Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense
We're right down to it, people. It's desperation time, when the front-runners try to consolidate and the laggers lash out manically to try and make some--any--kind of headway against the tide that has obviously turned against them.

It's electric. Can you feel it? It's 9 days to Election Day!

Woo! Woooooo! Wooo! Woooooooooooooooo!

What's that? No, not here. Obviously not here. In Britain. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 5th.

Yeah, come on, woooooo!

You don't seem as excited as I am. Don't tell me you hadn't heard.

Oh, I get what this is. It's the liberal media again trying to keep vital information out of the hands of voters. OK, not "voters" in our case generally, but still. Bastards!

I'm looking at my local paper and I can't believe the headlines that are getting play ahead of any coverage of the British elections.

-Michael Jackson's ex-wife to testify
-Wendy's chili-finger hoax difficult to prove
-13 hurt in bus fare protest [in Nicaragua]
-Experts say girls also on steroids
-Paris "Kiss" photo sells for $202,000
-Mom's corpse kept in freezer, man tells police
-Laundry done, sock match missing
-Poll: Americans don't give a shit about British elections

That last one is sort of telling I guess. My overall impression is wow, how the mighty have fallen. We spent our entire 2-year election cycle shoving our political system--something so flawed and embarrassing we really should keep to ourselves--down the world media's throat and what's Britain's answer? This tepid, invisible non-event.

I don't even know which candidate is the straight-talking no-nonsense outsider come to clean up London and which is the namby-pamby mealy-mouth terrorist-loving pussy. How am I supposed to know which side to support in a totally meaningless and symbolic way?

Is this really the same nation who just a century ago controlled half the globe? Can these be the people who gave the world representative democracy, institutional racism and boiled meat?

It's like once they ceded to America the seething resentment of all the world's brown people they just stopped trying.

I think it's telling that the only thing left interesting to the world press from Britain are moments of total irrelevance. Think about the last 15 news stories you heard from England, what were they about? Royals. Royals, royals, royals, royals, soccer riot, royals, royals... Their last piece of relevant world-wide PR was from Mad Cow disease.

This is a nation in desperate need of a makeover. As it is, I don't fear them at all, which is saying something for a country with nuclear weapons. I'm ready to re-fight the War of 1812 right now and settle that tie. The fact that I can call a war where our capital was captured and burned to the ground "a tie" without fear of being slapped down tells me all I need to know about Britain's standing in the world right now.

Luckily I have a couple of tips for our friends across the water:

1) Three weeks between the announcement of an election and the election itself? No no no, these things need at least eighteen months. How many wild charges and half-denials and counter-charges can you get in front of the voting public in three weeks? It takes, like, a week to put together just one of those TV spots where you show your opponent in grainy snuff-film black-and-white and subtly suggest that they are homosexuals.

2) Invade something. No, not on the coattails of another country either, I mean all on your own. It doesn't have to be anything dangerous or important, just so you get the flag out there in front of people, especially if it's painted on the side of a missile. Remember the Falklands? You can do it over any bullshit premise if you could do it over 3 miles of rock in the middle of the Atlantic populated by a dozen sheep back then. Explosions make great TV. Then your politicians can take turns arguing over who loves soldiers more and the world will care again. My suggestion: Scotland. That way you keep it local--to generate more interest from the electorate and provide the melodramatic storyline of a "civil war" to keep CNN viewers entertained. We love a good civil war. Plus there have to be a zillion phony-baloney pretexts for war with Scotland. We've all seen Braveheart. You've got 1,000 years of precedent to build on. Go to it.

3) Bribe some bloggers. I know it's a conflict of interest on my part, but I can be had at reasonable rates. Plus if you stick to American bloggers you don't have to worry about any sticky personal feeling getting in the way. Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, whatever. Like all the best whores, I'm complete without conscience or dignity, incapable of being embarrassed. Also it should be noted that a) I can name three British political parties and b) I remembered that "Labour" had a U in it. I'm just saying, if it's douwn to me and oune outher persoun...

I feel a little presumptuous telling this once-great nation how to market itself to the world, but come on. We've left it to you so far and what has it gotten you? You're even being ignored by BBC America. We Americans shoved our Kerry vs. Bush nonsense in your faces for a long, long time. Don't your people deserve some revenge?

I accept traveler's checks--sorry, cheques--as well.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.5



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