Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Toast To Scotland On The Occasion Of Their Independence Referendum

A toast to Scotland. Whatever you decide.
As the polls open in Scotland, I am sitting a world away on the left coast of the United States. I am not of Scottish descent. Still, I raise my glass in their honor.  I ration this 18 year old Laphroaig for special occasions. A wee dram seems appropriate now. Here's to you Scotland...
May you choose the right path for your country, your people, your future.
 Damn - that whiskey is good.

I won't pretend to know what the right choice is for you or your countrymen. Honestly, I don't even really care which decision you make. I just like the fact that you are having this referendum. I like the excitement and passion and panic it has generated.

The polls say the outcome is too close to call. While the "No" vote has a narrow lead, the difference is within the margin of error and well within the undecided vote. That said, I expect those who want independence made their minds up some time ago. The undecided tend to break for the status quo.  They are, after all, somehow still undecided.  So you'll probably still be part of Great Britain when the polls close, and it won't be that close. No matter. Don't regret your decision.

Robert Frost was an American poet of Scottish descent. His most famous and widely misunderstood stanza seems a fitting signpost to mark the occasion:
I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — 
I took the one less traveled by,  
And that has made all the difference.
Keep in mind that Frost was not extolling the virtues of forsaking the crowd and choosing an independent path. His narrator finds the two paths virtually indistinguishable and equally attractive. He just ruefully concludes that he will ultimately regret his decision, regardless of which path he takes. Such is the perverse nature of free choice. We always wonder about the path not taken.  Don't look back Scotland. Revel in your decision.

Perhaps I'll have just two fingers more, and we'll conclude with a few interesting and amusing referendum links that caught my attention.

The Guardian's Animated Guide to The Scottish Independence Referendum for Non-Brits.
"The crazy hat worn by the bearded troll..."
Speaking of the "The Darien Disaster"
"Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott reflected that while his countrymen are generally “cautious, frugal and prudent,” they had a rare penchant to throw caution to the wind and become intoxicated by “splendid prospect.”
Meanwhile, back in the Less-Than-United States, proponents of the would-be independent countries of Alaska, Texas, and Cascadia are intoxicated by the Scottish experiment:
"I have always been optimistic that Cascadia will be a reality one day. It's just a matter of time....That's the exciting thing about the situation in Scotland, if they are successful we'll be able to see first hand what that transition could potentially look like and the real effects it can have, both positive and negative."
Of course, the Dividist could not resist contributing to worldwide #Scotland twitterstorm sweeping the planet:

Finally - It is only fair to give our favorite expat Brit the last word:

I think I'll just have one more for a nightcap. Here's the thing Scotland. You are the source for two of my favorite things - Scotch and Golf.  Whatever you decide is fine by me. Just don't screw up the scotch and golf.

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