The George Berger Column
. . .
JUNE 18, 2005
"The strangest communication breakdown is when I say 'morning!' loud and clear to people who ignore the idea that it's even happened. For all my disabilities, I will never be that disabled. They don't just fail to reply, they panic a visible, pathetic, inner panic -- the grief without the pang. They squirm, and all because they've been offered the olive branch of a friendly passer-by with a smile. And you feel like love is dead."
FEBRUARY 16, 2005
"It isn't heroic, it's just obvious when you're in the epicenter. After all, what you gonna do? Go up to your mates in the pub on a Saturday night and say 'Guess what folks, I might have cancer! Wa-hey! Anyone fancy a pint?'"
JUNE 12, 2004
"Ingerland Ingerland Ingerland. I don't want scum in my country. I feel uncomfortable around those two phrases when they're put together. I feel doubly uncomfortable to be surrounded by suburban middle-Englanders who don't. It was the 'decent folk' of 1930s Germany who turned the other way when their neighbours were dragged away in the night. I don't overly trust 'decent folk' when they're being vocal about their decency. You hear them on radio phone-ins, where their decency is all too often a veneer for something darker. And though nothing truly bad happened on the 12.06 tonight, I caught a whiff of something unpleasant."
APRIL 21, 2004
"The bar staff are all from mainland Europe and it's a striking surreality that they all hail from far more classless societies than the strictly frigid class perversions they're now imposing. Funny how they've let filthy lucre stick a broom up their collective arses without a whimper of complaint. We are all prostitutes, everyone has their price…and you too will learn to live the lie…"
AUGUST 25, 2003
"All those things I was going to achieve and all of a sudden I feel like I'm in the last ten yards before the finishing line."
MAY 29, 2003
"But there's a van in front of me, going slow like vans always do when you don't want them to. Pull out to the outside lane. Bastard speeds up -- overtaken is not his ego-choice. Arsehole probably reads The Sun. My willy is bigger than his willy eventually."
MARCH 18, 2003
"The most beautiful women in the world are to be found in Denmark. The rest are to be found in airports. And, unlike anywhere else in the world, you might just stand a chance of getting involved with them. They might just be hippies in a nice disguise, about to make love, not bad punk records. Because they're about to get on a plane, and you don't know where to."
SEPTEMBER 24, 2002
"So Tony Blair has said he's prepared to 'pay the blood price' waging war on Iraq, and the world once more seems a very sick patient."
AUGUST 21, 2002
"What are exams for? The answer is as ancient and simple as it is straightforwardly missed by the Uni-Class. They are, as they have always been, to separate the future workforce out into the haves and have-nots. Managers and workers may be an outdated way of putting it (maybe), but future poor and future rich isn't."
AUGUST 9, 2002
"Crass used to use the word 'sharing' a lot when talking of what they were trying to achieve -- sharing their good fortune, sharing their ideas, sharing cups of tea -- and halfway through the talk, Steve Ignorant brings out the substantial lager rider to the front of the stage and invites the audience down to partake. An initial calm of disbelief quickly turns into a rush-hour gallop, but always gentle, always caring. Once more, the rhetoric is backed up on a scale seldom seen and all the more beautiful for the natural way it's done."
JUNE 17, 2002
"The English flag (World Cup), rather than the British one (Jubilee) is hanging off every other car and in every other house window. And strangely it feels good."
MAY 20, 2002
"I'm not married or part of the Friends Reunited club. All present have their wives, children and mortgages. Which is fine -- it's a legitimate lifestyle choice, but it's not the only one, and tonight I'm the only one thinking these thoughts. They're all just the right side of cruel enough not to bring it up, but I know I'm the odd one out -- the token weirdo. Indeed, everyone present knows."
MAY 04, 2002
"I loved Crass because I hated the system. Trouble is, I still do. Whilst most 30somethings around me own houses and entertain good establishment jobs (Crass fans one and all), so maybe it's a question of the old cliche about having a problem with those who are too like you. Only I'm still skint -- burnt bridges that supposed comrades only pretended to burn . You left me standing like a naughty schoolboy."