Tuesday, 16 February 2010

End of an Era

Well, we are saying goodbye to our car that has faithfully served us for nine years, and that we have added 110000 miles to the clock, thereof. The pink, tiny yet wonderful Flying Condom, nicknamed Fuff by the kids (and I can now stop sawing an inch of their legs each month) is sorely trashed, and is at the point where it will cost us more money than we have. Maybe I should have serviced it more than the couple of desultory oil-changes and filter changes that I mustered. (In my defence, I have in the past done all of the head-reconditioning, valve grinding, points-setting, carb-tuning shite to the point where I just am not interested anymore).

But this is not a defence of my carelessness. This is a eulogy.

It is a truism to say that most of us in the western world live in a symbiotic relationship with our cars. They eat, excrete, etc, and they have these strange little parasites that often clump together in groups of one, two, three or four, or sometime five, but rarely more. They have a yet unexplained function (the predominant hypotheses speculate that they are a type of cancer), running up and down the grey network of veins and arteries that serve the greater organism that is the aforementioned Western World and Beyond.

But that aside. We do - some of us who grind our host-species into the ground - get quite attached. So forgive me a moment of gentle sentimentality.

D (no better than a louse, and whom due to the kindness of family with gifts and loans is getting a bigger car, still old, but probably better looked after - I pray) x


p.s. I posted this separately, but then reconsidered, and then decided it deserved to be only a footnote:


The Thatcherite Revolution.

I am on the cusp. I can see and feel before, as well as after. Balanced, beautifully. An intelligent eight-year-old in 1979 is perfectly poised to imbibe the dirty chalice.

It struck me, this evening, that every teacher from the age of thirty-one and downwards, was born post-Thatcher. It also struck me that there is a hope that weeps in my breast that for every one of them that has been infected, there is another who has been innoculated by the past.

What happened? What changed? In one sentence...

Stupidity and selfishness became the norm.

That is the legacy. From WWII, and expressed in the Labour Government of 45 onwards, there was a time when we had two or three decades of social optimism and enlightenment, no matter which party was in power. Then it changed to selfishness and stupidity.

Thatcher, the personality, isn't to blame for the change. She was just one of the many mouthpieces. (I'm still going to set off a fucking big firework when she dies. I hope you will all join me in that distasteful expression of distaste.)

I want to know just what it was that changed.

Personally I blame the hippies. :-) (joke)

[this post could be titled, lament for the baby-boomers and their fucking failure]

Up to us now, folks.

p.s. This post has been in no way influenced by my yearly half-an-hour of current telly, via the iplayer. What morons talking. What morons clapping! I fucking despair.


la said...

Oh noes :(

Kate said...

Thatcher was no more to blame for bringing this nation down to its knees than Hitler was to blame for the atrocities of Nazism. Although both were far from culpability.
A year older, give or take, than you, I remember that moment in '79. For me it was the end of a sunny childhood. The door of the cosseted home was kicked open to reveal a wider world of selfishness, greed, suspiscion, fear and - indeed,stupidity.
I don't know what happened but I'm not convinced it was all a cause of the hippies or baby-boomers, even if most of them did scurry past the revolting miners on their way to Sainsburies (For once I will stand up for my baby-boomer parents who stood up and joined ranks on the picket lines).
Other than the handful of land-owning, tax-fiddling toffs, it was the working classes who were blinded and bribed with promises of home-ownership, mobility and dubious prosperity.
As mouthpieces go, she was a one; from the serpentine hissing to the piercing clarion call. The stern, scolding nanny's voice, the voice of an arbitrary, irrational authority once feared by all children of the empire. A voice like a tanned behind that resonated in the subconscious of a masochistic nation. A voice compelling them all to stand to attention and tug at their forlocks. To their shame,so many of them did.
There was a time somewhere in the middle and towards the end that I thought things had got bad enough to precipitate the revolution. Then what happened? A succession of bland, dough-faced, unctious, smarmy successors moved in, upped the surveillance and distracted or drugged us all into passivity.
I'm glad they didn't hang draw and quarter her. I'm glad she lives on as the gibbering madwoman, clutching her 14th whisky in the Tory attic (with the rest of the Tory undead popping up from time to time to wipe the dribble from her chin).
If it wasn't for Thatcher, we might not have witnessed the full extent of the genius of Steve Bell, nor some of the finer moments of Spitting-Image. That's all I have to console myself with for the rude and abrupt curtailment of my innocence, the misery and rage of my adolescance, the fallout and disspointment of my 20's and so on.
I'll be doing more than setting off a firework when she snuffs it. I've been planning this party for decades. You'll be getting an invite.
I'm sorry about you car.

Borderline Lil said...

RIP Fuff

Mossy Mom said...

Carter was the beginning of the end in the USA. It's all been downhill since as far as human rights.

Sorry about your car. We have 4 of them but are still considered poor in this country. All 4 are junkers though.

David said...

Thanks all! What a scrappy post I wrote! Old new car works - but I won't trust it til it's worked for a year or two - I'm difficult like that.

Thatcher - well... just her name really... no need to say more. I look forward to the invite Kate!

Fuf was a fine one - whenever I took it for an MOT the garage wag would inevitable ask me what colour I called it - I always replied "CONDOM PINK" in stentorian tones. I suppose it was the only non-junker we ever had, (and are ever likely to have), but at least *we* killed it (for once).

Take care everyone, Dx