Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Consolation from The Piping Times

Editorial in the November 2008 number:

THE nights draw in. Dark forces rattle on the window pane. The invidious McPhater threatens to wrest the porridge bowl of prosperity from the arms of civilisation . . .
In these straitened times aren't you glad you love the pipes? When the young Winston Churchill said that given plain food and a philosophical attitude man could survive anything he forgot one thing - a good going bagpipe. Credit crunch, sub prime, toxic debt, HBOS, RBS (aren't we Scots meant to be good with money?), Freddie, Fannie — do these things mean anything to us? Not really. We can retire into our bagpipe bubble immune from the fiduciary maelstrom raging above.
What matters more than a sweet reed or a princely doubling preserved if not in aspic then in memory? We pipers rise above all. Entertainment? A few beers after a good blow at band practice provides satisfaction enough. Pshaw to your expensive restaurant, your folderol theatre, your dramatis personae of amusement. We have the pipe. We have the 'Green Hills', Willie Ross and the Piob Soc 1-15.We have the never ending quest for the glorious effect. Many times we have related the tale of the high court judge, the millionaire and the pauper all equal in the eyes of the great God MacCrimmon and united in an obsession worthy of Sisyphus. Does wealth matter when you can't make that D gracenote and the drones are howling? No; so let's keep our sanity intact and our bagpipe manufacturers free from recession. Spend what remaining gilder you have not on the latest stock market good thing but on that new chanter you've always been promising yourself, that true chanter, that chanter which with luck will prove more precious than any Government bail out. Who knows the pleasure it may still give when the politician has long since retired to his final salary pension and orgy of self justification? Or why not invest in a new bag or a new reed. Share port­folio in tatters? The rejuvenated pipe will remain sounding well despite all your woes. Learn some new tunes. Buy a few books and CDs and if the fingers still refuse to do what you want them to then at least the brain has been engaged and enriched.
. . . . .
As with nature you will learn that in times of turmoil the bagpipe provides all the mental ballast you need and an entertaining distraction once you tire of counting your moolah.
The nights draw in. Dark forces rattle on the window pane. Worry not. You have the pipe.

Rab does recommend (at the ellision) that you make the recommended purchases at the College of Piping shop. I took that out as it interfered with the philosophical flow. But should you want to, you can find the CoP shop on line here.