1AM and Sober: Insomnia strikes!

When I was a kid (far too long ago) I and my compatriots watched a lot of TV. TV back then wasn’t as slick as it is now, but it wasn’t as bloated either, and they made some very good programs of all stripes, be it drama, documentary, or Comedy: Ask anyone that has seen the ITV documentary series “The World At War”, or laughed themselves to death watching “The Goodies” (which happened, by the way!). And this was in the days when BBC didn’t broadcast before noon (except during party conferences and the TUC conference), and all TV stations shut down by 11PM. Then as now, though,  a lot of the stuff was American, and being 6 years old you’re easily impressed, and things like “The Streets of San Francisco” or “Hawaii Five-0” really managed to do that! I thought America was GREAT! All these GADGETS you saw them using; Televisions with a REMOTE CONTROL! We didn’t even get a colour telly until 1974! And these ones would change channel without the words “Liam, put it onto BBC2 will you?”. Those wonderful HUGE cars with so much chrome you got Arc-Eye if you looked at them in strong sunlight, all that variation in weather; to me back then it looked like THE place to live……

However (and you knew there was one of those coming along, didn’t you?), after watching the  USA for the last 25 years, and the last 2 Presidential Elections in particular, and watching the Republican Parties response to both those losses, along with the actions of many of their supporters and elected members, not to mention people like Ted Nugent and his tweets, or those other people that think it’s fun to throw around the “N” word, I have REALLY changed my mind. We have people like that in the UK, but they’re generally members of Neo-Nazi or Far-Right parties, NOT one of the groups that is considered mainstream! The language used would probably pull up even the most ardent racist in this country, and although I’m sure there are more than a couple of racist nutballs in the various parties that exist they’re not the REPRESENTATIVE group, and they’re certainly not the ones even “Call Me Dave” Cam-Moron would shove in front of a TV crew to pledge their support for him. America always called itself the”Land of Opportunity” and “The Land of the Free”, but somewhere along the line they seem to have dragged the middle of the 19th century along with them where the term “Free” can be twisted according to whatever the latest Eugenic theory on “Inferior Races” was, and made it into a TV spectacle. “Obama was born in Kenya/Is Muslim/Eats Babies”; what you’re saying is “HE AIN’T THE SAME COLOUR AS US!”; well guess what, there are LOTS of people around the world that aren’t the same colour as us, and a lot of them were born in the USA, so you either have to adapt to it or die. America is a nation of Migrants, originally from Europe, but when the English slavers decided Tobacco and Cotton were big money they took their “Property” with them, and eventually even they realised that this “Property” was in fact Human. Then other people that had been enslaved in other parts of European empires started to move to the USA; West Indians, Indians, Hispanics from the former Spanish colonies, Africans from the British Commonwealth…  When you’re descended from Migrants yourself it doesn’t matter how long ago they came over: YOU ARE STILL DESCENDED FROM SOMEONE NOT BORN IN THE USA!

It all made me very angry that my illusions were destroyed about America, and it seems the “Land of the Free” needs to loosen up a bit before it does itself an injury.


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