Sunday, December 14, 2014

America-envy, and why Brits are unsufferable

Not really a rant so much as an opinion-dosed observation...

I landed upon a YouTube video of American's eating food from British McDonalds. To be honest I think it was amusing, especially the last sound bite* of the video.

As you can expect, the comments section was a mess of nation-based bigotry. It amused me that one person pointed out:

"... You want talk about how americans piss you off? People from UK Piss me off. Any american that goes there gets shit talked 24/7 do we shit talk people their? no. They just are jealous of our country to be honest. That's the only reason I can think of, as to why dumb ass british people make fun of americans all time." - AnimeGirl

To be honest, I think AnimeGirl was generous to us Brits in assuming that the root of this anti-American sentiment is jealousy. Many, many British are overtly, and mindlessly of the British-is-best camp. Maybe this is a psychological compensation for the fact that -geographically- the British Empire waned long-ago; however, my personal experience of 26 years living in the UK has led me to the alternative conclusion that we deride the Americans not because of jealousy, but because we're gits. Brits will gladly deride any culture, even ourselves. To an extent, I think there is even a perverted sense of pride in this stance, but I don't count myself among that number.

I lived for a year in Japan initially out of curiosity, but I moved out here more permanently in part due to feeling fatigued at the general hostility one encounters in the UK. I can remember no instance of even being so much as unduly criticized here in Japan, let alone outright insulted, by a stranger. There are likely other factors at work**, but as it stands every year here reinforces the illusion that the gits are more numerous in the UK. Whether or not the same is true of America, I couldn't say. I've only spent a week (working) there. The only observation I was able to make was that people seemed more keen to interact than in the UK***.

Anyway. To regain some balance to the topic, perhaps I'll switch sides of the fence again when I've been here 20 years; there's only so different people can be while sharing >99.9% of their genetic data, and Japan, like anywhere, has its problems. No doubt gits will be gits in different ways depending on their culture. But hell, at least we're not at war, and hell, I have the freedom of time to write such a flaccid rant inspired by YouTube comments (never a good start to a discussion), and you had the time to read it. Apparently that's progress. What a strange world we live in.

* in a punning mood today, sorry..
** e.g. perhaps people are less inclined to insult a foreigner here either due to anticipated lack of understanding or reciprocation of the hostility; or differences in my commuting habits etc. Additionally, I've heard that my racial profile gets a better deal than some of the other minorities.
*** About which I hold the paradoxical view that this is both a good thing, but at the same time I don't like talking to strangers very much.