November 30th, 2004

life begins - me

We all dress the same, only our accents change....

On the drive into work this morning I heard a Stereophonics song I hadn't listened to for a while. "Have A Nice Day" from the J.E.E.P. (Just Enough Education to Perform) album and I remembered how I loved it the first time I heard it.

This might get a little political so forgive me if I offend anyone, my opinions are my own and I don't expect anyone to agree with me for agreements sake, in fact. Please don't. Have an opinion, even if it's that I'm talking out of a hole in my head.

Kelly Jones wrote the entire album based on his experiences going around the USA, some of the album celebrates Americana and some doesn't. This song is one of the latter.

We're all going wrong,
We've all become the same,
We dress the same way,
Only our accents change

When I was a pre-teen my sister (who's six years older than me) had a sticker on the front of her school folder. It was a hand holding up the first two fingers in a V, the hand was decorated in an American flag and underneath it were the words "Up The 51st State". I grew up in the Reagan/Thatcher era and lived slap bang in the middle of a triangle formed by Faslane nuclear submarine base, Coulport nuclear submarine depot, and the US naval base at the Holy Loch. There was a constant awareness of US troops on the streets of the UK and there was worry that the UK would become little more than an off-shoot of the USA. The 51st state, Airstrip One, whatever you want to call it. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the aparant end of the Cold War, this threat/possibility lessened and the Holy Loch base was de-commissioned, US ICBMs were removed from launching sites in the UK and we supposedly became autonomous again.

What does it mean to be autonomous though? Not much it seems. In the post-Cold War days we have lost our unique identity, not just in the UK, not just each nation within the UK, but Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada. Every nation and country in the Western world is slowly losing it's identity and becoming a part of the global 51st State.

There is a TV show on the BBC right now (I don't know the times or dates I'm afraid) presented by Eammon Holmes called "The Big Spell" or something like that. It is a televised spelling bee, in which the focus is on how much stress the kids are under. That might sound familiar to a lot of you on my flist, after all there was a documentary film released earlier this year dealing with the same subject.


The Spelling Bee is an American phenomenon. It is not something we ever had in schools or youth groups before and yet it's apparently becoming part of our culture as Americanised corporate consumerism bleeds through.

I am not anti-American, I'm not a radical nationalist, that said I love my nation, I'm proud to be Scottish. I don't want to live in a carbon copy of America.

Sorry for the rambling rant there, feel free to argue - in fact I'd encourage it.