After emerging from post-holiday hibernation, during which I did little else besides crocheting whilst binge-watching Netflix and eating bon-bons, I returned to the internet, that great information highway (or by-pass).
For most of my news, I read the Guardian,* supplemented (cautiously) by the Globe and Mail for Canadian content, the New York Times for essays, and the Gawker pantheon for entertainment (mostly science and feminism). Occasionally, though, one needs to hate-read. Hate-reading is not so one is reminded that the world is a terrible place full of terrible events, the news covers that just fine. No: hate-reading is to be reminded that people are THE WORST.
When I caught up on the news a few days ago, I quickly discovered that a day of reckoning seemed to be upon the British people. At the end of 2013, the EU restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians living and working in the UK expired. Naturally, xenophobia reared its ugly head (Maggie? Is that you?). So much of it, too, came under the guise of “But the economy!” or just old prejudices reasserting themselves anew.
I am not going to debate the issue here, but one merely needs to compare and contrast the insane headlines of some British papers to the actual facts. I was lead to a conclusion as easily as fairy tale children are lead to gingerbread houses in the woods.
I find it amazing to consider the absolute absurdity of some of these stories. Calm down, ye wee Islanders, gypsies are not going to shit on your doorstep. I fear somewhere along the line a ham-fisted metaphor was mistaken for literal truth. No turds will be left on your front stoop. Do I really need to repeat that?
The hysteria, however and as always, was for nothing. But at least it provided me with an excellent example to cite when asked why I didn’t really want to stay in Britain. It boggles my mind that not only do papers like the Daily Mail exist, but that so many people actually take them for legitimate sources of news and social commentary. They are Fox News in print, nothing more. “News” should be defined as truth, you see.
And don’t get me started on Duck Dynasty.
* If being a Guardian reader is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
– Frederico Garcia Lorca