusal on the part of our main political parties to even discuss what seems to me a far more pressing issue for human beings: the rights of unborn children. With the honourable exception of Jacob Rees-Mogg, when did you last hear a frontline politician or even backbench MP dare to even ask whether our laws on abortion, and the practice of them, ought to be reformed (reformed, that is, in the direction of making it harder to have an abortion)? There seems to be an unwritten rule in politics that the issue must not be discussed, and that anyone holding views which are disapproving of current practice on abortion must be dismissed as an extremist or religious nutter. This is in spite of obvious evidence that abortion as conducted in Britain is completely at odds with the word of the law. Under the 1967 act that legalised abortion, it is clearly stated that it is only supposed to be used in situations where the mother’s physical or mental health is at risk or if the baby were to be born seriously handicapped. Few would even pretend that abortion is being restricted to these cases. It is over 20 years ago now, but the first question my wife’s GP asked her when she said she thought she was pregnant was: do you want the baby? There is little getting away from it: social abortion is routine in Britain, even though it is illegal. The law supposedly preventing it is treated with the same contempt as archaic laws ordering us to do archery practice.

There seems to me to be something desperately wrong here. A Martian looking at us from the outside might well conclude that it is a committee of animals which sets the terms of our political debate. How can it be that we swoon over baby chicks, calves, puppies and the rest, and yet seem blithely indifferent about the industrial-scale destruction of human foetuses?   Source – The Spectator

Comment: 

I’ve long marvelled at the intensity of the UK public over animal welfare.  I’ve seen grown women shed tears during a BBC discussion, upset at the killing of foxes – not the most endearing of animals. Yet, the same people fighting for animal rights seem to see nothing untoward about the cruelty of killing a baby in the womb.  Why is that?

Will Ireland  hold out against the evil campaigning of the pro-death camp, those who wish Government approval for the murder of the unborn?  If you’re still not sure about the use of the term “murder” visit this website and check out the terminated “material” …  Don’t duck the reality – look at the images, and then decide if you think once-Catholic Ireland should legalise this death industry.

Catholic Social Teaching Supports Trump’s Challenges To the Media…


From
Crisis

It is not an overstatement to say that the time of the Trump presidency has been one of protracted struggle between the national administration and most of the media. To be sure, the press and the electronic media have faced off with presidential administrations for a long time. Actually, the press has had their political and ideological biases since the beginning of the Republic. After all, weren’t the Federalist Papers originally articles in newspapers that wanted to support the proposed U.S. Constitution and influence the crucial ratification debate in New York State? Don’t historians write about how “yellow journalism” helped lead to the Spanish-American War? Still, when one looks at the behavior of the media in recent decades, the argument can easily be made that as far as concerns political bias, lack of concern for fairness and objectivity, separating out reporting from commentary, a willingness to dig for the facts instead of just reporting what someone claims, journalistic professionalism, and even attention to whether something reported on actually even happened, we are at a historic low.

While Republicans have probably borne the brunt of harsh presidential media treatment since LBJ, the level of vituperativeness directed at Trump is perhaps unparalleled—even surpassing what Nixon, who was known for his long chilly relationship with the press, faced. Certainly, the media’s unremitting pounding of Trump, beginning even well before Inauguration Day, is unprecedented in these recent decades. Some might say that Trump has invited it, with many questions about his background before coming into office, the attention to the ongoing investigation of “collusion” with Russia during the campaign (although this may actually be an example of the “fake news” that the president criticizes), and Trump’s constant sniping at the media with his regular barrage of tweets. Still, it’s hard to make the case that the media has given any breathing room to Trump anywhere along the way.

Most people would probably say that a president is justified in calling out the media and challenging their misconduct. Other presidential administrations have done it, although probably not as regularly and publicly as this one—nor has the president himself usually been the point man, as is the case with Trump. Despite plenty of grounds to challenge the media, Trump was recently attacked in a manner that surely seemed “over the top” by two senators from his own party. Senator Jeff Flake, who has repeatedly tussled with Trump, first conceded that presidents can surely criticize the press but then equated Trump’s actions with Stalin and seemed to suggest that the media can almost unquestionably be relied upon to present the truth. Flake’s fellow Arizonan, Senator John McCain, who has also had a strained relationship with the president, wrote an op-ed arguing that Trump’s criticism of the press is having the dangerous effect of discrediting it and so was emboldening foreign despots to suppress journalists.

All the while, Trump has not threatened the press with anything like censorship, or prior restraint as in the Pentagon Papers case, or imposing a special tax on oppositional newspapers like Huey Long did, or imprisoning journalists as various judges have done for not revealing their sources. Neither senator had much to say about journalistic responsibility or about whether the media—and what we’re mostly talking about here is the mainstream or “big” media—has in fact been discrediting itself by its actions, the most egregious of which has been reporting on stories that have no factual basis (“fake news”).

One wonders if the senators have any sense about the need to confront adversaries, even when they royally deserve it. Their response to Trump was a particularly striking example of what the Republican “establishment” in Washington has been consistently criticized for: routinely conceding to the other side, a “go-along, get-along” attitude that results in the left advancing its agenda even when it loses elections.

The strikingly uncritical and almost apologetic attitude about the media of Senators Flake and McCain is not something that Catholics should countenance, whether or not they like Trump’s approach or manner—that is, if they think he doesn’t act in a way that is “presidential”—or even if they think he carries it too far. Untruthfulness and wrongdoing—and imperviousness to propounding untruth certainly qualifies as wrongdoing—need to be challenged. Let’s remember how Christ had little reluctance about confronting the errant Jewish authorities of his time and that admonishing the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy. It’s especially necessary for top leadership to do it—both for the greater effect they can have and to inspire others to do the same in their own little arenas. Recall what St. Thomas Aquinas said about how those who rule set the norms for their people.

Moreover, when we talk about the media and calling it to responsibility, Catholics need to be particularly attentive to what the Church has said about this. In his social encyclical, Pacem in Terris, Pope St. John XXIII set out his famous listing of human rights and stressed that rights always have corresponding duties. So, while there is a right to express and communicate one’s opinions, to freedom of speech and publication—which certainly includes people acting in the context of the formal organs of communication, like the news media—the people on the receiving end have “the right to be informed truthfully about public events” (#12).

Vatican II’s Inter Mirifica (The Decree on the Means of Social Communication) stresses that while the media has rights it also has the duty to uphold the moral law, which certainly includes the obligation to report truthfully so that this right of people, the citizenry, to be truthfully informed is realized. It also asserts that civil authorities have a duty “to ensure … that public morality and social progress are not greatly endangered through misuse of these media” (#11-12). The Church here is not saying that government should or that it’s desirable for it to impose censorship, or even that it’s mostly government that should be the vehicle to promote this grave journalistic responsibility. She just says that government has or may have a role of some kind in this. That, of course, may involve nothing more than “setting the record straight” or challenging the media when it puts out false or biased information.

Recently, Pope Francis scored the media’s reporting of “fake news,” saying it always has bad effects, and emphasized the obligation of journalists to report the truth.
From a Catholic standpoint, then, while Trump’s confronting the media about ideological bias, reporting “fake news,” and the like may not be elegant and may even seem excessive sometimes, it is warranted as a means of prodding then to act rightly and be more responsible. As such, it certainly may help the cause of promoting the common good. While scrutiny and challenges of the media’s errant practices should come from many sources, to be sure, when the highest American public authority is willing to take it on it especially highlights the problems and may have the most effect. Again, as St. Thomas said, rulers or leaders shape the course of things. Further, the way Trump is doing it is entirely in line with American constitutional principles. Contrary to what Senators Flake and McCain may think, the First Amendment is in no way being trodden upon. [Stephen M. Krason: A Catholic Reaction to Trump and the Media]

Comments invited…