Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Call me a Mackem

Here we are again, the end of yet another week where there is very little to relate from this end in respect of my transfer to somewhere else, beyond the fact that we should be informed officially whether I am accepted by North Sea Camp and where I am on the waiting list. What that actually means in pounds, shillings and pence is that I have nothing in my immediate future other than more waiting. Well, I'm quite good at waiting - I've had enough practice.

The other thing this week is that today, Sunday the 11th September, is the tenth anniversary of what has now become known world-wide as "Nine Eleven". Don't panic, I'm not going to say anything about it - enough has been and is being said by people far more qualified than me.

I remember where I was at the time. I was in Full Sutton prison and was on basic, so I didn't have a telly - I had to go running to the telly room to watch it.

I suppose it takes a powerful hatred to contemplate such an act. This got me thinking about hatred, and we can't really condemn anyone for it because our nation is the leader in hatred - we don't even like each other. For instance, let's consider the hatred between seperate sets of people who live in each other's back gardens, so to speak. Liverpool hate Everton, Manchester United hate Manchester City and so on. Of course they don't go round blowing up each other's stadiums and killing each other, but that's only because
they wouldn't get away with it. If they thought they COULD get away with it, they would be wiping each other out with the best of them.

Let us consider the situation between the denizens of Newcastle and those of Sunderland. There is maybe fifteen miles between the two cities, but there is a continent between them socially.

Now (and pay attention here - I'll be asking questions later), there is a great deal of misconception in that everyone thinks that a Geordie has to come from Newcastle. That's not so. A Geordie is someone born between the river Tees and the river Tyne. People from north of the Tyne are actually Tynesiders, while people from Sunderland and Middlesboro are Wearsiders and Tees-siders respectively. However, bigots never allow a fact to come between their pet hates and reality, so the Tynesiders call themselves Geordies and call the Wearsiders Mackems. (South Shields folk are Sand-Dancers and Hartlepool folk are Monkey­Hangers - but that's a different story.)

Wearsiders are called Mackems because when the shipyards were in operation it was said that they "Mak the ships and tak them te sea". That became "Mackems and Tackems" which is now merely abridged to "Mackems".

There is a story that there was once a doctor from the south of England travelling to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle where he was to perform a very delicate operation on a patient. He drove up the A1 and M1 and finally turned off into Newcastle itself. However, being a stranger to the area, he was forced to ask directions. So he stopped his car at the side of the road and approached a group of young men who were coming away from St James' Park after a game between Newcastle and Sunderland, which Sunderland had managed to draw after a disputed penalty kick.

"Excuse me," said the doctor politely, "But could you tell me the quickest way to get to the Freeman Hospital please?"

"Aye!" growled a disgruntled fan. "Call me a fucking Mackem."

The Voice In The Wilderness

No comments: