Sunday, March 3, 2013

British Invasion

I am not an Anglophile, just so you know.  The word is defined as someone who is fond of or greatly admires England, which is broadly true of me.  And yet I'm still not an Anglophile.

But I do love the Brits, I love their sensibilities and their accents.  Those residents of the British Isles hit the accent jackpot, in my view, every street corner seems to have its own unique way of speaking and they all sound so melodic to me.

From a Pop culture standpoint, the U.K. has been a huge influence on me, from the Clash to Doctor Who, my tastes are very much informed by British imports.  But it is their television that I adore the most, that I am envious of, because it is far more interesting than what they give us over here.

I love that English actors look like real people; fat, bad teeth, old and hairless.  Not all of them of course, but you would be hard pressed to find one of those over-processed starlets with hair extensions and implants that proliferate on our screens.

Let's face it, if Doctor Who and Torchwood had been American creations, neither Billie Piper or Eve Myles would have made it past the audition.  Most likely, they would have been snickered at and given the number of a Beverly Hills dentist.

I don't feel that way, I love Eve Myles and her delightful gap, although I'm not as taken with Billie Piper's bum as the producers of Doctor Who think I should be.  It looks like a perfectly normal ass to me, but whatever.

Until the last few months, the BBC America has been my refuge from from the bland and over-puffed offerings of network programming.  The Beeb has given me so many wonderful things; Black Adder, Cracker, Luther, The Catherine Tate Show and the holiest of holies.

If any of my British readers know Philip Glenister, could you please tell him that I follow him on Twitter even though he has NEVER ONCE Twittered?  I'm still waiting, just in case :)

While I still watch more programs regularly on the BBCA than all four major American networks combined, it has been slipping.  The nature programs are still the finest to be found anywhere, but those dramas are really getting bad.  Copper was a disgusting thing, if you remember my kiddie porn rant about Shameless, just know that fury was born out of revulsion for Copper. Now it is just a slippery slope of increasing Americanization of their products, they are now embracing precisely what made me flee from homegrown products.

So I'm watching it less and much less likely to try something new they have to offer, the BBCA is no longer an entity deserving of trust, very sad.

Fortunately, the U.K. has many other things of interest, such as its citizens.  My British Facebook friends are a delight, sending me little slices of life via posts and pictures that make me feel like I could be right at home there.  My two favorite Brits happen to be bloggers (surprise!), I did a guest blog for one of them about local winter produce and the other recently wrote something very lovely about yours truly on her blog.

Caro and Anita-Clare are just two of the many fine British accents speaking on my wall these days, so it is becoming better than the Beeb in many ways.  See?  If you don't give me proper entertainment, I will go out and make my own.

Remember, I'm the one who got so irritated that I couldn't find a good story to read that I wrote my own.

There is one other very significant thing about Great Britain that needs mentioning, a thing I think about often although I really have about 10,000 things of more importance.  Living in California all my life, I am somewhat blase about all the iconic and well known sights here.  I have seen all of them many times; crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge, hiked Yosemite and even frolicked at the edge of the San Andreas fault.

But they've got something over there that tops all of those in my view, the most well known icon in human history and it's just sitting by the side of the road.

Can you imagine the daily commute to your job as an insurance adjuster, zipping past Stonehenge every day and grousing about the traffic??  How AWESOME would that be?

Naturally, I have a complaint.  Oh you guys are not getting off quite that easily, oh no.

As much as I love their speech, there has been a change, an un-melodic change.  More and more, I hear them replacing the 'th' sound in words with either a 'v' or 'f' sound.  With becomes wif, gather becomes gaver  and so on.

You know how it is when you're talking very fast and an unexpected glob of saliva has formed, threatening to spill out of your mouth in an indelicate way so you hurry up and try to slurp it back before anyone notices?

Yep, that's what it sounds like.  They sound like drooling idiots, literally drooling.

Let's make a deal, I will keep trying to get the idiot boys on this end to wear pants that fit properly and you guys get your kids to stop drooling in public.  Visualize world peace people, we can make this happen!

I do love you Britain, not your Paul McCartney worship though, feel free to keep the Beatles.  I'm from California, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys forever.  But you gave us Vivienne Westwood and Winston Churchill too, for that I salute you.


  1. Oh you just made me learn something about Britain in your post, Cairn. I like their accent, it makes them so sophisticated when they speak, even if sometimes it's difficult for me to understand what they are saying hehe :-)

  2. After so many years immersed in British imports, I speak fluent British. Oftentimes, there is much sport to be had just trying to figure out what in blazes they are saying. Two cultures separated by a common language!