Is it me that’s nuts or them?

WARNING!!!! There is swearing in this post. Actually, thinking about it, if you are offended by swearing what on earth are you doing here on my potty-mouthed blog? No but seriously, there is swearing, so please don’t read this if effing and blinding (and ranting) offends you.

Right, if all the non-swearers have left, on we go.

Rant mode activated.

Lately, I’ve been slightly worried that I might, perhaps, be going nuts. Perhaps it’s just the mean spirited horrid climate of the EU referendum that’s making me feel out of sorts. After all, while the folks voting leave are not all racist, you can bet all the racists will be voting leave. And then you get Farage with his smug bull frog grin and his ‘At Breaking’ Point’ poster aimed at brown people. I know I shouldn’t single him out but it’s so hard not to. Well, Mr Farage, Boris and co, if you look you’ll find most of us have been immigrants at some point including, very possibly, you own forebears. My uncle has been tracing my family tree and it turns out my family has a blood characteristic that is singular to North African blood. I look as white and middle class as they come and I can prove at least 1,000 years of residence in the UK but even so, it turns out I’m secretly brown. Which just goes to show what a load of shite it all is.

Farage allegedly has Huguenot antecedents, Boris German was it? but European for deffo (cf Who Do You Think You Are) and possibly this chap although I got that off Facebook so it’s probably lies since Facebook has wiped it from my timeline!

Boris JohnsonBut we have, Farage’s antecedents, clearly asylum seekers fleeing persecution if they were Huguenots, Boris’ German, as far as I recall, was an economic migrant. So both of them get to be here because our forefathers were a little more kindly disposed to their antecedents, when fleeing persecution, or moving to a place of better prospects, than he and his ilk are to others in the same position, now.

How ironic.

Looking at historic precedent, at what happened last time the economy went as far down the lav as this last recession, is quite a worry. Yeh, the crash of the 1920s… the world economy died on its arse what did we get? Facism, not to start with, but over a period of a few years, creeping in through people playing the race and hate card to get power. Playing the blame card to explain how things were, blaming brown people or ethnic minorities or people of a different faith rather than the handful of rich people who actually cocked it up. And what are we getting now? The exact same thing. Even though we’ve seen it all before and we know it’s bollocks and that fascism doesn’t work.

The whole racist thing does make me feel a bit … well … sick. Because the only difference is place of birth and melanin in the skin and because somewhere way back my umpteen times great grandfather was one these darker-skinned outcasts. Yes peps, I’m secretly coloured! If aliens exist, small wonder they won’t touch us with a barge pole. We’re poison; a bunch of complete and utter scum. The whole human race.

Someone shared a great post on Facebook the other day about how wonderful the 2012 London Olympics were, how great they made us feel our country was as we celebrated it in all it’s different diversity. How I wish we could somehow reset to that, before the hate-fest of the last election, the Scottish in/out referendum which was fought, as far as I could tell, entirely on an attempt to ignite a nationwide loathing of the English, and the EU referendum. Because we seem to have lost that. The climate in this country seems less than pleasant right now. And after some years without incident I seem to be encountering it on the streets of mild mannered Bury St Edmunds, where everyone is usually polite. This last week I feel as if I’ve run into arsey aggressive males every which way I turn. Worse, I seem to be as grumpy as the best of them.

Earlier this week, I was riding my bike down a street in town that is two way for bikes and one way for cars. Some knobend in a car coming the other way piled past me mouthing what was clearly obscenities, going by the hand gestures. Obviously the moron thought I was going the wrong way down a one way street because he was too much of a blind bastard to notice the signs telling him otherwise. What surprised me was my reaction. I mean, I gave him the bird, obviously because he had got it wrong and was behaving like a total fucktard but I also chased him, in his car, on my bike.

20160614_092206

To be fair, bikes tend to go faster than cars at that time of the morning and I just wanted to knock on his window and make some crushingly sarcastic remark themed around the concept of him borrowing my spectacles to read the big sign at the bottom of the street. I now have a picture of it on my phone to show to the next idiot – it does happen regularly but they are usually more polite.ย  I almost caught up with him but the traffic was moving more freely than usual so he escaped my withering scorn. Bad that.

Then yesterday, I was riding my bike along a quiet back street in Bury to collect McMini from school. There’s a part where the road narrows and as I reached it a car came up behind me. It was a blue mini – the new try hard version rather than the original 60s icon – and it was full of young men, except to call them ‘young men’ is inaccurate because, unfortunately they were more like a group of symbiotic molluscs with a single shared brain cell… only they were less brainy than that. And they were clearly drunk as well. They had the window open and the music on loud and they were shouting leerily. It wasn’t 100% intelligible but I got enough to understand what I’m pretty certain was, ‘Get out of the fucking way you fucking bag.’ Of course, the way the driver was leaning on the hooter was fairly indicative.

When I got through the thin bit they came piling past me. Oh how I wish I’d had the presence of mind to ride very slowly along the middle of the road up to the junction, but then, that would have made me a wanker. They roared past shouting at me – not sure what it just came out as noise but plenty of f word in it – and obviously, standard procedure, I gave them the bird. A few yards ahead was a friend walking along the pavement to collect her grandson from the school.

‘Did that just happen?’ I asked her as I passed.
‘We should report them,’ she said.
‘Yeh, I think they’re drunk,’ I replied and I rode on.

Richard Cheese (Dick to his mates) driving the mini sped up to the junction went over the crossroads without stopping and then got stuck behind another car which was parking. Again, numpty features lent on the hooter. Seriously, these guys were such a bunch of monumental dick splashes it was incredible. The other car carried on doing what it was doing because it was being driven by an old man, slowly. Knob features in his mini hooted more. Old man in car hooted back – good for him. I could hear them shouting at him as I approached.

And then I was alongside them. Waiting for the old fellah to move too. And their window was open and before I knew it I was giving them a piece of my mind except that, unfortunately, all that was in there was the one fingered salute and the word ‘wanker’. So there I am leaning down to the window shouting, ‘wankers, wankers you bunch of fucking wankers’ in a kind of sing song football chanty-tastic kind of way… with a bit of the aaaaaaargh from the ‘woooooooooah your shit aaaaaaaa’ thing that everyone does when the goalie for the opposing team takes a goal kick.

I mean what?

Where, exactly, has calm, mild-mannered MTM has gone? I’m still very level-headed in a crisis but time was, if someone was aggressive and unpleasant to me, I could stay cool and acerbic. Now, I seem to have lost my capacity for intelligent thought, the red mist descends straight away, hulk smash is the go-to setting, and I seem unable to think or act with any clarity or sense and behave … well … like them. I mean, the obvious thing to say was something along the lines of ‘blimey lads, which one of you is having the baby or is this not a mercy dash.’ Because they were the kind of guys who find any suggestion of womanhood way, way more insulting than being sworn at and it would have been a light hearted way of getting the point across that they were behaving like morons. At the very least I should have told them their car was really too rubbish for them to get away with driving like that or that they’d better stop shouting because the braincell they were sharing probably couldn’t do that, keep them all breathing and allow the bloke at the wheel to drive without accident. But no. Although I confess, shouting the simple wanker line in their faces was very cathartic.

They sped away and I could hear them hooting and shouting at every other car, pedestrian and bicycle that got in their way, or even vaguely near them, while they drove through the streets of the mediaeval town as if they were in a high speed police chase with the blummin’ Sweeny on their tail.

It was only when I got to school to collect McMini that I realised England were playing Wales that afternoon and kick off was at 3 o’clock. Clearly they’d been down the pub, got a bit slammed and decided they’d better drive home for the game – possibly, in their defence, because they didn’t want to drive home after watching it in the pub when they were even more rat-arsed.

I love football, but I found myself hoping England lost, just to really piss off all the people like that Mini full of plankton, not to mention the tossers who stood round at Calais throwing money at refugee children and mounted running battles with Russian fans – yeh, I don’t care who threw the first punch, it is possible to be a man and walk away. As for taunting little children about the same age as my lad? Really? They’re all on video. So, can we close the borders please and not let them back, because they don’t deserve to live here.

In defence of my own behaviour, I know my personal circumstances might contribute, I’m stressed, there’s no doubt about that. I am trying to be mother to a small child and dutiful daughter to elderly infirm parents both of whom suffer memory loss. My parents need my help running their lives – mainly the finances – but they are able to do just enough on their own bat to make it really hard for me to keep things on an even keel. I have so much to remember that my brains seems to have gone on strike and refuses to remember anything, which means every tiny task I try to do is frustratingly slow. Each time I try to organise my son’s birthday party, for example, I have to start at dot and read up what I’ve done and where I’ve got to. In short, I suspect my pissedoff-o-meter is very close to the red zone at all times. Times are hard, a lot of folks have money worries, maybe their pissedoff-o-meters are under the same stress as mine. Maybe.

But whatever’s causing it the mood in the nation, and the world, seems to be ugly.

To have two of the kind of events I would consider reasonably unusual within days of each other – well OK the one way thing isn’t, nobody sees that ruddy sign but they’re usually less rude – has shaken my confidence a little. It’s left me wondering if we’re all sick. If I’m sick.

The sooner this referendum is over the better. Doubtless there’ll be enough racist bigots voting leave for Murdoch to get his way and the leave vote to stick. But frankly, I like being in Europe. I like the idea of trading with the people around us rather than the ‘ally’ which happily buried this country – its government knowing full well what it was doing – with lend lease. If Europe seems dominated by France and Germany it’s because we didn’t effing join in at the start, when they did, even if it was Winston Churchill’s idea – and yes, I know; DeGaulle, tosspot, veto yada yada. It’s true that, for a while after that, we couldn’t. But we can now. If we choose to. Or we can turn our backs. Isolate ourselves and watch our economy go even further down the lavvy, like it has been the last couple of weeks as the world fears leave will win only oh so many times worse. Like sub prime was a pic-nic.

Personally, I like diversity, I like different peoples and cultures and sexualities and cuisines. Diverse societies are vibrant and thriving and full of ideas. I’d happily swap the arsehats in that mini for some economic migrants from the Calais camps any day of the week. I bet I know which group would contribute more to our society. Not all gay/muslim/brown people are bad. Not all hetro/’Christian’ (they’re not)/white people are good. It’s more complicated than that. Shitheads come in many different colours. Why would we turn our backs on some of the people geographically and culturally closest to us? It’s crazy.

Rant mode off.

Ah that’s better, and hey, whadda you know? I didn’t mention hell or hand carts once. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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19 Comments

Filed under General Wittering

19 responses to “Is it me that’s nuts or them?

  1. Awesome rant and I agree with every single word, even if I learned a few new ones (arsehat is definitely going in my next book!)

  2. You are responding perfectly normally to a completely crazy situation. I know I am seriously stressed by all the hate flying about, mostly fuelled by bigoted racists who will have us in a fascist state before you can say Nigel Farage (and certainly before you can wash your mouth out afterwards). I only hope that I will wake up on Friday morning and find it’s all been a bad dream, and the Scots and Welsh and Northern Irish will have prevailed and kept us in Europe, where we belong. Heck, even the Germans are asking us not to leave.
    I could continue my own rant about the waste of my entire career if we leave, but that would just be even more depressing and possibly have me in tears. Then I’d need a drink, and I’ve got to drive to Coventry this afternoon… I hope people are nice there.

  3. I totally worry about your lack of comprehension as to the damage that rapid immigration can cause- In past times our migration across the globe has damaged and destroyed many societies, and now the reverse is happening. Yes, we need progress and a humane movement of people. We also need to have time to adjust and assimilate. Why is it so evil to have fears about the Communities total lack of control over it’s borders? Your attacks on the leave leaders are disingenuous. The health of society is more important than the welfare of the individual.

    • There is no evil in fearing the effect of a big influx of people, but reacting to that fear by demonising incomers and encouraging others to do likewise is far more disengenious than someone pointing out the irony of the fact that your great grandparents were immigrants, themselves. I’m sure it was different then, and of course, it looks it, because with the benefit of hindsight, the right and wrong of these things is so much more clear cut. But a while back – I wish I could find it – there was an article circulating about immigration on the internet, about how foreigners were getting into the country, often illegally, and they were being persecuted at home or were very poor but even so, there wasn’t the infrastructure for them in Britain and they really should be rounded up and sent back.

      Sound familiar?

      Yeh but it was about Jews escaping from Nazi Germany. To us now, the wrong and right of that epoch in history look very clear cut, but back then it wasn’t.

      Take the story of one person’s forebears on Who Do You Think You Are – I know junk telly but it’s pertinent.

      They were tracing a lady’s two aunts. One lived with her husband in Vichy France and got to Switzerland after the war to love. The other married a paediatrician in Poland. The lady in Poland survived the Warsaw Ghetto but lost her husband and children. She had no family and nothing left for her in Poland. Most of her friends and relatives there had died in the camps. She tried to get a visa to live in Switzerland with her sister. She was given one to visit for 6 months. While there, she applied for a visa to stay. It was refused. 24 hours before she was due to leave to go back to Poland, she took her brother in law’s hunting gun, walked out into the woods and killed herself.

      As a human being, naturally, I find myself asking how it was that the Swiss authorities could be so callous as to deny this woman, who had been through so much, the chance of spending the rest of her life with her remaining family, her only family, the only people she cared about.

      Personally, I think the humane thing would be to let her stay. What’s your view? Well … if you’re with serious curbs on immigration, I’m guessing you’d be with the Swiss authorities on this one. They acted absolutely properly. She could contribute nothing to their society – except perhaps help with the child care. But women didn’t work much in those days so it was irrelevant as it wouldn’t make any difference to the couple she was lodging with. She was just another mouth for Switzerland to feed, another body for their doctors to treat. Laudable decision, but was it a humane decision? What was the right thing to do there, as a human being?

      Also, of course, what is ‘British’ culture. Some of our words are Viking, many are, indeed, Anglo Saxon, a smattering are Gaelic, but the vast majority are Roman or Norman, we have many German customs which we regard as British, French was our national language for at least 200 years; we are, already, a hodgepodge.

      Doubtless the Normans – which were probably the last intensive wave of immigration – destroyed a lot of our cultural heritage, mind you, so did the Black Death, and Cromwell, Jeez he wouldn’t even let people sing. Like it was in Myanmar. It was only Chaucer, 200 years after the Normans, who gave us a collective English language. So we probably had a different culture in every town and village, to an extent a lot of those were lost, which is bad, because we lost a lot of the things that make us different. But on the up side, we found a lot of things that make us the same and realised how much in common we have with one another, we gradually stopped killing each other and learned to live together, sort of.

      I suppose I have difficulty with the immigration thing because for every freeloader, I see a whole host of other people from other countries who are willing to work harder than we do, for longer hours and less money, willingly and cheerfully. I see people in distress, who need our help and who have the potential to achieve great things if they are given the chance. I see the parallels with the last wave, because I’m a historian and that’s what I do.

      I don’t want to lose British culture, but to me British culture is respect, fair play, democracy, equality, decency, self depreciating humour and an ability to poke fun at ourselves, sharp wit, a little satirical cynicism, self awareness, compassion and kindness towards our fellow humans. British culture is in our hearts. I see Britsh Culture, at its best, as a baseline for human decency. And if we, as a nation, act differently to that standard, I see that as the same cultural erosion which you mention.

      Sure, there are people who will take the mickey out of our goodwill but for every freeloader gaming the system there are people in need, deserving people, educated, intelligent people who want to contribute to society. Not to mention the fact that we have some of the finest minds in the world working in Britain at the moment, making huge contributions at the cutting edge of science and technology – yes McOther is a technology lawyer so I get to meet them sometimes – and our economy would suffer a great deal if these people had to leave the country or if it was more difficult for them to come to work or study here. They’d go to the States the way they always used to, or the Far East ๐Ÿ˜‰

      There’s no easy answer. I think it’s probably just down to perspective.

      Cheers

      MTM

  4. Honey, if you’re nuts, I’m nits with you. I’m reblogging this, awesome post! ๐Ÿ˜€ xx

  5. Nuts not nits…shesh, my typing is SO bad! Great post honey, couldn’t agree more. ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

  6. Reblogged this on Sophie E Tallis and commented:
    Brilliant post by MT McGuire that perfectly captures how I’ve been feeling during this divisive and toxic EU referendum. xx

  7. Tall blue-eyed blonde here – and I adored my dark-skinned very Mexican gentleman grandfather, Papa Memo.

    We’re all brothers and sisters (unless you think you miraculously descended from a DIFFERENT group of apes turning human), or cousins, genetically, and just look different. All the way back to the first of those humans, and all this is so very ridiculous.

    Good rant, btw.

    For your convenience (and I think it was in the New York Times, but I’ve used up my 10 free articles for the month), quoted in ThePassiveVoice.com recently:

    โ€œR. Douglas Fields, a neurobiologist in his 50s, wonโ€™t hesitate to lock a pickpocket into a deadly chokehold in the middle of the street. Heโ€™s done it before.
    โ€ฆ
    Fields outlines the nine primary triggers of the human rage circuit and puts them into the handy mnemonic LIFEMORTS: Life-or-death situation, Insult, Family, Environment, Mate, Order in society, Resources, Tribe and Stopped (being restrained or cornered).โ€

    Me, being a writer, saved the list. And the attribution – so I don’t plagiarize.

  8. I can’t pretend to know the intricacies of what is happening in your country. I’ve followed the stay-or-leave EU debate somewhat, but since I don’t live in the UK, I won’t venture to offer my opinion on it. I can, however, relate to the toxicity and hate-filled environment you speak of. In the US, we have Trump and his supporters drumming up racism, hatred, and anti-immigration sentiments. My own child has been directly affected by the anti-Islamic nastiness, and was tormented by a peer and called a “terrorist: because of his name. I’m sickened by the amount of ugliness I’ve seen, and it’s bound to get worse before the elections in November.

    • Yeh, I think it’s possibly the double whammy of Trump which has made this one harder to take. I find it really difficult to understand how he has any women voters either? I mean he’s putting himself across as a complete misogynist. I’m petrified that we’ll leave and end up on our own with no-one to partner with in trade but Trump. Very scary.

  9. Gosh, girl – why do we bother to quote Churchill and Shakespeare when you write such hallowed things as “Shitheads come in many different colours”? Plus you made me laugh.
    But it does seem true that people are both more pissed off today and more likely to let it boil over in public. What is it about current generations who never went to war or lived in fear of it, whose standard of living is generally higher than that of our parents and grandparents, and who have greater freedoms in many ways? Why do we, the most privileged generations, get so angry, and in public?
    It’s as if social media and Trump-supporters combined have given everyone the gall they need to say the worst things to others.To quote an unknown writer of times past, in the Toronto Star’s letters to the editor section: “I’m shocked and appalled!”

  10. I used to write longer essays and enjoyed almost stream of consciousness hee, M. I have a grandson who is 1/4 black, I have multiple friends who are diverse in origin. It is a shame what happened to the Brits (you) and EU. I feel Trump will ruin US over here.
    Maybe a desert island, huh?! Home sweet home. . .

    • Here’s fingers crossed that you guys see the shit we’re in, see sense and refuse to elect him. Do you know a Trump in British slang is a fart. I just thought that might amuse you!

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Cheers

      MTM

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