You're most welcome for the education, and thanks for the explanations.
If you are hinting that I have shown prejudices, misconceptions and tinted glasses-- could you please care to give examples of each of these incidents on this thread? I think would not be very constructive or helpful to dubiously accuse me of these things, then not expand on what you mean. Especially you don't live in this country, and you don't provide proof to back up your
Given your (often vague) responses to some of my points; it's not a case that I'm reading what I want to read; but your lack of commonse in not seeing the connection from you had written, to the replies I gave in my last post. Because actually I did read carefully what you put (except for one instance, coming later, oops!), and I considered what you had written; but as you admit yourself you have not been clear in several instances, hence our "talking past" each other. Telepathy is not amongst my talents, I'm regret to say. Although I find your charge baffling, given that have quoted you directly on many occasions. Or is it just cognitive dissonance on you part?
I note your charges of "misunderstanding" and "talking past each other" come when I have challenged or refuted something you have said. Are you so conceited, you think anybody who disagrees with you is mistaken? And that when somebody refutes you, you have supercilliously dismiss them to save face? It says more about you, than the person you seek to patronise. Perhaps more therapy is required, to iron out that superiority complex of yours)
Yes my posts are long (that again, you need to freshen up your act), but you did say you enjoy have your ignorance purged, so needs must. You are proof of the adage: "The less somebody knows, the more stubbornly they know it
". There are none so blind, as those who won't see! Your sententious know-it-all bubble needs bursting sometimes, with great weight. However I will gladly defer to your comments about USA moblity, which is why I made inquires (as opposed to assumptions) and posed the questions
I did (to have misconception/prejudices, one is sure of one's beliefs and not questioning them).
The rest of my comments in terms of moblity were in reference to your claim that the British "like to stay within their boundaries", which is a false prejudice and I gave a valid refutal. I don't know much about land enclosure (aside that it gives us the beautiful countryside we have today); however I would add that the result of the Battle of Hastings gave Britain positive progress, such as the Domesday Book, trial by jury and Magna Carta.
>>>Your understanding of the American consciousness suggests that you're due for another visit.
(Granted, I was the protagonist here and not you.)<<<
OK, but care to inform me about what I have misunderstood "about the American conscious" (another example of a vague reply)? I admit it's a few years since I've visited the USA. However I actually have many American (pen-)friends who keep me in the loop; rather than forming half-baked assumptions, I prefer to ask open questions: I ask them all about it their lives, their view on the USA and it culture-- they give me full and honest answers-- so I'm not completely nescient about American cultural mores (They all warn me about New Yorkers, for some reason... something about NYers being "pretentious" and often having no self-awareness... whatever could they mean).
To be fair, my views about the USA have been expressed subjectively or interogatively on thread-- and besides I've actually talked very little about the USA previously in this thread-- my comments are/were mostly about this country. It's you who insists on putting an American angle on everything on these boards.
>>> Thank you for the many examples of "shoemaker's sons" who built their own empires. But you missed the mark there. That's not what I was talking about. What I was talking about was shoemaker's sons who became head of a major (existing!!!) bank or maybe the Bank of England or head of Britain's largest auto manufacturer, etc. NOT someone who "built" his own major company. Now that you understand what I said I'm sure you'll provide examples. Thank you. I'm looking forward to purging another ignorance.
Fair enough, but actually the point you respond to ^, were examples I gave to dispel your odurate misconception that British like to stay within their "boundaries"-- I was just making the *general* remark that rags-to-riches stories are plentiful in Britain-- past and present. So it's you talking past me, and reading what you want to read, so think on before you are consdesending
Fair enough about the shoemaker's son
anaolgy, that I was one bit of your post I didn't read properly-- I confess I didn't appreciate you meant established companies-- fair cop.
However just because you aren't aware of any examples, it doesn't mean they don't exist. This what I mean by "ignorance" on your part, not least this arrogant assumption of yours, that you think know everything
The Titus Salt example is still relevant; he was the CEO (or whatever the term was then) of several large textile firms and factories in West Yorkshire, before he started to run factories under his own company; those large firms would've been amongst the biggest companies in the country, considering how big the cotton/woollen industry was then. Another example from Victorian times was the non-upper-class William Knox, from working-class Newton Abbott (back then an industrial train-repairing centre). He went onto to become a partner in the established Thomas Skarratt Hall mining company, before eventually taking it over-- a company that was worth ~£496 million.
If you want some present examples, the present chairman of John Lewis (often named as second biggest British company, profit £~220mln), Charles Mayfield worked started his working life progressing through the ranks of the army. The Group Chief Executive of Gala-Coral (is/was Britain's largest company, annual sales of £~5.4bln ) is currently Carl Leaver, who started his working life as an admin clerk at a pet-food factory.
Theo Paphitis was of an immigrant family, who grew up in a poor area of north London and he went to a comp school-- his first job was tea-boy and factotum at an insurance-brokers. Since then he has became joint-chairman of NAG Telecom, then a CEO of Milwall Football Club (upper-league football clubs are typically big money here). Closer to home, Nottingham Forest is another successful football club: Chairman Frank Clark, is from working-class Consett in Co Durham... after 'menial' jobs, he was a footy-player until the late-1970s (in the days when footy players weren't paid massive salaries), and he's worked his way up from being manager, to being the club chairman.
A small number of examples for you there, a please to burst your obstinate wiseacre mentality
>>>As for the discussion on self-deprecation you have selective memory there too!
Tu quoque eh? Given you had completely forgotten our London conversation about Lady Thatcher and her predecessor, that's rather like a donkey sneering at a hare for having long ears
Although your accusation is false.
I think this is a case of your reading what you to read (you've got FMFitis), because there's no selective memory here on my part: My comment was in the last post (note my emphasis): "Our [the British] tendency for self-depreciation is generally
not borne of self-hatred or 'class issues"-- as in "generally" meaning there are exceptions to that. So I never denied/forgot that we agreed that there is a difference between self-deprecation-- which is purely of humour with no subtle baggage attached to it-- and that which (subtlely or subconsciously) imposes "a fence around one's aspirations".
I was just pointing out that you have difficulty grasping the irony of most self-depreciation in this country (you say yourself, you don't get British humour)-- mistaking the former for the latter. You patronisingly pointed it out in me; so I had to go to great pains to explain my own self-depreciation was a joke (I'm happy perfectly with my life, plus I have a great job, thanks).
Whilst your IQ is undoubtedly toweringly high, I don't think your EQ is: You do not need to have an in-depth knowledge of Freudian psychoanalysm to know if somebody is making a genuninely self-depreciative comment; you just listen for the ironic tone (perhaps this is not common amongst Americans too?), or look for the wry smile or smirk. My observation is that you are far too literal (or too sententious) or lacking in commonsense to ever really get it; not necessarily a bad quality per se; but that will ever sink you, if you try to analyse our humour.
Because again you wonder if our humour is "indeed rooted in a (past) class system". A hint of truth possibly, a few sitcoms have been themed on this: However these poke fun at pretention and pomposity (hence your inabilty to appreciate, being so afflicted), rather than ernest self-improvement. I do find it highly amusing that you confess you don't understand British humour, yet you are formulating theories of where it comes from
It's like not having the first clue about physics, but then challenging Einstein's Theory Of Relativity.
Our humour is it is rooted in that saying, you always like me quoting:In America life is serious, but with hope; in Britain life is hopeless, but not serious
I don't know whether you agree with the comment on the US, but it sums up British sense of humour. We put our best foot foward here too (Blitz spirit and all that), but we can still do it without taking ourselves too seriously. And why shouldn't we not laugh about our mistakes, we're all human and we all make them. Nobody likes people who take themselves oh-so-seriously, Piers Morgan and Jeffery Archer we're looking at you. Michael Caine is a brilliant example of somebody who is highly successful and confident, but sends himself up. Even Alan Sugar has been known to poke fun at himself
We British have no problem with and do not take the piss out of success per se, healthy dignity and self-esteem. If owt we take the piss out of those who are arrogant and self-important, because of the inherent riduculousness of these people imperiously believing they are better than other people (which is why I often PML at your posts), merely because of their jobs or higher earnings. In the USA, don't you just shoot people like that or sue them instead? [satirical
British humour is simply just the want to look on the bright side of life, to quote our second national anthem. I would argue the root of self-depreciative humour is not to do with class-system, but it is rooted in two staples of British humour-- irony and dark humour. In the first instance: Highlighting the faults of something you've done, now matter how succesful you've been-- the humour is derived from the inherent irony of doing this.
Secondly we have humour in schadenfreude here, not least when misfortune strikes ourselves. One common saying here, is: "You've got to laugh, otherwise you cry". When First World War broke out, soldiers of all classes were stuck together in trenches (something that irreversibly broke down class-barriers), yet between them they produced the Yypres Times, a spoof newspaper that grimly poked fun at that situation-- they knew they were cannon-fodder and laughed about it.
This tendency is, in fact, a subtly disguised form of self-aggrandisement. British self-deprecation is actually quite boastful; its primary purpose is to show how relaxed, at ease and confident we are. It's a sign of being so in command that you can undersell yourself. So is British self-deprecation just one big humblebrag? We really are useless; aren't we, utterly useless.
I would also point that self-depreciating humour is not the reserve of the British; Jews the world over are masters of it, especially in times when they persecuted. Even Americans can do it: Joan Rivers, George Hamilton and Johnny Depp being notable examples-- must be that American class-system to blame
Even you manage some, saying you "value humility highly"... that's got to be ironic, coming from you...
>>> Every time I visit Britain I find it a challenge finding any international news in the British papers at all! The ones I recall reading are The Guardian and The Telegraph. Should I be reading something else? You gave me a primer on British newspapers, but I've forgotten. Sorry.
I'll take your word on NYT, I've never read it. I still have a couple of USA newspapers from my visit, and the only foreign stories in them, and concerning American interests abroad! I was amazed by the number of Americans who did not know there were British (or other non-American NATO troops) fighting in A'ghan. Other than that, nowt. Perhaps explains why few Americans I've encountered have heard of Wales, think that the whole of Europe can lumped together in one homogeneous cultural lump, and they talk about the "Queen Of England" [satiricial
As for our papers, you haven't really challenged yourself, if you've only read The Guardian or Telegraph-- was that it?
Two of many papers available here. As well as main international new stories in the regular part of The Times, there's an in-depth section of the paper cunningly called World News. The two of the headline news-stories of today's The Independent, were Italy's borrowing-costs, and Greek PM announcing his new govt-- The Indy is good at global stories I'd say. The Daily Telegraph does have international news in, as does Guardian, obviously you didn't look very hard (or there wasn't that much international news that day)
If our newspapers aren't to you taste, I would also recommend BBC News (Channel) or Channel 4 News, both certainly recognise a world exists beyond British boundaries-- unlike USA television news in my experience. BBC does excellent current airs documentaries from around the world as does Channel 4 on occasion (Unreported World is recommended)
>>> I recall reading once about how Prince Charles got all upset because employees on his staff aspired to moving up in the job ladder. (Not his job though!) <<<
He's royalty, how we expect them to know that much about the real world
However this not the first time you've denigrated Prince Charles (no doubt on the basis of equally ignorant NYT articles): Charles did do a Full Monty dance-routine tribute (mercifully fully-clothed) in a dole office once. And Prince Charles was once called a "grovelling bastard" by Spike Milligan, and Prince Charles took it gracefully and thought it was hilarious. So he does have *some* humility