As I’m sure you’re aware, Scotland voted earlier this week on its independence. Scotland has been part of Great Britain (along with England and Wales) and, more broadly, the United Kingdom (which includes Northern Ireland), for over 300 years. However, there has apparently been a growing sense of disquiet north of the border primarily centered on the perception that the English Parliament doesn’t understand or even care about the needs of Scotland, and therefore isn’t sensitive to those needs, or its people. Having lived in the States now for nearly 15 years, it’s hard for me to venture an intelligent opinion on the validity of these complaints; Scotland clearly believed their complaints to be real, though, and was brave enough to do something pretty radical to, at the very least, draw attention to their frustrations.
I’m going to stray from my usual format this week, that of exploring the differences between England and America. A confluence of events these past few weeks has convinced me that I absolutely need to shift focus in this months blog offering. I hope you can indulge me this one instance? I promise to return to my standard format next month. So what caused me to do things differently this time out? Nothing more than the human heart.
Football is not only the worlds greatest game, it was my childhood guardian angel. Allow me to explain. The myriad and quality of British children’s TV shows (albeit I’m recalling them now through the missy mists of nostalgia) ensured that growing up in England we spent a great many more hours in front of the ‘tube’ than was undoubtedly good for us. America did its bit to help deteriorate our eyesight and warp our impressionable young minds, too, offering up such classic shows as ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’, ‘The A-Team’, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, and ‘Buck Rogers’, to name but a few.
Very possibly the funniest man who ever lived, John Cleese, once famously said that an Englishman would rather be told he’s a bad lover, than that he’s not funny. I’m sure many of my fellow countrymen share my indignity of, at some point in time, having it suggested that we’re equally inept in both disciplines. In fact, forget ‘my countrymen’. We can broaden that characterization to encompass all men. Women may be the fairer sex, but they are also undoubtedly the more brutal!
Here’s an idea: let’s tear down Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia home. And in the interests of balance, given that I have a foot in camps both sides of the Atlantic, let’s tear down William Shakespeare’s Stratford home, too. Seriously, what point do they serve anymore?