Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Freedom & The Star Spangled Idiots

So get this. No pants on the subway day - not sure if you heard about it or not, but on Sunday 10th January 2010 - yes 2010 people! - 3000 New Yorkers decided to ride the Subway to work without wearing pants.

Although I admire them for sticking two fingers up to the man and braving the cold, why do we feel that, as a social networking bunch of overactive apes, we need to prove how free we are all the time? I'm glad to report that only 30 Brits (a mere 1% of the yanks) managed it on the Underground's equivalent No Trousers on the Underground Day but that's probably half to do with the fact that only 1% of streets have been gritted well enough in the nation's capital, making leaving the bedsit a life-threatening activity. It would have been brilliant if hackers had managed to de-stabalise the English version back to the original Pants... and a handful of pasty Brits showed up unknowingly with their knackers and minges out before being carted off to Nonce Jail! Now that would've been worth getting a travelcard for!

Hang on, did I just write Nation's capital? I believe I did. And this is my point. Although I have nothing against America and Americans (in fact I have been to 20 states and lived in Massachussets for 3 months and found everyone very friendly), why do we feel the need to copy words and slang and other social conventions that they have reversed or changed from the original English language that was created right here in the first place? Is it ingrained into our brains. I was speaking to an American company on the phone and when asked for the date I immediately went into mm/dd/yyyy format to appease the lady on the other end of the line. But why are we copying them?

Our youths today, thanks to Twitter and Facebook and text messages are only using something like 800 proper words. I work in a further education college where all the kids talk like: Ah my days blad, it was so dry sick yeah, coz i was like right up in his face wid my bretheren yeah and my chinny reckon etc...and this is the understandable ones. Why are we talking like we are all from a downtrodden black American/Caribbean shanty community where drugs rool and the kids are kool, innit! I swear if I hear another teen refer to Fiddy (50 Cent, the awful rapper and over-generous father who took nine bullets before realising what he was doing might be affecting his kids) - or 33p as I like to call him - again this week, god help me, it could well be time for Columbine Part II. Next, they'll be telling me You's got bad body odor, bruv, what's wrong wiv u innit and check ver color ov ur trainers bladclat! Dat is Japes!

Ok, so America has The Wire and Mad Men and all that shit, but we have Fawlty Towers and irony and sarcasm and The Thick Of It and the proper original Office and nameless other sitcoms and comedians to be proud of. Plus we have about a fifth of the population! After all the negative press the US got in the Bush administration no one wanted to go near America with a barge pole, which goes to show what a job Barack Obama is doing now that people want back into American culture and a slice of the American dream, even if most of the time its unfounded or merely an escapist slice of television for example.

Like goldfish with a 4 second memory, or a smack addict in denial, today's celebrity obsessed youths pine for America and it's gold-paved streets without even knowing it. They are pumped full of socail networking, MTV videos and consumerism from birth as it is, America just amplifies it through Coca-Colanisation.

It's 2010, we've been partying like its 1999 for 11 years and today resembles what it would be like to attend a stranger's dark mass orgy on ketamine, but not the fun part. No, today resembles the morning after when you come to and the realisation dawns with the daylight that there's been an overnight blizzard and you are snowed in with the people you've just been carnal with and have to face a kind of civil ritual of breakfast awkwardness with not one, but twelve folk of all ages, sexes and creeds, for a whole day and as you were last in you have to clean the stains from the furniture with your newly manicured nails!

Our situation can be summed up in one political thought - although I don't agree with the media circus and money orientated election process in America, it does make you feel with Obama winning what can be done when people get together and believe in something. That it doesn't have to be all unemployment and drizzle and David Cameron and boring grey British politicians over-using their expense budgets.

People believe in Obama, in that happy endings stuff, but we don't do that very well in Britain. That's why more people were interested in the US election than our own and embarassingly more people voted for the first UK Big Brother final than the first General Election of this millennium! Put it this way, the US will always have Harry Connick Jr while we have to put up with Robbie fucking Williams pretending to be Harry Connick Jr. Soon indeed Pop Will Eat Itself!

I am going to end now as I am ranting, but American Democracy just seems to allow people to act freakish more freely. I am not against minority sports and I'm a bit of a nerd myself so always root for the underdog, I just can't help feel old and depressed by Brit's lack of communication these days and remembering tradition and where you're from and why that's important.

If we must be FREAKS of the new FREEDOM can't we do it our own way, our uniquely stiff upper lipped British board-game playing way? We need a Life of Brian character to step up to the plate. Or should we simply copy a nation that would sue itself for indecency if ever it could find out where it truly did live, because we can't be bothered to create our own reality! The answer as always is - just be yourself man and find your own path, hopefully people will follow!

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