Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Smell of Desperation Anyone?

Just listening to Franz Ferdinand at the moment and it suddenly struck me that there seems to be an awfully large emotional investment in these guys on the part of Scotland. Through Sky, our BBC and ITV choices are from Scotland so we see Scottish news and programming and the amount of exposure that they receive is astonishing and is inevitably going to lead to over-exposure. Particularly from the Glasgow Art Wank scene.

Don't get me wrong, I think that they are one of the best bands around at the moment and I love their music. It just strikes me that they are being heralded as a Scottish phenomenon. A phenomenon which is being embraced by those yearning to shed the traditional Scottish Inferiority Complex.

In Trainspotting, Rents summed it up so well when he said, "I hate being Scottish. We're the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English, but I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. We can't even pick a decent culture to be colonized by. We are ruled by effete arseholes."

I think that the need to be recognised as having some value to the world is no longer necessary for Scotland, they would do well just to get on with it. There's unemployment, disenfranchisement and a general malaise in every society. The desperate clinging to Franz Ferdinand as a symbol of worth for some people in Scotland appears to this outsider as rather an onerous burden on four guys who just happen to have been to art college in Glasgow.

Smacks a little of the drowning man clinging to his rescuer so tightly, that he ends up drowning them both.


Gary said...

I'm not sure the emphasis on FF is really to do with the inferiority syndrome; I think it's more, there's so few big-name acts from scotland that when we do get one we put them absolutely everywhere. I've experienced that to a fairly small degree: because my band's drummer was from the isle of Lewis, we would get in the papers or on TV if he so much as made a cup of tea.

I'm old enough to remember when you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing Runrig, no matter what sort of programme was on. As a nation we get carried away sometimes :-)

mr. mac said...

Thanks for the comment Gary,I was beginning to think that the world had forgotten about me.

I know what you mean about embracing someone who is successful and putting them up all over the place. We do exactly the same thing in Oz. Our trouble is that we claim people who aren't even Aussies - like Russell Crowe (Kiwi) or Olivia Newton-John (Pom) or Mel Gibson (Yank).

Maybe it isn't inferiority but a need to be recognised as a cultural identity different from the English. The funny thing is, to the rest of the world, Scots are just that - Scots. You just happen to come from a country that is situated north of England. Nothing wrong with nationalism, as long as it doesn't become jingoism a la our Trans Atlantic allies.


Gary said...

I think you're right about the cultural identity thing. We're touchy about it :-)

Andi said...

I liked Trainspotting. Thats all I have to say on the matter. Sorry my comment isn't that intellectual. Plus, I'm English.