Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 18 March 2009

The fascistic and threatening nature of one Gaelic-speaker

Warning: This is a long and tedious article and I would not blame anyone who decides to skip it entirely. I have disabled comments for this specific article (something I have never done before in my almost 7 years of blogging). I am writing it only to document for archival purposes an unpleasant series of comments made last night on an article I wrote almost two weeks ago; I regret nothing I wrote in that article, although perhaps some of my own comments on the comments thread there made during the night and this morning were themselves 'over the top', but I will leave them in place in that article and in the chronological list below, 'warts and all'.

On 7MAR09 I posted an article about a debate going on within Scotland about the wisdom of expanding the number of bilingual Gaelic-English roadsigns throughout the Highland Region and into it. Apart from an initial comment on that article by someone who didn't actually comment on it per se, but made a general comment about my blog, there was one other comment from someone who made a substantive comment on the article ("Mac 'i Iain"), to which I responded 'robustly'. That was until last night, when another commenter ("AaronK") made another comment, basically supporting what "Mac 'i Iain" had written, again accusing me of 'racism'. I again responded quite 'robustly'. That started off a series of increasingly [in my opinion] hysterical and 'over-the-top' comments from "AaronK" until I decided I had done with 'tolerance' toward that particular commenter and would delete any further comments from him (or anyone else) appearing under that article - as I mentioned in a postscript to my 4th UPDATE to the blog article, and as I reiterated in my final comment to that article, when I had already decided to restrict myself to blog UPDATES rather than continuing to comment on his increasingly ridiculous comments, which I began to delete either shortly after they appeared online or, once I had updated the comment parameters for this blog, even before they appeared online, based on the email advices I was receiving from Blogger each time a new comment was made and asking me to approve or reject the comment. I had decided not to delete any of his comments made prior to that point, but he then (in addition to trying to post further comments) started to delete some of his own comments, but not others (for reasons one can only guess at), so it has left the comment thread there completely unbalanced and out of sequence. I have decided therefore, at the risk of giving his views greater exposure, to include below all the comments (his and my own) in their chronolgical sequence as a permanent record which I will not muck around with and which he will not be permitted to. We must all take responsibility for what we write, in my opinion, and not hide under the seeming 'anonymity' which the internet provides for those who wish to abuse it. So, to begin:

"AaronK"'s initial comment, since deleted by him from the comment thread:

Comment made at around 2.12am (Spanish time)

I actually have to agree with Mac 'ic Iain. Just because you're Scottish does not mean you are not hostile and yes racist towards Gaels and Gaelic. In fact I'd say the chances, judging by history and much of the news media ( e.g. Allan Brown), were pretty good.
Most of the policies that have damaged Gaelic have been developed in Scotland. Scotland does not have a good track record, to say the least, of supporting the language. This language was only given any official standing in 2005! That came about through years of hard work by Gaels, but also because the UK is duty bound by the European Convention on Minority Languages.
Gaelic speakers have had to fight tooth and nail for everything they have won.
And yes I wholeheartedly agree with Mac 'ic Iain, many many people in Scotland hold shameful views about Gaelic speakers, clearly some more than others; however, the signs debate has clearly demonstrated these attitudes are in no way a thing of the past.

My initial response:

Comment made at 8.15am

So, another anonymous commenter (the email address bears no relationship to the email address used in the Google profile seemingly created solely for the purpose of commenting here - may even be the same person as the previous commenter, for all I know, with whom 'agreement' is expressed), considers it 'racist' to wish road signs to display the language spoken by over 98 per cent of the population in the areas where bi-lingual are displayed at least as prominently as that used by less than 2 per cent of the population? I think that is nonsense.

The charge of 'racism' is doubly-inappropriate in that not only am I mainly Scottish, but all of my heritage is from a Gelic-speaking backround; quite frankly I think you need to consult a semi-decent dictionary to discover what that word means and not fling around verbal insults which arhas he offended the completely idiotic.

Finally I have no idea who Allan Brown is. Is he a 'racist', too, or has he offended the Gaelic mafia as well?

... and so it really kicks off:

AaronK at 9.09am - comment since deleted by him

Just because you have a certain background doesn't mean you cannot display racism against an identifiable group. You are not a Gael, you are not a Gaelic speaker. Your use of the disparaging "Gaelic Mafia" is indicative of your contempt.
You have been reared in a culture that places Gaels at the bottom. Their language as useless and their heritage as simply a tool to drive your tourist industry. Believe it or not there are also Blacks who loathe other Blacks. So a simple genetic connection means nothing if you hold the position of the dominant group.
Many people have more than one email account.

Bill at 9.19am

Hello again 'Aaron K' - thankyou for commenting again. You really do need to consult a dictionary. I am, by heritage, completely from a 'Gael' background; the fact I do not speak (or do not choose to use) Gaelic has nothing to do with it.

Call what I write 'linguistic imperialism' if you like, but it is not 'racist'.

I am addressing other remarks associated with your comments and with the comment made by "Mac 'ic Iain" in an UPDATE to my blog article, rather than in these comments.

- you can read the UPDATE to which I refer in the original article here. The comments continue:

AaronK at 9.36am - not so far deleted by him

While I may be commenting on your particular post about signs, in actuality I am commenting on the totality of events that have impacted Gaels in Scotland. The distinction of Gaels as a separate race is actually quite well documented in Scottish history. Prevalent in this ideology was that Gaels, as people, and their language are inherently inferior. Though some suggested, obviously meant in your case, that Gaels were capable of "improvement". How nice. The present bigotry expressed against Gaelic, be it over signs, or money "wasted" on BBC Alba, or schools,or even Allan Brown, a prominent Scottish columnist referring to Gaelic as "Hebridean twittering" among other negative characterizations, all allude to this earlier ideology that was in fact linked to ideas of race. So using race when describing how the dominant Anglo culture views and acts towards Gaelic has a historical context and is not at all out of place.

thanks very much. I love Gaelic and any opportunity, no matter how unpleasant, I have to talk about it, I thoroughly enjoy.

Bill at 10.05am

"So using race when describing how the dominant Anglo culture views and acts towards Gaelic has a historical context and is not at all out of place."

Same old confusion I'm afraid. Are we talking about 'race' or 'culture'? Whatever way you slice it I am of 100 per cent "Gael" origin (Scottish and Irish). I have absolutely no 'Anglo' blood in me so far as I am aware, not that it would bother me if I had.

I won't comment further here; please read the 'UPDATE' to my blog article if you have not already done so. Whatever comments you may have about that, if any, I shall not be adding my own further comments either.

AaronK's next comment relates to the first UPDATE I posted to the original article here:

AaronK at 10.07am

Well typically people only react if they dislike what they are reading. Given the low traffic on your blog as is I would assume most of the viewers either know you or were attracted by a certain headline. The headline you use in regards to Gaelic signs already tips your hand as to which side you support.
And as for Gaels in far flung places, we are indeed everywhere!

AaronK at 10.13am

No I think you've pretty much decided to end your relationship to Gaelic and Gaels, your genetic connection is what it is, codes of DNA. Whoopee!
There is no confusion, lol. I am not the one making racial categories. These are pre-existing ideologies that shape the reactions that people reared in Anglo society have towards Gaels, and many other cultures I might add. Though in the Scottish context they are directed more specifically towards Gaels.

- this resulted in my 2nd UPDATE to the original article here.

AaronK at 10.20am - since deleted by him

Well at the very least it blows your theory that Mac 'ic Iain and I are one in the same.

- I think this flows from him having re-read fully my first UPDATE in the original article here.

AaronK at 10.25am - since deleted by him

There is tremendous support outside of Alba, for Gaelic. I always tell my family and friends that I'd love to see some of the Gael-haters attempt to get away with some of their comments in North America.

- this resulted in me writing the 3rd UPDATE in the original article here. I think his next comment relates to something I wrote in the 2nd UPDATE in the same article:

AaronK at 10.43am - since deleted by him

No Bill, wrong again. Scottish Anglo society is the one that developed the idea that Gaels are a separate and inferior racial group. You are the one engaging in mumbo jumbo. You have merely assumed the attitudes of the culture you were raised in vis-a-vis Gaels, and the idea that they are an inferior group. In the historical context this has referred to more than just language, but to the very people themselves. The comments that constantly emerge from the Gael-hating community in Scotland is inextricably linked to this ideology.

His next comment seems to relate to something I wrote in my first UPDATE in the original article here:

AaronK at 10.48am - since deleted by him

It is not rubbish. You are completely blinded because like most racists you simply fail to acknowledge nor see any fault. Scotland is full of Gael-haters. You may claim atheism but you do have an ideology.
Ottawa? Obviously you know nothing of Canadian politics or demographics.

The next comment probably also relates to something I wrote in my first UPDATE in the original article here:

AaronK at 10.51am - since deleted by him

Ah yes a "dissident", a gay Solzhenitsyn are you? Fighting the good fight. "Oh the signs, they're gonna kill us!" .Talk about a hysterical reaction.

AaronK at 11.02am - since deleted by him

FYI, Gaels are real living breathing people. Not your long dead grampa. Although that's how your lot prefers to characterize Gaels. My issue with you has nothing to do with your homosexuality. I don't care who you do. Nice diversion tactic though.

- probably relates to something I wrote in the 3rd UPDATE in the original article here. I think that from this point on it was probably me who deleted all of AaronK's subsequent comments, shortly after they appeared in the comments thread, although later I started to intercept them before they actually appeared online in the comments thread.

AaronK at 11.06am - since deleted by me

You tolerant? That's a laugh. No I am more than pleased to end this with you. You are an anachronism. Your days of dictating the demise of Gaelic are over

- probably relates to what I wrote in the second paragraph of my 4th UPDATE in the original article here

AaronK at 11.08am - since deleted by me

Wasn't too fond of the Solzhenitsyn comment or your hysterical reaction to Gaelic signage? C'mon Bill, run for office on your bile. Go show that Hamish Fraser what for. See how far you get.

AaronK at 11.13am - since deleted by me

Poor billy didn't like that. Gonna take his bats home to play on his own.

- I think this is probably when he realised I was deleting all his comments.

AaronK at 11.17am - deleted by me

hysterical reaction to Gaelic signs: "Carnage on the Highway"

Oh wasn't he a commie at one time. Maybe that's what gets up your dress eh Maggie T?

AaronK at 11.22am - deleted by me

Bill is a Gael-hater, as clear as any that ever lived. I shall rue the day I meet this type of individual in person, and so shall they rue me.
You affront, me, my parents, my grandparents and all the generations that have come before.

- this resulted in me posting the initial 'PS/' to my 4th UPDATE in the original article here, which I repeated in a final comment in the comments thread:

Bill at 11.24am

To "AaronK": In case you have not read the PS/ to the 4th UPDATE to my blog article, I repeat it below for your information:

PS/ I have so far had to delete a further 6 or 7 comments from "AaronK"; I will continue doing so until he gets bored and stops posting his bile here. Luckily we will soon reach the 2-week stage when Blogger automatically asks for blog-owner approval before permitting comments to appear, even in blogs like mine which do not require moderation for recent post comments.

AaronK's comments kept coming, however, even though they were no longer appearing in the blog comments thread:

AaronK at 11.25am

Any Scottish person that decides to open their mouths and spew out your bigoted, crass, Gael-hate will regret uttering a word of it in my presence.

AaronK at 11.28am

Couldn't care less Bill. You can delete, manipulate, try to turn yourself into some victim of homophobia, whatever. Wherever I see you or anyone else maligning gaelic in anyway I will comment again and again and again. I don't care what you think of me. Your opinion to me is less than nothing. You can rot in hell for all I care. and by the way creep, I'm a fag!

A likely story, that last bit - lol! Even if he is, who cares? As his tedious comments continued I gradually added the addenda to the original PS/ to my 4th UPDATE in the original article here

AaronK at 11.34am

I'm a Gaelic fag, and I hate you!! I hate you more than any of the others. You are to me the very definition of a traitor. I do not understand you. I don't know why you people are so nasty and cruel.

- awww, diddums, to that last bit! Perhaps AaronK might care to look in a mirror and ask himself the same rhetorical question.

AaronK at 11.38am

Watch your cattle. Mar sin leat.

- I ask you! That one had me giggling for a few moments.

AaronK at 11.50am

Almost done, but I go on my own terms

- obviously relates to one of my PS/ addenda, when I realised he was deleting some of his own earlier comments in 'retaliation' for me blocking all his more recent comments. His later comments now become even more ludicrous, I'd call them farcical and definitely obsessive:

AaronK at 12.27pm

Oh did you feel threatened?
You nasty old, did I not mention old, fossil. You are not tolerant, you are not decent. You are a lecherous, sad, creep. No one reads your "blog", there's nothing here. I read it because yes I am an absolute partisan! A Fanatic even. And damn proud of it!
All you are is just some sad retrograde who's world is apparently crumbling because of the "Gaelic Mafia". Well get used to it.
I never said , boo-hoo "why is world so cruel to me". I said why are you so nasty and cruel. Mr. "I love My Gael Grandads" Bullshit!, You are so full of shit! Why the hell do you feel the need to attack a group of people when they have been put down by you people for hundreds of years. Some in Scotland may not want to face up to it, but frankly you don't have much of a choice. I am angry. I don't hide or deny that. What sane person wouldn't be?
Any claim you have in Scotland to being a tolerant society is worthless until you do something, more than just window dressing to address what you people have done to Gaels.
Post that you jerk.
Stop hiding behind being gay. Nobody cares.

AaronK at 12.35pm

You're the whiner. With your "why do we the precious "majority" have to put up with Gaelic signs". Us poor put upon "majority". Majority where? A democratic body decides on more than one occasion to approve these signs and still you go on about this so-called majority. Why don't you run for office? Too scared? You know you're option sucks ass. Deep down you know what a god damn bigot/racist you are. You're just some sad Tory (hello Michael Fry) who couldn't get elected as head of a chip shop.
My intervention in your blog is the only thing of any interest on this whole site. So yeah please keep posting my comments. I'll keep sending them your way.
"oooh I felt threatened and scared"
lol, sad fool.

AaronK at 12.40pm

I have to wonder what you did for a living? Mr. "I have a house in Spain". How many people did you screw over to get that, while others starve. I notice you lived in Culloden. Bet you liked that eh? Sitting over some nice Gaelic blood and guts. Oooh look at my merlot drinking life, aren't I special. Flaunting yourself like you're something pretty special.

- apart from the hysterical comments he makes (which I'll ignore), I'm pretty open in my websites about who and what I am, unlike people such as AaronK.

That is, mercifully, the last of AaronK's comments at the time of writing. If he does decide to continue sending me comments I shall simply ignore them, even if I do archive them for my future reference and amusement. I won't be updating this blog article or writing subsequent articles about this matter. Enough is enough.