The British Psyche

Tez3

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http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article5162477.ece

I''ve posted this here because although these are television programmes it goes a long way to show how the British think, something that confuses many lol!

What's true though is we love the underdog, the 'trier'. The actual talent a person has isn't nearly as important as the guts they show. The added bonus of annoying and upsetting the establishment is of course always a joy.

To be honest we've never managed to get the hang of the American 'go getter' thing, to us losers aren't losers, if you've tried your best, you're a hero.

While we are delighted with our Olympic success, it's bewildered us a bit but our medallists though remain true to the British way of thinking and remain modest being 'lucky to have the chances' rather than 'I'm the best'. ( and some of them are the best in the world)

I don't think though people outside the UK realise how subversive we actually are, they see our laws, the police with no guns, our seeming acceptance of whatever happens but they don't see the other side of us. What this article calls the 'buggeration factor' To be sure, Strictly and X Factor are only TV programmes but don't think for one minute we won't get rid ourselves of any government, law or politicians we don't want! We just don't make a fuss, ah the Englishman's horror, the fuss! However, never mistake that politeness for weakness! We value the internal strength not the external.The Dunkirk spirit is alive and well, we see it every time we have a major flood or disaster, no fuss, no hysteria just everyone pulling together. Ah but it's a joy to see even in the direst of circumstances. Dignity is still a very valued virtue here, thank goodness.
With influences from outside the UK being exerted more and more the UK is changing sadly. We are being urged to 'open up' and 'share' our emotions, why? is weeping and wailing a more valid response to a disaster than 'right we'll pick ourselves up and start again'. Is seeing an analyst to talk things through more valid than having a pint with mates and living life not seeing it as some sort of airy fairy excuse to have 'issues'?

Ok now I sit back waiting to be flamed rofl :flame:
 

girlbug2

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No flames from this corner.

It is sad to think the UK national character is changing now, I think it's charming the way it is.
 
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Tez3

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The death of Princess Diana showed how much it changed, people were crying on the streets and children being offered counselling. The people crying I understood but not the later.
Recent ceremonies though like the one in London at the Cenotaph for the Armistice Day have shown deep feelings in such a dignified way though. Three of the surviving first World veterans, all over 100, laid wreaths accompanied by present day medal winners. The most moving moment for many was when the naval wreath was laid and the young Royal Marine came back to the veteran in the wheelchair he was accompanying and laying the wreath for, he stood behind him and laid his hand on the old mans shoulder. A simple, simple gesture full of meaning and had everyone with a tear in their eye. The three service people representing them had all won medals for bravery in action.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7720601.stm

In the light of a lot of tragic stories such as the death of Baby P, things like these give hope. We can only wait and see though if this is a forlorn hope or not.
 

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The death of Princess Diana showed how much it changed,

I remember, as a cynical late teen at the time, being hugely irritated by the reaction to Diana's death and thinking how "un-British." I thought it was sad but did not warrant such an out pouring of public grief. Looking back at it now I realise it wasn't as un-British as I first thought.....did you see the size of those queues!!
 

Sukerkin

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thinking how "un-British." I thought it was sad but did not warrant such an out pouring of public grief.

I concur. It had all the hallmarks of an orchestrated media campaign to manipulate people, especially the very young, into a heightened emotional state. I confess that it was very professionally done, even a hardened cynic like myself was moved to tears by the coverage. I also agree that it was a tragic event.

But that 'sackcloth and ashes' or 'wailing in the streets' approach to things is just not how I was brought up to react to unhappy outcomes. We became famous for decorum under trying or emotive circumstances for a reason, my fellows.

It may be a monumentally overblown cliche but I think the comedic collage that encapsulates what we used to aspire to was that moment in Carry on Up the Khyber where the dinner party carried on unperturbed as cannon fire ripped through the consulate :lol:.

My guess is that it is blanket exposure to media stereotypes that are not our own that has done the damage. It is, in essence, an endless torrent of cultural propoganda and I'm at a loss as to how we can reverse the flow right now :(.

Looking back at it now I realise it wasn't as un-British as I first thought.....did you see the size of those queues!!

Now that is more British - turn something sad that has irritated us into a springboard for wry humour.
 
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Tez3

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Ah, Carry on Up the Khyber, it was on television the other day, absolute priceless and absolutely correct, that's the only way to cope with any situation!
Have you heard the RAF pilots who fly sorties in Afghan and Iraq? Very British, calm, quite precise instructions and talk, no shouts when they bombs hit their mark, no hooting and hollering, no jubilation. As the squaddies say, it's gleaming!!
 

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No flames from the Southern part of these here states either. :asian:

I always thought John Cleese stated it best about being English from that wonderful movie "A Fish Called Wanda"

Archie: Wanda, do you have any idea what it's like being English? Being so correct all the time, being so stifled by this dread of, of doing the wrong thing, of saying to someone "Are you married?" and hearing "My wife left me this morning," or saying, uh, "Do you have children?" and being told they all burned to death on Wednesday. You see, Wanda, we'll all terrified of embarrassment. That's why we're so... dead. Most of my friends are dead, you know, we have these piles of corpses to dinner.

Pink Floyd stated it pretty well too from Time: "...hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way..."

My eldest brother sat me down in front of the telly (as it were) and told me "you're going to learn to like British humor" and we watched episodes of "Allo, Allo", Black Adder, Are You Being Served and Red Dwarf and over time I did learn to really appreciate it and see it for what it is. Really funny perceptions of life and the way things are.
 

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I'd forgotten that classic Cleese 'Wanda' outburst :D. We were all probably too embarassed at his publically lowered 'mask' to remember :lol:.
 
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Tez3

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No flames from the Southern part of these here states either. :asian:

I always thought John Cleese stated it best about being English from that wonderful movie "A Fish Called Wanda"



Pink Floyd stated it pretty well too from Time: "...hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way..."

My eldest brother sat me down in front of the telly (as it were) and told me "you're going to learn to like British humor" and we watched episodes of "Allo, Allo", Black Adder, Are You Being Served and Red Dwarf and over time I did learn to really appreciate it and see it for what it is. Really funny perceptions of life and the way things are.


That's why we have our subversive side lol!

I think the John Cleese 'Wanda' thing is more about the British upper class types, public school and the chaps who call their mother 'mummy' even when they are forty. The British working class has the stiff upper lip but with a sense of humour like Lister!! In all the best British comedies you'll see the 'class war' in action!
 

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My eldest brother sat me down in front of the telly (as it were) and told me "you're going to learn to like British humor" and we watched episodes of "Allo, Allo", Black Adder, Are You Being Served and Red Dwarf and over time I did learn to really appreciate it and see it for what it is. Really funny perceptions of life and the way things are.

I personally wouldn't recommend Allo Allo or Are you being served? Loved Red Dwarf and Black Adder though. But that is just a personal taste thing I guess. For a good alternative example of British wit try having a look at Brass Eye, The Day Today, The League of Gentlemen, The Mighty Boosh, Spaced or Monkey Dust (A very dark animated sketch show).

To be honest though I think it is a bit of a fallacy that Brits are the masters of irony and sarcasm. I am a huge fan of Bill Hicks, George Carlin and shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Frasier. Americans can do cynical humour just as well as the British! Yes you have a lot of rubbish shows but for every dreadful episode of "Just shoot me" or "Hope and Faith" we have an episode of "My Family" or "Dinner Ladies" that is just as bad!!
 

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for every dreadful episode of "Just shoot me" or "Hope and Faith" we have an episode of "My Family" or "Dinner Ladies" that is just as bad!!

Just realised this is wrong as your series go on for something like 21 episodes whereas ours stop at 6 episodes a series! I'm sure though that I could flesh out the deficit with episodes of "My Hero", "Gimme Gimme Gimme" "Trex and Flipside" and "All about Me". If you don't know these shows please don't look them up as they are awful.
 
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Tez3

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Just realised this is wrong as your series go on for something like 21 episodes whereas ours stop at 6 episodes a series! I'm sure though that I could flesh out the deficit with episodes of "My Hero", "Gimme Gimme Gimme" "Trex and Flipside" and "All about Me". If you don't know these shows please don't look them up as they are awful.


Gimme Gimme Gimme now there's a series that plumbed the depths!
Allo, Allo wasn't one of my favourites, too close to the drop trousers farces for my taste.
My favourite programmes to make me smile at the moment is QI and Stephen Fry's American adventure. Can't think of one that makes me laugh out loud at the moment. Nuts TVs Fighting Hurts made me laugh though! I knew a few people on it including two of the judges, one contestant in particular who was supposed to be a beginner had fought semi pro for ages.
 

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I love QI as well! The combination of Stephen Fry and Alan Davies works so well.
 

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A little bit off topic , but this morning on the tv news i was sad to hear that Reg Varney had passed away .
On The Buses was a pretty popular show in Australia years and years ago and i can still do my Blakey impersonation " I'LL HAVE YOU BUTLER " :)
 

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No flames from this corner.

It is sad to think the UK national character is changing now, I think it's charming the way it is.


None from here either. Tez, you mentioned the "stiff upper lip" and to me that's the quintessential British attitude. I think a lot of Americans could learn something valuable from our older brother across the Atlantic.
 

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All these television series from the UK that I have never seen. When I was growing up British television was a staple of Canadian broadcasting. As a teenager I loved the Doctor in the House series, as well as Man About The House.
 

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Ah, the delectable Paula Wilcox :).

Did you ever see Robin's Nest, a spin-off series featuring the even more delectable Tessa Wyatt?

Before I give the wrong impression, despite the prescence of such attractive women, tho' it certainly didn't hurt {:D}, the reason I watched these series was for the social comedy that was their overt reason for existence :lol:.

I remember that Robin's Nest in particular caused quite a stir because the two leads were 'living in sin' rather than being married. How times have changed in my own lifetime :eek:.
 

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Ah, the delectable Paula Wilcox :).

Did you ever see Robin's Nest, a spin-off series featuring the even more delectable Tessa Wyatt?

Before I give the wrong impression, despite the prescence of such attractive women, tho' it certainly didn't hurt {:D}, the reason I watched these series was for the social comedy that was their overt reason for existence :lol:.

I vaguely remember Robin's Nest. The chemistry of those shows was interesting. You had these younger highly sexual characters in conflict with older establishment types. From my young perspective, Britain seemed so sexually liberated, compared to US network fare at the time, which had lots of jiggle but really no sexuality.
 

Sukerkin

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You hit the nail on the head there as to why these series were so good.

They did what comedy is supposed to do, at it's core, by holding up issues buried in our society which are normally not talked about. It's something I've been saying that comedians have lost of late in their pursuit of pure 'shock' and {allegedly} "pushing boundaries" (which to me just seems to be an excuse to head for the gutter and leave wit behind).
 

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