Tag Archives: Working-Class Hero

Crosswords Society Analogy Mirror Poem

Life was a tea-break quickie for me until I went to uni, and it began becoming cryptic, using a crosswords analogy. Cryptic crosswords don’t make much sense until you know the rules, and common forms of encrypting them, and I think the same is true for society.

If you have no interest in such things, the good thing about relatively free societies such as dear ol’ Blighty, still at the moment anyway, is that you can get by just doing the tea-break quickie.

Moreover, you can look smarter and quicker doing that, rather than struggling over learning and deciphering the cryptic.

John Lennon’s Working-Class Hero, 1970

As soon as you’re born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool
Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules

When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see

Read more: John Lennon – Working Class Hero Lyrics | MetroLyrics

John Lennon and Marc Latham (4-6)

For those who’ve grown up in the social media age, Lennon wasn’t criticising the working-class, saying peasants; he thought he could be sarcastic to make a point, even though he was very rich by then.

I was probably reminded of Lennon watching an Imagine two-part documentary about Cuba this week. A lot of what the Habaneros said about socialism is how I feel now, after being a staunch one back in the 1980s. I still think it’s a good ideal, but hasn’t worked that well in practise, with even Russia generally forgetting it now.

A soft form works well in countries like Norway, but they do have North Sea oil money too; but have used it wisely, only spending so much each year, unlike Blighty!

The lyrics to Working-Class Hero seemed still apt for my experiences at university, but they also did in my day-job, when the bullying perpetrators were working-class from all ethnicities.

So, I’m not trying to convince you I’m your working-class hero here. I’d rather be living in a secluded mansion in the Hollywood hills; or somewhere similar in Blighty or Europe, like most of the working-class who’ve made some money.

That’s in contrast to people like Russell Brand and Lily Allen, who do the same, but try to hide it, while trying to claim they’re ethically squeaky clean. You want bollocks go to them!

Blighty Since 1980s

However, if the ‘Editors’ change the rules, withdrawing the tea-break quickie and imposing the cryptic on you, then you can come unstuck, and look stupid; as happened to people like poor Jade Goody, who seemed to me and the Mirror‘s Carole Malone (cited for her writing rather than her looks; a common mistake made in the current social media age) to be sacrificed for Multicultural Fascism under New Labour’s openly stated strategy to ‘change the face of Britain’ after the working-class had rebelled in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Jade and the others did look horrible at times in the Big Brother house, but that was predictable, put into a situation with a person and rules they didn’t understand, and who could be snobby, because that’s the life she led. For Jade and the others it was like being forced to try a cryptic crossword without any knowledge of them!

Society of Crosswords, Clues are Scrambled

no more tea-break
quickies for queue
straightforward view
while having brew
equality delusion
you know
the puzzle
so it’s time
for a new muzzle
multiculturalism

what you write today, tomorrow we’ll make hearsay

elitism
elegant word for meism
enjoying new lease
riding theism
we preach
our superiority
have another theology
new tautology
fork isn’t cutlery
cryptic-cross cultery now

My brilliant books (to me, maybe not everybody!) are available on Amazon etc:

Bipolarity and ADHD to Folding Mirrors by [Marc Latham]

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British Working Class: Romantic Tribe or Sub-Human Chavs?

Seventy-five years ago, the Slavs were being demonised as sub-human. Now, Russian women like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova are considered too beautiful to be used as comparisons by people like John Inverdale.

Sue Townsend on Writing and Class 

English: Maria Sharapova
English: Maria Sharapova (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi, it’s G.G. Howling, literary correspondent at the Greenygrey, finishing off working-class week at the Greenygrey. My human parallel, J.K. Rowling, is a woman done good from an ordinary background, living as a single mother on benefits before finding success.

While I haven’t heard J.K. talk about class I remember Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend talking about her struggles as a working-class writer; on Melvyn Bragg’s On Class and Culture I think; with her (working) class not really valuing her work, and the upper classes not really interested in a working-class writer.

Marc Latham can relate to this, although he has also had help and made valued connections with people from both the working-class and upper classes.

So, after focusing on the working-class this week, we’ll end it by considering its place amongst other classes and cultures in modern Britain.

Working-Class Between Boris Johnson and Ken Loach 

Yosser Hughes
Yosser Hughes (Photo credit: DNQA)

As this is the Greenygrey, we of course have to consider both sides of the argument. Film-makers like Ken Loach and Alan Bleasdale created realistic but romantic portrayals of the working-class from the 1960s to 1990s, mixing gritty depressing situations with the hope and spirit of people determined not to let the system grind them down.

John Lennon of course sung of this in the Working-Class Hero song.

Noel Clarke.jpg
Noel Clarke

Perhaps these are old hat to the younger multicultural generation, and they relate more to the street stories of Noel Clarke and Ronan Bennett?

The other side of the coin to the romantic – realistic portrayal of the working-class is like that of Boris Johnson, who blames the working-class for not trying hard enough; living instead in a hazy old world self-sympathising stupor.

But even if the working-class try, it’s not always easy. Mass immigration means there’s more competition, which is usually the government or EU’s fault rather than the migrants, and employers are able to hire and fire more easily, as well as offering less work. Zero-hour contracts are the new novelty harking back to Victorian workhouse times.

And work environments aren’t always that nice anyway; or even universities. When Marc Latham tried to work hard at the start of his PhD thesis in university because of financial difficulties he was persecuted as a pushy troublemaker by his first year supervisors!

The Working-Class Green and Grey 

In social terms, the Greenygrey was born between the more green upper classes Marc Latham had mixed with while travelling and in university, and the more grey traditional working-class life portrayed by Loach and Bleasdale Marc related to; although he grew up in a working-class green countryside town.

But, as with everything Greenygrey, the two sides (classes) are not entirely separate, and there are green working-class people and grey upper classes; and Marc Latham similarly thinks green sometimes, and other times grey.

Fire dance
Fire dance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While in some ways, some times he agrees with Boris Johnson that people should work more, in other ways he thinks that the working-class who don’t work to chase money and materialism are living an ideal life; like Native Americans, African tribal people or Australian aborigines.

But, trying to live a life focused on old ways family and community is precarious in a globalised world, and as the plight of other indigenous people has shown, it’s an almost certainty that they’ll be preyed upon by other cultures and big business.

Leading into Wolf, Wildlife and Environment Week 

Fracking_Food_Farms
Fracking_Food_Farms (Photo credit: Public Herald)

While Jeremy Clarkson’s anti-environmentalism is about as grey as can be, so is usually anathema to Marc, sometimes he does seem to make sense when arguing against policies that are going to have little or no impact on the environment.

While the green of Marc doesn’t like policies that unnecessarily harm the environment, the grey of Marc doesn’t like policies that unnecessarily make life difficult for the poor and vulnerable.

Therefore, he is still open-minded about fracking, which is currently dividing the green and grey worlds. Although in a perfect world it would be nice if it was unnecessary, in the real world green energy can only supply a small fraction of our energy needs; and fracking might make Britain energy rich and reduce bills for the people. Although knowing how the energy companies have profited while raising bills over the last twenty years, we don’t trust them at all.

Eastern wolves at Wolf Science Center, Ernstbr...
Eastern wolves at Wolf Science Center, Ernstbrunn, Lower Austria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And that leads nicely into the third and final w of the www of the Greenygrey philosophy: wolf. Wolf is the icon for wildlife and environment, and of course also the Greenygrey website.

Although the last couple of weeks have been enjoyable and rewarding, it’ll be a relief to escape into nature and wildlife; writing about women and the working-class can be controversial and divisive, and everybody loves a wolf don’t they…

There’s lots more women, working-class and wolf writing in Marc’s books available at: Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

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