Jingoes Ate My Baby

The cleaning is done and I hate cleaning so the hurt is over. I remembered to replace the food I ate too. My father gave me a bottle of duty-free Jamesons for looking after the house and I forgave him for not recognizing me in the street half an hour earlier. (There was a whole thing with both of us trying to park at the same time.) He was tired. I can barely keep my eyes open myself. Can somebody tell me why I got up so early when I didn't have to go to work today?

I clocked 500 miles this weekend and everywhere I went I saw small plastic St. Georges clipped on car doors. Ubiquitous is not the word (so I apologize for wasting your time with it). They cost £2.99 but they annoy me at least £9.99. For £19.99 you can go mad and decorate your entire car.

The final stages of the World Cup haven't even started yet and I'm bored of hearing about it already. I'm surrounded by hats, scarves, wall charts and other junk that I don't need and roughly one in five ads currently are football-themed regardless of what they're pimping. Surely the official food and drink of a major sporting event should complement a healthy lifestyle rather than encourage obesity? Not when there's money involved, silly!

When I see one of those poxy car flags it tells me the driver is a) a sports nerd, b) the kind of person who has to have something because everyone else has it and c) unaware that his otherwise-stylish vehicle is utterly ashamed to be made to wear the car equivalent of deely boppers. We're probably not going to be friends. I also question why an Englishman in England feels the need to tell his fellow countrymen that he'll be supporting the team he's expected to support. As if it were safe here to decorate your car with another country's colours anyway!

It's like the American in America with the Stars & Stripes in his window - handy indeed if I'm walking down the street and am suddenly overcome with an inability to recollect which country I'm in; quite redundant otherwise. Nobody said you were a terrorist, dude. But then you put the flag up and now I'm wondering what you're over-compensating for.


Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

I don't object to the flag per se - maybe it's because I am a bloody foreigner or maybe I've been here too long (I have a Cross of St George on my license plate), but I'm buggered if I can see the point of having England written on it.

If you know what the flag stands for you don't need the words to work it out. If you don't know what the flag stands for then you probably can't read a word that long anyway.

Welcome back.

Blogger Hilary said...

The England Car Pack? No, no, no, make them stop!

I am also a little bit annoyed with the fact that we get endless reports on how Rooney's foot is doing. One minute it's fine, the next he's definitely out. Now I care even less about him than I did before.

Don't worry about adding anything to your blog - my life went arse over tit last week and since then I haven't found anything to write in my blog...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think moderation is the key. I have a flag in front of my house. That's it. Not on my car or clothing. It's kind of like when I wear a t-shirt with my college's name on it. Or a baseball hat with a team logo. Having pride in a country and/or team is an accessory to my life; it doesn't govern everything I do.

Anonymous the evil one said...

Who is St. George and what is the World Cup?

Is Spiel! in June this year? (=

- Enrique

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Kat & Grunt: Perhaps I wasn't clear or perhaps (as a military wife and an immigrant) you're accustomed to defending your patriotism to others. That really wasn't what I was getting at...

I'm proud to be English even though many of my fellow countrymen disgust me and Englishness means different things to different people. So, by all means, shout about your team or your school. I don't know which team or school it is until you tell me. I just have a "well, duh..." reaction to people stating the obvious and an American in America saying, "Go America!" (to use an example I'm familiar with)is definitely stating the obvious. What else did I expect him to say?

I hope that's clearer because I can't afford to alienate two of my most loyal readers!

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

Have to admit I feel mixed about the whole patriotism thing and when it veers dangerously into jingoism.

I think the US is too much to one side for many of the reasons that you mention, but why are we so bloody apologetic for being English? Sadly the flag got hijacked by the BNP and nutters like that - maybe that's it.

Blogger Candace said...

I dunno. I do get what you're saying, Marcus, but I also think it's a "brotherhood" sort of thing. You know, like having a 42 on your jersey or a Knights Who Say Ni T-shirt, or in this case, something that says "hey, I'm a football/soccer fan, and I'll be rooting for them" or in the US's case "in spite of the fact that it's in vogue to mock our country, I'm proud to be here." :-P

I can see it both ways. But I laughed anyway when I read the post. :-) Esp at the car pack. :-)

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

Amen. Amen amen amen. Flags suck, apart from pirate ones. But as the mighty Charlie Brooker said last Friday in the Guardian (http://tinyurl.com/nazxr), the whole car flag thing does help us spot the losers and the dumb meathead thugs in our society.

This World Cup I'll be supporting Brazil (and also Spain and the Czechs, and England maybe if they don't show Lampard too many times on the tv), and carrying around pieces of paper with the following quote from Anthony Trollope printed on them for handy placement under windscreen wipers...

"One is patriotic only because one is too weak and small-minded to be cosmopolitan"

I'll also be trying not to get beaten up in the process.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Shig raised a good point on the weekend: why is national pride seen as a left-wing thing if you're Scottish, Irish or Welsh but right-wing and jingoistic if you're English?

Charlie Brooker talks sense. One flag for "chav", two for "lout"... get dice and you're a "happy-slapping hoodie with A.S.B.O.s and ringtones".

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

Because to be nationalist as a celt is to fight the oppressive invaders, to be nationalist as an englishman is to be all imperialist and say it's ok to wander round the world nicking countries...

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

And that's a problem.....?


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