Since this blog is about current affairs, and since I am not currently having an affair (because my wife will not allow it), there are some affairs that currently arouse my curiosity.
While the political systems of America and England are quite different, our politics are eerily similar. Likewise, our cultures are eerily similar, especially in the realms of rock music and drug use (for simplification purposes, I’ll use Keith Richards as an example of both).
But despite all of our similarities, there are still some glaring cultural differences. As the lone American (so far) on this blog, then, I present the following simple questions in the spirit of furthering Yankee-Limey understanding and goodwill.
1. Why did the Redcoats wear red coats? It seems analogous to wearing a neon-orange vest when attempting to hide from idiot hunters.
2. Now that the foxhunt is a relic of the past, what poor beast or beasts do the idle rich terrorize for sport?
3. I know that people in the UK have a nasty habit of driving on the incorrect side of the road. My question: Is the soupspoon and the salad fork reversed at table?
4 and 4A. Do they post the performance times at Piccadilly Circus? If so, where do I purchase tickets?
5. Is it true that English women are frigid?
6, 6A, and 6B. Why are the steering wheel and foot pedals on the passenger side of the car? Similarly, why is the glove box on the driver’s side of the car? Shouldn’t the driver be driving instead of mucking around in the glove compartment?
7. Is Starbucks called Starpounds or Stareuros?
8. Aren’t two monetary systems confusing? Americans have extreme difficulty understanding just one system because the change given from a one-dollar bill is almost always incorrect.
9. Why is English cuisine unpopular? I mean, given the choice of Italian, Chinese, Mexican, or English, 999,999 out of one million Americans will not choose English. I have yet to hear someone suggest, “Hey, let’s try that hot new English restaurant around the corner: I hear the food is absolutely scrumptious!”
10. If Yorkshire pudding isn’t pudding, then what’s in pudding?
11. Do any English taxi drivers speak English? American taxi drivers don’t. If you happen to be in New York City and tell the cabbie, “Central Park”, you always end up in New Jersey somewhere.
12. One serious question: Referring to Spadger’s essay Lord’s Reform—A View, does the Monarchy actively participate in policy-making? I’ve always been under the impression that the Monarchy is now ceremonial.
An opinion blog would be useless without an opinion, so here’s my, uh, opinion.
When the British left in a huff after the Revolutionary War, they took every single reading, spelling, and grammar book with them. I believe that was quite small of them, if not downright cheeky. I understand the rationale—to preserve the Queen’s English for the English—but that makes the deed no less dastardly. Two hundred years later, America is still searching for a language, and the best we can come up with is George W. Bush-ese.
And so, Britannians, you have your own ancestors to thank for such words as, “nucluar”, “Amer’cans”, “Internets”, as well as the polite greeting, “Yo, Blair!”
Shame on you.
A tongue-in-cheek post from Arizona, US of A