Wednesday, February 25, 2015

And just like that, ye'r Scottish!

Brace yourselves everybody, I'm about to get nerdy, and not sci-fi nerdy. This time I'm going to get geography nerdy. It's one of my lesser nerdoms. Still with me? Because it's ok if you're not, I would completely understand.
If you ever spent free period harnessing the power of geography facts in order to track down an
international monument thief who managed to steal the goddamn Sydney Opera House, then you get it.
Incidentally, was Carmen Sandiego supposed to be like a wizard or something? I mean, what was her deal?
Above: Winner of Superbowl XLIX,
this guy. Final score, uh, 15-love?
Remember when Scottish separatists had their hopes for a free and independent Scotland crushed by last fall's referendum? They decided, (45%-55%) to remain part of the United Kingdom? While the issue is far from-what? Yes, I remember the outcome of the Scottish referendum, what of it? You know, if I just rattled off the final score of the Superbowl, no one would think that was weird. Anyway, now some guy called Andrew Gray has filed a petition that would make a piece of northern England into a piece of southern Scotland.

Gray, a member of the U.K.'s Green party, wants to move the Scottish border south, back to Hadrian's Wall putting several English cities in Scotland. I say back because the wall, built by the Romans in 122, was originally put up to keep the Scots out of the rest of Britain. Under Gray's proposal, it would be doing kind of the opposite. Taste that? That's historical irony.
The wall ultimately proved ineffective when Pictish raiders
discovered that they could, you know, just step over it.
One country's national dish is another country's
early indicator of serial killer tendencies.
So why the hell does Gray and the 340 or so other people who've signed the petition want to live in Scotland anyway? Like, it's cold, rainy and holy shit, the food, right? Look, I know everyone makes fun of haggis, but it is a sheep's organs, ground up and then boiled in the animal's own intestines, I mean, Jesus Christ Scotland. Well, according to his petition, Gray believes that Scotland has a better healthcare system, cheaper education and is against nuclear weapons. Opponents on the other hand, point out that Scottish accents are fairly ridiculous, and wait, aren't they kind of the same country already?

Sort of? Maybe? The distinction between the countries that make up the United Kingdom is incredibly confusing to outsiders, and there really is no good analogy, but I guess it'd be kind of like if one of our States, say Pennsylvania, wanted to merge with New York because seriously, there's like nothing to do in Pennsylvania.
Or if Spain wanted Florida back. Well, ok, it'd be nothing
like that, but I really think we should look into selling Florida.

Let's Ask British People!

Pictured: The Middle East...for no reason.
But hey, what do I know? I'm just some random American chiming in about a contentious and complex relationship between two peoples that goes back centuries. It's one in which I have no stake and one whose nuances I can't even begin to understand. None of which of course, has never stopped us before. Anyway, BBC News has interviewed some actual British people who live in the north and have a clue about what we're talking about to see what they have to say the petition:

-This lady
-Someone else

Well that was uninformative. Let's hear from some local politicians:

"Tyne and Wear is a single conurbation, putting a border down the middle is just barmy."

-Nick Brown, MP, 
Newcastle East

I, uh...I think he's against it? Fortunately for us, British journalism is fair and unbiased, so the BBC also sought out opinions from both sides of the issue. Here's what Nick Brown's political opponent thinks about it:

"Does that mean Newcastle United will leave the English Premier League, stop playing the likes of Sunderland, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, join the Scottish Premier League and play the likes of Inverness, Caledonia and Thistle?"

-Duncan Crute
Conservative Candidate, Newcastle East

Oh come on, are those even words? Seriously, watch the video. Can you follow them? Oscar Wilde once wrote "We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language" and that's hilarious and all, but nothing these two guys just said could possibly have been in english. I mean, I've seen every episode of Are You Being Served? so I should be able to understand English people, but these guys could be reciting Beowulf for all I know. No wonder Gray wants to give up and join Scotland...
Mrs. Slocumbe is actually referring to her cat,
but some double entendres cross cultural lines.

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