Tuesday, 7 August 2012


The greatest show on earth continues.

Sport/Commerce. Spectacle/Commerce. Flag-waving/Commerce.

National anthems boom out. Flags are unfurled. Laps of honour are delivered, with national flags draped over exhausted limbs. Tears are shed.

Morrissey, angst-hero singer, formerly with The Smiths,  is not happy.

I am unable to watch the Olympics due to the blustering jingoism that drenches the event. Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism?

Morrissey decries such jingoism.

jingoism: noun: [mass noun] chiefly derogatory; extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy.

Morrissey is pretty miserable about the English royal family too.

As London is suddenly promoted as a super-wealth brand, the England outside London shivers beneath cutbacks, tight circumstances and economic disasters. Meanwhile, the British media present 24-hour coverage of the 'dazzling royals', laughing as they lavishly spend, as if such coverage is certain to make British society feel fully whole.

Is it possible to make a society 'feel fully whole'  in the fractured social environment we experience today? What does Morrissey mean by the phrase 'fully whole?' 

Is it, as some might suggest, pop-culture egotistical claptrap?

Morrissey is not alone in miserableness. The left-leaning English patriot is joined in his miserableness by the right-wing mainstream media who decry certain British medal winners as 'Plastic Brits'. Not authentic or true. Instances: Mo Farrah and Jessica Ennis.

The race for the heart of Britain continues. Athletes from Northern Ireland, competing within Team GB, have to cope with being invisible in the team name and most of the media coverage. They appear to be de facto competing for England, Scotland and Wales.

Is it the case that post-imperialistic nations always manifest these forms of self-loathing?

'Look, we won loads of medals! Aren't we dreadful?'

Or has Morrissey touched a nerve? Apart from the obvious triumph of individual effort by athletes, is the spectacle that is the modern Jing-o-lympics one large, fat and sugar-filled doughnut with a gaping hole in the middle where meaning on the human scale might be?

Meanwhile floods devastate Manila, war rages in Syria and 11 000 private sector jobs (initially supported by public money, no doubt) disappear in Northern Ireland.

Heaven knows I'm miserable now. As Morrissey says.

Oxford On-line Dictionaries
Morrissey quotations: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/

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