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RE: Dale Hinchey's Sociology lesson
oh boy, sociology - another subject I know nothing about...
Although you make a great many excellent points in your latest opus, your
wee scottish lassie that is earning her cut of the 70 GBP she takes in per
hour is distinctly not a sign of cultural alienation...she is the standard
bearer of alientated western youth.
I have a 17 year-old ward whose parents are alchoholics of scottish
descent - I blame the individuals, not the clearances...She knows very well
that she can turn out exactly like her parents, but that it is up to her not
to - the responsibility rests with her intellect, not her genes...
Instead of drinking and doing drugs, the young one has been trying to take
her clothing design business to the next level. In Canada, you can't legally
get a bank loan until you're 18, hold a credit card, vote, have sex (if
you're a girl) or do anything. You're supposed to stay in school and shut
up. There are some government programs to assist entrepreneurs, but only one
for kids under 18 - and they have to stay in school, which can sometimes be
impossible, even for the hyper-intelligent.
The program will lend a grand total of $100 to a business person under
18...as my bright young ward put it: "that will either buy you a nice dress
and cheap shoes to turn your first trick in, or a ten bag to sell so you can
buy more to sell on the streets".
Aside from the obvious cynicism (reality?), it's important to note the
youth point of view that the only doors open to these kids include shit jobs
that pay crap, jobs that no adult in their right mind would do, or they can
go for the real money and sell their bodies or drugs.
It is even offered that many of these kids have university degrees, and I
submit it is because prostitutes and drug dealers can afford to pay for
University, McDonald's employees cannot. Thus anyone who needs to work to
pay for school has a very tough decision to make. Frankly, I know a number
of community leaders around the province who have dabbled in drugs to pay
their way through university. So what, it's the same as owning a bar.
Youth prostitution is not a sign of the clearances, or the intergeneration
abdication of individual responsibility - it's a sign of the times and our
Some of these kids under 18 are as intelligent and usefull as you or
I...who among us adresses them them that way...excepting Niven of course,
who has always paid attention to our youth...
Are you saying it's a Scottish trait to beat the kids? I thought that also
was a western civilization issue...
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On
Behalf Of dhinchey
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 1:58 AM
Subject: Re: Jacboties
At 11:34 PM 10/3/00 +0100, Euan and Niven wrote:
< I think it is fair to say that most people here have put the pain of the
Clearances behind them.>
Really ? Why is drug use, alcoholism, and associated behaviour so high
among Scottish youth ?
Do they live in a country which has only a directed , socially engineered,
moulded future ? Why do they avoid joining in with the Scottish cultural
traditions? Indeed, they laugh at them and mock them. Take a close look at
the back streets of Glasgow. In the main there, it is said you can buy a
Scottish Lassie for about 70 pnds. the hour at many escort services. Many
of these people are not the slothful, but hold university and college
degrees. One can make the case quite clearly that much of this is a result
of cultural alienation which devalues Scottish traditions and institutions.
That started long before the Clearances but then the Clearances were a
signal event in the acceleration of the process which was bent on making
Scotland a dependant 3rd world nation. It continues to this day despite the
fact that modern Scots have become quite hardened to it, as you say, " most
of the people here have put the pain of the Clearances behind them," when
in fact the social symptoms from it are still very much present for those
who did not immigrate. Seeing these is one of the most painful things one
can experience when visiting Scotland from abroad.
<"Such people need a kick up
<the backside rather than pseudo-psychological twaddle of this kind which
<them to do nothing to help themselves. True, it provides employment for
<but the end-results are purely negative. I hope Sinclairs are wise enough
to avoid this
<escape route - this 'shifting the blame' syndrome."
The English have been kicking Scots up the backside for generations, and
actually have convinced Scots that this is the remedy for everything. The
Scots learned then to kick themselves in the backside.Indeed it is this
failure to remember Highland gentility which perpetrates the dysfunctional
approach you advocate. If kicking people in the backsides really worked,
then Scotland would have the highest GNP in the world.
Shifting the blame has little to do with it. When there are alcoholics in
every generation of a family, it is a pattern of kicking the kids in the
backsides which " causeth " them to become at risk to deviant behaviours.
The awareness of the pattern has nothing to do with shifting the blame. It
has everything to do with understanding, in the biblical sense , what it
means to be cursed unto the 99th generation. With that awareness the cycle
can be interrupted quite effectively.
You can easily conclude that those who suffer that way are merely trash to
be kicked about, but in fact , there but for a few too many belt stroppings
across our naked arses, go you or I. A close scrutiny of the life of Rob
Roy MacGregor while allow one to see quite effectively the fallacy of the
ass kicking approach, and if anything can be said, it is that he met such
suffering with the courage of unwavering kindness, a remarkable thing for
someone who was supposed to have been an ignorant, uncivilized, cattle
rustler, according to the British version of him. I recommend that any one
who hasn't read it , and who may be interested in the historical way that
Highlanders viewed their duties to fellow men and women, read this
scholarly and informative work :
Rob Roy MacGregor : His Life & Times
by W. H. Murray
Paperback - 314 pages (March 1998)
Interlink Pub Group; ISBN: 0862415381
It is available through Amazon.com for about 6 pnds.
I do agree with you that there is the tendency for some to say , " its not
and some do shift the blame for such behaviours through this type
But that view gives only a partial picture of the phenomenon we both
The question may not be merely whether these folk are not strong enough to
but whether they even want to bother helping themselves since life doesn't
seem to be
quite worth the effort. Hedonism seems a better alternative," eat drink and
be merry for
tomorrow we may die." Indeed many of us did die, through little or no fault
of our own historically.
That erroneous view is stereotypically , factually justified and
with the aid of abuse within the Scottish family, disguised as "discipline".
There are no easy answers to the problem but one can say that a shift away
cultural materialism might give some possibility of awareness of
and the social processes through which suffering is promoted
Certainly it would be interesting to see several politicians, who sit in
take this view of their nation. In it there is slightly more than just a
mere grain of truth.
Scots are also a nation unto themselves, just as one can speak of a "
Jewish" nation, so we too exist that way internationally. I do not say this
to seem "holier than thou," but I want to point out that this is a fact
which is often understandably minimized by resident Scots, who have the
very powerful , immediate concerns to deal with, in the way their country
is unfolding in front of them. Those of us who care about Scotland very
much, look to her with a much broader perspective, augmented by both the
time and distance of the historically disenfranchised. In this way there
may be some useful insights which might provoke some constructive thinking.
Caledonia County, Vermont,
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