How much Brexit bull can a proud Brummie take? | Stewart Lee
Jhe admirable Brighton artistic rock band British Sea Power are now simply known as Sea Power, ‘because of the rise of a certain kind of nationalism in this world – an isolationist and antagonistic nationalism which we don’t want not run the risk of being confused with”. Rumor has it that the British Cheese Board, the official voice of British cheese formed in 1995 to promote local cheeses, has expressed similar concerns and will soon be renamed simply the Cheese Board, a move that is expected to confuse search engines. and in kitchen utensils. stores. Meanwhile, the neo-Nazi British Movement organization is set to double down on new Britishness associations, renaming itself the British British Movement.
Am I even allowed to make this joke without being called a terrorist? Last week, increasingly desperate Tory leadership candidate and alleged Kia driver Rishi Sunak announced plans to expand the definition of “extremism” to include people who “defame the Great -Bretagne” while being photographed in a flattering light at taxpayer expense. Well, raise the gallows high, carpenters, and clamp the noose around my fat 54 year old neck, because I think the modern British Brexit, racist, anti-intellectual, internationally embarrassing, untrustworthy, corrupt and isolationist is a grade A bag of shit! And I’m willing to be put on a Prevent watchlist for my right to say so. Nope! Not the face! Not the face! Argh! But last month, the extravagant opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham was shaping up to be the best in Brexit Britain. And here’s how it happened.
First, the internationally acclaimed City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra accompanied a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen, although its chief executive explained how Brexit could make European tours “so tricky that they would become non-viable”. Next, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai stressed the importance of education, as art classes elsewhere are cut and conscientious teachers prepare breakfast for children too hungry to eat. learn. We welcomed the world, but in reality, former MEP Ukip Godfrey Bloom stands atop the white cliffs of Dover, waving a rolled up newspaper and shouting, “Go back to Bongo Bongo Land!”
Then an armored mechanical bull entered the fray, presumably inspired by the nine-ton bull sculptures cast by Trewin Copplestone to adorn the Bull Ring shopping center in 1963, but mysteriously “lost” in the 21st century redesign, as a good metaphor as anything for our real attitude towards our cultural heritage. Monetize it or melt it! At the end of the bull sequence, BBC presenters Andrew Cotter and Hazel Irvine mechanically state that “the bull’s armor is removed and he is revealed as a symbol of light and love”. But where did the armor go? I hope someone kept track of it. Losing two Birmingham bulls can be considered a misfortune. Losing two Birmingham bulls and another Birmingham bull’s special armor looks like negligence.
Diving’s Tom Daley was accompanied by a parade of LGBTQ+ flag bearers, a powerful gesture as homosexuality remains illegal in more than half of the competing Commonwealth countries. But Elena Bunbury of the conservative LGBT+ group expressed concern over the culture war of leadership candidates weaponizing anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment in their campaigns; and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, bowing diplomatically to conservative Christians in the global south, has just reaffirmed that gay sex is a sin, a decision that would turn Jesus, as Justin knows full well, into his grave, if the Christ had not taken the precaution of leaving after three days in a preemptive attempt to avoid the mandatory posthumous underground rotation. Which Britain does this ceremony reflect, exactly?
I was in Birmingham that day, for the Covid-delayed Midlands Arts Center premiere King Rockera documentary I made with Michael Cumming (Brass Eye, Toast of…) about Birmingham post-punk band The Nightingales and featuring pop-art Nicholas Monro statue of King Kong which briefly rode the Bull Ring in 1972, before being, predictably, abandoned by the city. Expanding my hometown, I took my kids to see the world-renowned Pre-Raphaelite collection at the city’s art gallery, but all the art is in storage until 2024. In the museum, I proudly showed them Dynamic Cold War Steve collage of cultural figures from Birminghamwhich includes me and Nightingales singer Robert Lloyd in the lower right, looking at Black Sabbath, Lady Leshurr and Benny from Crossroads. But, as my son dryly observed, we are the only unidentified people in the attached list of names, even though there is a 2 inch blank space that could have easily accommodated us. Bah ! Prophets without honor! I hate Birmingham!
As the vain cavalcade of hypocrisy of the Opening Ceremony unfolded through the city, I enjoyed King Rocker on the big screen in an alternative celebration of alternative Birmingham. In the two years since King Rocker’s Covid-softened exit, the Nightingales performed to the biggest audience of their more than four-decade career, and, in a turn of events not unrelated to the film’s modest impact, a new version of Monro’s Kong was erected with her back to the B4100 in the Jewelery Quarter, her huge monkey ass stopping traffic on Constitution Hill.
As I left Cannon Hill Park, I saw festive fireworks erupt over the city and heard the distant drumming of Duran Duran, whose guitarist John Taylor was loaned his first amp. Nightingales Alan Apperley, and who declared Robert Lloyd to be a genius and an intellectual in the world. film. Although I love Duran Duran, I know where I would have preferred to be that night. The problem is that any official attempt to celebrate Britain’s Brexit-era virtues is fundamentally incompatible with the corrupt and reactionary hell the Conservative Party is turning into. And so, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony was just one big bullshit arena.