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.