For this Independence Day issue, we posed a few questions to Jack Grimshaw, freelancer, proofreader, and duly appointed representative of those people we got our independence from.
My buddy Mac says Scots are slagged in England the way Mexicans are here--why?
One of the more erudite slaggers? My illustrious countryman Dr. Samuel Johnson. As in, "The noblest prospect a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England." That thinking and its corollaries are still pervasive 250 years later, pretty much anywhere.
Does Britain have rednecks?
Yes, they¹re called Manchester United fans. The reality? Britain's a microcosm of the U.S., with all the attendant social, educational and economic scenarios, just on a smaller scale.
Australia was a British colony just like America, but they hate you. Why?
Through the 1860s, Britain solved the ongoing problem of its overflowing prisons by transporting some 160,000 convicts Down Under. Hence, Aussies are descended from thieves, murderers and people caught having sexual relations with farm animals. We¹re always happy to remind them of this.
Why do they drive on the left in Britain?
Because there¹s traffic going the other way on the right.
Who was the British politician reviled in the '60s for his views on immigration?
Enoch Powell famously warned that the proposed opening of Britain's borders to every country in the British Empire would invite a flood of needy humanity that would change the face of British society. He's now recognized as a prophet.
What's with those bowler hats?
What would you have them wear--Oakland Raiders caps?
Why do we put mental lightweights such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush in the White House, while Britain elects Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair?
No better response than that attributed to publisher/writer/unashamed Baltimore bigot H. L. Mencken, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence [or taste] of the American public." Or, as he referred to them, "The booboisie."
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JFK bedded Marilyn Monroe and Slick Willie got hummers in the Oval Office any similar UK scenarios?
In 1963, Secretary of State for War John Profumo had a brief affair with the showgirl mistress of a known Russian spy, then lied about it when questioned in the House of Commons. The scandal severely damaged the reputation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan¹s government. Macmillan resigned a few months later because of ill health exacerbated by the events.
Why are there still no decent fish and chips outlets over here?
Fucked-up frying/foul fish/string fries (a particular obscenity)/no vinegar--personally, I¹d rather chew live cockroaches than visit another fish and chips chain. Pubs are your best bet the Olde Ship, Santa Ana and Fullerton; Jon's Fish Market, Dana Point; Gallagher's Huntington Beach et al.
Gee, I think y'all folks from across the pond have, like, a real cute accent. Where d'you get it?
Excuse me. We do not have an accent. We speak English. You have an accent.
The British Invasion in the Sixties (Beatles, Stones, Led Zep, Moody Blues, the Who et al) was awesome. But Freddy and the Dreamers had to be the most pathetic band in history.
Consider it payback for the fucking Osmonds.