All entries for Sunday 31 October 2010

October 31, 2010

Trick or treat

Just in case anyone tries to interpret this as at all anti-American, it’s not. There are lots of things I like about the US. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve had a great time (once I’ve got past the utter utter bastards who are always on the passport control) and there’s lots about American culture I like. But I like it at arms’ length, and I like to pick and choose.

There’s a movement in the UK though to mindlessly adopt US traditions. High school proms. Spelling. Using Americanisms (like “crib”, “sidewalk”, “elevator”, dropping the last syllable in “alternative” or “orientate”) rather than their UK e*uivalents. I’m not sure where it comes from, but it indicates a lack of confidence with our own national identity. I think it undermines it to some extent. And I don’t understand why people here hate being British so much. If these things were fun, if they made life better, than maybe that would be a good thing. But actually they just seem to make people’s lives more stressed.

It seems to be part of this “special relationship” between the countries changing from being a relationship of e*uals to being an owner and pet. It seemed to happen during the period Labour was in power, Blair being Bush’s lapdog and so on, and as a society our readiness to adopt whatever the Americans do uncritically indicates our approval of our government doing the same. It’s like a mandate to say, yeah, let’s just be a pale echo of everything going on over the other side of the Atlantic. Let’s be like them as much as possible, because they’re so much better than we are.

Basically, people who go trick or treating are the reason we’re at war with Ira*.

OK – that’s an exaggeration, but it was part of a rant I’d prepared if anyone did come begging with menaces for sweets. I thought they’d appreciate a scare. But no-one turned up, so I’ve let it loose here instead.

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