Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Holidays in the Sun

Listening to: Dark Moon High Tide (Afro Celt Sound System)
Weather today: bright, sunny, cold
Let's go: on a rambling rant

I'm a great shouter at the telly. Mrs Pig "Farmer" has banned me from watching BBC Breakfast or any of the once-great corporation's news output - especially the weather forecast with that stupid, slanty map that makes Scotland look smaller than Basingstoke.

However, she's away on a two-week pre-Christmas visit to Porkscratchingsville, so I relished the chance to let The Beeb have both barrels. And did I find an appropriate victim? Not 'arf mate.

The woman was in her sixties, maybe a healthy seventysomething. She had glasses and a 'couldhavecomefromanywheresouthofWarwickalthoughnottheWestCountryobviously' accent. Daily Mail reader - I can sniff 'em out from miles away.

This dreadful harridan was looking down her nose at the world in general while complaining that her holiday to Thailand had been ruined by the blockade of Bangkok airport by anti-Government protesters - she got home a couple of days late.

What infuriated me was that she dismissed the protesters as "stupid children". Bloody hell, I thought people like that died out with the Raj.

I told her exactly what I thought and stomped off into the kitchen where an American bloke was whineing that he was going to miss Thanksgiving because of "some cock-a-mamey protest". I didn't know anyone other than saloon girls in 1930s Westerns said "cock-a-mamey". Several other interviews since have followed a similar vein.

I don't know about you, but I'm incredibly depressed by the arrogance and ignorance of "Westerners" whose pleasure and happiness has to come before all else.

We swan around the world like we own the bloody place, treating other people's homes like a theme park, making no effort to understand the countries and people we come into contact with, should we ever get our fat arses off the sunbed.

I don't know the details of the Thailand crisis, but it seems the government is more than a little dodgy, not especially keen on elections and many folk want to have the chance to choose between them and another bunch of crooks. We'll get to make a similar decision in a year or two.

Whether you agree with the argument or not, it's every human being's right to protest peacefully. The alternative is the nightmare of Mumbai.

In Britain - and, I suppose, much of Europe and America - we've been bought off. The majority have their gadgets and gizmos, their cars, their fridge-freezers, widescreen tellys, satellite dishes, reality TV shows, readymeals and, of course, our foreign holidays.

Since the Unions were emasculated by Thatcher and Labour abandoned the working people in favour of sucking up to the big corporations there has been little focus for protest by those other than zealots. The only recent example of British people protesting en-masse was when nearly a million people walked (very slowly) through London in an attempt to stop two religious fundamentalists declaring war on Iraq.

I was there with the not-yet Mrs Pig "Farmer". We knew it was pointless. Blair had his chain mail on and was ready to do battle with the heathen. In America, the neo-cons were salivating.

But we were there, we stood up, shuffled two or three miles and had our say, exactly as the folk in the yellow shirts are in Thailand. More power to their collective elbow, I say.

I'm sure if I'd got to Bangkok airport only to find I couldn't get anywhere near Starbucks, I'd had have been a bit peeved, but I hope I would have been broad-minded enough to tolerate a peaceful political statement by people from the country in which I had been a guest. Maybe I'd even have had the imagination to sit back and watch a little bit of history. Maybe.

What the hell does "cock-a-mamey" mean, anyway?


Ladybird World Mother said...

Bloody marvellous. Totally agree with every word, even cockawotsit... (dont know what it means either).
Us westerners are bloody arrogant. Shamefully so. Will come back and read this again when its not so late...
in the meantime... shout on. You do it so well!

Ginni said...

It's no wonder we're called "Ugly Americans"!

Well, it must be something x-rated!!! I tried to look it up on Dictionary dot com and all I got was a list of websites dedicated to singles..."Find a Man Now", etc.!! Then I tried Ask dot com and got the following message...

"Alert: Filtering has occurred which reduced direct exposure to sexually explicit content."

So you're on your own to figure out what it means!!

Lindsay said...

Yes, Malc, agreed. Saw the same newcast referring to the Thais as "children" and thought it awful. Our favourite prog used to be "Working Lunch" but has now been taken over by an oaf who referred to a guest financial adviser as "that woman over there". Where are our manners today?

Betty said...

Ah well, Daily Mail readers seem to live in a world where people are "outraged" by John Barrowman "exposing" himself on the, er, radio, and the fact that thousands of children's Christmases have been "ruined" because their parents were silly enough to fork out a hundred quid to visit some themed Lapland park that didn't live up to their CGI-fuelled expectations of what Christmas should be. Nice to see that some folks have the right priorities.

I, Like The View said...

I shouted at her as well!!!!!!

(dosy old twat. . .)

so did The Teen!!!!!!!!

great rant malc

(I don't shout at referrees during matches, but I'll bet you do. . .)

Murph said...


A pig farmer with a beef. Hear hear.

Rol said...

I agree with everything you wrote, but I do think 'cock-a-mamey' ought to be used more frequently. It ought to be made compulsory in fact. For everyone.

Geoff said...

Was it something to do with WC Fields?

Or was that the New Forest Lapland?

elizabethm said...

I was shouting at the condescending and astonishingly thick b**** down here too! Mindblowingly dim and arrogant and shut up in her little bubble of a world.
Don't get me started, or I'll cock a mamey.

Reg Pither said...

Are you all right? You seem a little tense. Too much hanging around at international airports?
You are, of course, right about Johnny Westerner. Then again, Low Slung Oriental can be a bit of a pain. The Russians are just as bad and don't mention the Africans. Europeans are not to be trusted, and I don't like southerners - nor northerners, for that matter.
Come to think of it, I don't like many people outside my town.....and now you mention it, there a few families in our street I can't stand. In fact, I bloody hate the couple next door!

(T Collier, aged 48).

iLL Man said...

It's that tiresome 'If it wasn't for my tourist dollars you'd all be living in mud huts' attitude.

Our inconvenience will not be tolerated!!!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

A mamey is an intimate part of a lady's body. Check inside your zipper and you will probably find the first half of the term in there though the chilly Orkney winds may cause shrinkage of said item.

Excellent thinking around the Bangkok Airport protest

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I hope you feel better for getting all that off your chest.

Malc said...

Thanks everyone for the nice things you've said - I'm always a bit wary about voicing strong opinions on a blog that's mostly about falling over and breaking things. Don't want to spoil 'the vibe' and all that.

'Cockamamie' comes from a mispronounciation of decalcomanie (pretty big mispronounciation). That was a French word borrowed during a 19th century craze for sticking decals all over the place. Hence cockamamie came to mean ridiculous or foolish.

This must be true - it's on the internet.

And Reg, Thelma-pet says I'm not allowed out until after Christmas.

Mig said...

I completely agree. Nice to hear it put so well - I just spluttered incoherently :)