Saturday, 3 December 2011

That sinking feeling

Part way through a Saturday shopping expedition that, for other reasons, had all of us falling about laughing we tried to park in Ramsey market place. This was only possible after some complicated manoeuvres around a bunch of crinklies and dignitaries who were, as one, staring glumly into the harbour.
The reason, as we suspected, was not a community suicide pact but this (see ), yet another grief-fest on the rates. No surprise that Ramsey’s best known political carbuncle was in on it either. This collective celebration of the sinking of a ferry over a century ago just set us off in more gales of laughter.
Sorry if that offends the patriots and heritage buffs. Not!
But then, we’re offended that you’ll be gathering for yet another jamboree on the rates tonight , and that half-baked culture dullsters can just take over a building which was a genuine community resource until it was handed over to the heritage racket. The difference is we just laugh at you, don’t waste our time by attending such farces and prefer to contribute to real community initiatives instead of ersatz ones trying to perpetuate historical myths.
But the bigger reason we were laughing, even before encountering the municipal sad-acts in the market place, was to do with this (see ).
For off-island readers, the joke is that for the last week the island has been cut off from the real world because the clapped out former US military craft which passes for a national ferry service (a national ferry service not owned by the nation in decades and now, in theory, owned by the banks of another clapped out country) cannot run in bad weather. Yes, a boat considered fit for 21st century military activity in this age of postmodern warfare is slightly less capable of setting out on the Irish Sea than, say, a 40 year old cabin cruiser with an outboard motor.
This has led to empty supermarket shelves, which in turn illustrate effectively just how little the over-subsidised Manx agricultural sector actually produces. It also illustrated, as some have long suspected, that even some fruit and veg labelled as local is actually shipped in from Ireland and repackaged.
Nothing new there. It used to happen years ago with ‘Manx’ meat, and even ‘Manx’ kippers.
And the other reason we were laughing as we surveyed the empty shelves is that it revives memories of when friends and relatives from Central Europe come to visit, and go away startled at our low standard of living, even as they roar with laughter at local newspaper stories which print, unchecked, stories about the fictitious exploits of evangelical Manx ‘charities’ in places like Romania or the Ukraine. One relative was so worried at the apparent inability of the Manx to feed themselves that she took to sending ‘Red Cross parcels’ of proper food for us to pass around the neighbours, or even feed ourselves if it came to the crunch.
When normal service is resumed, my guess is there will be queues of sobbing cultural elitists in Tesco. They will probably be heavily wrapped in balaclavas, scarves and hoods. Not because of the weather, but in case anyone normal notices them and laughs.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but many of us here have been doing that for years anyway. Maybe if you didn't have your heads rammed so far up your backsides you would have noticed.

No comments: