Monday, April 5, 2010

a defence of england

I have an English friend who isn't such a big fan of her country and can't understand why I like it so much. So I've decided to condense all of my reasons into a blog post.

I am not an aficionado of all things English. I know England has its fair share of not-so-great stuff; I am not an Anglophile because of the chavs, or the sensational fear-mongering tabloid stories, or the reality television, or the former imperialism, or because I think the monarchy is an awesome idea and Prince William is a hottie. He's not.

However, because of my interests and personality, in my opinion the good things of Britain's past and present far outweigh the bad. And the best of England appeals more to me than the best of the US.

So here's a random list of things I grew up with or discovered in my teens that really made me fall in love with the culture and the country.

  • The Beatles
  • Fawlty Towers
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Mary Stewart
  • Danger: UXB
  • Shakespeare
  • Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie
  • Robin Hood
  • The Kinks
  • Lyra's Oxford
  • Arsenal
  • 60's Mod fashion
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Nick Hornby
  • Extras
  • Blake, Shelley, Byron, other Romantic poets
  • The Clash
  • Margot Fonteyn
  • Oliver Sacks
  • Harry Potter
  • Wimbledon
  • Henry Cavill
  • Bill Bryson

(Yes, the last one is American, but he is an Anglophile like me, and the way he writes about England makes it seem like a very funny yet awesome place to live. Which it is.)

I'm sure there are tons I am forgetting, but really. You can't say that a country that has produced all of these things isn't awesome.

1 comment:

Vanilla Bear said...

You missed Simon off the list!

Anyways, you're wrong - I don't hate England, I'm growing tired of it. I'm v happy to be English actually :D I just need to get away from here for a while! When I am living in Argentina/Spain with Gonzo/similarly sexy beast, I will miss:

* Fish and chips / traditional English food in general
* Pubs
* British bands
* The National Trust
* The Premiership and games being on at the 'correct' time
* London
* Patriotism when the World Cup/Euros is on
* Milder summers
* BBC iPlayer

Things I will not miss:

* Chavs
* Binge drinking culture
* Feeling like I could be knifed and/or raped whenever I go out by myself after 6pm
* English men having either no balls or too many (with nothing to back it up). No adequately balled men.
* British politicians
* British TV
* Winter lasting forever - I love snow but it's when it's perpetually cold, it does start to get depressing
* White van drivers

When I return to England in the autumn years of my life, it can welcome me with leafy arms wide open and a pork pie :)