I would consider this a sort of juxtaposition.  The British would just take a picture of it and laugh.

guess what, America:  the British don't like you.

in the six weeks that i have lived in England i have been presented with anti-American sentiment on England's news, sport commentary, online stories and, subtly, in daily life.  in fact, just this morning a news/talk show referred to Americans as "sycophantic."  what i'm constantly learning is that British people don't like America or Americans.  and the worst part isn't that i am an American -- it's the knowledge that Americans don't sit around England-bashing the way British people do to Americans. 

this makes me wonder, if America is so laughable and ridiculous, why do British people spend their hard-earned (?) money traveling there for their family vacations?  why do so many British people visit and sometimes work in America if they dislike it so much?  surely there are OTHER cheap countries they could go to that would not offend their sensibilities as America does?

i recall that while browsing the digital photos of one of my British wedding guests i saw a long string of pictures he had taken to document unusual things he saw in America.  nothing wrong with that.  he had walked around collecting photos of things he thought mostly silly, and planned to make a calendar out of it.  it wasn't nature or sunsets or architecture, it was old-fashioned mocking photos of local color.  i was pretty insulted by this for a while, but this person is a loved member of my family now, and i have to change my level of sensitivity to the situation.

iit's a real shock to oneself when you spend your whole life thinking other countries are interesting -- spend years hoping you'll get to visit and see other places -- then you GET to one of those places and find that the entire country of people dismiss you because you're American.  and wait -- they don't just dismiss you, they mock you and laugh at you behind your back.  or in front of you -- they don't bother to wait until your back is turned here.

two nights ago i attended an event where i met one half of a couple.  the half i met was Canadian (but had been in England for many years).  the spouse (whom i did not meet) was British.  i entered the meeting with a quiet hope that this couple might become a social outlet in the future -- perhaps friends or whatever.  but as soon as the man referred to his wife as fiercely English, i erased that hope entirely.  the man proceeded to say that his wife had been to America (Orlando, Florida, no less) and that she found it "a good laugh" and "quite funny."

and "funny" isn't exactly a flattering choice of words.  i mean, who measures a whole country by one city -- especially a city everyone knows was founded on the attraction of a child's cartoon mouse?  that would be like me reducing England to double-decker buses and furry-hatted palace guards.  i'm not rejecting the entire United Kingdom just because London's been ugly.

do British people fly all the way to America for a LAUGH?  is the exchange rate SO good for them that they go across the Atlantic Ocean to make FUN of other people and places?  i mean, REALLY.

i have never been the war-loving, gun-toting, flag-waving person that the British seem to think all Americans are, but the longer i watch and listen to what's around me as a resident of London, the more i love where i came from.  it seems the more you make fun of a person, the more they don't want to be around you.  gee, what a revelation.

say what you will about this blog.  it's only my response to what i see and hear in my new home.  i'm not anti-England.  i married a Brit, just for the record.  but that doesn't make things any easier for me.

i wonder:  who in America hurt British nationalism so badly that the British now collectively shit on Americans and American culture as part of their daily life?

it must be hard for the British to breathe with their noses held so high up in the atmosphere.


unapologetic American
06/09/2008 5:03am

fiercely English = provincial and small minded

People laugh at America and they don't know why. It's the herding tendency of the masses. You do it because someone else did it and you feel safe, you want to fit in.


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