Saturday, February 11, 2006
Watching The English? ~ How Fascinating!
Watching The English is the most brilliantly flippant, yet deep book. It is the dinner table physcologists version of Bill Brysons book, Notes From A Small Island in that it is flippant yet scientific! It takes the attitude that the best way to view the English, and to conduct a survey upon them was by seruptitious snooping and gazing and testing of ideas. An example of this was in the politeness section. The very nature of saying sorry is second nature to the English. A prime example, the author concluded, was when on pubic transport when someone knocks into someone else and the person who was knocked into always says sorry. Leaving the question what is there to apologise for - are we really apologising for being in the way of someoneelse who has fallen into us? Therefore the author took it upon herself to fall into people and see how far she could push it till they wouldn't say sorry. Indeed the problem was it took her a while to stop saying sorry herself! That sort of self-honesty about the realism, but questionable of method, scientific research is refreshingly honest. The book looks at love, life (both home and work) and a variety of other issues and the way that the English would react. The only problem with the book really wasn't the analysis, which was often scarily true, but the fact it was definatly a depiction of what it means to be white-english rather than any other extraction. therefore the ethnic mix and diversity that this country thrives upon wasn't fully reflected. That said it makes an excellent gift to give to someone that will leave them questioning alot of what they do, will guffaw into their dinner whilst realising a newaunce predicted in the book was true and ulitmatly will understand what it means to be white english. For then only by being secure in that can you stand up against rascism and descrimination. Take Care Y'All John