Rant: Take Them Back to Dear Old Blighty

The ugliest byproduct of the sagging dollar

Last December, Ricky Hatton, a stout-chugging, ruddy-faced British boxer, was laid out on a Las Vegas canvas by the American welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather. The crowd of Union Jack–bedecked fans —“drunken dullards” and “boors,” according to The Daily Telegraph’s horrified sports correspondent—became so unruly that for the first time in its history, the MGM Grand casino shut down its archipelago of bars. Hatton’s troglodyte supporters achieved what was long considered impossible: They managed to class-down Vegas.

Drawn by a plummeting dollar, the British are arriving en masse on American shores. In the streets of Manhattan, pale-skinned men in Manchester United shirts marvel loudly at what all these iPods, “trainers,” and Nike track suits would cost them back home. While generously pumping much-needed money into the U.S. economy, the feral packs of lager louts are, one hopes, helping correct America’s long-held misperception that the English are a nation of Inspector Morse bit players—sophisticated, fastidious, snobby—especially when compared to us rubes.

We’re not quite free of our inferiority complex just yet. After a 2005 stint playing on London’s West End, former Top Gun actor Val Kilmer enthused that English audiences were “smarter” than their American counterparts because “they read books.” (This is true, though if the current British bestseller list is any indication, our bibliophilic cousins are feeding their heads with diet guides and biographies of topless models.) The American blogger Matt Janovic, enraged by his intellectual isolation in the Midwest, summed up the prevailing confusion nicely: “Face it: an English schoolgirl sounds more authoritative than the voice of most American politicians…we sound like the cavemen that many around the world (rightly) think we are.”

And the filmmaker Michael Moore, always eager to play suck-up abroad, told one English audience in 2003 that the “dumbest Brit here is smarter than the smartest American.” In other words, theirs is a nation of abeyant Evelyn Waughs.

Waugh himself bristled at such stereotypes—insisting, for instance, that in etiquette “Americans are immensely the superiors of the English.” When Esquire asked the curmudgeonly novelist to write of the “crudeness” of America’s literary milieu, Waugh demurred, arguing that the Yanks were far more “literate” than his London-based contemporaries.

It’s high time that self-hating, pusillanimous Americans everywhere revisit Waugh’s assessment. And there is no better educational tool than extended encounters with that breed of Britons known colloquially as the chav, a pejorative recently added to the Collins English Dictionary to describe “a young working class person who dresses in casual sports clothing.” (Also added, incidentally, was asbo, an acronym for youths racking up violations of the “anti-social behavior order,” a malady which midwifed the British reality show ASBO Teen to Beauty Queen.)

While Britain is fast catching up to America—and leading Europe—in illiteracy, obesity, and violent crime (despite ubiquitous surveillance cameras and an ineffective ban on handguns), the Wittgenstein references in Monty Python still shape our assumptions of British cultural supremacy. But as the English social critic Theodore Dalyrymple observed in 2004, to profess an interest in high culture in today’s Britain is to be met with accusations of homosexuality.

So before President Ron Paul restores the gold standard, it should be acknowledged that the sagging dollar is providing one useful service: a long-overdue corrective to our self-image as lesser Brits. Europeans, who ranked the English as the “world’s worst tourists” in a recent Expedia poll, have long ago disabused themselves of such stereotypes. Take a look around New York, Boston, or Los Angeles, and spot the omnipresent gaggle of chavs, waddling through the Adidas shop, shouting drunken insults in local Irish pubs, converting the currency on every product within reach. England is just America writ small.

Michael C. Moynihan
is an associate editor of Reason.

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  • ||

    Yeah but how many dicks does he have on his foot?

  • ||

    Michael Moore loves to tell everyone that Americans are fat, stupid, obnoxious, loud-mouthed, ignorant, aggressive and rude.

    I call it projecting his personality onto 300 million people.

  • ||

    This is the most brilliant reference of all time. Congratulations, reason!

  • ||

    Any claim the Brits had to cultural superiority ended when they invented reality television.

  • ||

    Michael Moynihan is 12 feet tall and weighs a fucking ton.

  • ||

    I googled for the survey Moynihan mentioned and I'm kind of shocked to see Americans are the worlds second best tourists behind the Germans.

  • Heartily disagree!||

    No, we need to have the dollar fall even more against the Euro and the Pound so that European girls feel more comfortable sunbathing topless on US beaches.

  • dhex||

    does he fuck the shit out of bears?

  • ||

    I agree with Heartily disagree!, but I add that the dollar needs to fall against whatever money they use in Brazil.

  • Episiarch||

    Show ah littel respeck fo' da chavs' eh?

    It's hard to do Ali G in ASCII.

  • Adam||

    I'm an Englishman myself, and I have to agree that the stereotype is generally undeserved if you're from anywhere outside of the south of England. There is still hope though!

  • ||

    I'm an Englishman myself, and I have to agree that the stereotype is generally undeserved if you're from anywhere outside of the south of England.



    Its sort of like everyone thinks the French are assholes. But really, the French aren't. Parisians are assholes!

  • ||

    Hatton's a Citeh supporter as anyone will know and Citeh fans all work at Tesco and Toys-R-Us -- the english are famous or infamous throughout europe and turkey for romping around in big drunken packs on a piss-up -- you can spot them a mile away and should be nothing new to anyone with a passing knowledge of english culture which Monynihan doesn't seem to possess -- you also don't seperate out the Scots and Welsh who act far more civil and less visible and don't like being lumped in with the english chavs and yobs.

  • Adam||

    Or that the American weight problem is underestimated to the point of being nonexistent if your only source of information is through a television. Stereotypes are fun, especially when they're decades old!

  • ||

    My work occasionally takes me to Aberdeen.

    That place scares the living shit out of me.

    The engineers that I work with over there - engineers - are skinheads who like to get drunk on the weekends and start barfights.

  • Timothy||

    dhex: He threw a knife into heaven and can kill with a stare!

  • ||

    The English still have the upper hand over America when it comes to humor and are still very good at creating good music, tv shows like the Office, Peepshow, Shameless, etc. Plus us septics get the luxury of having BBC radio over the internet -- RadioOne and RadioSix are great for any music lover with no ads and lots of diversity missing from this side of the pond but we don't have to pay a massive tax on our televisions to get it -- hurrah...

  • Episiarch||

    My girlfriend is from Barcelona.

    She has stated that the absolute worst and most hated tourists were the English. They came, got blind drunk, and were generally total fucking louts who trashed the streets and got in fights.

    Now, of course this does not apply to all limeys, but that is the view of residents of Barcelona, which is, as I understand it, a favorite vacation spot for redcoats.

    Interestingly enough, according to her the Germans were second worst right behind the teabags.

    Also, all food service workers loved Americans because in Spain, waiters get livable salaries so tips are a few Euros at best. Americans would tip 18% like always, so waiters kneecap each other to get tables with Americans at them.

  • Episiarch||

    He also killed his sensei and never said why.

  • Taktix®||

    The English still have the upper hand over America when it comes to humor and are still very good at creating good music, tv shows like the Office, Peepshow, Shameless, etc.

    This might be an unsound assumption, because for every Monty Python that crosses the pond, there are a thousand "The Mighty Boosh"-type shows.

    Shallow pool, and all that...

  • ||

    Epi-

    Now I know why we were at the top of that travel survey.

  • ||

    I got into a brawl with some Brits in a brothel in Rio. [that sounds so fucking cool - though the broken finger hurt alot] Drunken assholes (arseholes).

  • ||

    Its sort of like everyone thinks the French are assholes. But really, the French aren't. Parisians are assholes!

    Amen brother Cesar!

  • penxv||

    I'm pretty sure that there are stupid people everywhere.

    But the smart ones are everywhere too.

  • ||

    A few things, Michael Moynihan

    Can it really be called a rant? I mean, it's a pretty short rant, innit?

    Why didn't you mention the British children? They are the worst of the worst as far as children from other countries are concerned. British children apparently think that everything sucks, and will loudly proclaim it with the most annoying tone to their voice. Now, large groups of any children are annoying as hell, but it only takes one or two British children to reach the same level of obnoxiousness.

  • Episiarch||

    Now I know why we were at the top of that travel survey.

    Actually, she said most Americans were well behaved, polite, tipped really well, and spent good money. This is most likely because a flight to Barcelona is not cheap for Americans, nor is staying for a week. So you get a wealthier--and better behaved--element.

    The lobersterbacks can get a €40 flight to Barcelona for the weekend and only pay for one night's lodging. So 10 of them will go and tear the place up. Hell, they may drink all night and skip the hotel room.

    So you see the difference.

  • ||

    Epi-

    Good point. Americans in Mexico, on the other hand....

    I'm surprised Latin America didn't bring us down a few notches in the survey.

  • not to jump on the bandwagon||

    but didn't he also weigh a fucking ton?

  • Taktix®||

    Good point. Americans in Mexico, on the other hand....

    We may be loud, obnoxious, destructive troglodytes in Mexico, but the rich kids going to Cancun still spend a shit-load of cash.

    For Mexico, I imagine that trumps a lot...

  • ||

    Michael Moore's weight problem is due to the inferiority of America's lack of nationalized healthcare. It's not his fault his country failed him.

  • ||

    Ask anyone from Prague about British tourists. Prague is known for known for its cheap great beer and even better and cheaper hookers. The Brits decend there in droves. Imagine a million drunk obnoxious Tucker Max types with bad cockney accents turned lose every weekend and you get Prague in the summer.

  • Episiarch||

    Americans in Mexico, on the other hand...

    Dude, it's fucking Mexico. The land of donkey shows and cockfights. Even spring breaking college kids probably don't give us a bad rep.

  • ||

    im a chav and proud, dont forget us brits conquered a quarter of the globe while you lot was asleep!.........deal with it

  • ||

    "Dude, it's fucking Mexico. The land of donkey shows and cockfights. Even spring breaking college kids probably don't give us a bad rep."

    That is a good point. When your main attractions are the 25 cent Carte Blancs and the hourly donkey show, I am really sure you can complain much about the quality of your tourists.

  • ||

    "m a chav and proud, dont forget us brits conquered a quarter of the globe while you lot was asleep!.........deal with it"


    That was when you weren't getting your ass kicked by the Germans and begging the US for help. We saved your ass twice in one century and have the right to talk shit about it until you do the same for us. Deal with it.

  • ||

    My God, the horror! After nearly a century of well-deserved poor relation status, hordes of Britain's swinest are lording their newfound prosperity over us.

    Next they'll be carrying off our wives and daughters.

    A concealed carry permit for every American! Repel these oafish louts!

  • Episiarch||

    im a chav and proud, dont forget us brits conquered a quarter of the globe while you lot was asleep!.........deal with it

    I compliment you on your excellent satire, yobbo.

  • ||

    Isn't "chav" just British for "whigger"?

    And good point about Mexico. I was thinking from the perspective of, "What if these assholes descended on MY city every year?"

  • ||

    As far as empires are concerned, the Brits have had a relatively soft landing in comparisson to former empires.

  • ed||

    I like Colman's mustard if that counts for anything.

  • ||

    As far as empires are concerned, the Brits have had a relatively soft landing in comparisson to former empires.



    Thats because--to their great credit--they weren't stupid enough to start wars to maintain a decaying Empire. France, I'm looking at you.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Evelyn Waugh actually made a pretty interesting claim about Americans in the Sword of Hono[u]r books: that they're always looking for a place to sit down. There's an American lieutenant everybody calls "The Loot," and he brings on a mild culture clash by sitting down on railings, suitcases, anywhere he can find a spot. The book makes the case that this is somehow a distinctly American trait.

  • Episiarch||

    Isn't "chav" just British for "whigger"?

    Not in my understanding. It refers to working class youngsters. Our equivalent would be something like "white trash", but they don't have to be white (I don't think). And instead of ratty jeans and Kiss t-shirts everything is Burberry plaid or jogging suits.

    Basically think Ali G. He is a chav caricature.

  • ||

    "And good point about Mexico. I was thinking from the perspective of, "What if these assholes descended on MY city every year?"


    See Atlanta during the old Freaknick days. Basically young men in large groups quickly become drunken assholes. It really doesn't matter if they are White, Brown, Black American, Indian or English. Anywhere there is a large group of young men partying, they are more than likly going to turn into assholes.

  • Brandybuck||

    I've been watching the new Doctor Who. But the view it shows of British life is vaguely disturbing. The three main British characters, Rose, her mum, and Micky, are all shiftless bums with no ambitions. Sarah Jane Smith had some spunk, but she represents an earlier breed of Brit.

  • Episiarch||

    The three main British characters, Rose, her mum, and Micky, are all shiftless bums with no ambitions.

    Are you watching Eccleston or Tennant?

    Rose's shitty background is part of the reason she goes with the Doctor. This will all be tied in.

  • ||

    Basically think Ali G. He is a chav caricature.



    That why I was asking, I always considered Ali G. a whigger.

    Anywhere there is a large group of young men partying, they are more than likly going to turn into assholes.



    Very true.

  • Adam||

    "That was when you weren't getting your ass kicked by the Germans and begging the US for help. We saved your ass twice in one century and have the right to talk shit about it until you do the same for us. Deal with it."

    I'd say we're both equal looking back at history.

  • Landon Donovan||

    Americans and Canadians are popular in Cancun and Quintana Roo because we tip.

    Europeans are used to having a "service charge" built into bills, so they don't tip as much.

    And Quintana Roo is "baseball country" so the Mexicans there don't care that our soccer team beats theirs like Christina Crawford.

  • Taktix®||

    Americans and Canadians are popular in Cancun and Quintana Roo because we tip.

    Ask anyone in Florida, fucking Canadians DO NOT TIP...

  • Episiarch||

    That why I was asking, I always considered Ali G. a whigger.

    I don't think chav culture is white people trying to act "black", which is what whiggers do. It's just chav culture--that's how they all act, and it evolved organically. Sure, there are rap and gangster influences, but it's more than being Vanilla Ice.

  • ||

    I thought Ali G was a jigger.

  • ||

    The British are not more intelligent or educated than Americans on the whole; the smartest Americans are as smart as the smartest Brits, Moore's dribbling notwithstanding. However, it does appear to me as though there is more tolerance - at least in the UK media - for people being conspicuously intelligent or educated. I have long noticed that in the American media, there's a ubiquitous assumption of populist sentiment that seems inseparable from a thread of anti-intellectualism. This quirk - which I attribute entirely to how our respective media cultures developed - may be entirely responsible for the perception that Americans and English are wildly different in overall intelligence level.

  • ||

    The English still have the upper hand over America when it comes to humor...

    Mr. Bean

  • Episiarch||

    The English still have the upper hand over America when it comes to humor...

    It's pretty even. We have:

    South Park
    Strangers With Candy
    MadTV
    Stephen Colbert
    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    Wonder Showzen
    The Office (American version)

    They have:

    Monty Python
    The Young Ones
    The Office (original)
    Little Britain
    Blackadder
    Fawlty Towers

    I'm sure I'm missing stuff and have my own tastes. But if we're gonna rip on people for having worse comedy, it has to be the Aussies. Even the Canadians gave us SCTV and Kids in the Hall.

  • highnumber||

    The Aussies gave us Young Einstein.

  • economist||

    Actually, I hate most of the European tourists I've met. However, when I visited my uncle in Germany and my cousin in England, I got along fine with the people there. I wonder if it's just a Euro-tourist thing.

  • economist||

    I would agree with hale's statement on the anti-intellectualism that occasionally rears its ugly head here in the states. However, I've always disliked it less than the smug, self-satisfied snobs who seem to populate many universities (though not so much technical institutes).

  • highnumber||

    And Brit kids' misbehavior is no surprise to anyone who has listened to the Streets. He lays it out there for ya (in a very entertaining way).

  • ||

    The English still have the upper hand over America when it comes to humor and are still very good at creating good music, tv shows like the Office, Peepshow, Shameless, etc.

    Hey, if you're not Tivoing Top Gear, you aren't living.

  • ||

    im a chav and proud, dont forget us brits conquered a quarter of the globe while you lot was asleep!.........deal with it

    Oh, you English are *so* superior, aren't you? Well, would you like to know what you'd be without us, the good ol' U.S. of A. to protect you? I'll tell you. The smallest fucking province in the Russian Empire, that's what!

  • ||

    R C -- I cry (and simultaneously go green with envy) when I see what they do to those stunning and glorious cars.

    But good fun it all looks.

  • ||

    While Britain is fast catching up to America-and leading Europe-in illiteracy, obesity, and violent crime...



    Actually Britain has been leading the US in practically all classes of crime for years, including violent crime.

    The thing that sets the US apart is the fact that so many attacks turn into homicides.

  • ||

    Epi --

    The Simpsons
    Futurama
    Robot Chicken

    and yes...even Seinfeld.

    And we have fucking Heroes and Battlestar Galactica. Eat it limeys! (even tho' they get new BSG months before we do for some odd reason)

  • ||

    >That why I was asking, I always considered Ali G. a whigger.

    Ali G.'s given name is Alistair. It's whiggerish that he goes by Ali, which is suggestive of Islam when really he has a poncey English name.

  • ||

    I think Brits are a lot bolder than Americans about trading vicious insults in argumentation. It projects confidence and may help create an impression of intelligence. Especially if the insults are actually witty.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Any claim the Brits had to cultural superiority ended when they invented reality television.



    Actually, it ended with Benny Hill, the UK's answer to "Hee Haw."

  • ||

    TV-wise, the Brits also got to their credit:

    The Thick of It - A darker, much sharper politi-com than has ever aired here. We like our political drama big and sincere, which is a shame since in many ways there exists no better subject for farce.

    Screenwipe - A more sustained critique of TV modes and conventions than has ever stayed on air here. Not that it hasn't been tried.

    Nathan Barley - A one-season-wonder. The satire on urban pseuds is perfectly applicable in America as well, and actually if someone aired it here it'd probably rate pretty well.

    Funland - Another one-season wonder; can't decide whether it's a drama or a comedy, but nothing this deranged would ever be allowed in the United States outside of HBO. A symptom (depending on how you view it) of taste, or else of how advertising dollars tend to sanitize media.

    The Armando Iannucci Shows - Some people will read this intelligent sketch series as bleak; I find it wonderfully frivolous. This is another one that Americans would probably enjoy - by which I mean, the sort of show that hasn't happened here only because the gatekeepers of US television are overly cautious.

    The UK has also got loads of shitty television (as Screenwipe will attest to at length). What's interesting is the narrower trends in terms of things that are definitely present on UK television but don't occur at all here or can't stay on the air, and vice versa.

    Of course, the rate at which internet TV is heating up and starting to shine, who the hell knows if any of this speculation will seem like a load of purest irrelevancy in ten years ...

  • ||

    "im a chav and proud, dont forget us brits conquered a quarter of the globe while you lot was asleep!.........deal with it"

    Um, you didn't conquer anything you silly boy, except that bottle of Lambrini last night.

  • Ska||

    I thought Millard Fillmore was a whigger, and Ali G a wigger.

  • lauren cooper||

    i'm not bovvered!

  • ||

    What exactly is the relevance of this article to Reason- free minds and free markets?

  • ||

    "What exactly is the relevance of this article to Reason- free minds and free markets?"

    Because there is more to this world(internet) then minds and markets.
    Expand your mind Mick, and explore new markets.

  • ||

    Episarch, which Aussie comedy have you seen? We some funny shit down here mate.

    What people need to remember about England (not Britain, Scotland, Wales and NI are different) is that there are two types of people there: Chavs and not Chavs. Chavs live up to every stereotype of boorish unruly English people abroad. You run screaming when you see them. The overwhelming majority of other English people I've met in my travels (and living in the US for a while) are good for a laugh and good natured.

    BTW, for me, Chav = Council House AVerage

  • ||

    What exactly is the relevance of this article to Reason- free minds and free markets?

    From here

    Reason is the monthly print magazine of "free minds and free markets." It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews.
    ...
    Reason Online is updated daily with articles and columns on current developments in politics and culture.


    You may call me asshole now.

  • Rakune||

    Chav = council housed and violent. In the US most housing project residents are minorities, so a different epithet springs to mind.

  • ||

    Canadians are bad tippers, and they also expect supermarket cashiers to bag ALL of their groceries, whether there is a bagger there to help or not. I felt terrible at the major supermarket near UPenn, watching a young man ring up about $250 worth of groceries and have a middle-aged Canadian woman just stare at him, letting the the stuff roll right to the back of the checkout aisle. They are consistent 10% tippers, too. I wonder if Canadian waiters/waitresses have the same attitude as black waiters/waitresses I know (i.e., "I will do everything possible not to wait on my own kind").

  • Pepe||

    "That is a good point. When your main attractions are the 25 cent Carte Blancs and the hourly donkey show, I am really sure you can complain much about the quality of your tourists."

    There's a difference between the red light districts of Juarez, Tijuana, etc. and the rest of Mexico.

  • vicki pollard||

    no...but yehr...but no...but yehr...but no

  • ||

    We were in Prague last summer, and the british tourists were simply horrible- outside at 4 am screaming at the top of their lungs "fook fook fook!!!"

  • penxv||

    The thing that sets the US apart is the fact that so many attacks turn into homicides

    There may actually be a correlation with high achievement here.

    If an attack turns into a homicide... doesn't that kind of mean that it was a good attack.

  • ||

    I'm Canadian and I have to say I'm a bad tipper, I consider 10% a fine tip, although it'd have to be exceptional service for me to give that. For the reason why, see the Reservoir Dogs tipping argument.

  • ||

    One suspects it is very regional and very class inflected, like stereotypes about Americans. I haven't been to England for 15 years, and then I spent almost all my time in the west end of London with a side trip up north to Bury St Edmunds. The men on the tube in the parts of London I was in (Earl's Court and other posh neighborhoods) did all set off my gaydar, which wasn't rusty back then. But they were all devouring my female host with their eyes. They seemed gay, but weren't.

    Michael Moynihan, by the way, is very thin, only 5'9, not rude at all, and not particularly loud or aggressive, and he has a lovely intelligent blonde Swedish wife.

  • Untermensch||

    One trip on the Tube was enough to convince me that the Brits have nothing on us for sophistication. After watching some chavs in their eary 20s loudly and rudely comment on some girl and then make fun of her boyfriend for objecting to their "leering just a little" (their words), I realized my obnoxious American friends are actually quite polite in comparison. They would have kept their commenting at half the volume.

    For what it's worth, by the way, chav is from Romany (Gypsy) chavo/shavo (boy). (Wikipedia says it's from chavi (child), but that's probably wrong. Chavo is used in a number of European countries with similar meaning, and I bet it got picked up by chavs on vacation in other countries who got called that there...

  • ||

    As an Englishman, I really don't know what our problem is.

    Sure, I have a nice accent, I've read most of Evelyn Waugh's books and I can talk bollocks about wine, classical music, manners blahblahblah, but that didn't stop me going on a stag do last year where we hired a midget, all got utterly polluted and one of our party passed out and wet himself in the hotel corridor.

    I guess we just like alcohol.

    Ont thing though, I'm not taking any fucking lessons of Spaniards. As someone who has sat in bars in Barcelona and watched scumbags with nice sunglasses make monkey sounds and anyone who looked the slightest bit ethnic, then I'm inclined to tell them to shampoo my balls before they pontificate on how awful we are.

    Also, good Evelyn Waugh quote. On Nabokov's lolita:

    'It is without merit, except as smut. On that count, it is highly exciting.'

    Toodle pip all.

  • ||

    Having lived for years in a popular tourist location in Greece, I can sadly attest to the validity of this article. We have thousands of visitors from most parts of the world and all kinds of economic strata. Affluent and working class, Germans, French, Americans, Japanese and Swedish. Noone, and I do mean no one, compares to the lack of civility, obnoxiousness and repulsiveness of the British louts. While the vast majority of the other tourists (yes, including the unfairly maligned Americans) enjoy themselves, relax, party, visit the sites or what have you, the British punks seem to only drink themselves to unconsciousness, pick fights and generally act like (as?) hooligans or fratboys on crack cocaine. Certainly no advertisement to the mythic "English civility".

  • Zoltan||

    I think Brits are a lot bolder than Americans about trading vicious insults in argumentation. It projects confidence and may help create an impression of intelligence. Especially if the insults are actually witty.

    See Fox News/authoritarian talk radio and Air America. Usually the insults are not witty though.

  • Richard||

    A new "Top Gear" special will air March 14th. I'm sure there'll be 5000 bittorrent seeders on the morning of the 15th.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Funny stuff, Michael Moynihan. I have no idea of its veracity, but it was way, way cool.

    I'm getting to be a fan......

  • Episiarch||

    Look, it's very simple: ripping on the limeys is a 225+ year tradition. Any excuse to do so is valid, so just deal with it, you ponces.

  • LarryA||

    biographies of topless models

    Illustrated? Amazon links? (I'm trying to sound "sophisticated.")

    I have an English friend who is a gunsmith dealing with fine shotguns. I thought his evaluation of modern GB was atypical, since their gun control laws drove him out of the country. It turns out there's a whole colony of former subjects of the Queen here in the Texas Hill Country. Never mind sophistication. The consensus among them is that the Sceptered Isle is simply no longer civilized.

    Not that NYC sets a high standard.

    I'm pretty sure that there are stupid people everywhere. But the smart ones are everywhere too.

    Not so much. When it gets bad enough, the smart ones leave.

    Now, large groups of any children are annoying as hell,

    Quibble: Now, large unorganized groups of any children are annoying as hell. A couple of weekends ago I volunteered at a 4-H Shooting Sports event, and you never met a nicer bunch of folks. The youth group at my church is the same. Unless you get annoyed by enthusiasm.

    What exactly is the relevance of this article to Reason- free minds and free markets?

    England doesn't have either, and look what's happening.

  • ||

    This is my nomination for best Reason thread of the month - maybe YTD.

  • Jennifer||

    I think chavs are what American trailer-park dwellers would be if America were a hardcore socialist state where everybody has the "right" to free medical care and free housing and free food even if they've never held a job in their life and see no need to change this anytime soon.

  • R Mutt||

    Good article, largely jibes with my experience working in Glasgow. Evelyn Waugh is probably a bad proxy for British views on Americans, though.

    I think a lot of liberal Americans may also be surprised that as a country that is full of pro-government citizens, they hold a lot of views contrary to liberal Americans. Despite the diverse airports and cities, I think the average Brit is a little more racist than the average American.

    I imagine Canada will be next: pro govt and multiculturally tolerant. Ice hockey and beer hosers don't have a charming BBC accent, unfortunately.

    The conservative fascination with Britain is much weirder. National Review writers, Andrew Roberts, Niall Ferguson all get an audience here, but their aristocratic, imperial, Churchillian manner is a complete anachronism for modern Britain and Britons.

    Does anyone else find that many Californians find Australia as the "new and improved" Southern California?

  • Meaty Ochre||

    since we're talking about tipping, here's this:
    why am I expected to let the bartender keep a dollar out of my five when all he did was pour me a warm beer with an inch of foam on the top?

    bartenders expect to take home 200 cash in tips every night and pay no taxes. not bad for an associates degree.

    I believe in generosity to a waiter or waitress becasue that is acutal hard work, but I can't stand generous tips to bartenders. maybe a dollar tip for pouring 3 or 4 drinks which are actual mixes taking time and skill, but a dollar just for handing me a longneck, that's crazy stupid and ridiculous.

  • ||

    im a chav and proud, dont forget us brits conquered a quarter of the globe while you lot was asleep!.........deal with it

    If the pit you call britland is such a lovely place then why do all the Englishmen in the world live here in the US?

    As far as i can tell only the Normans stayed and a stray brain damaged Scot or two.

  • Caporino||

    I don't care - as long as they bring money.

  • ||

    I visited St. Martin years ago, back when there were few Americans but lots of Europeans. Mostly French and German. I was surprised to find the locals greeting us enthusiastically everywhere we went. They went out of their way to say hi, and were always very hospitable. I was actually offered a place to stay for no charge on my next visit.

    Eventually one of them told me why: Americans don't treat you like a servant, they say
    "hi, how are you?" and they mean it. And they tip really well. The last part is likely an artifact of better days for our currency.

    No slight intended on the Germans or the French, this is what I was told. Draw your own conclusions.

  • Muggins||

    While trends do exist, I stubbornly insist that people be judged by their own actions. It's a hard lesson, one of many, that I've learned over a half century on this planet.

  • ||

    You don't tip a bartender for pouring your drink. A crowded bar is a socially chaotic event, and hard cash isn't the only currency that's exchanged. Maybe you'll get great treatment at your home pub where the bartender grew up with you. Remember, though, every bar is local to some group, and the locals will be treated better than you due to their history. Your large tips buy you an instant history at that bar.

  • ||

    When I was working in the oilfield, I lived for a while in a staff house in Venezuela. My roommates were Scotsmen. Great workers and sober ones on the rig, but their week off was one constant drunk.

    Decades later, I was in grad school, and the Dean of the School, of Scots origin, attended a presentation our final day of class. I mentioned to him that I had worked with Scotsmen in the oilfield in Venezuela. "Bunch of drunks, weren't they," was the Dean's reply.

  • ||

    The irony here in Korea is that if you're white and practice a random act of kindness, the Korean recipient will ask if you are British (them all being gentlemen, of course). My Limey expat buds get a hoot out of that, knowing that if this place ever got on the Chavs' radar that'd change quickly.

  • ||

    I also thought this article was hysterical. My husband and I currently live in Spain and were told repeatedly when we left the US how lucky we would be to be living among the civilized europeans. NOT! I've met good and bad from all european countries but I have been overwhelmingly proud of my fellow Americans when I run into them touring around Europe. Polite, interested in other cultures, friendly - the best! I am with Mark Hughes however - there may be the occasional bad lot escaping Britain, but the Spanish do not get to comment. Rude, cheap and borish almost to a man they are surpassed only be Italians as the worlds worst tourists in my book!

  • Brutus||

    Just back from a weekend in NYC, and the town is LITTERED with Brits. Bad fashion, bad teeth, bad manners-they're everything we've always heard about ourselves abroad.

  • ||

    Agree with Brutus - the Brits are a reflection of 30 years of American tourists in Europe. Here in Central Europe, I have seen Americans pillaging bars, parks and cafes with there big dollars for years....don't see them so much now that the economy is in the tank and the dolalr is more equated with a currency that Arabs sell oil in than a superpower. We reap what we sow.

  • nfl jerseys||

    ghgewrh

  • Nike Dunk Low||

    is good

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