Is that a good way to start a blog entry? A bit too personal? Not personal enough? I don't know - this is my first post. I just hope that we can work things through, and maybe - just maybe - I can write for you without fear of rotten vegetables. If we try our best at this relationship, I'm sure you'll find plenty of reasons to not hate me. For one, I aren't a gypsy.
Yes, that last bit is what I told my last girlfriend when she dumped me.
That got your attention, huh? Well, let me be the first to welcome you all to the blog of 'The Public Unintellectuals'. This is the first in a series of posts that I have logically opted to call 'Top of the News'. If you, like me have a Google Mail account, and also like me, have spent many countless minutes waiting for that all important email from your boss/soon-to-be-boss/lover/ex-lover/et al. then you know what I'm talking about... Yes, when one has no mail, Google prompts us thusly:
"No new mail! There's always Google News if you're looking for something to read."
Gee, thanks! Just what I always needed when I'm anxiously awaiting an important message; some depressing news about cancer's incurability and omnipresence, or babies dying in explosions of genocide all over Africa. However, for you humble reader, I am willing to brave these depressing subjects - and many more. The idea, as you shall see, is that every week I will check Google News for the top story they want to tell me, and then I shall discuss the matter at hand with all of you - taking of course, my personal spin on it. And yes, by 'discuss' I do mean ignore any of you who would agree with Caowin. Additionally yes; that does include you yourself Caowin.
Where was I? Ah yes, discussing the Romany people. For those of you who don't know, these are the folks that people refer to by many derogatory names - 'Gypsies', 'Pikeys', and 'Orcs'. Yeah, I don't actually know anyone who calls these proud people 'Orcs', but I'm sure that such people exist, particularly in the Middle Earth community from whence the people of this Essex community must hale. This week's 'Top of the News' is in response to a piece from The Guardian UK News section about the recent eviction of 'Travellers' from the Dale Farm. Hopefully, this one will be more exciting than your run-of-the-mill eviction, and involve at least two pitched battles between the forces of ultimate good and evil - though reports are yet to confirm or deny this possible outcome.
Fingers crossed, eh?
Now first thing's first, all, I'm going to level with you. I don't know the whole of this issue, and I probably won't do so on most of these 'Top of the News' articles, but I am familiar with the situation. Heck, anyone who has spent some time in the UK knows what I mean. We Britons don't like these vagrant folk, do we? I use only the word 'we' with some considerable shame, because the two figures I most associate with gypsy-hating are:
Do people who make jokes about Nazis still go to Hell?
Would you eat any cookie that this man offered you?
Didn't think so.
Both of these gentlemen have hilarious mustaches, but only one of them is in fact hilarious. And no, I am not referring to the one that is Adolf Hitler. Hot Fuzz is a great action/comedy/anti-xenophobia/Gloucestershire film.
Yes, I know... Given an infinite time frame and infinite morons on the internet, the accusation that one's enemy is a Nazi is inevitable in any forum of discussion on the World Wide Web. I, however, don't have infinite time, nor do I have infinite stupidity, so I am just going to start there as a preemptive strike. Buuuut... Let's get this issue personal too - after all they can't really be Nazis, can they?
"I am disappointed it [eviction day] has arrived, but I am very clear in my conscience that we are doing the right thing because it is a breach of criminal law."
So, you're just following orders then, are you, Mr. Tony Ball? That name already sounds suspiciously fascist (in a closeted homosexual/American Beauty sort of way). But maybe this was just a slip of his tongue. What else did he say?
That's nice, Mr. Ball, and I'm sure the families will really appreciate it. But why worry about this, when you can just "keep on moving them until they find a proper site".
"Tony Ball said Basildon ... could "absolutely not" accommodate the 52 families that will be forced to leave Dale Farm."
Like a crematorium? Or a mass grave?
But this is not just some sort of National-Socialist-bashing post inspired by my current time spent in Germany. Au contraire, this is an England-bashing post written from the safety of Germany. It's not your racism/classism either - it's the fact that you refuse to acknowledge that you're as bad as the Americans you so love to bash. They hate Mexicans, you hate 'Poles' (which is your cutesy way of saying 'anyone who comes from further east than Denmark'). In America, we want to build a wall and kick them out; in the UK you just want to keep moving them on, hoping they become somebody else's problem instead of yours.
Please, will you learn (pretty please) that England sucks about as hard as the U.S.? Yeah, you make better chocolate and T.V., but you also don't know anything about hamburgers. Okay, we elected Bush twice, but you elected Tony Blair twice, put up with his un-elected successor for a couple years, and now have a joint government that NOBODY voted for. Actually, that sounds a lot like a dictatorship to me. A Nazi dictatorship? Perhaps.
"Yes, yes... It will all make perfect sense soon.
That's what the re-education camps are for."
I sure hope you all don't think I'm some sort of liberal Devil or something. It's not that I have any particular dislike for the right wing, or any sort of affinity for either socialists or having people living in caravans in my back yard - all I really want is a little equality. Equality between the people-who-want-to-live-where-we-don't and ourselves in England, and equality between those people-who-want-to-do-the-jobs-that-no-one-else-does and the U.S. public, and most importantly between England and the U.S.
After all, we're not so different, are we? We all enjoy a bit of George Orwell in our spare time. We just don't all take it as handy political advice.
You really aren't.
If you've been affected by any of the themes discussed today, then the odds are that you're either a conservative (in which case you'll be about to sue me regardless), or you're living in a caravan without (most likely without wifi), please leave a comment, and we can discuss over virtual biscuits and tea.
What's that? That last statement was slightly offensive towards the very people that I've been defending in this article (the Gypsies, for those of you who lost track)? I know. Isn't moral ambiguity amazing? I don't know whether the Romany are in the right, and I don't know if the 'Fed's' laws are fair, but I do know that both groups are rich resources of comedy - especially when they interact.
Keeping you, as always, cushioned within the impenetrable grey fog of news,
Y. S. Rice
Article discussed above:
Pictures are hot-linked and lead to the websites from which they derive. No, I can't really say whether the sites themselves are any good, interesting, or relevant to this article. Why don't you find out for yourselves?