09 May, 2009


A modest existential crisis

I was listening to one of the BBC World Service's news 'magazine' programmes. It may have been Outlook but to be honest they are all much of a muchness.

In a slot about the impact of the 2012 Olympics on London and its people, a teenager is interviewed. Born in Uganda but raised in Plaistow, he seems a bright lad and he bangs on in a typical second-generation Black Londoner accent about finding his African roots and reuniting with his Ugandan culture. (Potential javelin thrower at the 2016 Olympics, perhaps.)

A Zimbabwean playwright tells us of her subtly subversive work.

A Commanche women whinges about racism and complains bitterly about being confused with Mexicans. (Clearly, she is asserting her Native American here and not being racist towards Hispanics.)

A Canadian man of mixed Irish/Scottish/Ojibway heritage tells us of the oppression of his people. I'll leave you to guess which of his ancestor tribes he is identifying with here.

As an Englishman with a side-order of Irishness (sort of bangers and colcannon if you like), I begin to wonder whether I am too, if you'll pardon the expression, vanilla to exist.

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