29 November 2011

Public Transport Racists: Spot the Difference

Right, I'm sure we've all seen Racist Tram Woman and her amazing Tram Racism. If not, she's here:

But I wonder if we've seen Racist Tube Lady and her amazing Tube Racism. She gets off at Liverpool St, by the way.

You might be wondering why one racist woman got her own personal twitstorm and a visit from the Old Bill and the other didn't. After all, they're both whining about forruns to anyone that'll listen. But they're whining in very different voices. While Racist Tube Lady is careful to pronounce all her 't's and 'l's, Racist Tram Woman is all glottal stops and syllabic 'w's. And they both swear, but one of them is at least middle-class enough to apologise for it and would most likely never say F-U-C-K if there were impressionable wee kiddy-winkies present.

Let's not pretend we don't, as a society, have a slight problem with racism. When I twat about this yesterday, Puffles drew attention to hidden discrimination. You can't see the racism, but you know it's happened somewhere along the line or they'd be far more Black and Brown people in the Houses of Parliament. Obviously sometimes, you can see the racism, like in the aftermath of the England riots - where our first reflex was to blame Black people, even where White people were involved. We were so quick to see the riots in terms of Black stereotypes like gangs or BOBGC, and believe the Met's lies about Mark Duggan being armed, despite neither of them being true. And that's just our home-grown racial punching bags. While we like to pretend locking foreigners up solely for being here looks like this, it's usually a bit more like this.

What Racist Tram Woman was kind enough to do was to give us a scapegoat for our racism. We bang up some gobby fuckwit with a working-class accent for her racism, and suddenly we've proven to everyone that we care ever so much about fighting racism. And I'd even scratch my chin a bit that this all happened at the same time as the Stephen Lawrence trial, where we're getting a painful reminder of the murderous, mendacious racism that goes from top to bottom in our society.

But she's also done us another favour. By finding an unpleasant member of the dolecriminal underclasses to scapegoat for our society's racism, we can go on pretending that Nazis are inebriated plebs who look like this and not Cambridge Blues who look like this. We can pretend that our society's racism is not a systematic component of the UK which enriches the private sector while driving innocent men to suicide, and pretend it's just a proletarian faux-pas like baseball caps, putting the milk in first or ordering Stella Artois.

And this is, of course, total and utter fucking horseshit. The way to fight racism is this, and it's a lot harder than just this.

08 November 2011

How I Memorised My Bust Card

Ok, ahead of the student demo tomorrow, here's my mnemonics for the numbers on your bust card. Please comment with any ways you have and I'll stick them up here as well if I like them:

Bindmans Solicitors

02078 33 44 33

Ok, so this is a company, which means it has two things:
  1. A fixed landline number, in London
  2. One of those deliberately catchy numbers with doubles and stuff
The other thing you notice is they're greedy lawyers and as such want to have it both ways: The two area codes in London are 0207 and 0208. They have both, though at least they have them in order: 02078

And obviously they like numbers that are next to each other, because the rest is 3s and 4s, doubled up, and going up first then down: 33 44 33.

Green and Black Cross

07946 541 511

Bit harder this one, but not much. This isn't a company, so if you can't remember which is the landline, it's not this one.

Ok, loads of mobiles go 0794 or 0796. This one, like those greedy solicitors, has both, and, again, they're in order: 07946

Then, you've got two sets of three numbers, going down. 5-4=1, and 511, like 911 but different because
  1. the last thing you want is more police
  2. That's the American number anyway and we're not in Kansas any more, Dorothy
This is possibly the rambliest, silliest thing I've blogged, and obviously you can always write it up your arm, but it works for me and it passes the time when I'm walking.

ANYWAY, you could do it with Live and Kicking, you can do it for this. Good luck!