I was thinking about the Clash song "Something about England" as I walked to the grocery store today. The short version of the song: Mick asks about the persistent xenophobia of the English. Joe, in the persona of an old homeless man, responds by giving a history of the 20th century from the point of view of class, ending like this.
But how could we know when I was youngThe thing that strikes me the most about the song was that if you lived in England in those times, history happened to you. The US is at war, but history is not happening to a lot of us. History is not happening to me. But it is happening to a lot of other people.
All the changes that were to come?
All the photos in the wallets on the battlefield
And now the terror of the scientific sun
There was masters an' servants an' servants an' dogs
They taught you how to touch your cap
But through strikes an' famine an' war an' peace
England never closed this gap