Damn Yankees

Will Self on England’s complicated love/hate relationship with America:

“They say ‘aluminum’, we say ‘aluminium’, but both can be shiny and reflective surfaces. So, no matter how intently we examine the US, we cannot help but see our own features staring back at us. This phenomenon simply doesn’t occur when we look at the French, the Vietnamese or the South Africans – all remain properly other.

Only America and the Americans have this ability to derange us with their capacity to reflect our own image. Not that they do this intentionally, really, it’s something we do to ourselves. And it follows that what we also do to ourselves is to relentlessly equate America with Americans, and the US government with its electorate – conflations we wouldn’t dream of making in the case of the German or Greek peoples.”

This is a very sharp piece of writing and, qualitatively, England and America will always have a “special relationship.”

But there is something universal (as much as Hollywood and hip-hop are universal) about loving and hating America and American culture at the same time.  Other countries don’t really get a choice, do they?  You can opt out of paying money for Men In Black 3, but you can’t avoid the posters and commercials and Will Smith junkets and so on.

That said, I’ve always found it amusing that George Lucas gave Darth Vader’s henchmen British accents.

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