pure dead brilliant
December 12, 2003 11:26 PM   Subscribe

pure dead brilliant. Not as good as Edinburgh , probably more horrendous than goatse , my fellow metafilterians , i give you - Glasgow.
posted by sgt.serenity (32 comments total)
dont miss the charming 'plumber' mp3 on this page
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:50 PM on December 12, 2003

the weapons section is gold.
posted by Hackworth at 12:10 AM on December 13, 2003

The only people who think Glasgow isn't as good as Edinburgh are the English students at Edinburgh University, Sgt.Serenity ;-P

Thanks for posting the Hidden Glasgow link though, a few things there I didn't know about. As the site says, the city's undergoing a dramatic transformation at the moment, and there are some interesting new projects such as the new Glasgow bridge - although sadly the winning entry was Neptune's Way rather than the much more interesting People's Crossing. It's nice to see sites such as Hidden Glasgow that show some of the things that are beginning to disappear.

The Glasgow Survival site's quite well known round these parts (and pretty accurate, it has to be said) but it's not the only youth subculture. Gangs of teenage goths hang around the Museum of Modern Art looking pale and arguing with Neds - the BBC recently broadcast a hilarious documentary about them, but sadly I can't find a web link :(
posted by Kasino72 at 1:27 AM on December 13, 2003

It makes me homesick for good old Walsall.
posted by Pericles at 1:53 AM on December 13, 2003

The only people who think Glasgow isn't as good as Edinburgh are the English students at Edinburgh University

i have to say that these people (i use the term loosely) should be forcibly repatriated.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:51 AM on December 13, 2003

yes, i was an english postgrad working at edinburgh uni and that's the kind of attitude i experienced.

even in backwoods chile - which drives me crazy with it's uninformed naivety (a black astronomer came over recently and, as he was leaving our house, a car drove past and all the occupants waved enthusiastically as the driver pipped the horn and they stared at the amazing black person) - i don't see the kind of racist intolerance that i experienced in scotland.

(and before you start criticising students, the worst of it came while working in a scottish company, not as a student).

i actually chose to go there (receiving a grant that would have let me work anywhere in the uk) because i wanted to live in a more "socialist" (in some weak sense) community. for some stupid reason i'd confused socialism with tolerance.

it was stunning. i'd always though of scotland as a friendly place. if scotland were playing at football, i would support them (unless it was against england, of course). yet i can still remember the cheers (i was walking down the street, people were watching the world cup in the pubs) when some country from half way round the world score against england.

it's left me with a reflexive, agressive, intolerance for the scots - go fuck yourselves the lot of you.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:47 AM on December 13, 2003

As another Englishman who went to Edinburgh Uni I'm afraid I have to agree with andrew cooke. I rapidly learned to stay home anytime England were playing Scotland at anything from rugby to tiddlywinks - the knee-jerk "we hate those English c***s" attitude always present could be relied on to spill over into outright violence - usually verbal, a few times physical.
Lovely city, generally nice people, but something about dealing with the English seemed to bring out the inner ned in a lot of Scots.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:59 AM on December 13, 2003

it's left me with a reflexive, agressive, intolerance for the scots - go fuck yourselves the lot of you

i'll think you'll find thats what you came here with.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:05 AM on December 13, 2003

but something about dealing with the English seemed to bring out the inner ned in a lot of Scots.

perhaps you might like to examine that oh-so-vague 'something'.

and lets be specific: we're talking about the yahs that pervade edinburgh university here.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:18 AM on December 13, 2003

when some country from half way round the world score against england.

you left out the 'insignificant'.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:19 AM on December 13, 2003

Oh here we go...

There's always got to be one.

Andrew - there's no possible way that you, as an Englishman can understand why that attitude is so prevalent in Scotland.

I could explain it, but your closing remark makes me think I'd be wasting my breath.

I'm by no means an English-hating ned - and certainly couldn't be, given that I chose to leave Scotland and make my home in London, but I'd like to see you come up to me in person and tell me to go fuck myself.

It's easy to be a big man from afar.
posted by pixeldiva at 4:45 AM on December 13, 2003

Andrew: yes, there's a nasty anti-English sentiment in parts of Scotland - I've experienced it myself, despite being born and raised there (I have the wrong accent, it seems) - and football tends to bring it out, the same way Rangers vs Celtic games bring out the religious bigotry that led to anti-catholic riots as recently as the 1930s. However, I do think that for the vast majority of Scots the attitude to England is pretty much the same as my attitude towards Edinburgh: friendly rivalry rather than genuine enmity. And to say that an entire nation should go and fuck itself because you've encountered some of our idiots is just as racist as the anti-english racism you've encountered.

I've been treated incredibly badly on visits to England - including being assaulted because I had a scots accent - and I've worked for English bosses who were racist arseholes. But the common denominator is that they're arseholes, not that they're English. I'm not attempting to dismiss your experiences, but I don't agree that the people you've encountered are any more representative of Scotland than my encounters were representative of the English.

Sgt.serenity said, "we're talking about the yahs that pervade edinburgh university here". I certainly was. I don't dislike the yahs because they're English; I dislike 'em for the same reasons I dislike our home grown Neds. They're dicks :-)
posted by Kasino72 at 5:23 AM on December 13, 2003

Andrew: with all due respect, consider that if if you act less superior - in fact less like a caricature 1930s Englishman - always belittling your hosts, whether they be Scottish or Chilean, you might find you'll be better received and even accepted. The other people and countries of the world are not obliged to share your values. In this, I think you're ultra-parochial and very much a Little Englander, closer than you think to the English you also probably despise. It's a big world out there; different cultures; different experiences. Learn to enjoy it as it is?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:33 AM on December 13, 2003

Pure dead brilliant sgt. I'd seenthe glasgowsurvival site before, but the hiddenglasgow is new to me. Cheers pal.
posted by imh at 7:05 AM on December 13, 2003

And we Americans always thought you Scots, you English and you Irish all got along swimmingly. I'm serious.

I did find out the hard way that I made a grave mistake when I asked a group of Irish military guys if they were English. (This was in the USA, they were drunk, and thank God I think fast on my feet.)
posted by konolia at 7:22 AM on December 13, 2003

Edinburgh is not better, Edinburgh is rubbish and they never give you your tea if you visit. Glasgow is much better.

that is all.
posted by bonaldi at 7:34 AM on December 13, 2003

Ok, that's not all. Hidden Glasgow is great, sgt. serenity. Thanks. Meadowside granary was long a favourite of mine, and the abandoned bogs under Central Station are so ... melancholy.
posted by bonaldi at 7:37 AM on December 13, 2003

Scotland is a great country that I love. I was born there, have relatives there, have spent plenty of time there (as child and as a student) and intend to return, one day. But instant dismissals of andrew's comment, like Miguel's, above, is disingenuous. There are plenty of folks in Scotland who instinctively knee-jerk a negative opinion of things or people English. I've experienced it on enough ocassions. Walk into a pub in the Glasgow suburbs and ask for a pint of heavy with an English accent sometime, and there's a chance you will, too. I doubt accept that it's got anything to do with me as an individual acting "superior". There wasn't enough time for that, even were it the case. Pretending that there isn't an undercurrent of anti-Englishness in parts of Scottish culture is living with blinkers on.
posted by normy at 7:41 AM on December 13, 2003

everything i know about glasgow i learned from alasdair gray*. until now. nice post, sgt. serenity.

*why yes, i am american. how could you tell?
posted by lescour at 7:44 AM on December 13, 2003

Nearly everything on that site is also applicable to Belfast, except our neds got guns and sucessfully pass themselves off as politicians while smuggling cigarettes, petrol etc. Literally boatloads of footballs loving neds (here we call them spides) get the ferry to Glasgow on match day.
(Bonus link: online spide/ned generator)
posted by Damienmce at 7:46 AM on December 13, 2003

[the following is full of generalisations]

Well.. I'm English and I can say that we like the Scots, the Irish and the Welsh (although we do find the Welsh amusing - it's to do with their accents). In fact historically it's the French we've always considered assholes. Them and Londoners.

On the other hand, I lived in Wales for a few years and quite a lot of Welsh people really do seriously hate the English. A friend wore an England shirt in a relatively friendly pub when England beat Wales at rugby recently and several people wanted to set her on fire.

I was in Scotland for a few months and I think the sort of racism Andrew describes above seems to be limited to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Didn't feel threatened anywhere else - in fact the people I spoke to almost seemed to be expecting the reverse.

(Haven't lived in Ireland so I can't offer any insight there.)
posted by cell at 7:47 AM on December 13, 2003

There's actually also a huge amount of anti-English feeling in the highlands too, to be honest. It comes from Londoners selling their 0.5-bedroom bedsit for £300,000, moving to Invercheese and buying the Laird's castle. It's driving prices out of reach for the locals, and that's combining with the usual background levels of anti-English sentiment to produce quite vociferous racism.
posted by bonaldi at 7:52 AM on December 13, 2003

Well, that's really just a problem with Londoners - and rural England has it as bad or worse.

Forcibly devolve London and put armed checkpoints all round the M25, I say.

(No flames please, a) I kid, and b) I lived there for 2 years.)
posted by cell at 8:01 AM on December 13, 2003

Let me make it quite clear that I hope you have all had your tea before viewing this thread.
(I see our kerns and gallowglasses have routed the redcoats that invaded this thread, like Bonnie Prince Charlie, we have chased them all the way to London.)
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:11 AM on December 13, 2003

"The first neds were spawned on the banks of the river and have flourished ever since. The 17th and 18th centuries found Glasgow a prosperous hub of activity as merchants sailed the seas and brought back wealth based on cotton and tobacco (modern day weed and eccies). In the late 19th and early 20th century Glasgow became known as a city of slum, squalor and filth due to large steel mills belching smoke into the atmosphere and deforming the genes of the modern neds making them what they are today!.......amples of the cries you may hear are "Av goat tae bring up 4 weans oan ma ain while your oot shaggin" or "whit the fuck were yay lookin at ma man fur ya 'nugly' cow". An aggressive senga is not a pretty sight so it's not advisable to approach one in the street at any time."

These neds and sengas - have they become differentiated enough such that they can no longer interbreed with other humans? If that were so then they could be rightly classified as a different species.

I live next to a decaying US industrial city where Barney the Purple Talking Dinosaurâ„¢ was assaulted in 1994. The dinosaur's fake head was knocked off, revealing the human inside the dinosaur costume. It's a violent place, like Glasgow. But my neighboring city beats Glasgow for the fact that it is home to a factory which still produces the original Thompson Machine Gun.

I lived in Baltimore, MD. for an number of years and eventually got to know some neds and sengas indigenous to that city. They seemed to be about as smart (or as stupid, if you wish) as other Homo Sapiens I've met elsewhere and I'm pretty sure that - despite a certain measure of genetic drift, especially in a place called Glen Burnie, they could still interbreed with most other human populations.

But if Glasgow's ned and senga population becomes to disruptive, well - Jonathan Swift had a rather modest, practical proposal - which could surely be adapted to Glasgow - to deal with the excess underclass of Ireland.
posted by troutfishing at 8:28 AM on December 13, 2003

Great post, my dear sgt. - very educational indeed! I am so glad to finally have a few sources for language lessons.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:31 AM on December 13, 2003

Kasino72, how do you define a "yah"?

Do you define one by an accent, a dress sense, a face or is it just the attitude? There are plenty of people who dress like, look like and talk like the much-maligned "yah" without having the supercilious attitude that many (myself included) find so egregious. If you separate the look from the attitude then fair enough, otherwise you're displaying the same unreasonable prejudice that Andrew Cooke has.
posted by pots at 8:34 AM on December 13, 2003

Great post sgt, but I disagree about Glasgow--it was much better than Edinburgh, I thought, at least during my visit to both. (wonderful architecture,better food than in Edinburgh, fun bars, lots of music and bands everywhere--even in gay bars--which i liked, and great people--very fun and bigmouthed, and like here). Edinburgh struck me as just a big town, while Glasgow was a real city. Maybe someday you'll show me (and the rest of us) a better side of Edinburgh.

I'm with bonaldi on this. : >
posted by amberglow at 8:34 AM on December 13, 2003

Interesting links, sarge. I've been to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and I have to say that on a purely visual level, I much preferred the former to the latter. But since my last visit was over ten years ago, I'd be willing to give Glasgow another chance. Like amberglow, I found the Glaswegians to be much more personable.

As for all these internecine rivalries, I think someone should ship the lot of you down to the Costa Del Sol for a week-long, Sangria-drenched orgy. Either you'll all come back loving each other truly, madly, and deeply, or else you'll beat each other to death with paella pans.
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:38 AM on December 13, 2003

Might as well weigh in as well, I suppose.

I'm English (and a bit Welsh) and have lived in Glasgow for nigh on a decade. My adopted home is the finest champagne compared to the cold glass of piss that is Edinburgh. Fact. Although I might be poisoned by working my arse off at the Festival year in year out.

Anyway, I've had my fair share of anti-English abuse, but it's always funny, and responding in kind with a few jibes invariably diffuses the situation.

I find sectarianism to be a greater problem - whether it's little shits who used to follow the Orange marches past my old house trying to break the windows (I must've had suspiciously Catholic curtains...) or the frequent wondering as to which foot I dig with. I find it pretty shameful that I'm now as adept at spotting a Catholic or Protestant on sight as anyone, so that I can have the correct football team in mind before I get hassled - I have faint vestiges of a Scouse accent, amplified when talking to scary neds, so I'm often asked to choose Everton/Liverpool rather than the usual Celtic/Rangers choice. That and the sight of primary school kids writing UVF or IRA on bus shelters are the most depressing thing about living here.

Other than that, it's dandy - I'll not be chased down South, ya bass!

Also, konolia's comment reminds me of a story about Mickey Rourke: visiting Northern Ireland in Summer, he took of his shirt, revealing a fair number of Republican/IRA tattoos. The fact that he was surrounded by kerbs painted red, white and blue, and murals heralding the victories of Loyalist paras was lost on him completely. In the scrum to cover him up before he got beaten to death, he said, 'What? They're Irish, they'll love these tattoos!'
posted by jack_mo at 8:48 AM on December 13, 2003

*starts singing the old rugged cross*
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:10 PM on December 13, 2003

Four months or so living in Scotland many years back has left me with a deep love for the Scots. The part of myself that is 'northern' is Scots, entirely.

And Edinburgh kicks ass!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:53 PM on December 13, 2003

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