Americans may say they love our accents (I have been accused of sounding 'like Princess Di') but the more thoughtful ones resent and rather dislike us as a nation and people, as friends of mine have found out by being on the edge of conversations where Americans assumed no Englishmen were listening. And it is the English, specifically, who are the targets of this. Few Americans have heard of Wales. All of them have heard of Ireland and many of them think they are Irish. Scotland gets a sort of free pass, especially since Braveheart re-established the Scots' anti-English credentials among the ignorant millions who get their history off the TV.
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In my early teens, [my grandfather] would sometimes stomp around his living room, where he used to shave towards mid-day with bowl, brush and open razor, deriding my ignorance and mocking the made-up discipline of sociology, which I at one stage claimed to be studying. 'What is sociology?' he roared derisively, twisting and rolling the silly word on his Hampshire tongue. I knew, alas, that he was quite right.
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Far too many people-many of them academics, many politicians-continue to jabber about a supposed 'special relationship' between our two countries. I used to think that no such thing existed. Recently, I have become convinced that it does, and that it is in fact a Specially Bad Relationship.
Abortion is the only event that modern liberals think too violent and obscene to portray on TV. This is not because they are squeamish or prudish. It is because if people knew what Abortion really looked like, it would destroy their pretence that it is a civilized answer to the problem of what to do about unwanted babies.
Evolution is an unproven theory. If what its fundamentalist supporters believe is true, fishes decided to grow lungs and legs and walk up the beach. The idea is so comically daft that only one thing explains its survival-that lonely, frightened people wanted to expel God from the Universe because they found the idea that He exists profoundly uncomfortable.
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