The lapsed writer: a typical rant.
“Here’s what I am asking you. How much longer can Northern Europe go on ignoring the fact that it’s populace are the most miserable on earth, especially the English? I mean look at the statistics for the English, young male suicide, fourth highest in Europe and on the up, we have the second highest level of illiteracy in Europe, our drinking and drug use is a massive public health issue, the only reason death from cirrhosis isn’t the major killer is because we eat ourselves to death first……” the lapsed writer pauses to sip from his pint of Vodka and lime and drag at the spliff. “There were fourteen thousand facial injuries treated as a result of pub glassings in 2002, let’s not even bother factoring in the number of incidences of ABH not to mention the slaps, punches, kicks and butts doled out among the populace, the broken noses, the blackened eyes…..then there’s the soaring violent crime and crime in general. When we’re not paused on the brink of suicide we’re trying to kill each other while drinking ourselves into an early grave. People talk about America, you know. Imagine if we had guns. Our statistics would be a fucking lot higher, it would be a bloodbath every Friday and Saturday night. Conclusion, we’re a deeply self-destructive people, a nation of violent, suicidal imbeciles. We really are still the barbarians at the fucking gate. Contrast North with South. Suicide rates in Portugal, Spain Greece and Italy, nowhere near the wealthiest or most ‘developed’ of our continental cousins are infinitesimal, the post-pub violence syndrome so well known to we lucky Brits is virtually non-existent there, Saturday night in Casualty anywhere in the UK is a scene from fucking Breughal’s worst nightmare, Saturday night in Italy, they’re empty."
" Culture, you’ll parrot, Kuture, Kultcha, Kkkulchahhhh you’ll dribble from your cosseted, apologists’ lips, self-styled Kulcha Vulcha that you are! Our great Victory, our great Compensation. We have such a rich Kulcha for such a tiny island etc, etc. And I’ll say: commodities, were rich in, Art, yeah, but let’s not misuse the term. Culture doesn’t exist, if, by Culture we mean, let’s take a standard definition, "an accepted set of inherited beliefs and perceptions used by people under similar circumstances to live with one another", then I’d say that the French, for example, through a rigorous policing, or a tending, if you prefer a less judgmental term, certainly have a culture, have managed to maintain one. Look at their cinema, say what you like about it,” he shrugs into a half sneer, gallic whimsy tickling his top lip, “whether it’s “Base Moi” or “le Jour se Leve” its fundamental subject is Frenchness, the nation, its meaning and its failings. France is a country which has reflected upon itself, refined itself, it sees itself in unified, historically coherent terms, as a world project, one highly reflective possibility for, and expression of social and cultural organization. This gives them problems with a conservative, racist Right. But that exists because of Culture, not due to a lack of it, right?”
“Now, England, the English, Englishness. We don’t even have war guilt to shame us all, we don’t even have Hitler looming over our lives, at least the Germans have the shared burden of war guilt. Like a big, social petri-dish, we had Kulchas, for a while. But Subkulchas need to have a dominant Kulcha to react too, we no longer have one, not even a folk tradition, no broadly acceptable cultural form, musical primarily, that connects us. What have we got? Morris Dacing? May Day’s what? An extra day's drinking. St George’s day. When is it?
“We are completely historically adrift and de-cultured.What we’re supposed to feel pleased about is our Multiculturism. Look, look, you say, pointing at our high levels and long history of immigration. Were a multicultural society. We’re not. Were not ‘a shared system of ’etc woven from the threads of many cultures, because were incapable of determining, through fear of seeming culturally prescriptive, what should be utilized and abandoned in all the different cultures we ‘embrace’. Female circumcision, is that good or bad, Mr and Ms Multiculturist. That clit, metaphorically speaking, is a thorn in your liberal side. But don’t worry, as has been remarked, Capitalism breaks up traditional culture and replaces it with self-definition through consumption and lifestyle. So, depending on how recent our immigrants are and how ‘Cultured-up’ we have either a thoroughly deracinated series of Style choices to replace problematic, deeply defining Cultural attributes, or we have a hardcore of marginalized, unassimilated culturally oppositional, unrepresented and ghettoized “aliens”. We have something, but, multiculturism…? We’re Post-cultural. That has its pro’s and cons but let’s be clear about terms. We don’t have a culture and were not multi-cultural either, were an ethnically diverse high consumer society. We’re the place where cultures die and become consumption.”