Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to the grindstone

Radiohead day 2 was better than the first. I was slightly closer, and the setlist was mindblowing. Now I have to wait until Wednesday to see them again. Waaah.
Anyhow, Susan took up the slack my co-bloggers didn't, ahem, but there's still some meat for me to chew on. First a semi-shorter, then a more generalized, probably longer, post.

Vive la difference: Apparently Megan thinks the British are just as inefficient as the French, an idea which in no way would offend any Brits.

[The quoted article] is only somewhat marred by the fact that I have heard its opening anecdote from, to a first approximation, every single American I have ever met who has spent any time at all in Britain.
Notice the careful turn of phrase here. Megan only shows hints of her English degree in how she lies. She only knows what she's heard from others or seen on tv about Britain, but she's still about to present herself as an expert. She worked for The Economist, after all. From NYC, but still...
I find it hard to believe that every one of my compatriots, even those who spent a month on a course at Oxford, have been so unlucky as to encounter hapless shopkeepers who stop stocking things because "we kept running out". I find it especially hard to believe that they stopped stocking Chocolate-dipped McVities Digestive Biscuits (which are indeed one of the world's most delicious convenience foods), which are to British grocers as 97 versions of diet coke are to the modern American convenience store.
I spent a month in Oxford the summer I was 17. It was one of the best times of my life. And I never had this experience. Then again, I also only had one day of rain that entire month, so maybe I was just fabulously lucky. But at least I'm referencing my own anecdotal experience, instead of others'. I have had the experience of a store not stocking items because they sold out too quickly, but that was here in Brooklyn with the 'best' of the local HFCS dispersal centers they call supermarkets.
My best guess is Megan collects tales of British inefficiency to make herself feel better for never having lived in the country she claims to love so. Then again, she only seems to know Python's greatest hits and The Grail, so maybe she's simply incapable of anything but shallow awareness of a topic. That would be in keeping with everything else she's ever posted.


Keith said...

I lived in the UK for an extended period of time and still keep in touch with many people I met over the course of my time there. I experienced nothing even remotely close to anything she mentions in her post, and have never heard my British friends ever complain about anything like what she writes about either. She is either referring to incidents that happened decades ago, or she is outright lying as far as I can tell. Either way she is being deceptive and dishonest. The UK is not a perfect country and has its fair share of problems, but the issues McArdle mentions are not among them.

Susan of Texas said...

It's a silly article' I'm not surprised Megan was attracted to it. It's a chance to feel superior over the poor quality of American life and our criminal income disparity between rich and poor.

clever pseudonym said...

I would find it hard to believe as well, since the opening anecdote in question was in regards to a visit made "a few years after Margaret Thatcher came to power," which would have been in the early 80s. I imagine things might have changed slightly since then.

M. Bouffant said...

I'm glad the setlist was mind-blowing, but were any of the songs or performances thereof any good?

P. S.: I may be unhoused, but I have (somewhat of) an existence beyond picking up your slack here. I've my own slack to pick up. Your co-bloggers can't be expected to take up your slack all the time, grad school slacker!!

spencer said...

I have to admit, I've never been blown away by just a setlist.

But then I've never seen Radiohead either, so maybe that explains it.