Ever since I can remember I’ve been straddling the social divides that aren’t supposed to exist anymore. According to the PR consensus mindset there are no rich and no poor in this country, it appears as if we are nothing but consumers and this is probably true.
I’ve grown up in a country where there is in reality a very distinct ‘us and them’. From an early age I attended schools where your academic performance was measured by how popular or how violent you were rather than your ability to feign an imaginary accent in Latin and make your way to Oxford. As a working class kid of the eighties I was told by my economic peers that I was posh because my mum had books on the shelves rather than the latest VCR or satellite dish. Even though my mum and I, me and my mum, were homeless at times and ended up in hostels with abusive overseers we were still considered a fully paid up member of the chattering classes.
To my mother’s intellectual peers, her little boy fighting his way through high school was a justification for their liberal social and economic thinking – to my mother's face at least. When I turned up at a friend’s house with holes in the toes of my shoes these same mums would laugh at how ridiculous and how poor we actually were.
Both of these peer groups were social climbers in their own way, whether it was through the latest electronic status symbols or by their latest radical stance. For little old me both groups were retarded peacocks displaying their feathers for anyone anal enough to take notice.
What both of these groups' ways of thinking instilled in me was a fear of expression whether verbally or physically for fear of either being beaten physically or emotionally. Look! I’m doing it now, not saying what I really mean.
I really, really, always wanted to beat ten kinds of Technicolor shit out of somebody.
I never could though. With the violent fuckers in school or in the streets I felt I was demeaning myself and adding to the greater social ill if I got sucked into a scrap.
The classic scenario: