I’ve actually been quite impressed with the UK population as a whole and how they really get involved in what their government does. The yearly government budget report is televised and watched with great interest. People talk about the council this and the council that and who and what and why of current budget cuts. If the UK population doesn’t like something the government does, they protest about it. I can’t tell you what effectiveness all this protesting actually does because I’m American and for the most part, I don’t pay attention to such things…especially if there’s something good on the TV. I realize that there has been quite a lot of protesting in the States recently with this whole 99%\1% business. After the 1960’s Protest Euphoria, Americans only tend to protest when things have gotten really really shitty and they no longer have any money to buy candles from Pottery Barn. On the flip side, if the squirrels don’t stop shitting on the bike path in Sefton Park soon, there’s going to be a fucking protest – mark my words.
Which leads to me to today, where the Henbot and I both lost our Protest Cherry, so to speak. I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about the Children’s Center that Henry and I go to a lot. (START OF BORING POLITICAL DO-DADS) Due to budget cuts, the council has proposed shutting down this particular center and a couple more due to the fact that we are considered to be in an affluent area and therefore don’t need the services as much as families who, well, are not as affluent. It’s a bunch of bullshit really – just because we might live in a nicer area of Liverpool doesn’t mean that we’re driving Mercedes and taking family safaris to Kenya for a laugh. I mean, I lived in Newport Beach in California which has more money than God, but I was living in a shitty 1 bedroom apartment with a flea infestation and an air conditioner that I couldn’t use because it was so loud the police ticketed me for a noise disturbance (true story) (mostly) (it was just a warning). Plus, this particular center is the most highly attended center in all of Liverpool. (END OF BORING POLITICAL DO-DADS)
You know, normally I wouldn’t give a shit. I’m American after all, and with the latest comedies coming out this autumn my schedule is pretty full (hey State-siders – if you haven’t gotten ‘Spy’, ‘Threesome’, ‘Misfits’ and ‘An Idiot Abroad’ over there, search them out online…well worth your time). But the fact of the matter is this fucking Children’s Center is at the center of my whole social life right now (as much as it pains me to admit that). The few bad or awkward dates aside, I’ve met a lot of people there and it would be really disappointing if it wasn’t there anymore. So, I did what any good British person would do – I joined a protest.
Aww...Baby's First Protest
Just to clear a few things up, protesting is pretty boring. Its cold and it will most likely rain on you. You will hold a sign that no one can read unless they came up to you and asked you to stand still for a moment. You repeat a phrase over and over again until your voice goes hoarse and you lose track of what you’re actually chanting. At one point I was chanting “Caveman Center! Horse is Mostly Hills!” for 5 minutes before I gave up and hid my mouth behind my sign so people wouldn’t know I was trying to locate some saliva to continue on. Most importantly, there was no beer involved. Or vodka. That, my friends, is a sad outing.
Our legions in front of City Hall...oh yes! The strollers themselves are a force to be reckoned with!
Again, I don’t know to what effectiveness our little protest will achieve. But hey, we tried. I personally think my protesting days are over. While I was a wizard at sign holding, my chanting skills leave something to be desired. I may have to come out of retirement if they ban cheap beer sales in supermarkets but until then, I’ve got the new Radio Times to look through.
UPDATE: We made the evening news! Thank you Liverpool Echo for posting a picture that makes my thighs look like Redwood trunks while also appearing to be wearing tapered 80's jeans. A least Henry looks good.