It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to remember when banter – that noxious, klaxon horn-tooting, date rape-espousing, puke stained day-glo nightmare – became so prevalent in contemporary culture.
I’m serious. No I’m not. Yes I am. No I’m not. I’ll fucking kill you. Only joking. Banter.
The other day, I passed a display of St George’s Cross flip flops in Primark and regarded it as natural as the sight of the first swallow of spring, but as unwelcome as a tidal wave of sewage lapping at my front door. The World Cup must be soon, I thought to myself, then went to look at some socks.
I don’t even know what banter is anymore: it seems to have come to encompass practically everything, from smart phones, which provide a medium for effective banter transmission, to pint glasses, which are both an essential banter fuelling device and a useful weapon when the inevitable physical banter kicks off. As with gas, banter has expanded to fill available space.
The term ‘banter’ has essentially replaced ‘having a laugh’ and has possibly even replaced ‘talking’. It lends a sense of adventure to the most banal of everyday transactions, such as sexism and ridiculing badly-paid service staff. In time I expect it to replace ‘living’. Gravestones could be adjusted: Charles Dickens bantered from 1812 to 1870. Commemorative plaques too: James Joyce bantered here.
As I browsed the racks of Primark (parp!)I thought to myself that I really must get into banter, as it will be inescapable in the future and, if the UKIP are to be believed, it’s a language that’ll be more useful to me than French or German. But where to start? Perhaps football.
Recently ejected Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood put it best when he said ‘football isn’t just a bit of banter, mate – it’s more than that.’ I think he may have been alluding to the sport’s socio-political contexts, but on the other hand he could have just been having a laugh, yeah? So that could have been banter too.
So yeah: football. Although I’ve been a football fan for a long time, I’m thinking of quitting and watching cricket or some other sport that I have less interest in than football. Because football is an obsession, and basically it’s fucking stupid.
Looking forward to the World Cup, though.
Do you think England will do it this time, mate?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘NO?!?!?!
Alright, calm down. Just a bit of banter, mate.
Posted by Karl Whitney