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Thread: The Seven Sins Of England

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    The Seven Sins Of England

    In this programme, modern rogues speak ancient verse. As Tony and Co. pursue their RESPECT agenda, we show that all of our modern day bugbears (the ASBO kid, the binge drinker, the slapper) come from a proud lineage.
    [GV]-2450957773837990181[/GV]

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    Binge-drinking
    On the eve of the Battle of Hastings, the Normans spent the night in quiet contemplation and prayer – while the English got bladdered. This first-hand account, written shortly after the battle, makes it clear that our brave lads went into battle with a massive hangover:

    "The English, being reveling before, had in the morning their brains arrested for the arrearages of the ingested fumes of the former night – and were no better than drunk when they came to fight."
    (Peter Haydon, An Inebriated History of Britain. Sutton Publishing, 2005)

    When Fyodor Dostoevsky visited England in the 1860s, he records the reality of what he saw:

    "On Saturday nights, a half-million workers flood the city like a sea, flocking into certain sections to celebrate the Sabbath all night until five in the morning. They stuff themselves and drink like animals ... They all race against time to drink themselves insensate. The wives do not lag behind their husbands but get drunk with them; the children run and crawl among them."
    (Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1862 – quoted in Duncan Campbell 'In the Heart of Babylon' Guardian, January 6th, 2007 ).

    And more quotes from 'An Inebriated History of Britain' which you’d be forgiven for thinking describe our present-day drinking habits:

    "What immoderate drinking in every place! How we flock to the tavern! As if we were born to no other end but to drink! Tis now come to pas that he is no gentleman, a very milksop, that will not drink...How we love a man that will be drunk, crown him and honour him for it, hate him that will not pledge him, stab him, kill him. A most intolerable offence not to be forgiven!"
    (Peter Haydon – An Inebriated History of Britain, Sutton Publishing, 2005)

    "We drink the very strongest liquors that can be brewed or distilled! The classes among us who are not decent are in the habit of getting mad-drunk, and of fighting after the manner of wild beasts, when we have a chance of using their fists, feet or teeth on each other, and on the Guardians of the law. Our places of licensed victualling are ugly dens, where the largest number of sots can get tipsy in the shortest space of time…They are the most horrible terrestrial inferno that the eye ever beheld, that the ear ever hears, or the heart ever sickened at."
    (Peter Haydon – An Inebriated History of Britain.)

    Rudeness

    Along with countless foreigners over the centuries, the Scot James Boswell was gobsmacked by the relentless rudeness of the English:

    "The rudeness of the English vulgar is terrible. This indeed is the liberty they have. The liberty of bullying, and being abusive with their blackguard tongues."
    (James Boswell, London Journal, 1762.)

    Bigotry

    In one of the scenes in the programme, a White Van Man (Gary Scott) appears, standing in the middle of Europe's biggest Asian supermarket, in Southall. So as not to be heard amongst the turbans and bhurkhas and confused stares, he sidles up to the camera and begins to outline his views on immigration:

    "Your Machiavellian Merchant spoils the State. Your Artifex, and craftsmen work our fate, and like the Jews, you eat us up as bread. Every merchant has three trades at least, and with your cut-throat selling you undo us all. We cannot suffer long. Our poor workers do starve and die.

    In Chambers, twenty in one house will lurk, living far better then at native home. And our pore souls, are clean-thrust out of door.

    Expect you therefore such a fatal day, shortly on you, and yours to ensue. We’ll cut your throats, in your temples praying. As we do just vengeance on you all."

    (Arthur Freeman, Marlowe, Kyd and the Dutch Church Libel, English Literary Renaissance 3, 1973.)

    This nasty, threatening anti-immigration rant was written in 1593. It was an attack on the Huguenots, Protestant asylum seekers, fleeing a religious-cleansing programme in the Netherlands. As with today, this "Swarming" of foreign asylum-seekers was welcomed by "the Quality" but greeted with hostility by the lower orders, whose wages were being cut, jobs lost and rents forced up. Racially motivated killings and riots followed.

    Later, huge numbers of French Protestants, driven-out by Catholic massacres, began to arrive, and by 1600, something like 25% of London's population was foreign-born – almost exactly the same proportion as in today's London.

    Violence

    "Look at this group at a street corner. Hulking, idle, slouching young men ... foul-spoken, repulsive wretches. The young Ruffians of London molest quiet people to an extent that's hardly credible. The throwing of stones in the streets has become a dangerous and destructive offence. The throwing of stones at the windows of railway carriages is an act of wanton wickedness. And the blaring use of the very worst language possible, in our public thoroughfares is a disgrace.

    When a Ruffian gets a police-constable down and kicks him helpless for life, it’s because that constable once did his duty in bringing him to justice. When he rushes into the bar of a public-house and scoops an eye out, or bites his ear off, it's because the man he maims gave evidence against him."

    (Charles Dickens – The Uncommercial Traveller, 1860)

    Source

    Binge Drinking


    Rudeness


    Hoodies and Violence



    2,000 years of binge drinking
    Drunken youths, booze with every meal, children raised on alcohol. No, not the result of 24-hour licensing, but a picture of our troubled relationship with the demon drink.

    By Paul Vallely
    Saturday, 19 November 2005


    No one is really sure how the British love affair with alcohol began. Stone Age beer jugs have suggested that we were intentionally fermenting alcohol as early as the Neolithic period, 12,000 years ago. Since there is no evidence that we drank it with straws - which the Egyptians did 6,000 years back - that means we probably filtered the wheat husks out with our teeth. We have always been a sophisticated nation when it comes to drink.

    We probably didn't get on to thevinum until the Romans came with their wine diluted with water - a habit they picked up from the Greeks (one part wine to four parts water when the weather was hot). Which perhaps explains why their contemporaries said the Greeks were among the most temperate of ancient peoples.

    The Romans, despite what you see on the telly nowadays, were generally moderate too, though their traditional values of temperance, frugality and simplicity did give way at times to heavy drinking, degeneracy and corruption. Just our luck, then, that their arrival in Britain coincided with one of their binge periods - the four emperors who ruled from AD37 to AD69 were all known for their abusive drinking, though it was still an offence to be drunk in charge of a chariot.


    Continued at source


    Would you agree with how the media portray the English lower classes? Do you believe the English lower classes have been on one degenerate, alcohol fuelled bender since recorded time, or do you think the portrayal to be that of an excited and over played image by the more 'mobile' classes and media?

    I would love to hear the stories and tales of our non-English members on their journeys and travels through England.
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    Just as the seven sins of Catholicism were coincidentally the things that make life worth living, these seven sins of England are the reason you guys once had an empire. Losing site of their real value is why, as the song goes, you now have a slum.
    The sitters in the hall seldom know
    The kin of the new-comer:
    The best man is marred by faults,
    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    Just as the seven sins of Catholicism were coincidentally the things that make life worth living...
    Are you serious?






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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Are you serious?
    Well, no, but although my tongue is solidly in cheek, like a medieval jester I hope that the joke can convey a serious point. A healthy,vigorous society cannot suppress its Dionysian side. Apollonian sobriety and restraint can render a society anemic.
    The sitters in the hall seldom know
    The kin of the new-comer:
    The best man is marred by faults,
    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    A healthy,vigorous society cannot suppress its Dionysian side.
    A healthy and vigorous society must suppress it's "Dionysian" side.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    Apollonian sobriety and restraint can render a society anemic.
    I will not argue that "all work and no play [doesn't make] Jack a dull boy," but the suppression of frivolity is paramount to the maintenance of civilization. What, in your estimation, was the primary reason behind the decline of the Roman empire?






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    Gotta love liberals. Always giving "the right answer" never giving the answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    What, in your estimation, was the primary reason behind the decline of the Roman empire?
    For Edward Gibbon, Christianity was the cause. The rise of Germanics was also a factor. The main reason for the decline I think was a vicious cycle in which the general population took less responsibility for the well-being of the whole while the leadership neglected basic infrastructure.

    Any similarity to Bush-era America is purely coincidental.
    The sitters in the hall seldom know
    The kin of the new-comer:
    The best man is marred by faults,
    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    Just as the seven sins of Catholicism were coincidentally the things that make life worth living, these seven sins of England are the reason you guys once had an empire. Losing site of their real value is why, as the song goes, you now have a slum.
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Are you serious?
    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    Well, no, but although my tongue is solidly in cheek, like a medieval jester I hope that the joke can convey a serious point. A healthy,vigorous society cannot suppress its Dionysian side. Apollonian sobriety and restraint can render a society anemic.
    They're really just basic elements of human nature.

    When taken to an extreme, like anything, they can be destructive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeornWulfWer View Post
    Would you agree with how the media portray the English lower classes? Do you believe the English lower classes have been on one degenerate, alcohol fuelled bender since recorded time, or do you think the portrayal to be that of an excited and over played image by the more 'mobile' classes and media?
    I think this is the more interesting topic of the thread rather than the sins themselves.

    I don't necessarily agree. I don't think that the lower classes have been or are on such a degenerate, alcohol fuelled bender due to the fact that despite alcohol being ridiculously cheap (too cheap if you ask me...), it was and still is often the realm of the upper classes (I'm assuming you mean "lower classes" by purely economic standpoint rather than sociocultural standpoint, in which case some of these "upper" class economically people can be moved down several notches).

    Perhaps it is the desire of the young "lower" classes to emulate what they see the "upper" classes doing (drinking a lot). Drinking alcohol implies that one has money to waste, disposable income and obviously it demonstrates in some manner social status (depending on what (brand of) alcohol one is drinking).

    I think, to answer your question rather than babble on about (economic) classes and alcohol is to say that it's half and half. The lower classes have been "unfairly" portrayed by the "mobile" (that is to say middle and upper?) classes as zombie hordes of binge drinking chavs with 4 asbos and 3 bastard children (untrue in several cases) rather than the image of a hardworking family. Have you ever noticed that (in regards to the bastard children)? Thinking about my own family (not necessarily at the moment, but in the past), they were definitely lower class economically (if not still socially) but I never heard of any sort of misbehaviour. Certainly, many of my relatives drank excessively (and still do) but it never caused any harm because they seem to possess some sort of discretion, unlike today's unruly masses (i.e. the younger people (30ies-40ies) of all classes who are writing such articles).

    But we cannot ignore the larger social problems that exist within the lower classes. It is not a rosy, happy existance of proletariat utopia. It is obviously very difficult and not everyone can live as frugally as necessary on a lower income (causing many of these problems -- desires that reach too deeply into one's pockets). This is not something we can ignore.

    The problem is mainly that the lower classes are perceived as stupid, slow-witted, drunken clods that do nothing for society.

    I had something else I had wanted to write about, but until next time.
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    I get the impression that the English media is prone to greatly exaggerating social problems with the aim at playing up to the worst fears of newspaper buyers. Politicians fall all over each other competing in ostentatious displays of indignation and condemnation of whatever is the latest fear.

    One result is that kids then feel obliged to act out whatever it is that is obsessing the media and politicians that month. In effect, these authorities are the cause of whatever it is they complain about.

    The classic example of these so-called moral panics was the conflict between mods and rockers in 1960s Brighton. Some tabloid took a random fight out of context and then as the media-generated obsession took hold, hordes of kids made their way to Brighton as mods or rockers looking to fight each other, thinking that was what they were supposed to do.
    The sitters in the hall seldom know
    The kin of the new-comer:
    The best man is marred by faults,
    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

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