Monday, January 31, 2011

Why are all the English people I meet complete dicks?

I don't really identify myself as 'English' - especially having spent three years living in Scotland, and now being satisfyingly displaced.

As Bill Hicks crudely put it, it's a round planet, and you didn't have much of a say in deciding where you were spewed forth into the world, so the whole idea of national pride is ridiculous. At its worst, it's the sort of thing people fight wars over - and as an atheist and a non-driver/oil consumer too, my pacifist CV is looking about as rosy as can be hoped for by a reluctantly privileged slave to the post-Imperial system.

I've never had any interest in tracing back my family history to find out where I came from. This is partly because my dad's a farmer, which brings up all sorts of worrying scenarios of tangled branches best left unexplored, but also because it wouldn't mean anything to me to find out that a long-dead ancestor was French or something. Would that help explain my excellent fashion sense, penchant for molluscs and success with the ladies (as I call them)? Of course not. Even if any of those things were true.

You only have to look at the differences between China and Taiwan, where the people come from the same stock, to see that cultural attitudes aren't genetically determined - so the idea of writing off a whole nation because of a few bad examples is unscientific and essentially racist.

Unless you're talking about the English, that is. Who are complete dicks abroad.

A blight from Blighty

I'm open to the possibility that I'm viewing my countryfolk through diarrhoea-tinted glasses, as some sort of extension of teenage rebellion. It's true that I'm always immediately disappointed when I hear an English accent - what the hell do they think they're doing out here? Caucasian features in general come as a slight disappointment, especially when I haven't seen them for a number of days, but on the whole, Americans, Australians and Europeans are nice enough. It's just the English who are complete bellends.

Let's be clear that I'm not using 'English' to mean 'British' here - those Scottish years quickly bagpiped that particular faux pas out of me. I simply haven't met any Scotch people so far (as I call them; however much they protest), nor Welch or Northern Irich people to make a comparison.

I think I'd be a lot better disposed to these minority Brits though, as even in Edinburgh I would routinely get hypocritically annoyed at all the non-indigenous locals knocking about on the wrong side of Hadrian's Wall. But according to Oliver, Scottish people can be annoying abroad too, so maybe it's for the best that they're staying the hell away.

What is it about the English that vexes you so?

My negative opinion of Englishmen and women I've encountered since leaving the UK can't entirely be blamed on Anglophobia, but it's certainly subjective insofar as these people really not being my type of people. But I'd find it hard to believe that they're any type of peoples' people, outside of their own, unfairly propagating group. If only natural selection didn't favour bastards.

Whichever country I'm in, the type of English people I encounter there are by default the type of people who love to drink gratuitously, be sleazy to girls in clubs and be sick (in any order). This alone wouldn't be enough to condemn the nation, as I've met plenty of Americans who are equally disposed towards that idea of the perfect night out too - especially that guy who woke me up last week by throwing up all down the curtains and onto the guy sleeping in the bunk below him. He was a really dedicated fan.

But during their lurid, competitive conversations about how wasted they managed to get and how disgusting the probably-perfectly-attractive girls they'd lured into their web of smut had been, it's always the English guy who comes out looking the worst, in various respects.

According to my anthropological research, the typical Englishman abroad is male, late twenties, lives in London, has worked in IT for a sufficient amount of time to consider himself successful, passionately loves football or rugby, doesn't really like women or people from other races, and has a girlfriend back home whom he takes delight in cuckolding. One of them had a kid too, which made him the worst even by English standards.

DAUGHTER: Did you like your holiday, Daddy?

ENGLISHMAN: Yes munchkin. Daddy scored with a fresh Thai prossie young enough to be your big sister. Not like your worn-out bint of a mother and her floppy old fanny. Speaking of, here you go love, I bought you some generic jewellery with my IT hundreds.

MISTREATED BUT ULTIMATELY SHALLOW GIRLFRIEND: That's bought my misguided devotion for another six months.

Maybe it's a good thing that the only English people I meet are complete arseholes? It certainly means I don't interact with them any more than is required for social niceties (sometimes not even for that - come on, it's me). I don't actually want to meet any nice English people - unless you're a girl, obviously. I'd rather you came from somewhere more exotic, but I'll take anything.

Don't worry if you are an English girl and I get with you in the future, and you're now (correctly) worried about your inferiority - I'll just go back and edit this, like I do with all the most sensitive posts, so you'll never know how much I despise you. History is rewritten by the losers, and if I am English, defeat is in my blood.


  1. I can understand a certain level of your argument in this post, but I think you may have gone a bit far in places.
    Yes, the English don't have the best reputation in some locations (usually places such as Bangkok, Benidorm and the like)...but if you go to a tourist trap hotspot, what can you expect? It's not quite the same as going to Machu Picchu or any cultural or historical site. Crap places attract crap people.
    I share your disdain of this type of English person but I will stop short of demonisation.
    A lot of nationalities have similar stereotypes of their kin and how they act shamefully abroad. I know for a fact the Israelis definitely do. The post-military service Israelis reputation in India is legendary! and a source of humour and scorn in Israeli media and society. So the English aren't alone or unique in this.
    I do disagree on one point for sure, and thats that in my opinion Americans are just as bad. I find them incredibly annoying and arrogant beyond measure....and that's before they've even had a drink!
    Also should mention that the book whose image you used "I hate English" is about culture shock for immigrant children. It's not a diatribe against English people or language.

  2. Although English people do generally annoy me for the reasons listed, I was pushing things deliberately far for 'comic' effect. It might be the fact that it wasn't funny that confused you.

  3. I was a bit confused.
    You say you hate the English language, but I was wondering, do you speak any other language fluently?

  4. Only school-German, which I did up to college level but was only ever average at.

    More recently been trying to learn Mandarin and Korean, which are enjoyable challenges.

  5. All I can say is love everybody, being English does not make you an arsehole similarly being French does not make you a snail eating surrender monkey.