Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This past weekend Paul and i went to see Gruff Rhys, who was performing as part of a Brazilian-Glaswegian festival, Troca Brahma. The organisers called it a "3 day UK - Brazilian culture jam"; Paul and i called it a cheap promotional orgy for the shit beer, Brahma. Not only were we bombarded with Brahma commericals in between acts, but it was also the ONLY beer being offered to the masses. You know, i don't know too much about beer but after having a sip of Paul's Brahma, i realised why Brazil wasn't renowned for its beer. Nevertheless, the lack of choice reminded me of that Bill Maher quote (and yes, it pains me to quote that sometime-misogynist):

After the plane lands, airlines must stop saying, "Thank you for choosing us." There is no choosing anymore. I took the only flight that left within eight hours of when I wanted to go by the only other airline that went there. Choosing! Nobody chooses Southwest. Southwest chooses you! If I need to be in Spokane, Washington, by tomorrow morning, I either take the flight I'm given or I mail myself in a FedEx box!

Paul and I attended the Brahma marketing campaign with two of his uncles and their friends. One of their friends was a pregnant German women and after discussing German film (something I studied at Glasgow University), we got onto the topic of Scottish binge drinking. After comparing the drinking culture in Germany and Canada, she proposed an interesting theory as to why British people drink like the Prohibition is set to commence the morning after.

She thought that the British government treated its citizens like children. That is, since British people could not be trusted to drink responsibly on their own, the British government heavily regulated drinking laws, setting laws accordingly so the drinking masses may only drink at certain hours in certain places. She proposed that since the government treated its citizens like children, they act accordingly, which is quite interesting and in some respects, very true. And since the British public are told that you can only drink until midnight (or, if you're lucky, 1.00am), some people attempt to drink as much as possible in the limited window allowed. In Canada, however, depending on which provence you live in, you can drink until 3.00am.

However, I also think that Britain has a long history of public drunkenness and love of ye' ol' sauce. It's in their blood, so to speak.

Walking home from the gym last night, I got to thinking about the British civil service, government, and its treatment of the public. Take, for example, this piece of urban planning:
As you can see, it's a sidewalk that has been fenced in. This is to stop people from jaywalking and cutting across the intersection. These gated sidewalks are all over Glasgow and it drives me nuts! Why? Because the Scottish Executive / British government assumes I'm too fucking stupid and irresponsible with my own life to cross the fucking street. It's as if the government infantilizes its citizens, chastising us what we can and cannot do on a daily basis.

I swear, the Health and Safety Executive have more control over my life than my parents ever did when I was a kid. And the fuckers don't even give me an allowance; I suppose not because I'd just end up spending it on booze. Health and Safety know best!

3 comments:

Katie said...

Brahma is just not good. Not good at all. It beats Tennent's, though.

Jen in Japan said...

Great blog! Reading it has made me incredibly homesick and glad I'm going back home to Glasgow!

JC said...

Hey there! Thanks, Jen!

Glasgow really is a unique place but really, there's nothing like being away from home to make you appreciate it even more.