I recently ran across Charles Davis' post concerning his article published in the Opinion columns of Aol News at the time of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
He amusingly turns the 'blame' situation on its head and takes a wry look from the British side with a daredevil ironic tone that is the stock-in-trade of all satirists. Judging from the reaction of many of his commenters, it has touched a raw nerve. The stinging abuse elicited against us Brits is eye-watering, even supposing divergent notions of humour, and proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Americans aren't ones to pour oil on troubled waters.
But despite it all, we love Americans (and American literature) Their nostalgia for Monarchy, for Britain and the 'old countries', is never quite conquered by 'the Dream'. But persistent belief in that does produce a bouyancy we definitely don't possess.
We used to be described as 'phlegmatic'. It's not as attractive as 'optimistic', but still a national characteristic that steels us to survive prolonged adversity. If we were openly subject to another power, I believe the people of these islands – and the geography is important – would function in much the same way as the ancient Britons at the time of the Roman Empire.
The Norwegian and Danish Vikings are us, the Saxons are us, the Bretons, the Normans and Celts are us... Asians, Indians, Afro-Caribbeans are becoming us, to say nothing of Eastern Europeans and Russians. Jews, Christians and Muslims are us. In fact, we are the closest run thing to a fully absorbed model of co-existence with (sometimes grudging) tolerance that might well hail a new cosmopolitan breed, homo mundi.
One of Charles Davis' most scathing critics did mention 'ignorant inbreeding' and that it has prevented us from 'ruling the world' in America's place. The thing is, we're doing it peacefully, under the radar. You see, we have a subversive plan to confound world politics. But the guy won't have got wind of that and now the cat's out of the bag.
Could America achieve this measure of heterogeneity in our confined space?
We love the open horizons of America and the American vision, but in this present global economy, can even the US afford to be complacent? According to the Forbes index of the world's most powerful people, Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, tops the list. That cannot be anything but sobering for the Western world.
Anyway, if Americans don't understand irony, how come they love Mark Twain?
Excerpt of THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS, Book Two of the Berkeley Trilogy.
Causes Rosy Cole Supports
World Vision, International Prison Outreach, Salvation Army, Emmaus Project, Poor Clares, DogsTrust, BUAV (against animal testing) WWT (Wildfowl &...