Things I Hate about the English
I’ve lived in England for 3 years now. Or rather, I’ve lived in London for 3 years, this would probably be my first year outside the city. Its given me a bit of perspective and I’ve come to know a wide variety of English people in my time at university. After awhile I began to realise, that even among my friends there are just some things that really piss me off. It’s not that I hate the English, quite the contrary, it’s just that certain things they do rub me the wrong way. Heck, it’s probably not even rational but they annoy me nonetheless. Don’t expect this post to be reasonable or anything, I just need to rant about something.
1. The Empire. The goddamn empire. English gamers seem to love grand strategy and 4X games and without exception play either the British Empire in character or (for whatever reason) the Americans. It’s really weird. Whenever someone tells me about the glorious exploits of the British Empire I now just roll my eyes and pretend to listen, especially when it’s a Civ4 custom map that is essentially the world with the British Isles having access to every resource in the game. Where is the fun in playing like that, honestly? Oh yeah, the resident British Empire fan in our local gaming group likes to play gunlines in whatever game system we’re playing. Sigh.
2. Arrogance. Good lord, they are always better than you and if you disagree with anything they say then you’re wrong. Oh yeah, especially if you’re American like I am, then you’re doubly wrong and you caused the Holocaust with your imperialism. Or something. Sigh. A friend of mine basically criticises the fact that I play Warhammer and calls it a waste of time and precious money. I smile and nod, knowing that it is worthwhile and enjoyable to me, as well as psychologically fulfilling. He then comes over to my house at one point, sees my Land Raider, and immediately starts mocking it because it looks like a World War I-era tank. He then goes on to explain how he is now vindicated that my hobby is a waste of precious time and money, and looks down his nose on me even further. I usually don’t get angry and feel that hatred is worth neither the time nor the energy spent on it but this really stretches my patience to the limits.
3. Their humour. Perhaps it’s different, perhaps I don’t appreciate it because I don’t have that cultural perspective but I don’t find English humour to be an absolute riot. I find it difficult to laugh at several of their jokes and the way they keep ribbing each other goes right over my head. I just don’t really find it that funny and don’t really participate in it that much. It seems that whenever my friends joke amongst ourselves it’s 30% sarcasm and 70% recycled material, which gets old very quickly as you can imagine. It’s one of the reasons I don’t really enjoy the company of my English non-gamer friends anymore. They just don’t have anything new to discuss. At least with games and hobbies we have a common ground and I can keep talking about it for hours but in normal conversation…I just can’t cope. Then there’s the ribbing. Everyone has a threshold of how much they can take. I will admit that mine is really low and that it doesn’t take long before I start seething on the inside but the way the English keep at it, they ride you and ride you until you break. I just find it really tough to deal with it all the time, and then when it all becomes too much they call me childish because I get a little pissed. I’m sorry that I can be a little bitchy sometimes but Jesus Christ, people, I’m only human and a weak one at that! Give me a break!
As a collorary to this, English comedy is always better than American. This is true in many cases (I love Fawlty Towers as much as the next person and find Top Gear to be pretty awesome, to say nothing of Peep Show, which lampshades everything I’m ranting about in this post.) but really, is it a crime to like watching South Park? Really? I once mentioned it in conversation and the room went cold; I felt the hand of the reaper on my shoulder and thought my time had come.
4. Religion. Oh man, this is a hot one. In England it is pretty much accepted that organised religion is dead. Everyone is either atheist or agnostic. Its even been lampshaded in a few newspaper articles, that the English don’t really have much faith in anything anymore other than themselves. That’s why there’s so much Euro-skepticism flying around. *rimshot* Not actually a joke, I do think that this is the case, not that I blame them though, the EU is so full of crap as it is…but that’s a story for another time. But what do you do if you are a genuine believer in your faith, again like me? I’m not a practicing Catholic but I like to believe that there is a God out there and he looks out for us in His own mysterious way. Is that so wrong? I don’t think so. But don’t let the English hear that, especially the atheist ones, they’ll be all over you like a pack of hungry land sharks. Much like these land sharks, they won’t let go until they’ve torn you to pieces. It’s like the ultimate formula for a slow and painful death in this country, being American and religious, and admitting to both. Last time I checked, I can be a religious person and still believe in evolution and all that stuff, and really don’t feel like being given shit for it. This generates a lot of synergy with stuff I’ve said above, if you disagree then you’re wrong and childish. Hooray. I love this country.
Now, I must stress that in this post I am exaggerating a lot and just feel the need to vent some of my pent-up anger accumulated over 3 years. Maybe someday I’ll do a post of things I love about the English, I have several good things to say about them as well. I wouldn’t trade my university time for anything else, except maybe Canada. I wonder what life would’ve been like if I went to McGill instead, since I could’ve…