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Wednesday, December 06, 2006 


I feel like I really should say something about this whole Gwyneth Paltrow controversy (oh, what passes for controversy these days!) where she has allegedly said some anti-American things. I'm saying something because I actually really like her: aside from starring in my favorite movie of all time, Shakespeare in Love, she has really pretty hair and good taste in men. Along with her, I admire all actresses who seem talented, hard working, and actually put effort into their British accents. So I love Renee Zellweger for the same reasons because those actors who do foreign accents without effort and talent seem worthless to me. (Natalie Portman, I'm talking to YOU, you RUINED V for Vendetta with that crap Cockney/Irish/South African monstrosity. RUINED.)

Anyway, here is a quote earlier this year from Ms. Paltrow:

"I love living in the UK! Brits are far more intelligent and civilized than Americans."

And here is the more recent one that seems to be kicking up a fuss:

"I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner... I like living here because I don't fit into the bad side of American psychology. The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans."

What I have to say is:

A) She's right, and everyone knows it.


B) I think all us expats were hoping that with the recent changing of the guard in America we'd see less of this resurgent McCarthyism, where freedom of speech (the best part of living in America) is constantly being pounced on. I almost thought it was even getting safe enough to go back! Goes to show you just can't take the rednecks out of America. I mean, if we won't even let posh and pretentious movie stars who marry rock stars and flit overseas tell us exactly how they are better than us, what is the world coming to?? And furthermore, why must it be such a big deal?

See.. that's funny.. cuz I haven't heard a thing about it so someone is probably making a fuss.. but I haven't heard anything about that on the news. And yeah.. who cares? She's right. We're the most arrogant country of people and she of course is generalizing, but en masse, yeah.. we're pretty stupid. Plus, she's probably used to dealing w/ a lot of Hollywoodness of the people she used to be around - and I would assume that life and those people are very money/work oriented.

I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say she was probably trying to be nice about the British rather than rude about the Americans.

But I still hate her. Your flattery won't work on me, Paltrow!

It's so sad that it's all the rage among a certain sector of Americans to hate their own country. Because really? America is the best country to live in. It's a form of cultural anorexia we practice here....no matter how good this country is, people just refuse to see it. And we all know anorexia is a sickness.

Yes there are a lot of ignorant people, but there a lot of ignorant people in EVERY country. We just don't see them here in America because other countries (sweeping generalization here) don't tend to export their culture - warts and all - to the same extent that Americans do. And why is that? Because, good or bad, American culture is seen as desireable in other countries.

And don't even get me started on arrogance. I have worked (in America) with plenty of people from other countries and their arrogance about how horrible America is versus their wonderful country of birth was astounding. Even though several came from a country where women are second class citizens (literally....as in self-immolation is an acceptable way for a marriage to end because of the shame it might bring to one's family.) By the way, all of this America-bashing was taking place while all of them were making 6 figure incomes. Seems they liked the money they made in America just fine.

As for Gwyneth, does anyone really believe that she regrets what she said? Her only regret is that it has become public and when - or if - she ever decides to stick her toe back into the shark-infested waters of Hollywood, her movies might not be all the well-received by the masses of stupid Americans who, heretofore, were unaware of her America-loathing ways.

Ah, exactly my point. Did she say, "I hate America"? No, she's quoted as saying America is capitalistic and less civilized than the UK. A lot of Americans will interpret that as "I hate America" because I believe we are at a point where it is considered un-American to express any negative opinion about our own country.

You must say that America is the best country in the world and is uncapable of doing or being wrong. If you do not you are Anti-American.

I shudder to think at what comes next.

There's probably a whole load of people in Guantanamo getting their arms twisted until they say that America is the best country in the World. Who need self immolation when Uncle Sam can do it for you huh?

As a Brit living in California I am also amazed by the number of my fellow countrymen/women who love to bash the UK at every opportunity. In fact, I think we almost make it an olympic sport. Of course it's particularly common at the moment because of the war and the relationship between Bush and Blair.

Please - we need to get over it. Having lived in both the US and UK I can tell you there are just as many rednecks in the UK and just as many intellectuals (pseudo or otherwise) in the US. That said, I've never been to 'flyoverland' - that red bit of the US between the two coasts so can't comment there.

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