Meet the G that kilt me

I’m still pretty busy, dear readers, so why don’t you spend some time with this excellent essay from The Nonist on the Fake History (and fake history-making) of the Tartan?

I’ve never seen Braveheart, and my history of Scottish stereotypes goes back to Orwell’s essay on antisemitism in England, where I first heard the “Scots are cheap” meme:

It is interesting to compare the “Jew joke” with that other stand-by of the music halls, the “Scotch joke”, which superficially it resembles. Occasionally a story is told (e.g. the Jew and the Scotsman who went into a pub together and both died of thirst) which puts both races on an equality, but in general the Jew is credited MERELY with cunning and avarice while the Scotsman is credited with physical hardihood as well. This is seen, for example, in the story of the Jew and the Scotsman who go together to a meeting which has been advertised as free. Unexpectedly there is a collection, and to avoid this the Jew faints and the Scotsman carries him out. Here the Scotsman performs the athletic feat of carrying the other. It would seem vaguely wrong if it were the other way about.

Years later in New Zealand, I saw a rental van parked at a lodge. The side of the van was plastered with the logo for “Scotty’s Rentals,” and carried the slogan, “Rates so low, a Scotsman would love them!”

Anyway, you oughtta be checking in on The Nonist’s blog every so often, or add it your RSS feed. He writes some pretty entertaining, thought-out posts.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.