On The Sofa With Andy Capp

I am suffering from a pulmonary infection, hardly more than a week after my first bout with amoebic dysentery. In consequence, I am full of antibiotics and chronically tired. On my back on the sofa is where I am spending much of the day. This cannot help but remind me of Andy Capp.

That comic strip has, of course, been condemned as stereotyping Northern working-class men. (Not that Andy himself actually works, of course.) He is such a beloved character oop north, however, that this can only be based on ironic recognition; there must be something to the image.

On the other hand, you simply could not have a society in which all the men were full-bore Andys, and I really wonder about the minds of the southern gin-and-tonic drinking classes who bray in their own pubs to that effect. I wonder whether any one of them has ever done a full day of manual work, and how long he would stay on the sofa afterwards if he did. To them, people who work hard with their hands are simply invisible; good servants should not be noticed, right?

We still talk about working classes, lower orders and so forth, but we may have lost our one-time awareness of the difference between those who worked and those who were worked for. It has been killed by the transfer of the term “middle class” from the owner or rentier to the corporate drone, who does himself work, after a fashion. Despite that change, however, I would suggest that the middle manager braying in the pub about how all northerners and/or working class lie on their sofas like Andy Capp – or these days, me – is thinking exactly like his forefathers. In essence, the complaint is that people are not working hard enough for him, daring not to be 24/7 robots. “You can’t get decent help these days”.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 21:33 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE ENSLAVING MAMMAL, The Lackey Society

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