Sunday, 26 January 2014

Live from Chicogo: Widow Twanky's Saturday Night

 The self-styled Project Fear built up the anticipation. A "Mystery Sleb" would come out as a No supporter and deliver an Immortal Memory to the Bard, Robert, or rather Rabbie, Burns on Burns Night. I don't think I've heard the Bard referred to as Rabbie in Scotland for years, I can only thank God their mystery sleb didn't essay "Burns Nicht."

Come the night, apparently only a solitary, socially-challenged Puffin on Unst hadn't guessed that the "Mystery Sleb" was John Barrowman - quondam Dr Who, Captain Jack in something else Sci-Fi-ish that I've never watched and Panto Star. He'd actually come out as a No supporter ages ago, possibly on the advice of his Panto co-stars, The Krankies.


Appearing like some Jimmy Shand on acid in a tartan jacket (though he would probably have called it a Plaid Jacket), he proceeded to deliver his oration with all the sincerity of a Crossroads extra. The whole, cringeworthy experience was reminiscent of watching Acorn Antiques, though this wasn't meant to be a joke. Rather than an Immortal Memory, in the highest tradition of Camp Theatricals, he delivered an Immortal Mammary and made a right tit of himself.

You could see he was reading it off the idiot boards beside the camera. Presumably the toe-curlingly bad jokes were penned by Blair MacDougall, and Barrowman delivered them with the comic timing of a broken cuckoo clock.

Here's just the jokes, edited by Jack Foster:


Leaving aside that the precociously gay, 8 year old Barrowman apparently stalked the mid-West looking up men's kilts to ascertain what they were wearing underneath, the oration was laden with the Brigadoonery and nostalgia of the emigrant (Barrowman doesn't have a vote in the referendum).

All of which could have been forgiveable, had MacDougall not included a verse or two for Barrowman to recite. Perhaps because just about every artist in Scotland is signed up with National Collective, it seems MacDougall couldn't find a coach for Mr Barrowman, so he proceeded to shred the Bard. First up was half a verse from The Cotter's Saturday Night:
From scenes like these, old Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad:
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
"An honest man's the noblest work of God;"
I'm not sure if we're meant to be chuffed that Scotland is revvered [sic] abroad, whatever that means.

Thank the Lord that MacDougall only gave him 2 lines of Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat to recite:
O let us not, like snarling curs,
In wrangling be divided,
I dread to think how he might have shredded the next 2 lines:
Till, slap! come in an unco loun, 
And wi' a rung decide it!
Overall, the accent wisnae bad. However, I always prefer to hear people speaking as themselves. As his theme was the nostalgia of the emigrant, it might have come across as more sincere had he delivered it in his own accent. Where is Chicogo? Does it have City Boarders? In my day Boarders were boys at school and Borders were lines on a map between countries.

If you can stand it, here's the whole thing:


Cybernats commenting on the performance on Twitter encountered a new breed, the bizzare Celebrity Stalker. Some of them were less than enamoured that we weren't doling out paeons of praise comparing Barrowman's wit to that of Peter Ustinov, or his eloquence to that of Laurence Olivier. I also discovered that irony remains just a ferric adjective across the pond.


Apparently he took no fee (though he would say that, wouldn't he?). Probably very wise, I wouldn't want any of their dirty money in his position either. Wouldn't do for a Sleb to be likened to a Serbian war criminal, would it?

Anyhoo, the polls are up and, wearing my Yes badge in the pub last night, I was approached by a couple I'd never met before.  Their fears now allayed, the No camp has lost another 2 fearful souls. Wear your badge and convert folk out there in the real world. The website and Twitter was going mental yesterday and far from frightening off Cybernats, the Daily Hate jumping the shark and doorstepping and printing prurient details about ordinary decent Scots has recruited another battalion or two of Cybernats. So, in Cyberspace and beyond, be nice and convert folk!

See also:

WingsOver Scotland - Dropping the Lovebomb
For real Burns #indyref wit, see Wings Over Scotland - To a Grouse