Well, we’re out of the World Cup. Seriously, though, did you actually think we were going to win it? There was a lot of “we believe” bollocks going around the various social media sites I’m chained to, but no-one giving it the big ’un ever seemed to carry any conviction in their pseudo-optimistic state. For me, the World Cup isn’t even an anti-climax. For a climax, you need some sort of build-up first, but not for one second did I think we’d ever do well, even though qualification was easy. I don’t think many of you believed we’d actually win it, did you?
I’m not going to talk about football, the goal that never was, the shit vuvuzelas or any of the crap which, at the moment, is taking up more internet space than hardcore midget superporn, which in my opinion, is the real tragedy. What I want to talk about is a line I think was uttered by the legendry Alan Shearer after the drubbing the Germans gave us: “Where was the English spirit?”
That had me stumped.
And it wasn’t where the spirit was which had me scratching my head. No, I didn’t have a clue as to what “English Spirit” actually was. So I went on the internet.
And when I’d looked at all the hardcore midget superporn that was available I decided to investigate the question at hand. English spirit, as everyone except me knows, is based around the spirit of the British Bulldog. These dogs always seem to be sitting on their arses, breathing heavily, not doing much, without jobs. It makes sense. However, this isn’t the intention. The British spirit refers to dogged resilience; our determined spirit, noble and pure; taking on any adversary, whatever the odds, for the greater good…as shown by the British Bulldog…an…erm…genetic freak of inbreeding.
What makes this nation great? What do we do better than anyone else in the world?
We are not out ancestors. We did not fight them on the beaches. We did not win the World Cup. We did not win the World War. We are not those heroes (with few exceptions).
Winston Churchill really did come up with some blinding quotes.“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.”
However, this is something I can only appreciate as a fiction writer. In my mind, I can invent a character who would hear this quote and be inspired to walk into Hell, and keep on going. But what could Mark Jackman have used this inspiration for in his thirty years of life?
My battle for good GCSEs and Al-levels? My personal war: finding a graduate job after university?
What will winning these battles do for me? Maybe I’ll be able to buy a four-bedroom house instead of a three-bedroom house, or drive an Audi instead of a Toyota. Does it matter? Does it really fucking matter?
I had a good start in life, I know I did. My parents were from post-war working class backgrounds, but they worked damned hard and made it possible for me to go to university. Poverty is a controversial issue, but how many in this country are truly poor? How many families don’t have a high-def telly sitting in the front room? How many of us don’t have a car to drive to work or to take to the drive-thru? What is the definition of poor? Having a Playstation 2 instead of a Playstation 3? We’re fighting for broadband in every household, not fighting to put food on the table. The government is tightening the belts of non-working Britain, but, financially, compared to the families of post-war Britain, it is still possible to live a very comfortable life without ever having to work a day for it.
We are lucky enough to have a number of remarkable people born onto these fair shores. I don’t know anyone who isn’t proud of our armed forces, the best in the world. Unfortunately, that’s only 0.4 % of the population (including volunteers). There are some amazing individuals who have fought the odds, confronted illness and battled for their lives, but this is valid for any country in the world, and doesn’t make us stand out. What I’m saying is, apart from a select few, we are not a nation of fighters any longer. The British Bulldog spirit is nothing more that a relic of a bygone age.
So when it comes down to it, what are we except a memory of past glories? What do we do best?
Well apart from brew the best beer in the world, I’d say we have the best sense of humour by a country mile. We are the most sarcastic, annoyingly funny people on the planet. We can deal with any loss with cutting wit and a devilish grin to match. We can be smug because we’ve lost, safe in the knowledge that our newspapers will come up with a devastatingly hilarious pun the next day. I love the way we deal with being crap. Personally, I find the ultra-competitive as irritating as the ultra-lazy. I find them to be one-dimensional, obsessed with winning over anything else. In Australia, you’re a no-one if you’re not a king or queen of the sports field, and as for the Yanks, they learn from an early age that percentages below 110 are only in place for “pussies.”
The Yanks do it so well, though don’t they?
We love losing and we love losers. The English don’t really want Andy Murray to win Wimbledon. 97% of us want him to lose because he is a prick, and the remaining 3% are middle aged housewives, going through the menopause on Henman Hill, and they don’t really want him to win either. Why? Because we love to lose and blame everyone else for our sportsmen and women choking when it comes to the crunch. We love to back the underdog so they can be trounced into the floor, without hesitation or without mercy, so that just maybe we can see an ounce of that British Bulldog spirit…
We’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t. Throughout this post, on one hand I condemned us for being a nation of losers and on the other I stated that I hate the ultra-competitive. I’m a hypocrite and I’m the first to admit it, but so are most of us. We could transform this nation into an army of never say die, 110%, humourless winners of mass destruction. Or, we can accept what we’ve become, a nation of lazy fucks who take the piss out of the French. I there a middle ground? We don’t do that badly in sport, perhaps we’ve found it.
To me, one man sums up Great Britain fighting spirit, our sporting prowess and British fighting spirit. One man, who wasn’t afraid to stand up, have a bloody go and not give a flying fuck if he won, lost or died.
Fly Eddie, is what I say. Fly Eddie Fly.
Did it matter that the olympic committee thought he was a disgrace to the sport? Yeah, it sort of does.
So there we have it. Joe Public no longer has the need to fight for the right to live as free men, or to parrrrtttttttaaaayyy, and that has to be a good thing. Faced with the hardships of our grandparents, etc, I’d take an early exit from the World Cup whilst watching it on my plasma TV, beer in hand, with hardcore midget superporn a click away, any day. Winning is not part of our culture, as it is in other countries, and now, sport is so ultra-competitive that to be the best, one needs to give their life to the cause. We constantly look to the past for inspiration, but somehow we don’t find it, and that is qute tragic when we consider where the true meaning of British spirit comes from.
Maybe we need to look at what other countries do if we truly want to be a nation of sporting champions….
The Yanks really do it well, don’t they?
Fuck being funny. Man, now I’m yearning for the eye of the tiger and not the foot of a donkey and the cock of a shrew. Marilyn Monroe said “If you can make a girl laugh – you can make her do anything.”
Biggest pile of bollocks I’ve ever heard.