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.