So I was listening to Belle & Sebastian’s Dirty Dream Number Two, and the song got to the bridge, where the woman sing-speaks (1:55):
In a town so small theres no escaping you
In a town so small theres no escape from view
In a town so small theres nothing left to do
That gentle burr. Such a melancholy lilt, and the same time, unspeakably hot. I had a sudden moment of insight, like a single pin of light stabbing into the center of my forehead. Remember when Eddie first explains how he thought of the name ‘Dirk Diggler?’ Yeah, it was like that:
I Am a Bigger Fan of All Things Scottish than Dan
The safe version of this would be to say that The Only Thing Stronger Than Dan’s Grandiose Pride in his Scottish Heritage is My Jealousy of Same. (Family legend is that we are 2% Scottish, but family legend also contends that we have a similar (slightly less) amount of gypsy — not Romanian or Bulgarian mind you, but gypsy — which leads me to believe this history is somewhat suspect despite my longing for it to be true) But nooo, I’m going for the bolder claim.
See, Dan’s celebration of Ewan McGregor (the Flower of Scotland) weemers at the edges like false bravado.
Sure, always a booster of Big Country, that Dan. But his advocacy has a strong whiff of novelty about it, like his “unapologetic” (–such a preemptive “NOT SORRY” always implicitly acknowledges the need for qualification, obviously diminishing the original claim) love for that paperback Sting fanbook. (Sting, “he’s so hot…he’s cool!”) Dan likes Big Country like a Scottish Men At Work. Dan likes Big Country like he liked The Hooters. Which is to say, with a giant wink, and when it really comes down to it: not really.
Here’s what I bring to the table:
• I cried like a little girl at Braveheart, a movie one shouldn’t even admit to having seen, let alone being moved by. Went in for some good claymores & kilts action, went out in diapers.
• In my formative years I jerked off to Sheena Easton’s Strut every single day for three years straight. Three Years Straight.
• Dan never even havers! I haver with some frequency just on principle alone.
• Dan, finish this song lyric: “This is the story of over and ______.” (No googling!) See? He doesn’t even know it.
• It always made me angry that Destro, the supposed “Scottish arms dealer” on the old G.I. Joe cartoons, never had a Scottish accent, but a recycled vader-esque rebreather. Mind you I was not merely annoyed by this. It made me angry. (How Scottish is that?)
• I’m fairly certain I like Franz Ferdinand more than Dan does, but I’m pretty sure I like The Strokes better too, so it might be an unfair case of sub-genrephilia.
• I liked Del Amitri back when it was very uncool to do so. Dan? Never liked them, even scoffed at them: merely because they sucked.
And now I must impeach Dan’s alleged Scottishness:
How Scottish is Dan, really? Sure, he has the name. But I knew a black dude named McDuffy. Now how Irish do you think he was? (And he wasn’t Mariah Carey black, either. he was Ron Artest black. He was Wes Snipes black.)
And does Dan really appreciate the great Scottish geniuses, like Ivor Cutler? I bring you a brilliant absurdist poet from the highlands. Dan dismisses him with a wave and an upturned nose.
Dan was always a better drinker than he was a fighter. I think he’s actually more Irish than he is Scottish. He sure did love The Commitments…