Big Fat Gypsy CRUSHINGS!
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. It’s funny how those two little words, in fact I’m not even sure that oh is a word, but regardless – it’s funny how those two little words can so aptly sum up an entire television show, and as a result of that sum up an entire swathe of society.
Yes, it’s big fat gypsy weddings on channel 4! If you thought last week was bad, you’re in for a shock. This week we had more gypsy weddings and more tiny gypsy communions, but we also had the destruction of the gypsy life, and even more shocking – wannabe gypsies! I ask you!
Where to start? Well, let’s start with the wannabe gypsies. Basically we’ve got a gypsy boy (pat,) who is marrying a non-gypsy (or a Gorjer in the romany tongue,) girl – quite the scandal. The girl already looked the part even before she’d put on her 20 stone baby pink dress, so fitting in wouldn’t be much of an issue. She seemed very proud to be entering into the traveller life, defending her new caravan home (without a toilet please – it takes up too much room,) to the incredulous channel 4 reporter Daniel, who argued that a caravan wasn’t a home because it had wheels. Fair point. INTERESTINGLY though she did get a bit riled up when one of her new gypsy cousins started in on the gorjer way of life, saying they’ve got not respect and they’re rude. This showed to me that they were maybe playing it up to be a bit more idyllic than it actually is for the cameras.
My favourite bit of the show though was when the gypsy sites came under attack. Like in the return of the king when gandalf and the gondorians know there’s an attack coming, the valiant gypsies at Dale farm were preparing for the council to come at any moment and smash their world into smithereens. “If dey tink we’re goin’ widart a fight, dey’ve got anarda tink comin’!” was the sentiment expressed at Dale farm, whilst down the road at another farm (always a farm!) it was already happening. The bulldozers were in, and the gypsy homes were being crushed and destroyed. One little gypsy lad looked on mournfully. “Why do you think they’re doing this?” asked the reporter. “Because they don’t like gypsies.” said the boy. No, my dear child, it’s because you don’t own that land and you’re not paying any taxes – that’s why.
I think that’s one of the main things that angered me. The whole issue regarding the fact that these people are living tax free on land they don’t own was completely glossed over. And you’re travellers you say? When was the last time you travelled? Those “caravans” they live in have got brick walls round them and proper doors and windows like a house! They’re not caravans! They’re bungalows! And don’t get me started on the children. Little girls, five or six years old, wearing hooker dresses and mini skirts, bumping and grinding all over the place. No, no, no, sorry, that’s not right. Just like last week, they’re preaching this high moral code and then you’ve got children acting like that with no sense of decency.
Ahhh dear, this show really vexes me. Am I really justified to say that things like that arn’t right? Who am I to judge? But it’s all just so alien. The taste, the “morals,” the dress sense – it just doesn’t sit right with me at all. And they say that all that sort of stuff is their culture – their traditions. How can pink 4 by 4 limos be a tradition? They’ve only been around the last few years! Surely travellers 20 or 30 years ago weren’t like this?
I suppose, I shouldn’t judge taste and clothes, but I do. It’s just how I am. I look down on it and think it’s awful, but people can dress how they like. But the children dressed up like prostitutes – that makes me very uncomfortable, and I do think that’s wrong. And the tax dodging too. What does that make me? A racist? A patriot? I’m not sure. But you can’t help the way your gut feels.