It’s Coming to Rome

This past month we have watched virtually all the football matches in the European Football Championships. Well, the kids and husband have in any case, I sit there and watch it half while doing other things. This coming Sunday the final will be upon us and it will be England versus Italy and I fervently hope for this outcome…

(I’ve been seeing this all over Twitter, can’t figure out the souce but I think it’s quite funny!)

I don’t think I’ve ever felt as big of an antipathy towards the English as I do right now, and in this instance most particularly towards the English football fans. The English have always had this island-superiority complex but in recent years (I think I can pinpoint it to the Brexit vote five years ago) the English have felt more and more myopic and arrogant, in the ugliest of ways. I know there are so very many decent English people out there but these past few years mostly the ugly English underbelly has been increasingly showing and that includes current British leadership. Now, with the football, my annoyance with the English is coming to a new boil.

The England fans booed the German and Danish national anthems before those matches started and then booed when the opposing team was at the ball. And just a few hours ago I read that during the penalty shot, during extra time play in the Denmark vs England match, someone shone a laser into goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s eye! He went on to do a wonderful save only to have the winning goal pass him on the rebound, but what the….? Is this really the way a host country treats their guests? This is so unsportsmanlike and so arrogant! Where is English politeness and decency?

In addition, there’s also this hysterical “It’s coming home” nonsense. The English have never won the European championships before and just because football was invented in England, it doesn’t mean that is the only true home of football. The aforementioned quite awesome Danish goalie Schmeichel had a nice answer to one such a nationlistic bullshit question an English reporter had…

I was watching some BBC morning TV before the match against Denmark and I got very tired very quickly of this whole “Coming home” business, making England seem like the centre of the universe. I’m boycotting BBC news and sports coverage until after this is all over.

Of course, every country displays pride in their country at events such as these but English nationalistic pride and arrogance are at such a high point in such a disrespectful way that it has just become insufferable to me. I don’t know how it is in other countries but on Dutch Twitter the annoyance with the English is apparent as well and I even hear it in some of the commentaries on TV even though they don’t actually say it (or if they do, I’m not around long enough to hear it).

It’s not so much that we are pro Italy winning this championship, it is much more that we are anti the English winning and it’s all about their arrogance. We were sad the Danes didn’t beat them (they were my faves for the title, although that never was realistic) and I so hope the English will get their butts kicked by Italy in the finals on Sunday and maybe find some humility again. No, I have no sympathy for English football fans, on the stands or at home, right now, they feel alien to me and I am feeling very disappointed that such attitudes can so easily thrive. So, go Italy! I secretly think most of Europe will be cheering for Italy. Brexit all over again.

(Little disclaimer: the English football team itself and their head coach, Gareth Southgate, do seem decent.)

69 thoughts on “It’s Coming to Rome

  1. Sadly the fans have always been like that and there has been booing at many matches these euros. By the way Schmeichel is the much loved and respected goal keeper of Leicester City so this was insider banter as he is well familiar with the silly coming home obsession. It’s I imagine a generally sadly accepted reality that England always has had probably some of the worst fans. But they are a minority. I’ve been indifferent to football much of my life, always felt rugby a much better game plaid by gents. However due to circumstances been watching premiere league for 2 years now. These players are genuinely some of the nicest chaps around as is their trainer. They deserve better fans and certainly don’t deserve the hate directed at them. Some are glad for the return of the public to the sport, I’m not do sure. I loved the Portuguese as they have some of my favourite players from the PL and the Italians are a lot of fun. Felt sorry for the Spanish and also the French. I loved the atmosphere in Rome and it’s interesting to watch some of the interaction between players and coaches who mostly respect each other and enjoy playing each other. People forget these players are often team mates or competitors in their clubs in which they spend more time than often with their national teams. I hope the azzuri and local boys can enjoy playing each other as they are both great teams with great team spirit and many common qualities and I hope the 2 coaches will enjoy it too as it is hard work. And I hope they will be able to enjoy playing good sport in spite of both fan and press hoo-ha. Just as a side note the England team have been booed every time by their own fans too because they stand for respect and against racism. Many of the team have been battling abuse for months, racist and otherwise. They have stayed level headed and firm so hope they can enjoy their hard work and sporting achievement. Ditto for the Azzuri who also didn’t start as favourites and hope both sets of players can forget about the noise and just enjoy the play.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Hari. Lots of football fans can be pretty bad, the Dutch too especially when playing Germany, but this year somehow it feels like the English are extra arrogant and terrible.

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      1. Well, I guess I shouldn’t speak for others, but I for one am surely not, after I read the things some fans said about the little crying girl in the German jersey.
        Schadenfreude after winning over an old rival is one thing, but calling an eleven year old upset girl ‘slut’ and other ‘nice’ things is another that I won’t forget easily.
        Like I wrote on Twitter before the match against Denmark: It was the first time in the last twenty years that I not rooted for the english team :/

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            1. True and im not trying to deflect from what was a disgusting thing to happen. I’m not sure how these people can be stopped, because they’re an absolute vile underbelly and realistically this type of person will always exist. I don’t watch football or have anything ro do with the sport, so I don’t know what steps are being taken to try and stop this type of behaviour.

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  2. Servetus

    I haven’t watched any of it this time (although I guess I could have, I don’t find soccer escapist and most of my TV watching atm is either informational or escapist). In general, I always want Germany to win (after being in Göttingen during the 1996 Euros and experiencing the party atmosphere). That said, I did not know most of these details and I agree they are horrible (notwithstanding that there’s always hooliganism around European soccer). This isn’t the picture we’re getting in the US, which has been more like this:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2021/07/euro-2020-england-patriotism/619382/

    what’s amazing to me is that author is IN London. I guess you can delude yourself about anything if you try hard enough.

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    1. Interesting, thanks!

      Earlier this evening I was talking on the phone with my brother who lives in London and we touched on the soccer and nationalism as well. He says he too wants Italy to win desperately, that English nationalism feels sickening to him. The Scots he works with in his office say the same. It’s great the team champions rainbow flags and BLM but what’s disgusting is that it’s all about how superior the British see themselves and how everything outside of Britain is something less. When he says he is European. he gets all this shit about how terrible Europe is and how the British don’t need anybody and it’s all modelled by BoJo. And yes, ever since Brexit this superiorty complex is worse. When other countries root for their teams there’s a joyousness to it and even self-criticism. The way the English support their team feels more like a battle, like they are fighting a war against the whole world, nothing is ever their own fault, it’s always the others who did it (again, very BoJo) and there’s just disrespect towards others reflected in all that. So, while the England team tries to model inclusiveness and dignity, it doesn’t seem to have sunk in with the masses that that also means respect for others, even your opponents. He hopes England falls flat on its nose on Sunday and learns some humility. And he too is avoiding TV: “All I watch these days is Netflix.”

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      1. Servetus

        Eons and eons ago I wrote a commentary on a scene in Spooks where Lucas (disguised as a motorcycle deliveryperson) encounters an American embassy guard.

        Ugly “American”? part 3: Anti-Americanism as plot element

        and I think about this post off and on. When I wrote it I was also commenting on my own difficulties in navigating British society as an American. The last time I was in London I barely interacted with anyone, let alone Londoners, but I have had a lot of interactions over the years where it was pretty clear I was being condescended to for being US-American. I don’t have a political problem with this (a lot of anti-Americanism is merited), but it is so annoying on a personal level. What I’ve been hearing from US friends who teach at English universities these last few years (and yes, this is in universities) is that the UK is sort of wearing its xenophobia (which was always there) with pride nowadays. I heard a long report on BBC yesterday on Priti Patel’s proposals for asylum policy reform and had that same reaction. The Tories can count on doing what they like because they have all the illiberal social segments lined up behind them, no matter the class. (Again, not throwing stones because G-d knows the US does not have its own immigration policy in order.)

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        1. our Prime Minister was trained by the same guy who trained Trump-Steve Bannon. He’s given BJ the same text book to work from on how to appeal to the simple minded xenophobes who listen only to simple quotes and vote out of fear. Under educate the masses so they are incapable of thinking for themselves. None of my personal friends here in the UK are xenophobic or racist, but then again I tend to hang around with hippys and alternative types.

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          1. Servetus

            Stepping out on thin ice: is racism / xenophobia an individual trait (I am racist) or a social trait (my society is racist) and what is the overlap between the two? It’s easy for me to point fingers at people whose politics I can’t stand and feel good about myself on that basis, but harder to confront the problem that I live in and support the context that created those people.

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            1. i’m not in anyway expert on any of this , i just know that the UK’s unpleasant aspects have been emboldened and this blunt outspoken nastiness is terrifying to me. Nationalism is no good for any country

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              1. Agreed! It’s one thing to like your country and support it. It’s another thing to demean others and build a superiority complex without any reflection or self-criticism.

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            2. I think that generally racism is taught, intentionally or unintentionally, and therefore a social trait that becomes a personal one unless you counter it.

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              1. Agreed but just because there are some who denigrate others doesn’t mean all English think they are superior. Same in US the appalling lack of attention to COVID last year did Trump in ( thank goodness) and there is still a massive divide in US but not everyone feels superior to others. I wasn’t thrilled about Biden but Trump needed to be ousted and Biden was the only ticket in town

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              2. I never said all English think they are surperior, I even said in the post “I know there are so very many decent English people out there” and I even consider myself a bit of an Anglophile. My point is that what is emamating from England right now from football fans but also from the media and other people in the public eye and from the government is arrogant and sickening. I mean, even what Gareth Southgate said about the match against Germany, referencing WWII (!!) (quoted elsewhere in the comments here) is offensive and the sad thing is that he doesn’t see that and there seems little criticism, it is all ingrained,
                So, yes, I am fully aware that not all English denigrate others but right now all I feel coming is arrogance. So, I hope they’ll lose and find some humility and self-deprecation again, something I am sorely missing.

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      1. Servetus

        Interesting. I wonder what people here think. Most of my soccer-loving friends are German historians and lit professors, and they have a love / hate relationship with the Azzuri.

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        1. It’s not so much that everyone loves the Azzuri (I barely know them and wouldn’t otherwise really care), it’s just that many are set against the other team.

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          1. Servetus

            Yeah, it turns into a “who do you dislike less” problem. My impression is that people admire individual Italian stars but not necessarily the time as a whole.

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    2. It’s not untrue actually in terms of who yhe team represents and what they stand for though I have a much more pessimistic view about the present. I think it’s idealistic to think this is a new instant national identity given you represents us. However the team certainly represents younger generations and different thinking. It’s why they have antagonised some of their older fans..if we can call them fans. The young generations are very different and it is so important they have role models like this. It’s absolutely true that there wouldn’t have been free school meals this period without Marcus Rashford, for example. And Harry Kane is an amazing role model, including for younger players in the team, who themselves are great models for people of their generation. Like Bukayo Saka and others. It’s not to-be underestimated how important it is the team stand for what they stand and openly so. There is hope, even if its for future generations and sadly less for our present. The reality is not just Johnson and his ilk, there is a lot more to it. And not all bad

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      1. apologies again for the typos, autocorrect always trips me up when i try to type on the run in between chores 😦 meant to say ‘who represents us’ and ‘it’s for future generations’

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      2. Servetus

        There was another column in The Atlantic yesterday where the author pretty much emphasized the stuff you mentioned in your original post up above, i.e., he’s not rooting for England but he’s rooting for the team:

        https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2021/07/american-supporting-england-euro-2020-final/619402/

        and yes, kudos to the English national authorities for supporting the team’s progressiveness. (Horrible contrasting example: the way the NFL in the US addressed Colin Kaepernick and the “take a knee” protestors. Also, much more tension there because it’s not clear that the white players are anywhere near as on board on the issue as the POC players. In the NFL switched course [only slightly] because they realize that they have an image problem with the younger generation.)

        That said — I keep reading these demographic numbers (also for the US) about how politics will change just because the people who support these horrible politicians and political stances are starting to die off in large numbers. I hope that’s true but I’m not optimistic, just because I saw how many of my students in the last years were personally progressive but didn’t see any connection between that and their political choices.

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    3. He might not be totally wrong but he also might a bit too optimistic about this.
      After reading this quote from Southgate today I am surely not:

      And now I am self censoring otherwise I might write something I’ll later regret

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      1. Servetus

        WOW. Just wow. Why didn’t he just record himself singing “Two World Wars and a World Cup”? That article seems so innocent but if you read it from a German perspective, mein G-tt. It’s disturbing to me that (a) people say stuff like that and (b) people think it and (c) people think other people think it. I mean, the people who personally remember the Blitz in England today (if you say they were at least ten when the war started) are all at least in their 90s now. If people are still resentful of that, it’s because people like Southgate cultivate that feeling. The Euros are not an invasion by the Germans or anyone else.

        Interesting that he played in that 1996 German / England match. So really, he could have said he felt like this win was personal revenge. Wouldn’t have sounded great either but would have been a touch less jingoistic.

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        1. Tell me about it 😦
          And yes, I really would have understood if he said the win over the German team gave him some closure and a triumphant feeling, but what he said insteed is incomprehensible to me.
          I guess this shows a fundamental difference in world view and how to process the past between British who think like that and me

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          1. Servetus

            It also has something to do with who won the war, IMO, and the fact that WWII appeared from outside Germany to be both a war of unprovoked aggression and the occasion for a genocide. I’m sure I’ve told you that my German ex-SO said when he was a teen and West Germany was in a tournament they yelled “Bundesrepublik” and not “Deutschland.” Really until reunification the thrust of West German education and political discourse was to avoid anything that looked like nationalism, in public, at least. It was just too dangerous. In fact, I remember my university international politics lecturer being opposed to reunification in 1989 on the ground that German nationalism would tear Europe apart. He survived the war as a (Dutch) teen and came to the US in 1945 as an exchange student. But clearly the worries that gave rise to the EU were still alive in the late 80s. It’s a shame that we haven’t learned anything in the interval.

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            1. I remember those fears of 1989, it was quite strong here in The Netherlands as has been the antipathy against Germans in soccer which was sickening in my country at the time too. I think nowadays it’s better and there is far less anti German sentiment but there hasn’t been a high profile NL – Germany match for a while now so I wonder what will happen if that happens again.

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  3. These people are not representative of the UK ,but obviously they’re being broadcast around the world as such. Especially as they’re the England team…so they def dont represent Wales or Scotland.

    And yes, half the fans hate the England team because they took the knee for BLM and wear pride. I think a large proportion of football fans voted Brexit. That event emboldened the racists and has allowed our ‘teetering on fascist’ government to do all sorts.

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        1. Exactly a few shouldn’t be indicative of a whole nation. That’s part of the problem when a few rotten apples are made examples that a whole nation “acts the same way” and feeling superior or elitist to others is extremely narrow minded and bad.

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          1. It’s more than just a few rotten apples. Brexit didn’t come from nowhere, neither did BoJo and neither does this current arrogance. Luckily many people are not this myopic but at the same time also very many people are and they have the loudest voices right now.

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            1. But when you say you have antipathy ( a very very strong negative word imo) toward the English right now I mean RIchard is English and I highly doubt he feels the way these football fans feel and yeah Brexit sucked but many were against Brexit. I just think lumping The English sounds all inclusive and unfair
              It’s the same in the US Trump made many Americans vehemently disliked overseas but we all aren’t bad and I wouldn’t want to be lumped in with his views as representing all Americans. What if someone wrote lumping in the Dutch as fascists that would be unfair to so many who don’t believe right thing beliefs.
              Loudest voices if you feed into that
              And I greatly appreciate being able to voice here instead of being shut down elsewhere 😘❤️

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              1. Let me just says this: before 2016 this sort of stuff was not coming out of mainstream England and now it is and yes, I think it does deserve such a strong word as antipathy.
                Same goes for the US under Trump. Since Trump the worldview on the US has plummeted and the world has seen the large downsides to America. It doesn’t mean that I am not aware that there are many very good Americans or English out there – two of my closest friends are Americans, my niece is English – but it does leave me with a very bitter taste in the mouth. As for Richard, I don’t know what he really feels on issues such as these so I can’t judge him either way on it. I feel I can be critical of The English and what’s emanating from there right now and at the same time I can also love English people who aren’t like this.
                And believe me, if the Dutch were to mainly send us this kind of message I would be the first in line to condemn my country for bringing that forth.

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              2. Oh US was sliding into a huge abyss under Trump so I agree that the world view of Americans is pretty crappy. I was shaking in my shoes last November if Trump would have won re election and ironically has he not botched Covid response so much he probably would have been re elected . And I know you are an Anglophile as am I. 😘❤️

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    1. I also feel sad that a nice team who stand for the right things gets the hate because of the gingoistic and vocal minority… as with Brexit I guess it never affects those who cause it,but those who didn’t. The players really don’t deserve the backlash.

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    2. Oh, believe me, I know they are not respresentative of all the UK and I know there are many dissenting voices as well. I’d include yours as well. 🙂 But ever since Brexit it does seem to be the loudest voice coming out of England right now, with Boris Johnson leading the parade and the Daily Mail underbelly of British society is emboldened to join this.

      Just interested (but you may not know if you don’t follow it): have you heard anyone in the British media condemn fan behaviour? Because all I saw was everyone waxing lyrical but no ounce of self-criticism. I haven’t watched or read recently, though.

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      1. I think regarding MSM its mostly run by right leaning owners like Murdoch who are xenophobic and enjoy stoking the fires of racism. The left paper Guardian only have reported on the fines for the shitty behaviour -maybe frightened of being accused of hating their country? Again today a story about how some close government ally tried to block a senior appointment to the country’s BBC because he felt the government wouldn’t like her. I mean even Richard’s ‘chum’ Simon McCoy joined the crappy right wing news broadcaster GB News!

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        1. Ew!
          And that’s also the whole problem – being critical is being equated with hating your country and that is such nonsense! It’s quite telling to me as well that very little criticism feels or is possible.

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  4. Servetus

    re: Anglophilia, BritBox subscriptions were on sale this week (40% off the annual subscription) and I bought one. So I’m still supporting the BBC, anyway. LOL. I binged “Nigellissima” last night and was sort of bemused by her. I’m not sure all those recipes actually work the way she says they do. And what’s the deal with retreating to the rear of the set so we can barely see her when she is ready to eat her creations? Is it shameful to eat things in full view of the camera?

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    1. I never watch Nigella (or any cooking show for that matter) so I wouldn’t know.
      And we still do watch BBC here as well. 🙂 The women’s doubles finals in Wimbledon now (which is why it’s taking me forever to read and reply to all these comments).

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    2. there used to be a bit more honesty in some sense about society, to a point. But at lot has to do with education and historical tropes and myths being perpetrated and repeated, eg ‘winning the war’, historical sense of ‘greatness’, lack of understanding and appreciation for the contribution of immigrants to society. This is what many people have grown up with and it has only very recently started to change, sadly in an atmosphere not very conducive to level headed public debate 😦 But that is also part of the problem, lack of attention and care for social progress, lack of investment in underprivileged and discriminated parts of society is not just recent sadly. As an outsider to education about history here, or almost, i was always surprised by how often WW2 got mentioned. I think it’s only with the sad anniversary of WW1 actually that people have started to change their historic views of wars in general. Ie Focus has shifted from dates and who won to how it impacted generations, how incredibly, unbelievably awful conflict is and how the young died. I think while education on science here may have evolved tremendously, history and other areas probably lag behind a lot. The same stuff has probably been taught since yonks to kids who have changed loads since. It’s interesting to hear from kids today in interviews how little they feel what is being taught represents them or is relevant to them.

      I always wondered why society was so uncritical of the past, coming from a non-conquering country, that kind of celebrating of history is a bit alien to me as i never manged to see it as positive. But i’ve seen the same stupid kind of nationalism raise its ugly head there too. But i am no historian so i don’t know if the time from ww2 for example is in historical terms enough for change and progress to happen or does it really only happen when things come to a head. Does any society evolve naturally for the good without major conflicts? Do we progress nicely on our own or are forced to change?
      One thing that does worry me is the increasingly violent tone of conversations, there used to be more openness about debate, but maybe it was also because subjects weren’t as controversial.

      I just hope that the younger generation who seem more independent and free thinking will not be burdened by all the historical baggage.

      As to the press here i don’t know, not many people i know read much press to be honest, nor form their opinions based on any press, don’t think the ones who live in my block of flats pick up any newspapers whatsoever. Don’t think many think it representative, though maybe it is of certain segments, or indeed a fair representation of society or opinion. Football fans are know for their appalling behaviour, well, many of them. Alcohol only makes it worse. Most people who don’t have season tickets avoid anything to do with it or don’t go anywhere near public places on match days because you know what you can expect. Lockdown has made things worse, sad but interesting police data shows that easing of lockdown has resulted in knife crime and violence going up. Bottled instincts combined with alcohol being let loose? I am sure there is also an element of that.
      I also wondered why football more than any other sport attracts this kind of behaviour? I don’t see a reason in the sport itself to be honest. There is some of it around rugby sometimes too, to a much lesser degree and games between the nations here always have a nasty element to it.

      In some unfortunate way it was the perfect storm as well, post Brexit, post lockdowns, although not true – for some people feeling like post pandemic, it amplifies and makes things both better and worse.
      I guess it’s a good learning experiment as well, in case anyone wondered how it feels to be disliked, hated, lumped in without a choice in the matter, in case anyone wondered how discrimination feels, it’s like this, but probably worse as it’s daily for many people.

      I do think things are changing, but i am worried about what i feel is an ever increased potential for violence, and the pandemic has only worsened the risk in my opinion as it’s dug out and brought in the open the worst of problems and differences. I find myself thinking quite often if this is how wars start… And i wonder about what else we’ll live in our lifetime through, with climate change already increasing tensions as well due to impact on the poorest and most disadvantaged.

      I look at young generations and to me it feels like they are better than us, but what world they inherit is difficult and i wonder if they can make it better or we’ll ruin it for them completely. And also S had a very good point about society and current political systems alienating them to the point where they just don’t engage? I look at Parliament here or gvmt and i just don’t see how young people could ever feel represented by any of it… But will they vote to change it or have they given up on the system completely…

      Anyway, it’s tough times, this is my home now and as an immigrant i guess i will always struggle with where i belong and communism had forever ruined ‘patriotism’ for me. Not sure i believe in something like that anyway, not sure it is necessary or relevant. Compassionate society is i guess more my thing. We’re still reeling from Brexit, i love the places i know and lived in and people from so many sides of the country, i love the specifics and foods,the gardens and so many other things, i still find it hard to wrap my head around the politics and the people i see on a daily basis, in London especially, but also round the country. The whole tireless volunteering efforts behind the vaccination did a lot towards healing some level of faith in people.

      Maybe it’s why so many people connected with the football team and their young players, because we needed to see something positive, some hope? And i am talking here mainly about the millions not usual football fans who got drawn into it. Unfortunately it’s likely to have given the pandemic an extra boost and it feels as if politics, the worst of people end up tainting anything remotely good. Troubling times and i do wonder if in my lifetime i’ll get a chance to see things turn for the better…

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      1. Thank you for all of this, Hari!

        And to quote you: “a lot has to do with education and historical tropes and myths being perpetrated and repeated, eg ‘winning the war’, historical sense of ‘greatness’, lack of understanding and appreciation for the contribution of immigrants to society. This is what many people have grown up with and it has only very recently started to change, sadly in an atmosphere not very conducive to level headed public debate.” -> This is what my husband and I also say to each other regarding what we see of history teaching in the UK – at least that which comes to the BBC (and especially Mr E watches a lot of British history programmes but also in other programmes where stuff like ‘we’ve never been invaded’ is also said – and not true as it happened in 1066 and also by William of Orange at the end of the 17th century: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_England#Invasion_of_England).

        The divide between rich and poor, educated and un-educated seems to be growing and that is never a good thing.

        And I’m with you on the partriotism as well which seems to stand in the way of the compassionate society you wish for (and I wish for as well).

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        1. Servetus

          WWII is a sacred cow in the US, too (although in a different way than in England). And of course, now in the US we’re debating the use of “critical race theory” in schools — a non-problem — so that certain political elements can express their resistance to the possibility that anything in US history might be somewhat less than laudable.

          I was more of a patriot until I lived in México.

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    3. LOL.. but honestly the freelancers and creatives which have had a truly rough ride this past year and continue to struggle thank you loads, after AMC takes it’s share etc something will trickle down and who knows, the future may be with international audiences since a big proportion of our local one is not very happy with us in current times.

      More seriously i need to check what they makes available on it, i sometimes worry it’s a candy box version of Anglophilia we maybe selling, though i know it isn’t in terms of the broad spectrum of everything we make and broadcast. But i don’t know if the documentaries or grittier stuff makes it to wider audiences. It’s not escapist, sadly, but a better representation of the whole, which makes it no less interesting i feel. Take the recent Time (prison drama, Sean Bean), lots of hospital docs or things like A House through time (historian David Olusoga. Time is still on my to do, haven’t been able to carve out.. time and i couldn’t face it just now. But if you do get a chance do watch House through time, loved it and i think you’d enjoy it too. Actually any programmes with David Olusoga.

      There was also a fascinating programme with Alice Roberts, anthropologist, about new findings regarding Stonehenge.

      Nigella, LOL.. yes, her recipes actually totally do work, i’ve made quite a few cakes of hers, usually delish and a few savouries, in search of varying our menu a bit. But hers is more lifestyle than cooking show, though the recipes are really nice (loads for free on her website, measures in cups as well as metric). And yeah, eating still a guilty pleasure for women.. sigh. Less in her more recent series. I watch them in total escapism, pretty sets, pretty house, pretty everything 😉
      If you want to try some recipes with a twist try Nadiya Hussain baking and cooking programmes, scrumptious and calorific 🙂 And she really makes me smile.
      Rick Stein (older bloke, really good cook, specialises on fish) did a recent series on Cornwall, which might be on it too, fingers crossed. Nice escapist watch too, we all ended up getting his home delivery boxes after watching, which were delicious and really good value for a lockdown treat.

      Lockdown and this last year has been dominated by food.

      Like

      1. Servetus

        Would not have survived the Trump years without the BBC (both radio news broadcast on NPR and on the BBC World News cable channel, which we still got although for some reason we lost BBCA). As far as I can tell we would never get any news about stuff that happened o/s the US-Europe without the BBC.

        From what I can tell, Britbox is very “candy box.” Although interestingly the PMQs are on there. But they post Good Morning UK, EAstEnders, Coronation Street and a few other things daily. Then stuff cycles on and off monthly. There’s a lot of British crime / mystery, a lot of period drama, a lot of Shakespeare. A ton of stuff about the Windsors (which I don’t mind — I will watch any of that stuff. I just watched a docu on HM’s cameraman.) Some history although mostly 16th and 20th centuries. A few cooking shows. A lot about gardens (yawn) and castles (interesting to me, anyway). Also a whole comedy section, of which little appeals (I am on a different wave length than British humor).

        Nigella: I had seen one of her cookbooks at some point and thought it was not bad, but I’m just not thrilled with this series. She seems to fundamentally ignore some basic rules of cooking (like she doesn’t salt her meat; she seems overall extremely worried about salt; or frying things in cold oil — I mean, ick). But she is very charming. I don’t bake very often. Although now that i have that KitchenAid mixer and can take it out of the box ….

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Heh heh, ‘It’s Coming to Rome’! I don’t like football but I hope Italy wins. I don’t see myself as English, or even British, but European and beyond. This jingoism is sickening and what infuriates me is that our news is dominated by English and US current affairs, we hear practically nothing about our closer mainland Europe unless it is major news.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Pingback: Italy’s having a good year – The Book of Esther

  7. aradaghast

    Tomorrow France celebrates its National Day, in honor of the Republic: public holiday, military parade on the Champs-Elizées, fireworks, balls … outbursts of violence in the suburbs and town centers …
    The revolution was marked by the execution of the royalists, who remembers the heads of the aristocrats brandished at the top of peaks …
    No one has to envy all these excesses of patriotism … Today remains the dream of a symbol of national unity, while the population is divided …
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storming_of_the_Bastille

    Liked by 3 people

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