0 0 Colin McGinn Colin McGinn2015-05-08 14:35:492015-05-08 14:35:49The British
I found myself at the British Consulate in Miami last evening, seeing in the election results. It struck me how essentially gentle, humorous, sensible, broadminded, and skeptical the British are–in contrast to the ferocity, humorlessness, gullibility, and narrow-mindedness of others I prefer not to mention. This was disturbing. We are so self-conscious about our words, possibly because of speech as a class marker. We don’t speak language as much as dance it.
Did you discuss politics and religions with them?
An English gentleman (or women) would never discuss politics or religion at such a gathering, though they may do so elsewhere.
Someone did remark that when an American film needs a diabolical villain they always seem to choose an Englishman. Very true–you know, the cold blooded, calculating, intellectual type. I suddenly thought: Have I been subject to an “implicit bias” against the British? Subsequent reflection has confirmed that hypothesis. Oh boy. Is this what lies behind the imputation that I was trying to form a cult? People are living in a complete fantasy world, literally.
“American film needs a diabolical villain . . . always seem to choose an Englishman” is far too broad a generalization and is false to the history of American films. Of course there are actors who do the English villain brilliantly. But think of Westerns. Think of film noir. Think of American films produced during WWII. Think of domestic slasher films. Southern-accented and German-accented villains, to take just two conspicuous examples, are widespread in American films.
Let’s change the quantifier to “very often” or “suspiciously often”. The person speaking to me was no doubt intending some hyperbole.
The diabolical villain generally has a toff accent. That makes the Yank response more a Cultural Memory of Upper Class Colonial Oppression thing than an anti-Brit thing. Do you have a toff accent?
Toff enough. I don’t think it’s all about accent and colonialism–it has more to do with a suspicion of intelligence and sophistication.
they seem ruthless and cold to me. also, vulgar and atavistic. generally speaking. women too.
people from usa seem ignorant and I forgot what else. superficial.
i dont find much use of such descriptions though.