Monday, June 30, 2008

Lawrence from Linlithgow Lays In To Toledo Tommy.

Wow, just wow. As an American who has been an academic in Scotland for a number of years, I guess it falls to me to write the obligatory stinging rebuttal to your recent post. My only difficulty is that your post is so offensive, small-minded and jingoistic, I don't know where to start.

Never mind, let's parse this piece of shite.

  • You reference Michigan, Illinois and Ohio as somehow being less backward than Scotland? Come again? Have you never heard of the Scottish Enlightenment? Conversely, have you ever heard of the “Ohio Enlightenment”? 'Nuff said.

  • Why would a Scottish university put an ad in the Chronicle? Maybe it’s because they are less provincial than their American cousins. Maybe it’s because they understand that one of the key points of academia (at least ideally) has always been to maintain an international outlook. Homo sum and all that. It’s certainly not because there is a lack of qualified academics in Britain.

  • Of course, the fact that the faculty are not physically attractive completely confirms the fact that they are rubbish as teachers and researchers.

  • And while it is true that broad Scots is a dialect - one that is rich with colloquialisms incomprehensible to Sassenachs - only someone who was truly ignorant would not know that the Scots speak English. And for your information, "Scotch", in modern usage, is only applied to food products; "Scotch whisky," "Scotch lamb," "Scotch broth." "Scots" refers to the language and people, and "Scottish" describes everything else; “Scottish mountains,” “Scottish music,” “Scottish dislike o’ bigoted eejits.”

  • So the researchers at this university don't publish in America. Well, that's certainly a strike against them; after all we all know that the US is the epicentre of the world, and anything not American is therefore inferior ... No, I'm going to restrain myself and not follow this line of thought to its (il)logical conclusion.

  • You are comparing Scotland to the third world? You mean in contrast to Detroit or Cleveland? Are you seriously suggesting that your typical compass-direction State University is a more "real" school than the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow or St Andrews? Even the newer Scottish universities have departments and programs as good as anything in the world- Economics at UWS for example.

  • Now, for a good old-fashioned ad hominem attack; I wonder, is this university aware that they are interviewing somebody who has difficulty with the concept of time zones? (Please refer to my earlier bullet point regarding the US as epicentre of the world.) No, I think if anyone is on the moon, it's you. At least you didn’t give us the old “they’re stupid because they drive on the wrong side of the road” chestnut. Then again, maybe that’s because you didn’t know that little factoid…

The rest of your post is so bad I'm not going to bother going on, except to say this; having had much experience with University students on both sides of the Atlantic, I think you might be surprised at whose ass gets "whupped" metaphorically speaking. Traditionally, it has been much tougher to get into university in Britain than in the US (although this is changing). Higher education here has tended to be the province of the very rich (and to a lesser degree, the very smart) in a way that most Americans cannot conceive of. One of the results of this is that there are a lot less snowflakes over here (although to be fair, they are everywhere now and their numbers are ever growing). I’m not asserting that Scottish students are the most brilliant in the world, but I humbly submit that your principal qualifications - bigotry and an extensive knowledge of Seinfeld - are not going to impress anyone in Scotland - faculty or students.

So on behalf of all my Scottish brothers and sisters, "shut yer gegie, ya glaikit gadgie, or ah'l skelp ye, ken?"