Shock as 0.0006% of Yes Voters openly refuse to eulogise Bowie

I must admit, Bowie’s intervention in the independence referendum almost persuaded me to vote No. For months I had been weighing up the pros and cons of the immense decision. Identity, currency, our position on the EU, the economy and jobs,  pensions, the Schengen Agreement, defence, whether small adaptable countries are better than larger more diverse ones.  However, when renowned deep thinker Kate Moss, introduced by Nobel prize winning economist Noel Gallagher, appeared in front of a distinguished alumni of political scientists at the Brit Awards and delivered Bowie’s magnum opus;

Scotland – stay with us.

The profundity of the message destroyed many of the pro independence arguments put forth by the likes of Professors Stilgitz and Chomsky. Everything I thought I knew up to that point lay in tatters. Not, “stay with us – Scotland” or “stay Scotland – with us”, he said and it bears repeating, “Scotland – stay with us”. Just let that sink in.

But even if Bowie hadn’t offered up such a robust destruction of the arguments for self determination, even if his interjection had been shallower than a Michael Bay directed Arnold Clark commercial on Heart FM, he was as entitled to an opinion as anyone else. And that is something we all should respect.

And judging by the lack of evidence behind the Cybernat hate stories published in several newspapers this week it is something the vast majority of us did respect. Ten people being mildly cheeky was about all they could dredge up.  The vast majority of us seemed to have liked the man and his work and displayed the utmost respect for his passing.

If you work out the percentage of Yes Voters who openly uttered anything less than anguished exaltation you get a very small number.

10/1617989 * 100 = 0.0006%

A handful of people did something not that bad. Should that be news?

The bulk of us were a lot more respectful than I used to be as a student when someone on my celebrity death pool got waylaid. The doubler of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa being one of the more lucrative occurrences of a very skint period of my life. And when at the union bar I was quaffing the new found wealth their expiration had bestowed on me, I couldn’t relate to the many others who were stricken by a bout of uncontrollable wailing paired with gnashing of teeth. Back then, I failed to see the rosy hue through which these celebrity’s complicated but distant lives were viewed, the unidirectional emotional bond that folk were wearing on their moistened sleeves.

I still don’t get it. Maybe because most of my icons had died in pools of vomit long before I had heard their music.

I’m not going to link to the newspaper articles that broke this non story. Suffice to say if you read them there is little substance there. At best they have found a handful of examples of people being critical of a newly exanimate stranger at a time when the decorous thing for a hater to have done would have been nothing at all.

None of the examples detailed are particularly offensive, nor for that matter were they directed at Bowie or any of his close acquaintances. In fact, hardly anyone would have known about these mild breaches of funereal protocol had they not been needlessly disseminated by immoral and anonymous hacks.

That’s not to say that we who voted for Independence are all angels, but any large group of people is going to contain rank bad yins. The pure size of the Yes vote means that in our midst we are bound to have murderers, rapists and even Tommy Sheridans. It doesn’t take a lot of logic to deduce that that tiny minority don’t represent the whole, but certain publications persist on trying to make everyone guilty by association.

I keep waiting to open a paper one morning and read something like this:

Evil pederast, Wullie Devlin, 43, from Royston, who incidentally voted Yes in the referendum, was today sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of an innocent child from a good No voting family.

The reporting is pretty one-sided. The same type of low level abuse is, as it should be, consistently ignored by the tabloids when it comes from the Unionist side. They are not daft enough to bite the hand that feeds them. The Evil Cybernat articles actually generate infinitely more abuse in the comments sections under them. Hand wringing at the scrounging whinging Jocks.

To be fair you could criticise The National as being just as biased in the other direction.

The papers who trawl for and publish this rubbish do so because it’s a cheap and easy way to attract an audience. They get advertising revenue based on clicks. And people are more likely to click when the headline provokes a strong emotional response.  But is it not a bit hypocritical to manufacture outrage based on perceived disrespect while at the same time trying to monetise a celebrity death?

Sometime between 1997 and today my friends and I retired the death pool. We had all matured a bit and most of us had lost patience with Keith Richards. And although I look back on that period with fondness, it is probably more wholesome that I no longer stand to make any money from the demise of distant celebrities.

It would be wonderful if the tabloid rags grew up too.

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