I love the British in part because they use the phrase “fit and proper” in everyday language.
My main reason for loving the British, however, has every bit to do with John Oliver, correspondent at the Daily Show, comedian, actor and writer. I first fell in deep (deep) love with John when he played Prof. Ian Duncan on Community. It was this clip that made me think to myself, “I have much to learn from this person.” Let’s just say that I would betray the revolution and spend hours pleasing Mr. Oliver, given the opportunity, because he is so tits. Rarely do I laugh as hard as he makes me laugh. And that, my friends, is the stuff unicorns are made of.
A third reason that I get excited about the British is how they talk to each other. They’ve got their quirks like every culture does, but let me explain what I’m talking about. Americans seem to have lost the life-skill of knowing how to cope and respond when someone is calling us names and attacking our character. (Did we ever have that skillset? I’m not sure). But it’s why people don’t like Simon on American Idol, and why people got all offended by Ricky Gervais when he hosted the Golden Globes last year. Celebrities getting made fun of…. awwww *tear*. They no likey.
But things are funny either because they’re ironic, or because they’re true. And when we can say what we think and feel, it’s a good thing. But the world of “comedy” seems to be the place to which America has relegated honesty. Particularly as it relates to politics; people now hide behind the “desire” that we all stop being so “negative” and “ugly” toward one another– in political ads, debate speeches, you name it. Oh wait– EXCEPT when WE have an opinion, then we can say whatever the fuck we want. But you? Stop being so negative… Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
My Spanish teacher in college, Pascal (he was a dirty Frenchman), told me that in other parts of the world, people can have heated discourse about political and social matters, and do so without tying it up in how you feel about that actual person. “What?” I said. “You can actually honestly disagree with each other with passion and emotion, and then walk away from each other and still be friends? Really?” Amazing.
Has anyone seen Questions for the Prime Minister on C-Span? …silence… well you should. I wish so badly that we did this in American politics. All that political rhetoric that everyone gets all hung up on– it would send all of it running to mama in dirty shame. I honestly don’t think Presidents Obama or G-Dubs could have survived a “questions” type scenario. Clinton might’ve been able to do it, but that’s because “politician” is his skill-set, not just his career. But all the right-wing, left-wing, and everyone on either side and in-between would actually have to show up and know their shit, AND they would need to be able to handle the opposition calling them names and attacking their character. It’s actually really entertaining to watch…
So you can imagine how excited I was when I found this video, not only hosted by my idol from across the ocean, but expressing perfectly what I am talking about. This is my plea, friends, as we enter into the heated bowels of the American presidential election season… just get ugly. Get honest and dirty about how you feel. But have some freaking sense about the fact that yes, we all have different experiences and opinions, and that’s okay. This isn’t communist China, or nazi Germany. Here in America, it’s acceptable (in theory); we actually are ALLOWED to have our own thoughts and be different. It’s a GOOD thing. It’s a gift. Let’s try not to crumble into steaming piles of irrational defensive behaviors and sobbing tears when we hear someone disagree with the dirty politician we love the most. And then let’s pass that life-skill down to our children, yes?