Let’s just start with James Franco … I hope there aren’t other 17-year-old girls out there who have received the same treatment and handled it with less … Scot.
Now, am I allowed to laugh? Because our little Scot ate Franco for breakfast and then complained about missing her tatty scones.
See, the Scottish are a rare breed. I’m going to be throwing out a lot of stuff that could be taken as stereotypical, but then there’s a 2005 report that found Scotland to be the most violent country in the developed world. There’s also the fact that I lived there for a while, so I’m not just pulling this out of my backside. With the caveat that not *every* Scot is going to match up with this description, let’s go through some of the things it might be safe to assume.
Scot’s come equipped with a fantastic bullshit detector. I don’t know why, but they’re (we’re? I’m at least 1/4 Scot, though trying to tell a pub full of native Scottish people that you’re Scottish in a broad American accent is likely to get you laughed at) a skeptical bunch of people. Independent, canny, and generally wary, it doesn’t surprise me that a Scottish teenager was unimpressed with the starshine James Franco tried to blow up her arse.
They tend to be a hard (and hardy) bunch, those Scots. Maybe it is the long winters with low light. Maybe it is the hard-scrabble history, pocked as it is with resistance, repression, poverty, and hardship. The cultural parenting habits of your average Scot aren’t exactly tender or codling. Everything is fair game to be made fun of, everything is open for teasing, and if you’re bored, the Scots have some of the best insults in the whole world. The internal life is just as fragile and vulnerable as it is anywhere else, but an impenetrable outer shell is a necessity. They’re puffer fish always blown up to their defensive size.
The stories don’t talk about where she’s from, but if the girl in question was from the middle or working class, our intrepid Mr. Franco was at even more of a disadvantage. Scotland isn’t an easy place, and no one is tougher than the young women who come up in the working class. Most young women most places have learned to be careful, with 1 in 4 of us having some kind of horrible experience in her past – rape, molestation, domestic abuse – Scotland is no different and, due to economic pressures unique to the country, might have it a little worse. Your average working class, and to some degree, middle class girl, is just going to be tougher.
I was there from 1999 – 2000, working with families in crisis. Our families came from the council flats around Stirling and Glasgow and they endured. Above all else, they kept going through unimaginably difficult circumstances.
Maybe this girl is a sheltered middle class kid from Edinburgh. She’s still going to have been exposed to a culture that is heavily influenced by the death of the shipbuilding trade and its economic aftermath. Unless she was super isolated in some upper class enclave… And given the fact that she took on James Franco and bested him… Well, I don’t know who she is or where she came from, but she won.
All I can say is if there’s a fight and one of the participants is from Scotland, all I’m saying is betting on the Scot isn’t a bad plan.