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Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Posted by on March 21 at 17:56 PM

Scotland is a formation of land 3 billion years in the making. Its oldest rock is the igneous formation now found in Northwest Scotland, transformed at insanely high temperatures 2,900 million years ago into layered gneisses, which looks like this:


After about 500 million years, the landscape was eroded to low hills, which were submerged in rivers carrying red sandstone sediment, and then, 500 million years after that, this land mass (called Laurentia, no longer in existence) was partially submerged in an ocean (no longer in existence) full of animals (many no longer in existence). Fifty million years later there were some crazy magma events, and 20 million years after that there was some major tectonic dancing around; details here. To recap:


It would be still another 419,992,000 years before human beings graced the topography of Scotland, and another 2,000 years before they began building villages and making fashions out of bears and wild pigs, and another 7,776 years before a graduate of the University of Glasgow named Adam Smith, who had a big nose, as you can see—


—would write his famous and lengthy Wealth of Nations, and another 81 years before Madeleine Smith, a Glaswegian with a fondness for bonnets, as you can see—


—would stand trial for feeding arsenic to her lover (who was a common laborer) so that she could marry a guy who had money and a nice last name, and it would be yet another 139 years before a 28-year-old University of Glasgow dropout took a picture of his friend sitting with her shirt off in a bathtub and breastfeeding a stuffed tiger to go on the cover of his first album, which enjoyed an initial printing (on vinyl) of 1,000 copies but was not available in America for another three years, when it was released on the same day in 1999 that Texas Governor George W. Bush announced his intention to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States, which might seem like a long time ago but isn’t, relatively speaking.

[This has been a Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day. Fuck you, haters.]

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If Belle and Sebastian won't be best friends with you after this post, then they never will. Either way, you can stop it now.

I hope BASFOTD never ends—and my opinion carries more weight around here than yers, Red.

Nearly two thousand years before BAS, Britain was conquered by the Roman Empire. Scotland was not. The British back then were what we now call Welsh. The Scottish were called Picts. The British inhabited what we now call England and Wales.

After several failed attempts to conquer Scotland, the Roman emperor Hadrian built Hadrian's Wall to save face, or as he put it, to keep out the barbarians.

Later, after England was conquered by the Angles and Saxons and Normans,
Scotland was conquered by England, despite the best efforts of Mel Gibson.

I'm no B&S fan, but I admire your fortitude. Reminds me of trying to convince people that Marilyn Manson is brilliant. And no, that's not sarcasm.

Keep on keeping on, Mr. Frizelle. You're right, they're wrong.

Gawd i am not even familliar with Belle and Sebastion, but i am now tuning in every day to learn more absurd facts about them. This one really takes it all to a whole new level. You cannot possibly top this, or, can you? i will be back tomorrow for more!

Strangely (and indirectly), thanks to you, i now know a hellua lot more about mayonaise than i ever wanted to.

Longball—no time like the present to become familiar. I'd start with The Boy with the Arab Strap because, while it is not the best album qua album, it has the three catchiest songs ("Sleep the Clock Around," "Dirty Dream Number Two," "The Boy with the Arab Strap") and it will give you an appreciation of what they're doing. Then, get the previous album, called If You're Feeling Sinister, which is shockingly perfect start to finish, and then get the album they recorded before that, their first, true fans will argue it's their best, called Tigermilk. Your love for them will amplify as you go back in time. Then, once you're a fan, you can dig into their later (i.e., more recent) stuff, like Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant, and Dear Catastrophe Waitress, and this newest one, all of which have great things on them.

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