Monday, 14 April 2014

Happy birthday, Mr Shakespeare


Only in Italy (rolls eyes).

H.I. and me having been-catching up on the Italian TV series, 'Inspector Luca' the last couple of days. Anyone watched it?

I like it, but the format is the same with each episode - Luca in trouble. Luca encouraged to investigate murder by friends or political associates of murderer. Luca manages to shag the best-looking woman in each episode, no matter how badly he has been beaten up. What a man, but I suppose it must take his mind off things.

I particularly like the appearance of British soldiers who speak English without sub-titles, and speak it with a strong Italian accent. I love seeing how us Brits are portrayed by Johnny Foreigner, and am surprised to see that we are hardly ever treated with the disrespect that we usually deserve - or maybe it's because they wanted to sell the series to the BBC? Everyone seems to leave it to us to slag off ourselves. I think it is called, 'self deprecation', a trait that we are very proud of, being a non flag-waving nation.

Soon it will be St George's day, when the only English flags which are waved, flutter above the turrets of rural, medieval churches, when it is also Shakespeare's birthday. It is also dangerously close to Hitler's birthday, which makes the hi-jacking of the red cross on a white background by neo-nazis a little more meaningful.

Another trait we have is not liking 'making a fuss', so we let the fascists wave the flag if they jolly-well want to. Time has a way of sorting everything out, and if there is a fly in your soup, then just treat it as a little extra protein.

I get the impression that everyone of every colour and political persuasion waves the Stars and Stripes over there, so if a bunch of nazis use it as a back-drop to a K.K.K. meeting, then the impact is softened by the fact that the pinko liberals do the same thing.

In a way, we don't need to celebrate the birthday of William Shakespeare, because his well-known phrases or sayings permeate almost every conversation held in today's English - it is amazing how many of these he has coined which are still in common usage.

During the late 1960s, subversive Brits flew the Union Jack (correct name, 'Union Flag' - the 'Jack' was only raised on ships) constantly, but with a forced sense of irony.

People like Bruce Lacey and The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band always had it up somewhere, and usually had some bloke in Victorian or Edwardian costume riding a Penny-Farthing, or singing through a loud-hailer funnel. I used to find the competition for who was the most eccentric embarrassing, and still do.

These people are now pillars of the community, and despise most of the creative stuff which comes from the generation below them, or they simply don't understand it. Same old, etc.

The other myth which us Brits love to perpetuate is that we have a unique sense of humour. We don't. We don't even have a unique language to tell the jokes, and I get fed up with every Brit who perpetuates the other myth that all Germans lack a sense of humour altogether. It is amazing how long the effects of a well-run propaganda machine last into the future. We are now on the fifth or sixth generation of that one.

The humourlessness of Germans or the absence of irony in North Americans is nothing when compared to the propaganda put out by the invading Romans though.

2000 years later, most of us still believe that we were all a bunch of savages before they arrived, whereas the reverse is true, especially on the Saturday-night streets of every town in the country.

English humour is very good, but always weary. Australian humour is razor-sharp and usually lethal. American humour is highly observant, and always fresh - and that's just the English language.

30 comments:

  1. The American flag has to be on it's own flagpole and has to be bigger and higher than any other flag flown on the property. A Canadian wintering in Florida was in trouble for having his American and Canadian flag the same size on the same pole. Canadians bring out little paper flags on Canada day and stick them in their potted plants on the front porch, or hang a real flag in the window, then take it down the next day. I'd say we're flag shy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Flag shy' - I'll remember that one, Raz.

      Delete
  2. I suggest you go for a drink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who, me or Raz? Either way, it is a kind and considerate suggestion, but totally superfluous.

      Delete
    2. I suggested you go for a drink because you were pissing me off knocking the Brits and and preaching like you thing you are a fucking historical expert with nothing to back up what you were saying. I decided you needed to go to the pub and lighten up.

      Delete
    3. Fuck off you silly cow. I AM a historical expert, and I don't need any drinking advice from amateurs like you. If you want me to be basic, then you won't get anymore basic than me.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, I should have said, 'an' historical expert.

      Delete
    5. God for a moment I thought you were apologising.

      Delete
    6. That's what I hoped you would think. if only for a moment.

      Delete
    7. Hang on - You 'DECIDED'? Who the hell are you to decide what I do? What the fuck do you know about what I should do if it doesn't fit in with your barking-mad ideas about life and normal behaviour?

      Delete
    8. You were the cunt slagging off the Brits. I don't give a fuck about what you do but have some national pride. Fucking expert.

      Delete
    9. I don't know where you get the impression that I don't have any national pride. I've been trying to undo the Roman propaganda for years now, but I'm not proud of British football hooligans.

      Delete
  3. It is often claimed that Britain's greatest gifts to the civilised world are democracy and the English language; both seem to have been considerably buggered-up since our original offering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - the language improves (or at least evolves), but the democracy concept was buggered up from the very beginning, and most certainly does not improve. That's why I am a socialist at heart, but a monarchist in reality.

      Delete
  4. How did you get that photograph of me ?!! XXXX

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love your observations Tom. Reminds me again how I need to get out of this irony-less country(USA) and travel more, beyond Ireland which is usually as far as I get. Mulling around your statement "Another trait we have is not liking "making a fuss" I tend to be a big fuss maker but find that habit to be more and more tiresome. (For me and my family) Could it be, at nearly 55 this old dog is learning a new trick? From you? Why not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not indeed? I have already told you (very arrogantly) in this post how much I love American humour (my favourites are David Sedaris and the Jewish, Catskill ones), but carry on making a fuss.

      I used to have an American Jewish girlfriend with a pushy mother, and it was a NIGHTMARE going to a restaurant with them, but I learnt a lot.

      Delete
    2. It must have been one big NIGHTMARE for them sharing a table with you.

      Delete
    3. It was - they paid for everything.

      Delete
  6. I enjoy your conversations with us in which you also go round the group and respond to all the remarks we might make in the course of the conversation.
    The reason we fly so many flags over here is because of our effing tradition of starting wars. Then we fly flags if we support it, fly flags because we honor the service men and women, fly flags because a dead soldier is coming home, fly flags because we began another war. I believe it's called chauvinism. Screaming eagle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am flattered you have adopted 'effing' from me, and I hope you will feel the same when I next mention 'Screaming Eagle'.

      I intend to use it as Batman might: "Screaming Eagles!"

      Delete
  7. We Canadians don't wave our flags much but we love to put our flags at half mast most of the time. We are a sorry nation. They should make our flagpoles double height so our sorriness is normal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am old enough to remember when U.S. draft-dodgers tacked Canadian Maples to their back-packs when hitch-hiking, back in the late sixties.

      There was a lot of bright-red floating around Britain in those days.

      Delete
    2. Now who's flirting? Anyway, that's a hat.

      Delete
    3. If I could wear my hair that way, I most certainly would.

      Delete