Ah! April 23rd, Shakespeare’s Birthday and the day when all us English are supposed to celebrate the mighty knight, Saint George, slaying that nasty old dragon. Over the past few years there’s been a push (mainly by beer companies) for the English to get off their apathetic arses and celebrate their national day in the same, irritating manner that the Irish do for theirs on Paddy’s Day, the Jocks get out their lucky fivers on St Andy’s Day and the Yanks do on July 4th. And Christ, don’t we all get to hear about it.
You can sense the gradual crescendo of a slow, dull rumbling of a bandwagon every year with this year being earmarked as a particular one for celebration, it being both Olympic Year and the year of the Royal Jubilee .
Woo Hoo, as I’m told they say.
As I glance through the stained glass window of the potting shed, I can see on the barn opposite, two flags of St George hanging limply in the breeze, placed on poles by the local squire’s wife in a vain effort to rouse the rabble into another verse or two of Land of Hope & Glory or even Jerusalem. You’ll have read previous posts such as The Official Weedkiller of the England Football Team and taken on board my thoughts regarding our flag, so you can imagine how many I have hung out over the shed this morning.
However, each to his own, and I don’t need to go intruding on anyone’s merriment and celebrations, just because I have no interest in them at all. Yes I think the country would be a better place without the monarchy, but not to the extent I want to start burning down The Reichstag…. sorry, I mean Buckingham Palace. If people want to celebrate them, let them do so. I have much more and bigger fish to fry before I start getting het up over all that.
You will have noticed that I’m not a particular fan of Seb Coe‘s and Boris Johnson’s corporate carve-up taking place in London this summer. Whoop de-Do. I love my sport, I just can’t stand how Seb and his cronies have made such a bollock-up of the whole thing, while making sure every single penny is squeezed out of yer average sports fan and, while they’re at it, London resident. Sure, go ahead, knock yourself out with excitement as the runners, the jumpers the cyclists and the drug-takers come to town. Just include me out. I always cheer for the English team, whatever the sport. And my support will still be with Team GB this time. I just won’t run my life by what or how Seb and his PR firm, the BBC, tell me to this summer.
The Occupy London mob want to “reclaim the streets” during the Olympic Games. Really? Why would you wanna do that, then ? By all means shout your protests in a democratic manner from the top of a building, plaster the walls with banners, wear particularly clever and high quality tee shirts designed to illustrate your displeasure at the disruption to your city this year (and available at a very competitive rate right here – while stocks last). But causing disruption to the events, staging sit down protests in the stadium is one way to lose all public support for any legitimate beef you might have (see that arsehole Trenton Oldfield at the Boat Race) as well as risking a javelin in the goolies.
So I might take a mate up to The Shovel in a minute and no-doubt, Hilda the landlady will have festooned the place with pics of the Royals, the St George’s Cross and Union Jacks. The resident UKIP Nazis who are permanent fixtures at the bar will be waxing lyrical about how the country would be better without the “muslims, wogs and Ken Livingstone.” (I’ve heard it all before.)
Enjoy your local pub tonight, it’ll be fun. Enjoy too the gits in red-and-white plastic bowler hats singing Rule Britannia to you outside the chipshop as you make your way home, and that girl in the Abercrombie & Fitch shirt, hitch up her miniskirt to take a leak in the charity shop doorway. It’ll make you proud to be English. In mine, the knuckle-draggers will be on to “how the fuck can Arry be England manager when Tottenham are a bag o shite ?” (another perennial.) And like the Royal Jubilee or London 2012, I shall ignore all that, sup gently on my pint and wait for it all to be over. Bring on the Ryder Cup.