Category Archives: Culture
Cursing has been top of mind this week and I’ve been thinking a bit about the differences between British and American sensibilities around bad language.
I had just read Threec’s entertaining blog post, “Is ‘bloody’ really a swear word?”, which successfully argues that Americans are just more buttoned-up about bad language than Brits. And then I read this amazing little Daily Beast report about yesterday’s House of Commons vote against military action in Syria:
“Embarrassed by his failure, [David] Cameron’s team lashed out at opponents of the intervention. A government source told The Times of London that Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, was ‘a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***’ for withdrawing support for military action.”
Whaaa? My first thought: Was this quote actually in the newspaper? Did The Times of London really spell out a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s*** without the asterisks? I love the color and candor of such a quote! I clicked on the link to the Times story, but sadly it requires a subscription to view in full.
However, it’s safe to say that I can’t see any reputable American newspaper ever publishing that anyone was a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***, with or without asterisks. Can you?
I visited Loch Ness back in the late ’90s and was hoping upon hope to spot something. Amateur photographer David Elder apparently has beat me to it! Here’s his proof that the Loch Ness Monster exists. Exhibit A:
He is quoted as saying:
“Out of the corner of my right eye I caught site of a black area of water about 15 feet long which developed into a kind of bow wave.
“I’m convinced this was caused by a solid black object under the water. The water was very still at the time and there were no ripples coming off the wave and no other activity on the water.
“Water was definitely going over something sold and making the wave. It looks like the sort of wave perhaps created by a windsurfing board but there was nobody on the Loch at the time, no boats, nothing.
“It is something I just can’t explain.”
What do you think? Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?
Check out Sophie Heawood’s column in the Guardian about her favorite parts of the U.S. and the U.K.
She starts, “If you’ve lived between the US and the UK, as I have done in recent years, it can be hard to pin down which country you love more. At times, I yearn to go back and live on the West Coast, where the smiles were wider, the sun was brighter, and everyone believed in the dream of a dream at least. At other times I’m greatly relieved to be in London, with the cold comforts of sarcasm and rain, the reassuring presence of doctors who don’t ask to see your credit card, and the absence of cheerleaders and the NRA. (And cheerleading for the NRA.)”
Too true, Sophie! After returning from vacationing in Disneyland last week, I’m reminded of the bold and unapologetic optimism that surrounds such a place. It’s so American! Read on…
I had to share this – it’s ridiculously accurate, at least from my personal experience!
Ever have one of these encounters?
If you’re in San Francisco tomorrow, be sure to pop by Union Square! BritWeek, an annual celebration of UK creativity and innovation in California which takes place May 3-11, will kick off with a day of fun and British-themed festivities including a BritArt gallery, live music, theater, entertainment and a typical British beer garden serving British beers and Pimm’s cocktails from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is presented by British Airways.
For more information, visit http://current.britweek.org/san-francisco-events.
I’ve mentioned man flu briefly in a previous post. But I feel it is my public health duty to dedicate a full post to this malady.
For the uninitiated: “Man flu is a crippling and debilitating disorder indiscriminately striking down male members of the human species without warning. The illness is often referred to pejoratively by female members of the species who are in fact immune from the illness as man flu is now known to exclusively attack the XY chromosome carrier. If Man Flu is kind enough not to kill the infected party it will definitely leave him weak, sick, hurting everywhere and in dire need of TLC.”
Sound familiar? Check out www.manflu.info. It has been created to provide assistance for the men who are hapless victims of man flu (and the women who love them).
My son got his first exposure to James Bond on Sunday with the 007 video montage that was shown at the Oscars. Questionably inappropriate material for a 5-year-old? Uh, yeah. But a piece of British culture that my husband eagerly wanted to pass down.
I couldn’t find said video montage online, but found this excellent look at the past 50 years of Bond.
Who’s your favorite James Bond? I have to say Daniel Craig is mine.
If you’ve wondered who are the real movers and shakers in the U.K., look no further than the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List.
Topping the list is the Queen, with other notables including J.K. Rowling, Adele and Victoria Beckham (AKA Posh Spice). Kate Middleton is noticeably absent from the top 100, which has created a bit of controversy since she is nothing if not influential.
Take a look at the list! What do you think?