That is, if you’re in Scotland.
Census records estimate that more than twice as many people of Scottish ancestry live in the United States than in Scotland. Is it the destiny of Scotland to declare its independence from Great Britain? If not now, then when? At the beginning of the day everyone has been waiting for, polls show the likely outcome as a dead heat. We’ll soon learn the answer we’ve all been asking: Will they or won’t they?
Of course there are all sorts of implications to a yes vote, not the least of which is what kind of economic impact it will have on England, on the United States, and the world. If Scotland wants to make a statement to the world this could very well be Scotland’s day. So if you’re one of those Scots that are 16 years old or older and done voting or you’re in the States and can’t vote today, then what better than a brief celebration of all things Scottish? As Mike Myers’ character Stuart Rankin, proprietor of the store “All Things Scottish,” said on Saturday Night Live, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap.”
Scotland is well known for its inventors and their inventions. You wouldn’t be reading this website or surfing the Internet at all without the communications technologies that sprouted from Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. John Logie Baird would invent the first television. Scots invented the refrigerator and the flush toilet, the kaleidoscope and the lawnmower. And–shazam–James Goodfellow invented ATMs so we can get money to buy stuff on nearly any street corner.
Our future is defined in part by the adventures of a Scot in space–James Doohan’s Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott from Star Trek, an engineering miracle worker who exemplifies Scottish ingenuity. And of course, there’s James Bond, the character, whose parents were Scottish, and Sir Sean Connery, the Scottish actor, the most famous Bond, and a supporter of today’s “yes” vote.
There’s the legendary characters of Scotland like William Wallace and Rob Roy. Sherlock Holmes was the creation of a Scot as was Long John Silver, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Peter Pan. Macbeth and Amelia Pond are Scottish characters. Sir Walter Scott recounted hundreds of stories about peoples of Scotland as the first modern novelist.
Tartans. Kilts. Haggis. Curling. Caber toss. Castles. The Loch Ness monster. Shetland sheep and Shetland sheepdogs. Deep-fried Mars bars (much better than you’d guess). Halloween was born in Scotland. Highland games. Golf. And the sound of bagpipes.
How about Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi played by Scot Ewan McGregor, or the definitive accent of Brave’s Kelly McDonald? And Doctor Who? David Tennant and Peter Capaldi are both great Scots as are John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Billy Boyd (Pippin Took), Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Alan Cumming (Nightcrawler), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Denis Lawson (Wedge Antilles), James McAvoy (Tumnus), and Ray Park (Darth Maul, Snake Eyes).
The world owes plenty to Scotland, its people, and culture. If the Scotlanders don’t vote yes today you can bet they’ll be back again with another vote in the years to come, just as they tried in the 1970s and the 1990s. And we’ll leave you with this scene from Braveheart: