This is the thing with derivative western political culture – something Britain’s Tories have taken to whole new depths; it gets progressively worse and less convincing with each new generation. Gone are the days of a marbled Gaius Octavius Thurinus as Caesar Augustus – vultus bonus, ut me addere – pointing the way ahead for Pax Romana. Now we don’t even have an effete William of Orange on his gee-gee. We have been reduced to this: Middling civil servants accidentally promoted – through the rigours of last man standing – to leadership, poised as though bracing to release excess gas.
Having a beard and expensive designer frames is hardly unique to David Torrance. Not even the name “Davey” is reserved in Scotland for the sole use of David Torrance. When I first saw the PPB in question I was tempted to think poor Davey bore a striking resemblance to that thundering numpty James McEnaney. At least McEnaney knows how to tie a tie, and he has been known to scrub up well – at least in the propaganda shots I’ve seen him in. Other than the beard and glasses Torrance bears as much resemblance to Davey as a polar bear does to a penguin.
There is absolutely no question that this video is racist, and it can do nothing but put his motives for teaching his partner’s pug to give a Nazi salute and respond to “Gas the Jews” in a starker, uglier light. Mark Meechan comes across as an expert at doing himself no favours. On the one hand he is trying his best to convince a judge that his video was a joke and that he is a comedian, and then on the other he is making racist parodies and linking up with Tommy Robinson at Rebel Media to advocate freedom of speech. Yes, you read that right – Tommy Robinson.
A shark on the road is what it is. It’s a shark on a road. This is Ockham’s Razor 101. It didn’t happen. Yet it’s easy it grasp, it tickles the imagination, it allows us to be seen to be enraged or be one of the smarty pants who myth busted it. What it is, is bubble gum for the brain. But what we are missing is that this is precisely how the media – the “real” or “mainstream” media – has operated for decades. Now these techniques of mass anaesthesia are being used – thanks to the internet and social media – by people and organisations that have more sinister messages to spread than shark memes.
iScot reproduced for its soon-to-be traumatised readership Rubens’ 1635 ‘the Three Graces,’ complete with the photoshopped heads of our Tory troika - all wearing unionist micro bikinis.
Brexit has become the zombie apocalypse of Scotland’s 2014 Yes campaign. We recognise what is happening. It is familiar to us. But – at the same time – it is all wrong, and we know that if we don’t shoot it in the head soon it will come running after us.
A long time before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, before the abolition of slavery and serfdom, Scots were proud to say that We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns.
However cringe-worthy all of this is, at some point we have to make our peace with it. Black Friday and the whole stinking mess that is Christmas is, after all, the logical end of a uniquely modern way of thinking.