Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Perspective on the English

I was doing some catching up on blogs and whilst looking at Paul Windsor's I thought I'd follow his suggestion of keeping an eye on the top ten most viewed articles on as these sorts of lists provide "a windows into a nations soul".

To my surprise coming in at number ten (beneath "Meet Playboy's Playmate of the year", "Chef Ramsey wants out-of-season veg outlawed", and "Kangaroos trample Kiwis") on the list today was this article about the English being described as "self-important and irritating" in the new rough guide to England. I am not sure if this bothers me because it rouses some of my long dormant national pride at English being thought of in this way or because, to some degree at any rate, some of the criticisms are fair.

I realised a while ago that many Kiwi's have a sort of love/hate relationship with England. On the one hand they'd really like to visit and form some sort of connection with what some affectionately call "the motherland". But on the other hand they are gleeful when England loses at sport or somebody English does something embarassing or stupid. So on that basis it shouldn't really suprise me that an article that puts down the English is one of today's most viewed.

But it also probably says something about me and how the English people feel towards people of other countries that one of my first responses was "surely the Americans are worse?".

Tomorrow is Mother's day here is NZ. A colleague at work showed me this video yesterday (and the words certianly remind me of things that my mother has said to me in the past). It is an hilarious but accurate description of a day in the life of a mum. You can read the lyrics here. Happy NZ Mother's day mum!

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