Kick the Americans outta Philly.
After I wrote about how Rudolf Hess-lookalike/indie icon Steven Patrick Morrissey has become just another droning, middle-aged, shit-dribbling anti-immigration bore, an angry fan emailed pointing out that Mozzer is right because "unique" English culture is under threat from a recent influx of filthy, filthy foreigners.
I wrote the chap back, asking him to pinpoint, to within a year or two, when English culture was "unique" (and not unduly burdened by contact with the Welsh, Scots, Irish, French, Cornish and other horrid non-English types).
I estimate it must've been somewhere around 450 A.D.--just after the arrival in Britain of the German tribes, including the Angles and the Saxons, but before the arrival of those beastly Danish Vikings (around 451 A.D.).
I spent this Christmas in England and Spain, both countries enjoying spasms of immigration phobia. In England pretty much everything bad is blamed on the Poles. Coming over here, shagging our beer, drinking our women, fixing our plumbing, etc. While the folks who've emigrated from England to Spain (going over there, stealing their sunshine, drinking their sangria, etc.) seem obsessed with Romanian immigrants who, rumor has it, are entirely responsible for all crime on the Iberian peninsula.
This might give us the answer to the question: When can a culture truly be said to be unique? Answer: when the majority of crime is generally assumed to be committed by the majority population, rather than the Poles, Romanians, Irish, Italians, blacks, Welsh, Mexicans or whatever group of incomers or outsiders can be lazily stereotyped by idiot bigots. Ain't that right, Joey Vento?
But of course the real lesson to be learned from Morrissey's anti-immigrant gibbering is that traveling overseas automatically gives the traveler the right to reinvent their homeland as a Disneyfied immigrant-free theme park.
Thus while away from my fair Philly, I chose to reimagine the city as it was the last time it had a reasonable level of law and order, and a noncorrupt administration--namely the British occupation of 1777.
You can imagine my disappointment when I arrived home. Oh what have you done to my fair city? Who let all these Irish and Italians in? Who is this shabbily dressed, dogfood-in-a-bun-peddling rabble-rouser Joey Vento with his gruesomely tattooed forearms and inability to string together a semicoherent sentence?