Sunday, 1 January 2012

New year, same old idiocies in print

A Happy New Year to both my readers, and one I shall start on a comedic note.
I nearly wet myself laughing at this (see in Thursday’s Manx Indifferent.
For one thing, because you have to wonder how badly off Johnston Press are if they’re reduced to printing this twaddle to stir up a row. Certainly, last year JP published several anonymous letters easily traceable to two known Manx BNP supporters who were listed in the infamous wikileak as ‘activists’, so they have been scraping the barrel for a while now.
For another, because in the press version of the letter the author let slip he lives on Bucks Road, which reminded me of a funny but true story and made me wonder if he had featured in it. He certainly fits the bill – apparently socially disconnected, cranky and so poorly informed about the world he seems to get his main information from tabloids and other alehouse lepers who are glad of an audience, etc., etc.
A few years ago a very nice Polish deli briefly opened on Bucks Road. It didn’t last long, because Tesco quickly picked up that there was an untapped market in East European foods and undercut their prices, but while it was there it acted as something of a community resource and information exchange for young East European workers. This is probably not surprising, as they wouldn’t have been seen dead with the ageing religious bigots in the Columba Club next to the Catholic Church, which claimed in vain to be the true community resource for guest workers on the dubious evidence that Poland is such a religious country.
Actually, as anyone who talked to young Poles working here would know, Poland was a screwed up, quasi-fascist theocratic mess with no job opportunities for graduates, so anyone with half a brain left to work abroad for a while. Having then gained enough cash and work experience to buy a house back home and put down roots (without having to worry about the spook-chasing reactionaries who had run things under both the old party and the even older church), most return. So, the last thing they wanted while out of Poland was to get into the clutches of the Manx versions of such village idiocy.
But to return to the funny story….
One unwelcome guest at the Polish deli was an often sozzled neighbour who, having read one too many tabloids, put two and two together when he noticed young foreign women going in and out, concluded it was a knocking shop and kept trying to ‘buy’ the female customers. Having been told (politely at first and then with increasing exasperation) that he was mistaken, eventually things degenerated until he was forcibly removed once or twice by male customers. This led him to repeat his fantasies to the police, adding the twisted logical argument that as the lads who gave him the bum’s rush were also foreign they must have been pimps.
Could be a total coincidence, but too funny not to mention. More serious point - don't bother perpetuating the Indie's circulation by answering that letter unless you're as under-employed and tired of life as its author shows ample evidence of being. You cannot argue with a maladjusted loner in print without also appearing to be one, and will give him the opportunity to raid his junk fiction collection for 'evidence' in the process.
P.S. I read the 'Happy New Year' joke in an old Jeffrey Bernard 'Low Life' column months ago, and have been patiently waiting to use it ever since.

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