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An American in London

 
 
Reply Fri 9 May, 2014 01:22 pm
Winding down my week here.

I love this country, this city, their history and, by and large, their people.

I've been coming here regularly for the last 25 years and I have noticed a very definite movement away from what most would consider traditional British. Modernism I guess, and who am I to bemoan movement away from what I have always treasured, by the people who actually live here.

While this green and pleasant land has, as have all nations, been guilty of sins, it has also been responsible for great advancements.

Ignoring the sins to champion the advancements isn't to be favored, but neither is ignoring the advancements to highlight the sins. Why flying the Union Jack in public should be found offensive to anyone living in or visiting this country is far beyond me. What is infuriating as well as incomprehensible is that any Brit would concede to this nonsense and restrict the flying of their national flag.

The growing cult of victimhood and sanctification of feeling offended is a blight on civilization, and never leads to positive change. Nelson Mandela is a perfect example of how a person must find positive motivation to be an effective agent of meaningful change. Mandela had infinitely more justification for feeling bitter and "offended" than any of those who caterwaul about flying a symbol of colonialism, yet he didn't succumb to life draining emotions. He chose a different and ultimately successful path.

Petty little people empowered by the fact that their feeble claims of being "offended," are being taken seriously, isn't a sign of progress, they are a sign of decay, similar to the Roman intellectuals who wrote that the noble barbarians were righteous in their efforts to tear down the Empire.

This only happens when life is pretty good for the complainers. I imagine those Roman authors of the moral superiority of Goths didn't welcome a barbarian axe being buried in their heads.

Skyscrapers are going up here thanks to engineering advancements, but they are all steel and glass distinguishable only by the fact that technology now allows bizarre structures. They rise above truly beautiful architecture and are given names born of their odd design. They are not making this city more beautiful, but they are making it more modern.

It's entirely possible to spend a week here and not get in a heated discussion about how America sucks, which belies the comments one finds in the reader feedback sections of UK online paper, and this is a great thing.

It's always a great pleasure to spend time in England and London, but it seems to becoming more and more Euro than British.


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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,067 • Replies: 6
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2014 02:09 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
As a non-Londoner (from Manchester), I agree that London seems less "British" every time I visit.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2014 06:20 am
@fresco,
And it's their choice of course, but it seems a shame.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2014 06:37 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
It's always a great pleasure to spend time in England and London, but it seems to becoming more and more Euro than British.
I always stay at friend's some 30 miles outside of London.

It was more English (aka "British" for the Americans) in 60's when I''d been there for the first time.

Now it's like any globalised big city. [Though Peter Ackroyd called it to have already a "megalopolis" in Victorian times.]

When you wrote "Euro", Finn, you didn't mean the coin or currency but 'Europe'? Besides that the UK is part of Europe, what European region/city did you refer to?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2014 06:44 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
[Though Peter Ackroyd called it to have already a "megalopolis" in Victorian times.]
Referring here to Peter Ackroyd's London A Biography
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izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2014 06:57 am
Sporting and Royal events aside, we're not a nation of flag wavers, those people who do fly flags outside of said events tend to be far right extremists.

We don't need to fly the flag to show our nationality, it's got absolutely nothing to do with colonial guilt, and everything to do with finding such nationalistic outbursts distasteful.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2014 07:13 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
I imagine those Roman authors of the moral superiority of Goths didn't welcome a barbarian axe being buried in their heads.
I'm not sure to what writers you're referring here, but as a European I can say: the Christian Visigoth kingdom contributed a lot to mainstream European culture after the decline of Roman influence.
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