You know the best thing about being English? It’s that our patron saint is a bloke who was canonised for fighting a flipping DRAGON. It’s a rare and beautiful thing for a country’s saint to so perfectly capture the national character.

Specifically, the character of a self-aggrandising, hopelessly transparant bulldunger.

Because that’s England’s role in the twenty-first century. If the global community were a bar, England would be the beery loudmouth sat in a corner pummelling anyone unfortunate enough to wander into range with shaggy-dog stories of the outrageous and fantastic things he did when he was younger, painfully unaware of how needy and pathetic he sounds. We’re the fatuous git with the bloodshot eyes and gin blossom who so routinely inflates the tales of his past glories that he’s come to believe them himself. We’re the sort of person who pines openly and obnoxiously for The Good Old Days when he was Somebody and young people had respect and you could say what you liked about the birds and the darkies and the fairies without the PC Brigade turning up to cart you away.

England is the Pub Bore Of The World.

This is part of what makes the World Cup so special. Seeing every third house and car decked out with the flag of St. George, to see the country so fervently celebrating the non-existant acheivements of a lying git is a sweet, sweet thing. It’s a nice little reminder that even while the American fundamentalist right wing continues to preach hate in the name of the Prince of Peace, England’s still got a thing or two to teach the world about doltish, unthinking irony. And if that truth’s not worth a bit of chest-thumping tribalism I don’t know what is.

So, you know. If the England football team could see their way clear to extending my state of weary ambivalence by squeaking past Slovenia tomorrow, I wouldn’t object overmuch.

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3 comments until now

  1. I think a lot of this public flag draping on every other house is a bit comparable to putting up the Christmas decorations. You know, that “can’t really be bothered but I’d better do it as it’s expected” attitude that so many of us grumpy old sods experience every December. The British media, however, now that we know we’ll be playing against Germany, is already hard at work with “kraut bashing” headlines that are painfully embarrassing & I suspect, fairly bewildering to the average modern German mind. The England players seem content to present a mildly philosophical “just another game” stance to the Press at the moment, refusing to be provoked on such “important” issues as The Beckenbauer Affair (pretty mild stuff if you look at what he’s actually said to date). How much of this attitude is due to “fear of Fabio” after the John Terry Incident is anybody’s guess. Now bring on the inevitable penalty shootout & let’s get this thing over with!

  2. The Dave @ 2010-06-25 13:37

    Rob, I admire your confidence in expecting that it will go to penalties. I expect it will either go one way or the other – depending on whether England come out of the tunnel up for it.

  3. I actually got a Pepsi Nosewash there with the “darkies and fairies” comment. It reminded me yesteryear, when Engerland meant something, where we were the best at most things and could run fast for 1500m. And let me tell you something, we deserved it. We gave all those other countries the tools to make themselves what they are now. And what thanks did we get? None. NONE! If it wasn’t for us, they’d be shite!

    Gin, anyone?

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