Wystan Mayes


The Unbearable Lightness Of Being British

Photo: Shimelle (cc)

The epithets attached to the Olympic opening ceremony piled up: eclectic, spectacular, monumental, shambolic, parochial, world-beating, hideous, embarrassing, filmic, and even inspiring. In its parts, the spectacle was all of these things because of the whole, which formed a gush of free-floating anxiety, a confession on a therapist’s couch.

Many commented on the ceremony’s focus on times past, in what viewers outside of Britain took as a flamboyant history lesson or, less charitably, as a statement of a country with no future. This was, however, no simple portrayal of past events, but a raid conducted to shore up a particular view that exists at this time; a malaise suffered here and now.

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The Luvilee Jubilee: underwhelmed by opposition to Her Majesty's Big Day

There was little surprise at Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, but that's probably the point. Dutifully present were the Queen, the rain, the warm beer and the National Health Service glasses and teeth (I can say this, I’m British) and, surreally, hundreds of photographic Queen masks handed out for free. Parts of the crowd looked like a monarchist V for Vendetta; R for Regina?

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The Dictator

Unless you've recently had a bag on your head to be specially renditioned, are related to murdered Israeli athletes, don't like lesbian kisses, cock, dildo or pussy jokes, and unless you think that cancer, torture, dwarves, Jews, Arabs, infanticide, paedophilia, prostitution, incest, rape, anti-Semitism, casual racism or misogyny are inappropriate subjects for jokes, then it really is hard to find that much to be offended by in The Dictator.

Except, maybe, the pinko-commie rant towards the end implying that the USA is as 'good' as a dictatorship. Shocking.

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