At Madstock, held at Finsbury Park in London, Morrissey was opening for the long dormant Madness. Mozza came out draped in a British flag and he endured whistles and thrown beer bottles. It was well-covered in British news rags as being “racist.”
This was the summer of 1992.
As a colonist, this made no sense to me. I asked my many Brit friends to explain, and because their internal cultural wisdom disconnected from my external cultural confusion, the explanation was “Because flying the British flag is considered racist.”
This still didn’t make sense.
It was a conversation with Chris from Madness, in 2012 after their House of Blues gig in Ass Vegal, where a more satisfying explanation was provided. Without transcribing the entire conversation from memory, let me whittle it down to how I understood Chris:
Flying a British flag is insensitive to immigrants and that is racist.
Brit friends, revise my colonist interpretation if necessary.
I told Chris, “Dude! In the US of A, we fly our flag proudly and every chance we get! It’s racist to fly your national flag? Dude, that would NEVER happen here!”
2012 ………….. 2020.
Nope, our symbols of national identity and national pride would NEVER EVER EVER EVER IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF EVER be considered racist. Not in my lifetime. Not on my watch. Nope. Never ever.
And then we caught the midnight band at the HOB, a Quiet Riot cover band named Steel Komquat or Wyld Stallyns or … something. Geriatric moshing and head-banging ensued.
I’m serving Krähebrauten this weekend if anyone wants to dine in disappointment with me.