Monday, April 05, 2004

Whose culture is it anyway?

I am English, male, white and middle-aged. I was bought up on Disney and John Wayne, before progressing to Pulp Fiction via The Godfather. On the radio we had Motown, Elvis and Otis and I was devoted to Dylan. I struggled with Shakespeare, but I devoured the Jack’s (Kerouac and London), and to this day I love crime fiction that comes out of a Los Angeles that will always belong to Chandler’s Marlowe. Ok, so I hate MacDonald’s and don’t do Starbuck’s, but when people start talking multiculturalism, perhaps we should take a step or two backwards and ask exactly whose culture are we talking about here? Today I still like Bob Dylan, but I also listen to reggae, and Youssou N’Dour, and Touareg singers from the Sahara. I eat Balti curries ‘invented’ in Birmingham’s curry quarter and the only new places of religious worship near where I live are Temples or Gudwara’s. Yet suddenly people like Trevor Phillips and those who want to interpret his words start twittering on about the problems of multiculturalism and its concept... and out of the swamp comes Tebbit with his ‘cricket test’. Good job old Enoch has gone, his rivers of blood would start flowing again.