On Wed, 9 Apr 1997, Neil Alasdair McEwan wrote:
> On Tue, 8 Apr 1997, Scott Robert Ladd wrote:
> > When the English passed the Laws of Proscription, I understand that
> > the teaching of Scots Gaelic was banned, since use of that language
> > was at the root of the "Highland problem". In a similar fashion, the
> > United States deliberately tried to erase hundreds of indigenous
> > Indian languages in an effort to move the Indian people away from
> > their traditional societies.
> Absolutely, with tragic results too, among the First Nations as
> among the Scots and Irish -- the inferiority complex of the colonized
> people, and all the psychological and cultural problems stemming from that.
> By reclaiming our languages we can perhaps, in our own small way,
> reverse the wrongs of history.
> > Alas, today's mass-market culture tries to force us all into the
> > same mold. It isn't Big Brother's mind-control that'll put an end
> > to us -- our society dies when we subcumb to the seductive call
> > of materialism.
> You should take a look sometime at soc.culture.scottish on Usenet --
> there's an absurd amount of anti-Gaelic prejudice to be encountered
> there, chiefly from people who believe that it's time to stop being
> independent and distinct and to get in line as faceless consumers in the
> new "global economy". You have to wonder why this global economy permits
> us to buy Nikes but not Gaelic textbooks. Another line of thought has it
> that any kind of desire to maintain cultural integrity stems from an
> incipient fascism, and that the brotherhood of man demands one language
> for everyone. Again, you have to wonder how 100,000 Gaelic speakers are
> going to be able to act aggressively against English-speakers in any way.
> I can only conclude that there is something more deep-rooted behind these
> points of view, most probably the sense of inferiority I talked about
> above, and the desire to be seen as modern and sophisticated just like
> the wealthy, powerful folks in the dominant culture. It really is a
> shame that people can be so servile. I even met a fellow online who
> bragged about how he moved away from the Highlands to America and
> deliberately tried to forget most of his Gaelic, so that he could make a
> fortune in the English-speaking world. But "pride will come before
> profit", as the Gaelic proverb has it.
> le meas
> Neil A. McEwan
Pride will come before profit, and so will stupidity. Many wealthy people
are also very stupid--they would rather pursue earthly riches than
knowledge and wisdom (let's face it, it takes time to "shop til you
drop"). Personally, I'd rather be reading.