Saturday, April 19, 2008

Smells like...victory

I seem to have escaped London just before the invasion of unpleasant smells that the conservative press has had such a joyful time blaming on ancestral enemies (which, in the British case, means just about anyone other than themselves).

It appears that this scourge has actually been the result of unfortunate winds coinciding with the fertilising of agricultural fields in northern continental Europe. (What...don't British farmers fertilise their fields?)

Now, it strikes me as more than a bit odd that The Mail has identified the source as a country (in this case, the Germans) rather than a profession, i.e., farmers.

As you might have noted if you pay attention to these things (and we do, oh yes, we do), farmers are usually quite a favoured group in the Mail and the Telegraph and other assorted advocates of a traditional way of life.

They are known to often display contempt for the sensitivities of the modern, effete urban dweller. They also display more than a passing admiration for a Golden Age gone by that the now vanishing rural world represents.

Which puts the current obsession with the brief stinky wind in a bit of perspective.

I spent a number of years living in a rural university town in the American midwest. I now live in a fairly rural small town in southwestern Germany. (Located just about where The Sun seems to think the 'German pig muck pong' got its origin.) And in graduate school I spent more time than I care to remember studying the social life of early modern Europe.

And let me let you in on a tiny secret.

The countryside -- now as in the past -- sometimes shit.

Where, one wants to ask, do you think your food comes from, city boys and city girls...and where, after you've scarfed down your over-priced, pseudo-gourmet, factory processed calories, do you think it goes?

Yes. You'd be right.

Get used to it, urban sissies.

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