Thursday, 7 June 2012

Where's the Jubi-Glee?

In case you’ve managed to miss all media outlets for the last few weeks, you may have seen all the bunting and incorrectly deduced that the BNP have swept to power and Lenny Henry has been put to death. Don’t worry that hasn’t happened, it was just the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Though having seen his performance at the concert I can’t guarantee the safety of Lenny Henry.

Yep the Queen has been reigning for 60 years, and as nice touch the flotilla organisers managed to orchestrate the weather so that everyone appreciated what raining for 60 years felt like. Unfortunately the double bank holiday allowed Fearne Cotton to escape from her maximum security prison. Not only was she seen displaying a jubilee-themed sickbag to Paloma Faith, but she also interviewed some World War II veteran’s. If surviving terrible armed conflict wasn’t enough, these people were then forced to endure an interview with the human form of stale candyfloss. All of them remarkably grateful Hitler had never deployed such weapons of evil back in the 40s. We also saw John Barrowman discussing the bells on the Queen’s barge and Anneka Rice watching some people painting some awful pictures of the Queen – only to see them destroyed by the typhoon force rain, in what can only be described as a merciful act of God. Based on this last paragraph you may think I didn’t watch the coverage of the Jubilee on the television and I made all that up. If only…

Televisual coverage aside, the main problem for me with the Diamond Jubilee is that it’s another opportunity for “organised fun” or by that I mean forced fun. I have no problem with the monarchy, Queen, Jubilee or anyone who wants to celebrate it. But like all socially retarded people, I’m never quite sure what to do at these events that are designated “fun”. I get the sense that I should be having fun, and that I should be enjoying myself. Yet I can’t work out how I’m supposed to enjoy the event, and what I am supposed to be doing. For instance, if I went to the river pageant, what am I supposed to do? It’s nice to see all the boats, but I’d be crammed in with a million other people trying to do the same, briefly glimpsing the boats as they sailed past. A bit like being crammed on the Victoria Line trying to crank your neck to see the station sign through the window. Logically it seems a lot more sensible to watch it on television. Apparently you are supposed to “soak up the atmosphere”, what the hell does that mean? And how do I do that? Was I off sick the day they taught this skill at school? Judging by the bedraggled spectators on the TV coverage, some people had done a very effective job of soaking up the atmosphere – but I don’t think that’s what people mean.

I am coming to the conclusion that “soaking up the atmosphere” simply means daytime drinking. All these events are just an excuse to not feel like an alcoholic when you’ve cracked open a bottle of bubbly at ten to eleven in the morning. Here again I’m left out, because I’m not really a big drinker. I know what you’re thinking “with a face like that, how can he not be constantly drinking in a bid to distort the hideous image his brain sees every time he looks in the mirror?” but no I take the hit, I just don’t drink very much – and have got used to my own hideous visage. So where is the fun, for those who aren’t pi**ed.
There are lots of other events like this that I don’t get the point of, New Year, St Patrick’s Day, even just a general night out clubbing. They are supposed to be the most fun you can ever have, but essentially they just consist of me not having fun, watching people who are having fun. And not having fun, while watching people having fun is probably the least fun thing of all. I just don’t get why they’re having fun – it can’t just be the drinking.

At least Christmas, they tell you what to do, there’s the cards, the decorations, the meal, the family row and the becoming obese because you really felt your family of 4 needed 16 tubes of Pringles. Ut most of these national events don’t come with instructions on how to have fun,. I’m never sure what I’m supposed to do, and instead it leaves me feeling rather empty.
Gay Pride is another one of these, I realise technically not a national event – unless you consider me a citizen of Homotopia. Essentially Gay Pride is where gay people all meet up and have a big celebration of the fact they are gay. They do these festivals in every major city up and down the country, even Hull, who knew there was anything to be proud of in Hull? I’m usually dragged to at least one of these events a year, I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. People appear to be having fun in all sorts of ways I simply cannot comprehend. All I know is that as a gay man this is supposed to be the most fun day of my life. It isn’t. There’s some kind of parade full of floats of gay men. I’m worried that these parades are actually Julian Clary’s attempt to recreate the Hitler Youth movement, but at least at this point I get what I’m supposed to do – stand there and watch. But then the rest of the day sort of seems to be hanging out in parks or gardens drinking, sort of like being in a very big pub without any tables, chairs, roofs or way of getting easily served – you know all the good things about pubs. Instead you have to be introduced to friends of friends of friends, who you don’t really want to meet and pretend to them you’re having the best day of your life ever – because “we’re soaking up the atmosphere”. I just don’t understand, what I am supposed to be doing?

With all this in mind, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing for the Jubilee either. At least the Queen was privy to some kind of instructions. I toyed with going down to the river, but that seemed awfully sociable. I was invited to completely ignore the event at a barbecue, but that felt wrong, I felt I should be celebrating the Jubilee. So instead I just sat on my arse and watched it on the telly, a pathetic attempt to be involved in a national celebration of fun. And then was shown news footage up and down the country of all kinds of people having fun. Fun I wasn’t having, fun at street parties and on The Mall and in pubs. I didn’t understand why what they were doing was fun, but they were having fun. They didn’t show any blokes sitting at home, not really having fun because they didn’t know how to join in did they?

Oh well, Olympics coming soon. Didn’t get any tickets for that… Probably just watch it on telly…Whilst everyone else has fun.
P.S. Due to Facebook's incompetence you may have missed last week's blog all about my trip to the USA if so why not click on "Born in the UK" under the May 2012 for double Matty misery!