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Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Now I get it! 

I saw this at Tammi's and thought, "Oh Lord! More attention-seeking journalists. Now I'll feel duty bound to argue the case against Brits wanting to vote in your elections!" I confess I missed the point Tammi was making, which was an excellent one. I didn't even read the actual replies. When it cropped up on I.M.A.O, I looked at the comments and laughed a bit.

"The Guardian" *is* a Liberal newspaper. Over Here. Where we have a system which supports more than two main Parties. Liberal, for us, is kind of middle-of-the-road. It is not "far-left", as the American readers at Frank's had assumed. I was sufficiently interested to click the link, and when I did, I laughed my head off!

It's kind of hard to explain, but we have a culture where "winding people up", is very common. We are rarely sincere and "straight down the line". We have quite an oblique sense of humour. We don't have the emotional capabilities of the average American, so when a tragedy occurs, we usually make jokes about it, in order to diffuse the situation. We are "Chandler", from "Friends". The area I live in is particularly famous for making light of the most terrible things.

As soon as I saw the letters that they'd printed, I saw the whole exercise for what it was: An attempt to outrage Americans, which ended in the predictable fury and indignation which so amuses some people over here. The title, "Dear Limey Assholes" kind of gives it away. Here's my favourite:

KEEP YOUR FUCKIN' LIMEY HANDS OFF OUR ELECTION. HEY, SHITHEADS, REMEMBER THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR? REMEMBER THE WAR OF 1812? WE DIDN'T WANT YOU, OR YOUR POLITICS HERE, THAT'S WHY WE KICKED YOUR ASSES OUT. FOR THE 47% OF YOU WHO DON'T WANT PRESIDENT BUSH, I SAY THIS ... TOUGH SHIT!
PROUD AMERICAN VOTING FOR BUSH


That told me!

Here's another politically sophisticated perspective on the issue:

Real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions. If you want to save the world, begin with your own worthless corner of it.
Texas, USA


The best of them all were the ones about our English teeth. Remember the episode of "The Simpsons", when Bart doesn't want orthodontic treatment and is shown "The Big Book Of British Smiles"? I cracked up when I first saw that, and I'm ashamed to say I was very amused by the remarks made to The Guardian. I'm ashamed because it's the humour equivalent of verbally teasing a younger sibling who doesn't understand where you are coming from, and gets frustrated trying to express their rage. Next year, when we have our election, I hope you do something similar. The Guardian is a very naughty boy! No spankings for him.

I was relieved to see a few people in the U.S who responded with appropriate sarcasm. I like this one:

My dear, beloved Brits,
I understand the Guardian is sponsoring a service where British citizens write to Americans to advise them on how to vote. Thank heavens! I was adrift in a sea of confusion and you are my beacon of hope!

Feel free to respond to this email with your advice. Please keep in mind that I am something of an anglophile, so this is not confrontational. Please remember, too, that I am merely an American. That means I am not very bright. It means I have no culture or sense of history. It also means that I am barely literate, so please don't use big, fancy words.

Set me straight, folks!
Dayton, Ohio


That had me giggling even more than the teeth thing. I love people who can take the piss out of themselves.

I also liked this:

I just read a hilarious proposal to involve your readership in the upcoming US presidential election. At least, I'm hoping that it is genius satire. Nothing will do more to undermine the Democratic cause in Ohio than having patronising Brits wander around Clark County telling people how to vote.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to clean the three yellow teeth that remain in my smug, arrogant, colonial tea-sipping head.





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