Friday, April 07, 2006

Today's recipe in Ulster Scots is: Oul' Granny's Pancakes!

Ingredients:
twa gopins o' soda breed flour
a nievefa o' sugar
an egg
buttermilk

pook o' dripping

Method:
Heat the griddle an' lightly creech wae dripping
Siv the floor an' sugar intae a muckle boul
In a seperat' boul bate th' egg til airy
Mak a well in the middl' o' th' dry mixture an' gradually ad' th' egg an' enough buttermilk tae mak an airy batter

Drop a drip o' th' batter on tae th' griddle for each pancake. When bubbles appear turn the pancake ower tae cook on the ither side.

Then scream. And resolve to never set foot in Northern Ireland ever again.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Swan song


CELLARDYKE, Fife, April 6, 2006 -- Fears are growing in Scotland that a dead swan found near St Andrews in Fife may have died from the deadly H5N1 avian 'flu virus.

But local residents have claimed that a far more sinister threat is lurking in the North Sea.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And on and on and on and on and...


Gays like me spend all our time waging a vicious and unending war of aggression, mutilation and gang rape against a tiny and powerless group of people who just happen to be some of the richest and most powerful born-again Christians in the United States of America. Last week a few of them escaped from the sex dens we keep them in and made it to the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., where they all talked about how persecuted they are – it was the usual incoherent nonsense. You can read about it here.

Though the conference topic was a broad one, (The War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006), time and again gays were singled out as the biggest danger to America today – in fact, one speaker said that gays had even ‘invented’ irony. You see this dodgy young minx pictured right here (above)? He's going to RUIN the God-fearing American Way of Life!... just as as soon as he's found some clothes to put on.

There is so much one could write about these dangerous chumps, but I will stick to my own briefly-stated theory. The Bush Presidency and all that it represents has been buoyed along by the gay-hating whirling dervish maniacs of the radical Christian Right, but it represents a political and religious movement reaching splinter point, coming near to its own well-deserved end, and nearing the point in time when it will collapse in on its own incoherencies. People like this continue to spout the same incoherent speeches which state the following: America is rich and powerful because God has blessed it and continues to do so; GAYS ARE GOING TO DESTROY US ALL!

Always it comes down to the gays, for reasons I may mention some other time. One quote from the article I linked to:

Homosexuality was singled out for special opprobrium, not only on the panel devoted explicitly to unmasking “the homosexual agenda” (“The Gay Agenda: America Won’t Be Happy”), but throughout the entire conference. On the panel on Christian persecution, for example, two of the four speakers devoted their time to the Christian struggle against homosexuality. Tom Crouse, a Massachusetts pastor who has inaugurated a “Mr. Heterosexuality” contest in his town, spoke of his persecution by officials who billed him for the increased police presence required at his contest when “rabid homosexual activists” showed up at the event. (Crouse also characterized persecution as “a blessing and a joy,” and advised the audience that, “If you are not persecuted,” you have to ask yourself, “are you living a Christian life?”)

My theory in brief, and I'm open to being challenged: they're hysterical weirdos who jumped the shark a long time ago; people will get sick of their shit and down into oblivion they'll go; before they do head for oblivion, some of them will move from their vicious verbal assaults on gays to actual physical attacks (Almighty God's AIDS virus has proved strangely easy to overcome with modern medical science working at full tilt), which sadly, may be the first time many Americans realize what a bunch of hypocrites and wankers hang out in hotels Washington, D.C.

But please note again, it's all the fault of the gays like me -- we should never have let them have a break from the butt-raping! What were we thinking? I guess we were sidetracked by a Gucci sale or something shiny and pink. And remember, next time you see me, and I'm late for an appointment or out of breath? It's because it was my shift in the sex den, working over Phylis Schlafly, Tom Delay and Rick Santorum.

Oh dear, now I feel sick...

They're rather good!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Leithal


Pardon my puns, I know that they are often terrible. The heading of this post refers to my evening out in Leith yesterday, where friends and myself had a few drinks and, yes, ended up quite inebriated but not to the point of stupefication. It was a fun evening, though it was something of a farewell for someone who is leaving Edinburgh tomorrow for a rather different part of the world.

Once a separate city, the Port of Leith lies down a long sloping street (Leith Walk) from the City of Edinburgh proper. It is a sort of Brooklyn/Manhattan split, right down to Leith's long, empty deserted cobbled streets which reminded me vividly of big, bad Brooklyn: that intoxicating mix of mystery, menace and possibility. Last night on Salamander Street I could not help but think of late nights in Brooklyn: deserted warehouses, long stretches of city blocks shut up and empty, and in the distance, just occasionally, a car flashes past, "the mystery of a speeding car..." Whenever I have walked similar streets in Brooklyn, I relish the loneliness of it all.

There was no room for loneliness last evening. We were a rambunctious bunch last evening, starting out at a gig by the Screemin' Armadillos at the Franklin Academicals Cricket Club. They are a sort of simultaneous Country and Western tribute and piss-take band, and they all had fake facial hair! And a confederate flag!

After that we strolled in the cold down Salamander Place then on to Salamander Street and to a bar called The Pond which looked like it had been transplanted from, yes, Brooklyn. The bar had booze, elderly dogs, big tables and we chatted and swilled. Our friend Alistair, whom I met only a few weeks ago, is moving tomorrow to work in Dubai -- good luck Alistair, and as I always say, don't do anything I wouldn't do!

My terrible pun and the combination of the letters e and i in Leith brings back a memory. One day hundreds of years ago I was editing a page for an Irish newspaper in New York and on the page in question I put a long review of a book about Sinn Fein, the Irish political party which celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2005. The writer and reviewer had made reference to the party's many manifestations under its wily leadership in its hundred-year history and so for a headline I chose this: Sinn Feints.

Yes, my puns are terrible, but I thought this one was rather good. My boss, Menacing Man, we'll call him, walked up to my desk with a copy of the page as it was ready for press and the following exchange took place.

MM: What do you mean here, like, are you trying to suggest that Sinn Fein is fainting, as in they're going to fall over?

Me: No, it's 'feint,' as in the skillful defensive move in fencing...


MM: [unconvinced and still suspicious] Oh... right... aye... [long pause]. Well, anyway, you've spelt 'faint' wrong.

Annd i alsso bangged my head of the dessk repeetedly...

Leith is beset by the same debate about gentification-versus-locals as Brooklyn. If you want to grasp a little bit more of what it is like, this Leith local wrote an elegant tribute that became a famous film.

(Photo credit: Ewan McIntosh)