Rediscovering Our Promised Lands

Posted by in July's Magazine

My eyes are failing me. Well, one is. For years, Lefty has been ailing – and that’s putting it politely. So off I trotted to have the peepers checked. The optician couldn’t believe the retinally challenged old googler had made it so far, claiming it defied its own degradation by having its superior sibling, Righty, carry the load. Ah Righty, that faithful servant. He’s a star pupil…yes, I’m here all week.

Pondering that as I exited the Glecks shop, I was thankful that dutiful Righty hadn’t exited its socket, slithered across my beak, and consumed weaker Lefty in a fit of Darwinistic rage. That would have been a truly grotesque spectacle. Not that I would have seen it perhaps, but for public decency’s sake it was relief.


But who needs public decency these days? Or rather, who needs the illusion of public decency? In recent days, its mask hasn’t just slipped its knickers are down by its ankles too. In summary, if you were like me a callow youth at heart, still labouring under the delusion that despite the bewildering pace of change there’s some moral core magnetically holding the sacrosanct values of honesty, integrity and service to the greater good in place…well, forget it, we’re humped.

Step forward the first person to articulate the triumph of the sleazy underbelly, ‘Sir’ Malcolm Bruce. According to Malky – as he tried to swat away the stooshie over Alistair Carmichael’s wanton lying about the infamous ‘French letter’ casting Nicola Sturgeon as a Tory in disguise – you’d be a prize numptie to imagine our public servants were vexed by such frippery as telling the truth. My shoulders sank. More accurately, it was as though he’d curled one into my cup-a- soup.

It wasn’t the acknowledgement that people lie in all walks of life that bothered me (at heart, naebody and nowt is infallible – except the late Davie Cooper’s left foot). Nah, it was Bruce’s patronising incredulity as he casually belittled the assumption that our elected officials should aspire to live by a more stringent moral code. I was still sore from this when the FIFA farce guffed into view.

You have to hand it to old Sepp…the ‘it’ being a tankard of arsenic posset for him to gulp back and exit the pitch. Seriously, why is he even still vertical? He’s in Zurich already, home of Dignitas; so cutting short his tenure in every sense seems apt. Then one of the FIFA delegates came on the tranny in the car, scoffing at the idea we should be appalled by corruption. It’s as natural as air, water and getting bladdered on a Friday, implied said chappie. Nobody said much in response.

It’s as though, weighed down by slabs of scandal, we’ve been sucked back into the primeval swamp – ‘everyone’s out to get away with what they can, it’s human nature’ goes the logic. And only a dribbling fool would think this tacit surrender to institutionalised and normalised wrongdoing to be in any way depressing or – more worryingly – damaging in an elemental way to our continued existence.

Then it struck me, maybe it’s not not the system that’s broken it’s my aspirations. Yeah, aspirations are the future (according to the burbling classes). What a fool I was aspiring to the impossible Land of Milk and Honey that is generosity of spirit, truthfulness and a fair crack of the whip for all. I should have reset my moral compass for any or all of the following destinations. Tally Ho…

The Land of Mince and Pish
Now granted, it doesn’t sound very appealing. But there’s something homely about a plate of mince. And we all have to take a slash. So long as the two aren’t combined in a repulsive example of experimental Blumenthalism, sounds great.

The Land of Neds and Pugil Sticks
In this charming enclave, the angst of our everyday existence is no more. Not thanks to some utopian system of governance, but because you can relieve your rage by hammering f**k out of some ned automata. A violent catharsis if you will.

The Land of Hats and Hand Signals
Surely, humanity’s ‘issues’ would be no more if we all moved to a land where interesting millinery was a must and failure to acknowledge acts of driving kindness with a hand signal was punishable by death. Harsh but fair I think.

The Land of Blinkers and Earplugs
Why pretend to ignore the crumbling moral edifice when you can actually ignore it in a place where our shoulder shrugging finds its most perfect exposition. But if we’re after blissful ignorance, I can think of a more attractive alternative…

The Land of Lager and CrispsA place where you can soak away your troubles with a beer and salty snacks, oh hang on, it’s called the pub. And it offers some sanctuary from all this nonsense. Head in the sand? Yeah I suppose so. But for the moment the revolution seems a far way off. So, let’s leave the last word to the bibulous sage that was Bukowski:
“When you drink, the world’s still out there, but for one moment it doesn’t have you by the throat.”

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