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Archive for February, 2007

Conclusion to – What Is Modern English Culture.

Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on February 28, 2007

I thought I had this subject nailed, man was I wrong! So thank you to everyone who left a comment negative or positive and also for contributing to my utter confusion on the subject hahaha. I thought about it good and hard – till it gave me a headache, or maybe that was my anemia?
 
Anyway the comment that gave me the most to think about was Spice’s – I’m not saying all the other comments didn’t, but Spice’s gave me the biggest headache. Why? – because Spice said in so many words that England was to big to have one perfectly designated culture. And the only perceived culture there is, is the one forced up on us by the media, usually a negative one. And with that well placed blow to my blog’s dangly bits, my view on the subject quickly changed. 
 
Spice also said most of the the classic English views are made up and just fiction. You  know  ‘fair play’, cricket on the village green, thatched cottages and so forth, that typical view of Englishness that only exists in the minds of the upper classes tourists and foreigners. Well that was what I was talking about when I wrote the blog, it just does not exist – and if it ever did it was only experienced by a minority of the super rich of the time. So now we’ve established that the English view pushed up on us by the media and the upper classes does not fully exist and never really has done only as a tourist selling point and propaganda to cover the real England of grinding poverty as Robin and Spice said – what is there?
 
Well one thing was unanimously agreed on by four of the commenters, namely Katt, Chris, Connie, Spice and myself too… was that England was number one for music. Yes the scene isn’t to good at the moment, but will get better. Katt and Spice also thought English or British TV was good to. Having not lived outside of the UK I can’t really form an opinion on most foreign TV – but what I have seen is not as good as English TV. But there are some good ones though. There is also the mostly unbiased reporting by the media in this country to. We know some are not perfect and are owned by business men or are run by men and women with certain political agendas – but mostly for the time being they are unbiased.
 
Spice also said the English have a certain level headedness and sensibility, like the way we avoid extreme political opinion and behaviour. Though I think the majority of the voting population of the country just don’t pay attention to what the politicians say or most of the current events around them.Then again maybe they do but just don’t care as they are wise to them or just go with the flow of voter apathy because it’s the popular thing to do.
 
I suppose you could say everyone has their own view of what Englisness or English culture is. My view is one of growing up on a council estate with a good sense of community, but bad drug problems on the estate and seeing houses of those drug dealers being raided, stolen cars being burned in the centre of the estate and worrying if my home was going to be taken away from us because my parents choose to pay for food, clothing and heating rather than pay the rent. Remember this was the 80s and early 90s and many people were being left homeless, it’s not as if my father was underqualified, he was a bloody good pipe fitter and was till he had to stop working due to ill-health. But the main problem of the time was the Tory government and it’s miss-handling of the economy and i grew up listening to my dad and other elders turn the air blue when they spoke about them. So that was basically mine, it’s not the full story but it’ll do, and I’m guessing everyone’s will be slightly different.
 
So on to the question of our culture, we may not have one decisive culture we can take the pulse of so to speak, but, we do all share some basic Englishness. As is outlined above and on Spice’s comments and even others you will no doubt write in the comment body. But still, even now the council estate community spirit we once had all over England and Britain is fading as we all get that little bit more prosperous and then detach from that ‘we’re all in the same boat mentality’. So with this traditional glue of the nation wearing away we are moving more towards the upper class mentality or the American consumer society mentality, where all that matters is material wealth and greed. And to me that is not a country I want to be part of. 

Posted in Conclusions, Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

What Is Modern English/British Culture?

Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on February 12, 2007

Over recent years I have pondered over whether we the English or for that matter Britain as a whole has a culture. In my opinion it seems all we are doing is basing our modern culture on the past. Is modern English culture really just old Anglo-Saxon history, Royal history, and our recent Victorian industrial Empire years? Is it really tea and scones, red phoneboxes, bowler hats, and a Cockney and standard English accents? Is the landed gentry, Lords and ladies and the rest of the Aristocracy with their “Stiff upper lip” (That saying is American by the way) while on horses chasing a fox round the countryside our culture?
 
I’ll tell you something about the above, it aint my culture at all! And it’s also not the culture of the vast amount of English old and young on the estate where I live and on the estates in the rest of England and Britain. Or as I like to call it, real England. You know the England I’m talking about? The one where there’s a drug dealer on every street, violence in the pub and on the street in some way or another every night. You know the one with the tinned up windows on a council owned street? I’m not saying it’s this bad on every street but you get the idea. They are generally working class or poor run down areas. And as the working and poor classes make up the majority in England, they are England and the back bone of the country.
 
All of the classes above working class and even some working class people who kid themselves in to thinking they are middle class, think that the working classes are plebs, Chavs and Scallies. Well they are a minority not a majority of the poor and working class. So now we have the fact that the working class is the majority, what culture do they have? Do we see them wearing bowler hats? No we don’t. Do they take tea and scones? I don’t know many that would sit down to tea and scones – so the answer is no. How many of them talk in an accent like the two fat ladies? None unless they’re taking the piss or putting on a false accent to make themselves appear more higher up the class chain than they really are. So that’s another no then. How many go on fox hunts around the countryside? – another extreme no. I could go on with examples.
 
So what culture do we have? When I say ‘We’ I mean the majority of the people in the country, who are working class. I don’t really see any culture other than that adopted from the rest of the world, especially that of America. You see people walking around with baseball caps on, with a team plastered on the front of it that they never heard of. You see them wearing American clothes. They listen to American music as well as our own that has some American influence. They eat American food as well as Indian, Chinese, Italian and many more. I know we have our own food, clothes and music, but I’m not going to believe for a minute that all we have to English culture is fish and chips, Ben Sherman clothes and Oasis to name one English band. So to me it just seems we have adopted in recent years, fragments of other cultures. Is it fair to say the majority of English modern culture is adopted to make up for lack of our own? Are we adopting fragments of other cultures as a way of gaining our own after centuries of being told what our culture is and having it forced on us by a minority of elite people i.e. the Aristocracy?
 
What do you think modern English culture is and what do you think it is going to become? This blog isn’t just for English people to comment on, it’s for any person who’s surfing the spaces, and I’m sure most of you will have an opinion on what English culture is or what it means to you. So please leave a comment.

Posted in Culture, Questions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments »