Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm an Unpatriotic Scoundrel I am.

I know I shouldn't really laugh, but I found Charlie Brooker's piece on St George's Cross flag wavers/wearers very funny:

Rejoice! Thanks to the national obsession with football, the cross of St George has finally been reclaimed from the racists. Nowadays, when you see an England flag on a car, sprawled across a T-shirt, or flapping from a novelty hat, you no longer assume the owner is a dot-brained xenophobe. Instead you assume he's just an idiot. And you're right. He is.

Brooker goes on to call this popular sporting of the English flag a 'berk demarcation scheme'. Arf arf.

And yes, before anyone says it, I know that my amusement here suggests a certain snobbery and condescension on my part. Very sorry about that. But please don't make this a class issue - I'm sure that this tendency to stick a flag on your car window and to display it on your chest is pretty evenly spread across the income scale. Goodness knows there are lots of England tops on York University campus at the moment which is not exactly known as a 'sink estate'.

Just one small niggle with Brooker's wording - these numbskulls are not always a 'he'. Plenty of women sporting them too. Patriotic idiocy's not the sole preserve of the male sex you know - although admittedly, they probably are the main offenders.

I'm taking a big step, this World Cup time. I'd usually support England, you know. I think, however, that I might just find myself able to leave that football nationalism stuff behind this time though. I found the experience of hoping for Daz Monkeyboy Shitface to do extremely badly at the Eurovision very, very easy - surprisingly so, perhaps (or then again, perhaps not, since the guy was such a tosser). I'm regarding that experience, now, as a useful warm up for the biggie. I'm prepared now, I think, not to support Beckham's lot. I think I shall support France or Spain - somewhere fairly hip and glamorous. I'm not really doing this out of principle - I've said before that the whole 'anyone but England as a tool of socialist politics' idea is completely laughable. I'm just doing it to annoy people. Sheer devilment. A few months ago I cheered when Poland (I think) scored in a friendly against England (I can't remember now - it was a foreign team against an English team - perhaps it wasn't the national side - doesn't matter) and really wound up two of my then housemates. Clearly, I'm going to be careful about this - it's probably best not to walk into a pub full of squaddies and shout 'allez la France!' However, a few well placed anti-patriotisms should provide some considerable source of amusement.

I'm going to need some steel though. I hope that some of my visitors here will keep checking up on me to ensure that I've not reverted to England-supportery. It might not be easy. I am weak.

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