Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Where were you?" meme

I've been tagged with this twice so I thought I better give it a go. Before I do, can I say I've got a couple of problems with these meme things:

One is I rarely know the answers to all the questions.

The other is I question the honesty of other respondents. I mean, for example, when asked the question, "Where were you when...? [Insert historical event], nobody ever says, "On the couch having a wank." Yet surely someone must have been?

I digress. Here's the "where were you" questions:

Princess Diana's death - 31st August 1997

This was late, if memory serves? Was in the hoose watching telly and drinking when it came on. Then large swathes of the country went completely mental. Was working in a bank at the time. One of my co-workers stood in a queue down at the City Chambers to sign a book of remembrance. Now why exactly the fuck would you do this to yourself? There was an adaptation of Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" released at the time. Did you buy this record? Kill yourself immediately. You didn't buy it? Well someone did - it got to No.1. Yet no one admits to this now. A wise move, in my view.

Margaret Thatcher's Resignation - 22nd November 1990

I have to be honest and say I don't remember. What I do remember was the Geoffrey Howe resignation speech that precipitated it. I was working shifts at the time and saw the thing live on telly. It remains one of the most dramatic pieces of parliamentary theatre I have ever seen. It represented a shift in the zeitgeist that I'd felt previously when it became clear that her and Lawson weren't getting along. It was a beautiful day. I think it was Dennis Healy who compared being attacked by Geoffry Howe to being 'savaged by a dead sheep'. Some wit - I forget who - said of this speech, "The 'dead sheep' has turned out to be a Rottweiller in drag".

Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001

This was the day I registered my son's birth. Came back to my parents who were watching the babe. My father, incoherent from strokes, was gesturing wildly, hands outstretched - one could faintly hear the words 'planes' and 'buildings'. Then I looked at the TV screen. Everyone knows what I saw. I've recorded my thoughts about this before but I'll tell you something else now. My father and I disagreed about many things - he being of, to be candid, rather of the tankie disposition. But we would have agreed about this and frankly I think he would be turning in his grave if he could hear the excuses currently being made for violent religious obscurantism from people describing themselves as socialists. On this kinda thing, you realise, for better or worse, you're your father's son.

England's World Cup Semi Final against Germany - 4 July 1990

In a pub in York. I was on holiday with my then wife. I would like to be able to tell you I was sorry you lost - but I wasn't. You sassenach get all sensitive about this - in your most deranged states of mind, some of you imagine this is a sign of anti-English bigotry. Colonise a quarter of the globe - but if anyone doesn't give a shit if you lose some shitty sporting competition, you get all defensive about it and imagine racism? Get over yourselves you self-regarding bunch of tossers. The reason we don't want you to win is because we know if you do, you'll never shut the fuck up about it. World Cup 1966? That was the year I was fucking born, ok? And I ain't no spring chicken. Yet you're still going on about it? Shut the fuck up, why don't you? I think I know what your problem is: England are just about good enough to allow you to imagine your team winning anything without mental illness being the obvious diagnosis. In Scotland this is not the case.

President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963

See above - wasn't born. Didn't exist. I have an issue with the people who were though. Or rather the people who were and continue - some of them even to this day, despite the evidence - to pedal this conspiracy shit. I liked the way I saw Gore Vidal put it one time. It went something like this - paraphrasing as I like to do: "Oh, I dare say there was a conspiracy of some kind. On the other hand, why hasn't the gunman from the grassy knoll been interviewed on Oprah yet?".

I'm tagging anyone who wants to do this. Anything beyond this would breech the Golden Rule.

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