the Disillusioned kid
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Sunday, June 13, 2004

It's that time again. Yet another major international football tournament has come around and those of us with no interest in football are supposed to get very excited and express our otherwise subdued patriotism openly. The mass hysteria that always accompanies such events is mildly interesting from a sociological perspective, but otherwise just plain irritating.

The proliferation of St George's flags is the most obvious and thus most irritating expression of this phenomenon. If they were any good, it wouldn't be so bad, but most of them, particularly those seemingly attached to every other car, are just tacky. A subconscious comment on the English nation perhaps? When I went to Denmark, most of the buses were adorned with small Danish flags, but they at least were good quality and looked kind of classy, we apparently can only stretch to bargain basement tack.

It could be worse I suppose. This is not depressing in the same way that the collective obsequiousness that accompanied the death of the Queen Mother and the Jubilee was. Additionally I do think that there is such a thing as an English nation (although I wouldn't care to try and define it), as opposed to the artificial creation that is Britishness. The latter in my opinion being little more than a justification for the ongoing domination of the other British nations by the English. Nonetheless acknowledging the existence of the English nation and thinking we should parade around glorying in St George's flags and our supposed national greatness are two very different things.

Perhaps I wouldn't be so bothered by the whole thing if it was around a genuinely exciting sport. The Rugby World Cup was genuinely entertaining and watching the final in the window of an electronics shop with a large crowd of shoppers was a real experience. Alternatively it's possible I'm just getting bitter in my old age...

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