12 June 2006

Hating England

Mike Marqusee (yes, I wondered how to pronounce it too; it sounds like a name somebody made up while high on drugs) is a bitter old hippie who has lived in England for 35 years, but is avidly rooting for anyone but England to win the World Cup because in his paranoid little mind, an England victory will "...ignite an orgy of nationalistic celebration, which in present circumstances cannot be dismissed as harmless fun."

You have to wonder why someone with such a low opinion of England and the English would voluntarily choose to live there, although given his dope-addled retro-commie politics, it's safe to assume he hates his native America with an equal passion. But you also have to wonder just why it is that it's only the English who can't be trusted to have a healthy pride in their country and a sense of unbridled joy should it win the world's biggest sporting competition. Apparently he's not worried about a similar eruption of mindless nationalism should, say, Iran, or Togo, or South Korea, or the Ivory Coast wind up taking the top spot. Is this because he believes these countries to have more mature and sophisticated political cultures? And if so, why does he persist in living in what he clearly considers to be one of the world's most backward and hateful societies? Could it be yet another case of a superannuated adolescent bellowing, "I hate you, Dad, you're a fascist capitalist pig, now give me my allowance and drive me to the mall"? That's my guess. If you want to read him debating one of his commie friends over the pros and cons of supporting England, you can look here.

1 comment:

dan said...

Anyone who uses a phrase like "there’s an obvious logic in following the home side" quite clearly has little understanding of sport and its place in a national psyche, and even less business writing about it.
I think this guy is coming from the same self hating middle class liberal bullshit attitude that makes people think Stephin Merritt is a racist - exactly the kind of arrogant, wilfully closed thinking that is making it harder and harder for me to have as much truck with the left as I used to.
If England do win the World Cup (yeah, I know) there will indeed a nationalist outpouring, and you know what? It'll be brilliant. England represents the white, the black, the Asian and a multitude of ethnicities, and you'll see all of them represented dancing in the streets. For this fool to say it is a victory for white nationalism is, if I'm being charitable, a failure to get to grips with the nature of modern England, and, if I'm nasty, as patronisingly racist as the right wing are.