Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ceasing from Mental Fight

This is a thing to marvel at.
... [T]he imagined com- munity of England after Britain is in the process of construc- tion. If those of us who are English fail to engage with this process, we risk seeing it dominated by the nationalist right.
That first sentence is just fantastic, don't you think? Can the mind-boggling notion of a post-British England really be any better expressed than as "imagined"? Than as a labour of pure, pig-shit-ignorant fancy? Touché, me old mucker! And, it's true: to those whose historical consciousness ends with last week's piss-up, a process of destruction can very easily have the appearance of a "process of construction". Likewise, the imminent threat of the "nationalist right" is sure to capture the imagination of the sort of person who has forgotten that he voted the Labour party to victory three consecutive times.

Throw in some totally counterintuitive evocations of England's (tenuously) patron saint and William Blake's hymn Jerusalem, lightly salted with a deferral to the authority of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, and top it all off with this:
My imagined nation I found in a real place: a Saturday at Wembley last autumn for an England game with my friends Nahid and Hajra in hijabs beside me in my bobble hat.
Et voilà! The Dragon--with the aid of a fool, even kitted-out in a coxcomb--slays St. George!