Friday, 24 April 2009

Happy St. Porges Day!

Did you have a fantrabulous St George's day? What...? Yes, it was last week. But don't worry, you're one of millions if you missed it completely. I cared so much that it took me nearly a week to blog about it. Don't be surprised if the rest of this post is unintelligible. I probably just slipped into a coma on my keyboard.

And don't feel alone if you were suitably disappointed with the celebration of our national snake dragon slaying Romano-Palestinian English Perseus Clone patron saint. I celebrated it in the crappest way possible: I was at work.

NB: If you're confused by the strike-throughs above, you should go and look up who your Patron Saint really was. Just like St. Paskwal, the Patron Saint of India, our Patron Saint is an import with little to do with what he has become. And just like Jesus, he's most likely a rehashing of another character from a much older story.

Personally I had no idea it was upon us either, aside from a slight twinge in the larger of my testicles that I get whenever something thoroughly and spectacularly pants happens. That and a particularly patriotic email I got from a colleague deploring how 'un-PC' it's become these days to celebrate anything to do with being English. Please, tell it to the cheeks at my other end.

Although it's true, of course. In England, we love to promote backwards ethnic culture, particularly when it's other people's retarded ethnic culture, but we have a certain brand of national guilt and chagrin when it comes to blowing our own trumpet. In fact you could say that we're practically tone deaf. Probably wouldn't even know which end to blow in...

Many even feel that it is inappropriate to display our own flag. Maybe because it still retains some of the political bad taste of the fundamentalist National Front.

Personally I couldn't give a hoot... We should ban all 'ethnic culture' and Patriotism. Not because I'm offended by it, but because good culture will stand and survive by its own artistic merit.

Good culture does not have to be attached to nationality or colour. Nor should it be limited to any race or protected or celebrated simply because it may already possess such connotations. That would be racist.

Blues survived. From its Afro-American roots (a mix of Black tribal songs and white country), it has survived the passage of time and gone on to influence most genres of music that we have today. That is good culture. That's why it survived. You no doubt own music that is either blues or derived from blues. Even if you didn't realise it.

Likewise, England has pop, folk music, metal, etc. Music Of White/English Origin you could call it... but really I'd rather you didn't! The reason why the Beatles, Prodigy, Sex Pistols, Muse, the 'Stones, etc are not called MOWO comes back to our discomfort with being proud of anything. But maybe it's best left that way. Good culture doesn't need the crutch of race and shouldn't be exclusive.

Taking the descendants of Nation XYZ tribesmen and making them trade their sweatpants for grass skirts to dance for the amusement of pretentious middle class types is not good culture or even culture at all. And neither is a nation of shopkeepers, knotted hankerchiefs and binge drinking. And apart from binge drinking, that's why they're all doomed. To suggest that such things should be protected as culture is taking something that should be organic and preserving it for no one knows why.

Like two hundred year old siamese twins pickled in Victorian glassware. And that's what will happen to old Blighty and the Red White and the Blue if we keep up this pseudo-patriotic crap. It'll become a pickled and wrinkled relic of some time your Granddad told you about - something that Patriotism often tends to be right from the start anyway. A broken arrow. A joke.

Or even worse, as Patriotism has a habit of being; a crutch for those with less savoury intentions. In the words of Samuel Johnson: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel". Or sometimes the first! Hark! Is that a jackbooted Kilroy Silk I hear upon the stair?

But I digress. The thing that really cheeses me off is that I didn't get a day's holiday out of this crap. Did dragons die in vain?! Paddy and Jock get their 8 hours off for their Saint's days and Taffy will probably get his next - at least they're trying! Why not us?

So go ahead, if you're pissed off that you're getting done out of a holiday, call in sick tomorrow. Call in sick all week. You deserve it you beautiful sausage you!


  1. Hey - yeah I'm definately English, and I hope you don't mind but I've blogged on the same subject... it was planned in my head and not a direct rip-off I promise!

    Good to find a writer after my own heart - this was a real pleasure. Can I ask what it is you do??

  2. Hi Sam,

    No, I don't mind at all... you can just slip my royalty cheque in the post ;)

    I must admit that reading your post, I was quite surprised to hear that the National Front (or whatever name the skinheads and boneheads go by now) are still active and vocal in your neck of the woods. I'm also surprised that the police allowed such a thing. The 23rd was just another day down here.

    What do I do? I actually make my money out of Adsense. It's not much but it puts fuel in the Bentley, pays the butler, you know... just kidding. I don't even humour that scam.

    What do I do? I do Photography. I spend about twice as long Photoshopping my photography and in Illustrator. I play guitar. And I write short stories and novels. That's what I do. To actually make money though I'm a design engineer. I prefer not to think of that as 'what I do' though :) That's a bit too close to 'what I am' and that question should never be answered with a job title.

    Keep up the good work!