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Saturday, December 17, 2005


Discussions: Poms rapt with gift for whingeing

Submitted by: Boertjie
December 16, 2005
LONDON: The English like nothing more than a whinge - everybody knows that. An unfair generalisation? Well, they're doing their best to live up to it.

One of the more popular English stocking-fillers this Yuletide is a charming little book called Is It Just Me, Or Is Everything Shit?. It's a publishing phenomenon - sales are soaring and copies are flying off the shelves.

According to the book, by Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur, everything is grounds for a good old moan - from TV shows to royalty, pop stars, shopping centres and Che Guevara.

The authors get no prizes for originality, however, as they're just the latest to capitalise on the malaise of pointless irritability that grips middle Britain.

The Gripes of Wrath - This Book is Guaranteed to Make Your Blood Boil is achieving success among British whiners. Or you can pick up Talk to the Hand - The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life (or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door).

The Pedant's Revolt: Why Most Things You Think Are Right Are Wrong has also attracted plenty of buyers.

For those who like to be forewarned and miserable, there's Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK, or The Idler's Book of Crap Holidays: 50 Tales of Holiday Hell.

And let's not forget How To Support A Crap Football Team. And it's not just books. These titles all tap into the same vein of discontent that prompted the TV series Grumpy Old Men, shown in both
Britain and Australia, where middle-aged men vent their spleens on all and sundry.

There's also the companion series, Grumpy Old Women. And now into its third series is the hit TV sketch comedy Little Britain, a slide-show of grotesque characters that is as mean-spirited as it is
undeniably funny.

So what's going on?

If you were stuck beside such whingeing malcontents on the bus, you'd change seats. If you came across one down at the pub, you'd lock yourself in the loo.

So why are the English parting with their hard-earned cash to wallow in this pointless nihilism? Sure, misery loves company and all of that - but maybe these people should jump on a plane and visit a
less-fortunate country, where there is genuine cause for complaint. Then they could tell mothers scouring rubbish tips to scratch a living for their children just how crap their flight was.
Would like St Michels comment on this one ;-0
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