Sunday, 22 April 2007

For life is quite absurd

I'm English. I'm also the sort of person who finds nationalism a really uncomfortable subject, so much so that I find it hard to write 'I'm proud of being English'. It's more or less an accident of birth, so - why is proud the relevant emotion? (1)

But with St George's day on the horizon, the subject's on my mind.

It's going to be on my doorstep tomorrow, with the events being laid on in Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden, and it's probably stupid that I'd be much more enthusiastic about a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and a Coconut Orchestra world record attempt if it *wasn't* associated with St George's and Being English TM.

That said, if they're still taking registrations when I finish work, I might have to go join in. There's something very pleasing about the public foregrounding of something so patently ridiculous, silly, and fun. Way to undercut the bombast of nationalism!

In other news, the silent film screenings at The Globe in honour of Shakespeare's birthday also sound good.

(1) In fact, I most identify as British rather than English, and nationality is a fair way down my self-definition list. Being English only really impinges when I'm being ashamed of of English people being spectacularly stupid, violent, and/or drunk, and I have to actively remember that most of the time the St George's flag being flown/worn/displayed has less to do with violent nationalism and more to do with, say, supporting a sports team.

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