“US to lift 21-year ban on haggis”

by Walter Olson on January 25, 2010

At last!

P.S. Not unrelatedly, a haggis-related Blawg Review #248 at Scots Law Student. More: Alex Massie, Spectator (via Katherine Mangu-Ward).

P.P.S. Jumping the gun? An email to Andrew Sullivan from someone claiming to be with USDA says the ban is under review for revision but that no decision has been made yet. And more from Katherine Mangu-Ward.

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{ 8 comments }

1 John Burgess 01.25.10 at 10:25 am

I, for one, applaud the change! US-made haggis simply isn’t the same. Close, but not close enough. It’s the ‘lights’, apparently, that make the difference.

2 mojo 01.25.10 at 2:51 pm

“Personally, I think most Scots cuisine is based on a dare.”
– Mike Meyers

3 SmartDude 01.25.10 at 3:02 pm

I don’t have the stomach for haggis.

4 A.W. 01.25.10 at 4:04 pm

gee, you would think a ban on haggis would be self-enforcing. I mean what is the punishment for smuggling haggis? being forced to eat it?

Look, as a scottish american, let me be the first to say that just because something is supposedly part of your culture doesn’t mean you have to do it, too. You know what? just about every culture in the world has at least one thing it does that makes absolutely no fricking sense, and shouldn’t be repeated. We are in the new world now, where we take all of the world’s culture, bastardize it, put ketchup on it, and eat it; or in the case of the really bad stuff, leave it behind. Be an american and say, “screw tradition. this stuff is nasty.”

Let me give you a concrete example. Scottish bagpipes. They’re awful. They give normal people a headache. I remember as a child being forced to listen to them and complaining in that honest and direct (and rude) way kids have, telling my parents how badly it stank. Years later, i am watching on the history channel and i find out why.

you see, bagpipes aren’t designed for music. they are weapons of psychological warfare. That irritation of scottish pipes isn’t a bug, its a feature. they are designed to be irritating, for the exact same reason that basketball fans wag those noodles when the opposing team is making a free throw: to throw the other side off their game. the scots would play the pipes to irritate the british so much that they wouldn’t be as effective in war. Fat lot of good it did them, but that was the theory.

So that is right, what we used to do intentionally to annoy our enemies, we now do to ourselves and claim its our culture. I think i would be hard pressed to come up with a better example of foolishly doing something because it is your “culture.”

But you might say, “but in Braveheart, those bagpipes were beautiful.” They were. Because they were irish, not scottish.

which brings me to a tangential point. do not watch braveheart with the commentary track on. it completely ruins it, by telling you how the story is just about 100% BS. Braveheart is sort of like all those stories of Robin Hood. You should assume there is some kind of truth underneath it, but you should also recognize that it is so badly distorted you should treat the story as nothing more than entertaining fiction.

5 John Burgess 01.25.10 at 6:20 pm

Nothing Scottish in my heritage–that’s Irish and Canuck–but I like both haggis and bagpipes! Yes, the war or great pipes were instruments of war. Not so for the small pipes, the Northumbrian pipes, or others of the clan, so to speak.

But God help us if we expect Hollywood to provide accurate history on much of anything.

6 Mark Biggar 01.25.10 at 6:30 pm

Question: why do bagpipers walk back and forth while playing?
Answer: Because they want to get away from the noise too.

“Bagpipes look and sound like you’re holding a cat under your arm and biting it’s tail” — Robert Heinlein Starship Troupers

Scots and proud of it.

7 Half Nut Development 01.25.10 at 8:46 pm

Where do I sign a petition? Isn’t this cruel and unusual?

8 scotslawstudent 01.27.10 at 9:17 am

Cheers for mentioning the blog.

I think you just need to meet the right haggis, it’s a horrible sounding idea but if it’s made and cooked well it’s a nice meal. That said you might be surprised to hear that the most readily available way for Scots people to access the haggis is deep fried with chips.

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