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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Being American and Being English

How do we appear?

I have several English friends.  And though I haven't met them in person, I've sent them emails and chatted online with some of them a few times.  But what are they really like?  I know they do drink tea.  I made a couple videos about trying tea myself.  Spoiler alert:  I didn't like it.
So does that show my English friends what I'm really like?  In some ways it does.  But what do they really think of Americans?  How are we portrayed in England?  I know in America we picture an Englishman walking around in a three piece suit and bowler hat carrying an umbrella.  That's how they are portrayed to us.  Is that portrayal true?  Of course it isn't! 
Why am I being told that this is what English people are like?  Why is this kind of stereotype being shown to me?  Go watch an English football match and see how many people in the stands are wearing suits and carrying umbrellas!  For crying out loud, this is not what an average Englishman looks like!  There are plenty of working class guys and girls there.  Some of them go check to check just like we do in America!  There are unemployed people.  Why show me this image when you talk about Englishmen?
Now we come to Americans.  What does an American look like?  Sadly, I think we're portrayed as drunken morons and hillbillies.  A lot of what we perceive people in other countries now has to do with what we see on television.  That's one of the stupidest ways to get to know another culture because a lot of things on TV aren't real.  Or if they are, they're extreme portrayals of the culture.  One of my English friends mentioned that she watches the show "Honey Boo Boo".  Is this an accurate portrayal of Americans?
My God.  They have to put subtitles up for these people when they talk!  Is this how Americans are portrayed on TV?  Fat, sloppy people who think it's some kind of torture to eat a vegetable?  This is not what most Americans are like!  Showing this kind of thing and making these people famous through televising them is a crime against society!  For crying out loud!
How about this one?  Here's an American for you!  He lives in a swamp somewhere.  He'll demonstrate how people used to pick moss.  Watching this I keep expecting to see Davy Crocket being chased by Indians in the background!  For crying out loud!
And this is on the History channel.  Watching this I'm not even sure I know what American culture is like.  Do we really have any culture left?  Obviously television is trying to show that we don't.  So what are we like for real?  Just toss me a hint please!  Anyone?  anyone?  I think I need to immigrate to England.  Anyone hiring over there?


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