Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Muse

[T]his "ugly race," in his words, afflicted by an "earthbound pedantic spirituality" and "puce-faced, finger-jabbing, spittle-flecked politics," a people "impervious to fondness, sympathy or attraction" and susceptible to "a Pooterish yearning for a Fascist order."...

....the central thesis of his book — that anger is the defining characteristic of the English people — feels more like a contrarian conceit than an earnestly held belief. Gill never says what the English might be so angry about, never comes up with any good examples of their fury, never explains why the country's "default setting is anger: lapel-poking, Chinese-burning, ram-raiding, street-shouting, sniping, spitting, shoving, vengeful, inventive rage."

...The loss of empire "broke England's heart," Gill writes, "but it couldn't tell anyone": The English experienced "what everyone who has been dumped experiences — a cataclysmic, middle-aged stumble of self-confidence, and nostalgia came to the rescue."

..."It's a great English conceit that their past is written in granite, whilst pretty much everyone else's is written in sand," he declares. "Having lived this long with the English reverence for the gay pageant of time, I'm always astonished by how little the Europeans make of history and with what ease they will, and indeed can, discard the trappings and links to the past to make way for the convenience and comfort of the present. They seem so cavalier with it, so spendthrift. For the English, discarding the past is like spending capital. Eating seed corn. In England, changing the shape of a telephone box evokes a fury that might be justified by grave robbing."


  1. "Cooper asked Bachmann how she came up with the number.

    "These are the numbers that have been coming out in the press," Bachmann said.

    Actually it's a figure that came from just one source, a news agency in India, relying on an anonymous source. It was then repeated thousands more times in the blogosphere and over conservative airwaves."

    Since it's Oriental, I'm sure it's true, isn' t'it? And the 'anonymity' makes it even more convincing. Not to mention the fact that it was repeated in the bleugs so many times. Doesn't it make you feel that the internet is protecting Freedom of Speech? In tribute to this courageous Feminist Outspokenness, I am going to write a Hindupop Jingle called 'Bachmann Does Vishnu (and then Ganesh)'.

    I always thought people in Oklahoma were short-sighted. If they'd just left in the Stoning Young Married Couples by Their Own Families riders in the contract, nobody would have ever complained.

  2. Dear Ann Landers,

    Did you know that 'Pooter' is synonymous with 'Farter' in Alabamanpop?

    Thank you.

    Concerned Citizen.

  3. I find Caesar's opinion on the British more compelling - the ordinary people lack initiative, they sell themselves into slavery. What Gill does describe is the person addressed by most of the press. I don't know if this person ever exists in pure form, but they've done their best to will him, or her, into existence.

  4. their volumes of capital like "the library" room at Blake's in london...just spines, bookshelf is a cabinet door in which is cncealed the tv.

    i think these characters - fisher, power, hatehrley, play this part Giill has scripted for them. Gill has this central role in ODW in the chapter that basically copies an old kpunk blogpost; his tone and style is what they all strive to copy. But they're not witty actually. its so fomulaic. Orwell's politics and the english language has a lot to say about their academic and their "satiric/aphoristic" modes. clichés, muddled imagery, passive voice, lack of concreteness.