Monday, August 15, 2016

A missing gene

It all started at the beginning of the Olympics when I saw this tweet:

and I was baffled.

I did not understand that feeling. I can't imagine ever feeling like that, no matter what the flag or the country.

If I watch the Olympics it's to marvel at the feats, the skill, the hard work behind the success. Those synchronised high divers, for example.  Astonishing! I watched them with the sound turned off, and was thankful not to be a judge. There was only one pair who I saw with an obvious flaw. I have no idea what country they came from.

And I am fond of supporting underdogs. And runners who fall down and then get up and win the race. Which country was that guy from? 

I am not big on flags or patriotism. I see them as divisive and with the potential to lead to conflict and war. 

I wondered if anyone else liked the Olympics but only wanted the best competitor to win, no matter where they were from, so I asked Karen, my Californian aging hippie friend. She agreed. Perhaps she also has a missing gene.

I pondered about whether there ever could be an occasion when I would be shouting for 'my team.' I used to stand on the touchline and shout when the family member who declines to be named played footie as a teenager.

If there were a competition between the North and London I would shout for the North. That gives me a clue. Is it just that I don't identify with the UK brand? (I hate the current government's policies. And I ashamed of their attitude to refugees, and the lack of succour they offer. )

 Or is it just that I don't like flags and patriotism? 

It's the human species I care about. Xenophobia and racism are increasing everywhere. Perhaps flags and borders exacerbate them. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

We draw lines and stand behind them;
that's why flags are such ugly things.

- Fugazi

Anonymous said...

I don't see flags as devisive as such - (or i didn't use to) I see it as representing a place to belong - the British identity is so much more than who ever is in power - my mum was given a safe place to come to during the second world war and was proud to become a British citizen. But all things can be misused and twisted sadly and some flags do represent things I fear....

[newly returned from the far north (just over the border in Scotland) to the Midlands - do I think of myself as "from The Midlands"? - No! would I wave the Blackcountry flag - no - I dont like it - though it is new so perhaps it will grow on me?] [I think its very unlikely so am now rather confused what I do think about flags]