24 August, 2012


Tales from the Multiculture: a very angry man

I was travelling peacefully on the Greenwich and Woolwich line yesterday, surrounded by a modest sprinkling of general vibrancy, when a penetrating basso profundo voice hove into earshot. This was a Willard White-class voice which filled the carriage. The voice belonged to large middle-aged Black gentleman, scruffily dressed in the obligatory black clothing, dreadlocks, bulging angry eyes and a bottle of what was presumably alcohol in his hand.

He settled across the aisle and continued to apostrophize the carriage at large. What about was difficult to tell. It was unclear what language, if any, he was speaking. It sounded like an African language spoken in a Jamaican accent, interspersed with occasional English words — mostly the sort of English words which I suspect got this blog put on the "over 18s only" list by mobile-phone internet service providers.

Whatever he was saying, he was very angry about it. And he seemed to take a particular dislike to me. Whether that was personal or because I happened to be White and the closest target was uncertain. It probably doesn't matter, to be honest, but I did get the strong impression that whatever injustice or oppression he was unhappy about was definitely going to be my fault.

Just for a moment there I was almost tempted to get out my sexy new phone and film his antics for the wider audience, to add to the growing YouTube canon of angry folk on public transport movies. But then again, chummy was angry enough and volatile enough that pointing a camera at him might well have been to invite a damned good enriching.

I knew some Yardies once, the real article. They busied themelves making money from crime and had no time for dreadlocks, phony 'Jamican' accents and the rest. Their first names came straight out of Dickens* and they spoke perfect working class English.

*Think Ernest or Alfred though not those two names in particular.

There is a tales of the multiculture moment happening on my local rag site at the moment. By opposing the building of a mosque (backed I might add by the BBC and the local Diversity officer).

All the snarl words are out bigot, racist, islamophobe prejudiced etc etc and that's before we get to what the pro mosque people call the jews (which funny they don't seem think are hateful terms).

Congratulations, you were selected to feel the multi-vibe. You have been privileged to witness the world (or a part of it) up close and personal, and while you may have found it unpleasant and even hostile, this is only for your good. The sooner you accept that yet more of this is coming your way, as sanctioned by HM government and endorsed by the BBC and Guardian, the happier you'll be.

Don't forget, it is your fault you live in a country that may once have been a 'power' and now hands out money to anyone to buy booze and weed and so on. Man up, and take it as you should.

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