It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I hold an unnecessary amount of anger and rage to the privileged classes of these fair isles. Something about the combination of Red Trousers (demands capitalisation), boat shoes, cricket jumpers, and a blazer for those chilly days at the rowing club rub up against my rage penis in such away that I ejaculate hatred over them. Well this is a short story (and inevitable only-just-coherent rant) about these special few.
Last Saturday I had the
misfortune pleasure of being entered into my own charity boat race for The Company. This was a “dragon boat race” so it involves paddling more like a native american canoe than rowing like Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, except it’s not a nice trickle down a beautiful river, it is a balls out, heart racing, PADDLE LIKE YOU’RE FUCKING HITLER IN THE ARSE affair. This took place in what I am unashamed to say, is my favourite county in the entire United Kingdom. Norfolk.
Norfolk is a beautiful place, and often going there does feel like going back in time a couple of decades. This is not a bad thing. Because of the ‘old fashioned’, for want of a better word, nature of the place, it is still relatively unspoiled by motorways, dual carriageways, giant business parks and shopping centres, and the common populace have an unchecked hatred for supermarkets and giant corporate industry there. As a result, you can actually go and buy your shit from independent grocers, butchers, fishmongers etc. without feeling like a hipster dick, and without paying 95% of your wages on a bag of tomatoes. It also has a lot of awesome little towns, a lot of history, stately homes and ruined churches and whatnot. Now last weekend I stayed in a town named Burnham Market, often referred to as ‘the Chelsea of Norfolk’, and sure enough, if you happen upon the place you will see a lot of people driving around in Range Rovers, Cayennes and all those ridiculously over-engineered cunt mobiles far too fast, and others in Porsche 911′s, Aston V8 Vantages and all those cars I wish I could afford, far too slow. This town has a pub named The Hoste Arms.
Now The Hoste has a few things going for it, firstly it serves some of the best beers you will ever taste, courtesy of Woodfordes Brewery (I recommend Admirals Reserve or Nelsons Revenge), it also has incredibly friendly staff, the building itself is gorgeous both inside and out, and the food is such that I can only imagine that it has been milked from the teats of angels. Of course this comes at a price. A wallet hating, bank account emptying, time-to-re mortgage price. This place is hella expensive. As a result, it attracts the most hated of all people, The Rar’s, so called because you will often here them say ‘rar’ in a “daddy sent me to Eton” drawl. I often go there with my Brother so that we can recalibrate our normality amongst them, and come away feeling renewed in my beliefs that the first thing money will buy is douchebaggery, whether you like it or not. On this particular night we went inside and stood at the bar with a pint of Reserve for myself, and a Wherry for my Brother, next to a family of said ‘rar’s', this constituted a man in his late 40′s/early 50′s wearing the worst shirt I’ve ever clapped eyes on (a white number that looked like it had had a fight with a black printer cartridge), a woman whose style icon was obviously Nancy Dell’Olio, and two girls that, to me, looked barely out of year 11, let alone old enough to be drinking the gin they were knocking down their throats, they were accompanied by two boys that looked even younger to me. The adults didn’t stay long, their fake tan had probably started to peel, and so the four children stayed at the bar, and as soon as the adults were gone, it was shots time for them. First they started on Jagerbombs (which are nowhere near as hardcore as they were back in my day I tell thee!) and then they moved on to Sambuca aka puke juice. These two boys were obviously trying their hardest to come onto these girls, downing their shots as fast as possible in an attempt to show their masculine prowess. This was unnecessary, as the girls were instantly attracted when one of the boys pulled a £50 note out of a wad from his wallet to pay for the round.
Now this is not a piece along the lines of ‘women are gold diggers duuuuuude’, as there were a lot of eyes in the bar turning towards this obvious display of wealth. Much in the same way you will watch a crow stare at the kill of a wolf. Now there are few things more wrong with society than an obviously only 16 year old boy paying for shots of hard liquor, with the highest note denomination available in the UK, while the entire bar watches him with the eyes of a scavenger. Now I’ve seen this before, but for different reasons, usually it is “that guy has a lot of cash, as soon as he leaves I’m punching him repeatedly in the face and stealing his wallet”, whereas here it was “This guy has a lot of cash, I assume his dad is rich. I must curry favour with the family”. Of course both things are despicable, and pretty much incomparable in which is worse (to me at least), and that’s pretty much my point. In a community that would be incredibly offended if you were to compare them to a mugger from a bar, they still judge people by their material wealth. This boy was 16 years old, what status could he possibly have? What witty and insightful intellect could he possibly bring to an adult conversation? Not a lot, judging from the utter bullshit I heard dripping from his lips, yet these learned, successful, and wealthy fucknuts all saw a lot of promise from that strip of bound and treated leather built to contain some pieces of paper laminate with numbers printed on them. And so, disgusted, we walked back home, slightly drunk, talking about Pulp’s ‘Common People’, and ‘A Design For Life’ by Manic Street Preachers’ and mourning over the fact that modern folk music is full of rich bastards writing songs to a single formula, about subjects that mean nothing to them (I’m looking at you Mumford & Sons).
So, you must think ‘look at this guy, hating on the rich, he’s just jealous cause he’s poor’, and maybe there’s an element of truth in that. But actually, I don’t hate the rich completely, both my brother and sister married into some wealthy families, both of which made their money without treading on anyone’s back, and who both have their feet firmly on the ground. And then there are the nobility, people whose money is tied up in assets rather than in off shore bank accounts, who drive around in a Subaru Forester older than their own children, my feelings on them are both unresolved and entirely contradictory (and could take up another post). So no, I don’t hate the rich, I hate this communion of upper-middle class bastards that hold themselves so much higher than everyone else, that put all their faith in money, and judge people by the amount of zeros in their bank account, and they are becoming increasingly prevalent.
Someone once asked me if I would support a revolution while the Occupy Wall Street was happening in the US and the Occupy London was happening here, I said no, because Terry Prachett said it best in his great book, Night Watch…
“Don’t put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That’s why they’re called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.”