A Crisis of Identity?

Yet again, I’ve taken time out for another dispiriting wander through Twitter. Why do I do it? It’s like spending time in every cheap-ass carny show your friends ever dragged you to. The same ear splitting, incoherent ¬†noise, the same tasteless thrills, the same eventual disappointment at how cheap, bitchy and ultimately unintelligible human opinion is.

The purveyor of this day’s tacky delights is that tiresome Yoon trumpet known as History Woman. I normally avoid her poisonous invective like the plague, but when she systematically trashes Scottish culture, I have to watch, like a bystander ogling a multiple car pile up, I can’t tear myself away. She seems to be of the opinion that those touchstones of Scottish History, Burns, Wallace and Bonnie Prince Charlie should be culled from our culture, because they made disappointing plaster saints (by implication, their English counterparts being cut from a superior brand of cloth). She seems to think we’re easily swayed by statues.

I have news for Effie Deans. You will find few more cynical, distrusting and averse to worship human beings than my fellow Nationalists. Cast a stone in any direction from any vantage point in a Scottish town and you’re almost guaranteed to hit a Scot whose expectations, especially where politicians are concerned, have been shaped by a lifetime of hard lessons in how many positions you can be fucked in by people who claim to love your country and its culture, and to have your best interests at heart.

Here’s a life tip for you, Effie. What makes Scotland special are its people. They are brave and they are beautiful. We don’t do grovelling. We’re not easily intimidated or impressed. We find the tears of a grubby child more alluring than that Old Folks Home known as the House of Lords. We can’t be bribed by shiny beads from the Great Panjandrum in Westminster any more. We know very well that real beauty is earned one painful mistake at a time, until the craft is perfected. We’ve also learned from bitter experience how shallow and unfulfilling Jockholme Syndrome can be. We’ve looked into that distorting mirror, and decided to be First Class Scots, rather than Bargain Basement English.

Come away from the Dark Side, Effie. No one is promising you Ermine, but the ability to sleep soundly at night is priceless.



It seems my performance at the day job is suffering. I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say that if things don’t improve, I may be looking for a new job. And therein lies the conundrum. You see, I think that the issue impeding my performance is founded on a basic quirk of my personality.

My personality is, to put it mildly, artistic. I am empathetic to a fault, tolerant of failure and non conformity,  creative, impulsive, terrified of routine and stubborn. None of which are likely to endear me to a large, monolithic organisation, and none of which I am likely to give up.

Here’s the difficulty: I can dissemble my true nature to my bosses, in order to keep a reliable wage paying the bills, but it will hurt my conscience and eventually cause me depression. In addition, no one can hide their true nature forever, so at some future point, I may find myself facing a pill too bitter to stomach, and simply refuse to swallow it. Even if I don’t self-destruct, there is, given the volatility of the economy, no guarantee of a continued employment until I reach retirement, so the net gain for all that deceit may be nil.

So it looks as though my present employer and me will be parting company. Which is a pity, because it paid just enough to maintain stability in my life. My only remaining choice is to try to ensure that my employer and I part company on good terms. So, I’ll play the good soldier, and do what I’m told, until I can manufacture an alternative which won’t lead to bankruptcy. And if I never have enough money to keep me comfortable, at least I will face the world on my feet, not on my knees.