Friday, September 23, 2011

Essert-Roman. Day 334 - I waffle on a bit more about the euro, the Palestinians, the Third World and then call it a day to prepare for la retour a casa (or something, you get the drift).

Essert-Romand, Haute-Savoie, France.
Last day of this holiday here in sunny Essert-Romand and, as usual, rather wishing it wasn’t. I think I might once try a three-week holiday. What with packing, hunting down tea-towels, chocolate with the town logo on it and other tourist tat, cleaning up the apartment - I’m buggered if I’m going to leave it looking like a tip - and other boring stuff, I rather think the last day was yesterday. Then there’s all the strategic eating - i.e. finishing off as much as the food as possible as fresh produce will have to be thrown away, and I hate wasting food (Catholic upbringing, see). Then, as it’s Friday, got to get the puzzles pages printed at work, alert Nicky, make any amends she spots, blah-blah, so it really would seem that yesterday was the last day. Tomorrow will be a bit of a rush as we have to get from here to Geneva airport by 9am at the latest, and what with all the bloody windy roads to start with, I have no idea how long the trip will last, and we don’t want to miss our plane. I suppose all this fraught whingeing is a sure sign the holiday is over. Heads down for Christmas now and most probably months of utter chaos as Britain yet again grinds to a halt by the unexpected arrival of some cold white stuff falling from the sky.

. . .

And the euro crap grinds on. Everyone knows what’s going to happen - ten years of Japan style stagflation at best, wall-to-wall repeats on TV at worst - so why, why, why, don’t they just bite the bloody bullet and we can all get on with swapping our austerity war stories. When the crash comes, the social fashionista will be at the insufferable worse, trying to outdo each other with how much money they have lost, how much harder life is for them now, even looks like they won’t be able to take a second foreign holiday this year, even thought of renting out the weekend place in Dorset, you know, it’s times such as these which make you realise quite how desperate life must be in the Third World. (Ironically, of course, the Third World is no longer the Third World and even using the term the Third World indicates that one is an out-of-touch, condescending dickhead. What was once the Third World is largely doing rather better than the First World, and as for the Second World, well they really must try a lot harder.)
I have no idea how this might affect me. I just keep my fingers crossed that my Mail shifts will carry on as usual until November 2014 because the alternative would be hitting the casual trail again in London or stacking shelves in Asda, and I have the stomach for neither. Bloody Greeks, bloody EU, bloody van Rompey or whatever the idiot’s name is, bloody EU cheerleaders. These past few years have been a blueprint for how to fuck up the lives of several million people while piously claiming their lives are being improved. At least if and when the EU evolves into something less smug and all-embracing we can start making stupid nationalistic jokes again, such as: Where’s the safest place to hide your money in France? Underneath the soap. Trouble is that that kind of Johnny Foreigner sentiment is hugely out of date. Still a good joke, mind. Made another yesterday when Mark and I spotted an obvious hire care with Swiss plates and an unmistakably German couple inside. Lost their way while looking for Poland, I remarked. OK, so not that good, but look, times is ’ard, squire, spare a few coppers for a cup of tea?

. . .

Don’t know how the whole ‘we want UN recognition’ thing will work out for the Palestinians, but I must say I am broadly in favour. And it’s not that I am anti Israel. In fact, so far quite the opposite. I have always admired how they stand up for themselves and refuse to take any shit and I have got into any number of arguments taking the side of Israel when, as usual, many trot out their somewhat hackneyed anti-Israel rhetoric (and I am still not convinced that lying just beneath the surface of much of there is not essentially a nasty and naked anti-semitism). And it doesn’t help that supporting the Palestinians has become the fashionable cause.
For example, looking for a neutral cartoon with which to illustrate this entry, I came across any number of rather vicious anti-Israel images and a great deal of ‘pity the poor oppressed Palestinians’, but the problem is just a damn sight more complex than that and it is thoroughly dishonest to pretend otherwise. But that doesn’t stop the fashionistas, many of whom give the impression they don’t have two brain cells to rub together, mindlessly following the latest trend, rather as to this day that image of Che Guevara, with the chap looking all peaceful and
gooey-eyed, ‘makes a statement’ about one’s politics and humanity. The only ‘statement’ it makes for me is that the wearer is ineffably naive.
The problem is that, like most countries, they are split into a left of centre and a right of centre, and the right of centre rather takes the piss what with building settlements where they have no right to build settlement. It is not easy to exist in that neck of the woods with fascists like Armadinejad behaving like some latter-day Hitler (although I suspect his days are rather numbered ruling a country where a vast majority of Iran’s people are under 30 and would rather be free than not. Now there’s a surprise). So Israel must realise that the time has come to give a little, that ‘negotiations’ must mean something, that they must come to some kind of workable solution, and the stragegy by the West Bank Palestinians at least might get things moving a little. The real problem, of course, is that the Palestinians themselves are split, and that there are many in the Middle East who simply want to see Israel wiped off the map, which I why broadly I’m more inclined to take Israel’s side. But I wish the Palestinians luck and perhaps in time sanity will prevail on both sides.

. . .

Unfortunately, it looks like the usual suspects for the knockout round of the rugby world cup, which might mean a consistently ,high standard of play, but coming late to the game (I used to dislike it intensely after having a miserable two years at school and identified that misery with the game. I still can’t English rugby - the pseudo-macho attitudes, the bonhomie and the a ‘real man’ crap, but I have warmed to the game. And for these past few years I have been supporting Italy in the six Nations and all the underdogs in the world cup. Yes, I know they didn’t have a hope in hell of going through to the next round, but . . . The United States held their own against Australia this morning and although the got a drubbing, they have nothing to be ashamed of and even scored a rather tasty try. But, as I say, it looks like the usual suspects going through.

. . .

If perhaps my comments about the Third World, Israel and Palestine and the two nationalistic jibes above has somehow pissed any of you off, let me re-assure you all that there is nothing I want more dearly than Peace On Earth and Tranquillity For All. Now fuck off and enjoy the rest of your day, and if I hear from any of you in the next few days there’ll be real trouble.

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