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English Culture - What is it?

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Subject: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 12:48 PM

I've moved this up, from another thread, as I thought it may get lost in that one.

From Diane:

"If there were any god (however busy), he / she / it would surely have proscribed the sanctimonious Daily Mail and all the anti-intellectual, middle-England, moronic mediocrity it encapsulates. Small wonder that its readership harbours such ludicrous notions of what English culture is. "




"English culture is..............


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 12:51 PM

greatly to be desired.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: caitlin rua
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:04 PM

. . . being discussed to death in other threads.

We know who is going to say what, because they already have, at length, repeatedly.

How about giving it a rest now?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:08 PM

English Culture is anything cultural that happens in England.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:13 PM

A stiff upper lip and a straight bat, of course!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM

This needs to be moved to BS


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: peregrina
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:22 PM

Liking to complain in the wrong place with no intention of making a difference.


The activity is rehearsed about the weather and then applied in other spheres.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:24 PM

Isn't "culture" something that grows in a Petri dish?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: caitlin rua
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:24 PM

>This needs to be moved to BS

It's already IN the BS section, from which it's been deliberately taken out and repeated here. For what purpose? (Don't tell me, I can guess.)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Chris Green
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:25 PM

I don't know and I'm rapidly getting to the stage where I couldn't care less! All this thread's going to do is spew up more contentious bollocks from a minority of deluded pricks who still think four-fifths of the globe is pink and we should all be strumming citterns and singing madrigals.

Rant over.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:36 PM

"English Culture is anything cultural that happens in England."

Correct.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:38 PM

>>>This needs to be moved to BS

It's already IN the BS section, from which it's been deliberately taken out and repeated here. For what purpose? (Don't tell me, I can guess.) >>>



Nope, it was mentioned in a thread in the BS section, that was all. I haven't moved the entire thread up here, just that quote because I found it interesting and realised it would merit a thread of it's own.

Put it in BS if you'd prefer, I don't mind. Strange that no-one's asked for the Norah Batty one to be moved down there, as that's nowt to do with music either, but er...there you go.

I started it because I really am interested to hear views of how different people perceive culture. Nothing more, nothing less.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:42 PM

singing madrigals

"Fair" lizziecornish I saw sitting all alone
Feeding her habit down by Glastonbury Tor
The Gloucestershire constabulary knew not
They knew not whither she was gone
But just hoped she had.
Up and down, up and down she wandered and wandered and wandered
Till WAV hove (or hied) into view . . .

Oh jeez losing the will to . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Musket
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:46 PM

English culture is...

A good export, but a bit of a paper tiger...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:47 PM

Hmmmmmm....I've never fed my habit, I hang it up.

Besides, I'd never wear it at Glastonbury, too many Druids around..


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:58 PM

Fascinating! This appears to be a badger-baiting thread without a badger!

Regards


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:01 PM

In comes I, Badger, Badger is my name. I come to, er, stir the shit about English Culture at Merry Christmastime.

Sorry, couldn't resist. I'll get me pelt....


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:08 PM

Very diverse. In fact as diverse as British Culture and just about any other culture.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:09 PM

Noooooo...

I vill say zis only vonce... :0)

ALL I wanted to find out is exactly WHAT English Culture is *supposed* to be. If so many people are apparently getting it wrong, then what the heck *is* it?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:13 PM

Maybe, maybe it's a big secret then...like the Masons.

Aha, now I think I'm on to something!

So, it's secret, it involves badgers, petri dishes, and feeding your habit, instead of wearing it, which means that some kind of spell must be involved to make your habit come to life..

Gasp! Black magic?

Midnight Badgers & Black Magic, high up on Glastonbury Tor, with Druids and Policemen..

Who'd have thought it?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM

A Place Called England

I rode out on a bright May morning like a hero in a song
Looking for a place called England trying to find where I belong
Couldn't find the old flood meadow or the house that I once knew
No trace of the little river or the garden where I grew

I saw town and I saw country, motorway and sink estate
Rich man in his rolling acres poor man still outside the gate
Retail park and Burger Kingdom, prairie field and factory farm
Run by men who think that England's just a place to park their car

But as the train pulled from the station through the wastelands of despair
From the corner of my eye a brightness filled the filthy air
Someone's sown a patch of sunflowers though the soil is sooty black
Marigolds and a few tomatoes right beside the railway track

Down behind the terraced houses in between the concrete towers
Compost heaps and scarlet runners, secret gardens full of flowers
Meeta grows her scented roses right beneath the big jets' path
Bid a fortune for her garden, Eileen turns away and laughs

Rise up George and wake up Arthur, time to rouse out from your sleep
Deck the horse with sea green ribbons, drag the old sword from the deep
Hold the line for Dave and Daniel as they tunnel through the clay
While the oak in all its glory soaks up sun for one more day

Come all you at home with freedom whatever the land that gave you birth
There's room for you both root and branch as long as you love the English earth
Room for vole and room for orchid, room for all to grow and thrive
Just less room for the fat landowner on his arse in his four-wheel drive

For England is not flag or Empire it is not money and it is not blood
It's limestone gorge and granite fell, it's Wealden clay and Severn mud
It's blackbird singing from the may tree, lark ascending through the scales
It's robin watching from your spade and English earth beneath your nails
         
So here's two cheers for a place called England, sore abused but not yet dead
A Mr Harding sort of England, hanging in there by a thread
Here's two cheers for the crazy Diggers now their hour shall come around
We shall plant the seed they saved us, common wealth and common ground

(Maggie Holland)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:19 PM

Yes, I know Maggie's song well, Diane. I have it on the Albion Heart page, as you know.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:20 PM

Yogurt has more active culture!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:20 PM

Balti and Tikka masala

both invented in england.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:25 PM

A Place Called England on Albion Heart?
I believe she requested for it to be removed.
I see the audio clip has been taken off . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:26 PM

Eep!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM

"A Place Called England on Albion Heart?
I believe she requested for it to be removed.
I see the audio clip has been taken off . . ."



Nope, Maggie never asked for the lyrics to be removed. And I never had an audio clip of her on there. I did ask her once if she'd think about activating her songs on Myspace, so that people could play them on other pages, but she prefers to not do that. Fair enough. The only link I have on there about her, goes through to Maggie's myspace page, so that some folks may find her music for themselves. Every little helps, as they say.


"Balti and Tikka masala.."

And chips Lox, gotta have the chips, it's England, after all, chips with almost everything. A Korma for me, if you're ordering.. :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:36 PM

"A Korma for me, if you're ordering.. :0) "

Please. (sorry, forgot that part)


Good manners, that used to be something England was known for, part of our culture, not sure what's happened to that though.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:56 PM

A lack of braggadocio is important.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:57 PM

Blah blah blah.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 03:54 PM

English Culture is anything cultural that happens in England

Undefinable, bloody expensive and peculiarly managed in Essex. Oops! Shut my mouth. My bread and butter. Gonna get myself sacked.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:02 PM

For the moment, forget about England.

"A culture" is an amorphous concept, an abstraction from the totality of what goes on and is thought and said in its particular area.

Now add England back into the discussion: When we say "the English culture" we are talking about all the mess of things that make up life and thought in England, the normal way that life is lived and expected and believed to be lived in England, as opposed, say, to the German culture, which is ditto with respect to Germany, or ditto for Italy.

People often toss the word "culture" around when they mean what they think is the best of a particular culture--such as poetry, opera, painting, sculpture, etc. The things that folks think give them bragging rights. I tend to refer to this as "culchaw", don't y' know.

But "culchaw" is only a very restricted sample of the culture in which it exists.

Sooooooooo, "English culture is"--English.    Now, don't you feel enlightened?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:20 PM

"...Now, don't you feel enlightened?.."

Noooooooo....lol :0)


Dave, would you define culture as being what is happening right now, in modern times, or does it also include things from the past?

Does the past also have a part to play in the culture of a nation, because it seems to me that we're not supposed to mention much of the past anymore in England. That's what gets up my nose about it all, because surely the past has to blend together with the present, in order for there to be a future.

How can future generations go forward, unless they have a shared vision of the past?


Confoosed of Sidmouth :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:35 PM

"Does the past also have a part to play in the culture of a nation, because it seems to me that we're not supposed to mention much of the past anymore in England."

That's rubbish and what's more, you know it. Typical disingenuous statement designed to elicit emotional responses and as such, best ignored - like this whole, faux-inquisitive thread, come to that.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:43 PM

Would you please stop putting words into my mouth, thinking you know everything about me and trying to twist and spin what I'm saying. I was to Dave, that's why I specifically asked him the question, whether he chooses to reply, or not, is entirely up to him, I would hope.

And if you'd like to respond to me, then please do so in the context of the thread or the question, rather than these continuous, deeply personal attacks.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:46 PM

One of the problems with England is that too many people are stuck in their own vision of the past - a rose-tinted, twee and ersatz time conjured up by the likes of WAV, Lizzie Cornish and others in their quest for a bucolic Albion or some such plastic Anglo-Saxon neverland where the shit never stinks, the peasant tips his hat and the squire has ruddy cheeks and a sixpence for the little girl who lives down the lane.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:55 PM

It is not a "deeply personal attack" to question both the statement above and the motives behind this thread. All of this has been discussed to death SO many times that starting yet another thread about it seems both pointless and manipulative.

The wide-eyed innocence of "it seems to me that we're not supposed to mention much of the past anymore in England" might be a bit more convincing if it hadn't been endlessly dissected and argued in other threads, often by you. It is the sort of statement which is designed to push people's buttons. So why ressurect such faux-naive statements and topics, except in a deliberate attempt to stir the poo?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:00 PM

Culture Club were pretty good.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:02 PM

Well, if you can find me having spoken about longing for an Anglo-Saxon Neverland, be my guest and print it, right here. I'm very happy with the multi cultural England of today, as well as many parts of England of the past.

What I don't understand is why, if you dare to even mention the past, you're assumed to be 'racist' and have things like you've just said, Gervase, written about you.

That's why I'm asking.

Instead of moaning about me, why not tell me what *your* view of English Culture is?

I see loads of spite, but not a great deal of actual thought about the subject in hand.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:04 PM

Wenn ich Kultur höre entsichere ich meinen Browning


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM

Oh, don't you remember, lizzie? There was that endless post about village greens, church bells and spitfires flying overhead, etc etc, which I questioned as both a chocolate-box fantasy and as not really being representative of England for all the millions of people living in urban areas. You then explained that I had to have "England running through every part of me" to understand what you were on about - the implication being that I couldn't possibly understand "your" England because I was not born here.

Of course, so many of your posts have been banned and taken down from various websites that such evidence might be hard to locate...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:15 PM

Enter the badger, stage right... What puzzles me is why the terriers hung around so long.

Regards


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:16 PM

"The wide-eyed innocence of "it seems to me that we're not supposed to mention much of the past anymore in England" might be a bit more convincing if it hadn't been endlessly dissected and argued in other threads, often by you. It is the sort of statement which is designed to push people's buttons. So why ressurect such faux-naive statements and topics, except in a deliberate attempt to stir the poo?"

Sigh.....


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:17 PM

No terriers, Martin. I'm done.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM

Culture Club were pretty good.

One joins the Mile High Club by having sex in an aeroplane; one joins the Culture Club by having sex in an art gallery - preferably one in Liverpool, at least until the end of the month, so get cracking.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:30 PM

I was in Liverpool last week, as it happens. Felt no inclination to taste the sugar, so to speak - partly, perhaps, due to the wind-tunnel effect produced by the clutch of new, "signature" buildings deposited in the area. "Paradise Street", "Lime Street" and the "Canning Dock" had changed utterly from their musical versions. Mind you - sex would not have been unheard of in their original form!

Regards


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:34 PM

So everyone else is entitled to an indigenous or roots culture except the English? No wonder folk clubs are unappreciated. I relly think that might be it. All parts of Ireland seeem proud of Irish history AFAIK. Certainly the Scots are immersed in theirs. The Welsh seem to feel a pride in theirs and in Owen Glendower the last stnd against English conquest.

Is not the same true largely across Europe?

We see it demonstrated across Africa, and Asia and the Far East.

What the bloody hell is wrong that the idea of an English culture is subject to knee-jerk rubbishing?

And don't tell me I'm BNP or national front member, I'm not and I'm pro-immigration and pro the welfare state but I feel entitled to have a culture to call my own.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:59 PM

"Oh, don't you remember, lizzie? There was that endless post about village greens, church bells and spitfires flying overhead, etc etc, which I questioned as both a chocolate-box fantasy and as not really being representative of England for all the millions of people living in urban areas. You then explained that I had to have "England running through every part of me" to understand what you were on about - the implication being that I couldn't possibly understand "your" England because I was not born here.

Of course, so many of your posts have been banned and taken down from various websites that such evidence might be hard to locate..."


Triple sigh......

So *that's* what this is all about.


Spitfires flying overhead? I'm too young to remember Spitfires...(Yay, I'm still too young for something!) :0)

I mentioned Lancasters, once, as that was in Mike Harding's beautiful song 'Bomber's Moon' about his father, who was a navigator in one during the war. Spitfires? Well, one of the doctors I worked for was restoring a Spitfire with some mates of his. He used to fly them too, when he was in the RAF Aerobatic team, way back when, his name was Dr. Roworth Spurrell, used to work at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, you can check him out, but he'll have retired many moons ago now.

Village greens and church bells. You bet. I remember them, and they're still here, and still very much a part of England, as is cricket being played on the green, whether you like it or not, it still takes place, and there's nothing wrong with it either. And I love it when you go past on the train and see cricket on the village greens, just love it.

Does that make me racist? Of course it doesn't, don't be so silly.   

I can only tell you about my childhood memories. I grew up in Pinner, and back then, it was far more rural than it is today. I have no memories of city life, just as city folk have no memory of my life. But their memories, and mine, mingle together to become what England was back then, and still is, in many parts today. Cricket is still played at The Oval, I believe, in the middle of London.

However, time has moved on, and now my country has people of many colours, races and backgrounds in, and it's their country too. Do I have a problem with that? Nope.

I don't live in an inner city, and I never have. I don't much like city life, too many people, not enough space. Others thrive on it, others have no choice, just as some have no choice but to live in the country. It's not a them and us situation, it's just where people are born and raised, what feels like 'home' to them.

This chocolate box fantasy exists, I'm afraid. It exists in the very place that you adore coming to every single year, Sidmouth, and in many other towns and villages around England. That does not make ALL the people who live in small towns or villages in England, racist.

Geez, I've never heard such a load of old rubbish in my life.

Chocolate box England exists, alongside Victorian Slum England, as it does in every country in the world. There are parts of Cardiff, that I used to know as a child, where the policemen hated walking, down on the docks there, in Tiger Bay, where life was tough and rough and damned hard for many people....My grandfather ran his Ship's Chandlers business in Bute Street and later on the Docks itself, and now the Millenium Hall stands right on top of where Grandpa used to work, as the Docks has become a playground for the rich now, and a charming place to sit and drink your lattes.

Does that make all those people in Cardiff racist, because they've wiped out a landscape and probably there are now many who don't even recall how tough it once was? Of course not!

Holy Jumping Catfish, Joan, get a grip for Gawd's sake.

"You then explained that I had to have "England running through every part of me" to understand what you were on about - the implication being that I couldn't possibly understand "your" England because I was not born here."

And you didn't understand my England, and you still don't, just as I will never understand your America, the America where you grew up, because I did not live your life. I have no understanding of your memories, because they are not my memories. I have no knowledge of what parts of your past mean to you, what was important, what evokes good, or bad memories. I do not have America running through me, because I was born in England. Accident of birth, nothing more.

The implication is what you have chosen to see implicated...and as you seem to see nothing but venom in all that I write, it doesn't surprise me.

"Of course, so many of your posts have been banned and taken down from various websites that such evidence might be hard to locate..."

Various websites is just this one and the BBC, so let's not spin that. Every single post of mine, on Longdogs, was taken off....by me, no one else. And please remember that many of your posts to me were also removed by the BBC. There are two sides to this.

For your information, a while back, on the Albion Heart myspace page, I was asked to remove the English flag and replace it with a picture of a church, as the person concerned was very worried about the flag, seeing it as being linked to the BNP. I explained, over a period of many messages back and forth, that a church is far move divisive and excluding to many people in England these days, but the flag belonged to us all, and it was way past time to take that flag back from the BNP scum who have made it stand for such bad things these past years.

"It's my flag too and I want it back", as Steve Knightley sang in 'Roots'.

I will always respond to lies, Ruth. And I will always tell the truth about those lies.

I met Sir Douglas Bader, get over it.
I worked for Harley St. Surgeons, get over it.
I love village greens and cricket being played, get over it.
I love samba bands, get over it.
I love people with beautiful dark skin and wide beautiful smiles, get over it.
I love mosques and the people of the Middle East with whom I worked for years, get over it.
I love curry, get over it.
I never lived in an inner city, not my fault, get over it.


I am NOT racist, get over it.

You have NEVER understood me, get over it.

And now, back to English Culture of every colour, sound, sight and smell..with apologies for any mistakes in this long missive, but I'm too darn tired to check it through.

In short Ruth, leave the personal attacks out of this board, for Gawd's sake, and just...get....over...it.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 02:49 AM

Why are Lizzie Cornish and WAV so desperate for attention that they invite scorn and derision upon themselves in this way ?

eric


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:14 AM

"How about giving it a rest now? "
Yeah - and let everybody crawl back into their talentless little comfort zones!
Wonder why some people can't resist attempting to prevent others from discussing what is important to them - perhaps that's English culture!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: caitlin rua
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 04:59 AM

Jim, if you're going to quote from my post, don't selectively edit. You forgot the bit about 'being discussed to death in other threads'. No one is preventing anything - it's happening all around you in case you hadn't noticed. Go to one of the other zillion threads on this same topic, read Lizzie's numerous posts, and take part if you want to get into this subject, yet AGAIN - including the original one the opening quote was lifted and repeated from.

What talentless comfort zones have to do with it I've got no idea. Just sounds like a meaningless dig for the sake of it.

And your constructive contribution to this discussion is... ??


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:19 AM

Jim's constructive contribution to this discussion, from my point of view at least, is to recognise that, perhaps, suppression is going on in this thread.

Please tell me the last time I started a discussion on English culture, caitlin? I've told you the reason I moved Diane's words up here, because I wanted to know what her views, and others, actually *were* on that very subject, given the derisive comments so often written on here about other people's views of English culture.

So far, I've seen *much* personal abuse, but very, very little discussion on the actual subject matter itself. If we could get back to the original subject, it would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:52 AM

"Go to one of the other zillion threads on this same topic,"
Because some of us believe that discussions such as this are worth debating - in all their aspects.
Oddly enough, it is quite often people who raise objections to such discussions who are the first to squeal 'folk police' from here to Sun Hill.
To me, they are a breath of fresh air; an indication that people still care for the music.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Chris Green
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:14 AM

Jim - you're right; it IS worth discussing, and I apologise for my earlier burst of ill-temper. But I still stand by the sentiment of my post. There are a couple of empty vessels on this forum with whom it's impossible to have a discussion, because they don't actually listen to what other people are saying. Which is why you won't be hearing from me any more on this thread.

Chris


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:30 AM

For me a lot of it is encapsulated in the England In Particular website and the wonderful book they've produced which is "a celebration of the commonplace, the local, the vernacular and the distinctive.

Have a look here:
http://www.england-in-particular.info/


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:34 AM

Here you go:

http://www.england-in-particular.info/

That is, indeed, an excellent site and a beautiful book, leveller.

Hey, we sell that 'Apple Source' book, on their main page, in The National Trust.

:0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:35 AM

Hoho...doh..dohdoh.. LOL Oops!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:36 AM

Fingers crossed this time:

England in Particular


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:44 AM

English Culture is anything cultural that is unique to England.
Morris dancing.
Traditional food, such as roast beef with gravy and spouts.
Cricket, even though we are not the only ones to play it, we inviented it, therefore it is ours.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Morris-ey
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:18 AM

Lizzie

If you want to "know" about "English" Culture I suggest you join the BNP...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:21 AM

I'm sorry, but what the hell does that mean?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Morris-ey
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:24 AM

They have a very clear idea about things "English" which you might find reassuring...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:33 AM

Morris-ey, your contribution here is unfair and not needed. Go away.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:41 AM

Morrissey's contribution is absolutely to the point.

Conversely, when the writer of A Place Called England found her work on a site that rhymes with "fart" festooned with BNP insignia (and a Lucy Attwood /Enid Blyton distorted view of England) she wasn't in the slightest bit "reasssured" and was forced immediately to restrict access to the stream.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:42 AM

Here's what Engkand in Particular says about The Green Man: However you see him, as a benign spirit, guardian of the female forests, symbol of new life and hope in spring, a signifier of regeneration, you will feel his presence in our ancient woods and forests such as Wyre, Wistmans and Sherwood. He has been our cultural companion for millennia, reminding us of our close relationship with nature and remains with us as a celebration of the art of the craftsmen, masons & carpenters. Rediscover the Green Man in yourself and do more than Touch Wood : make every tree a wanted tree.

How many other myths of Englishness are they perpetuating?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 09:04 AM

I belive that myths are a vital part of our culture and should be perpetuated. How is that any different from, say, Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey:

...For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky...

Or are you saying that Wordsworth has no place in English culture?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 09:19 AM

"How many other myths of Englishness are they perpetuating?"

Before commenting on one entry, perhaps you should take a look through the others. You'll find, at a quick glance, subjects as varied as: bus shelters, house names, gas holders, railings, the underground and wind farms


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 10:23 AM

Before commenting on one entry

Green Men / Foliate Heads are my speciality - so I always look to see what such sites have to say on the subject before proceeding any further.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:12 AM

Fair enough – I'm afraid that my own head is totally defoliated. I'm big on apples, though, so took quite a while to get past page 14.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 01:25 PM

From Morris-ey

"Lizzie

If you want to "know" about "English" Culture I suggest you join the BNP...

They have a very clear idea about things "English" which you might find reassuring..."



So what you're saying is that if the BNP say they love something, like English churches, or history, or the landscape, whatever, then that must never again be mentioned, by anyone else, because if it's ever mentioned again, then those people MUST be racist?

And is that what you believe should happen to the English flag too, that because they have tried to make it their own, that we should let them have it?

"We've lost more than we'll ever know round the rocky shores of England..." (S. Knightley 'Roots')

You may be about ready to surrender England to the BNP Morris-ey, I sure as hell ain't! I will damn well remember my country in the way I choose to, to talk about it in the way I choose to, to speak of her poets, artists, pirates, her hills and vales, her coast, her lakes, her countryside, her churches, her incredible history, her palaces and castles....AND....her people of ALL colours, creeds and backgrounds...and damn the BNP to hell!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 01:29 PM

Good find on the Green Man, IB. You know, when you gratuitously capitalize the phrase "Touch Wood," it suddenly sounds naughty....


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:28 PM

Whenever I hear the word culture I want to reach for my revolving chair. And go weeeeeeee..........
English culture is the same but with misplaced sentimentality and faster spinning.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:47 PM

Is it, perhaps, appropriate in this discussion of English culture to point out that Jane Austen was born on 16 December, 1775, and that today is the 233rd anniversary of her birth?

Don Firth

P. S. Also, happy birthday, Ludwig von Beethoven. . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:54 PM

Happy Birthday, Jane! :0) Her house, in Bath, is lovely, although she was never very happy there, didn't like the city life. She loved her garden. She had such tiny, tiny writing, and wrote secretly in any book she could find..

The Jane Austen Centre - Bath


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 04:25 PM

English Culture = Dog shit on the pavements.

English Heritage = White dog shit on the pavements.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:42 PM

There is a lot of offensive shit here - not from Lizzie.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:45 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K4-2laAOkI,just one example,of course thats just my subjective opinion,others like Walkabout verse,would disagree,because I chose to play some harmony on my English Concertina


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:47 PM

Can you get inoffensive shit?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:51 PM

I must say I understand less than half of this thread. White dog shit? A site that rhymes with "fart?" Endless posts about village greens?

Yet, it's funny in a sad kind of way....


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:57 PM

What might be marvellous is England as the first culture free nation. Done with our reformation, civil wars, slavery, industrial revolution, class division we free ourseles of the burden of culture for a voyage of new discovery without a backward glance.
Heady stuff that.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:31 PM

Hey Lizzie,

here's an interesting aspect of English history, remnants of which still exist all over Britain.


Is it English culture just because its English history?

I don't know for sure to what degree ...

But I don't think anyone could deny the essential role of history on the development of culture ... could they? ...

... I've learned not to take anything for granted!

Plenty of stuff here for the English among you to be proud of.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:38 PM

White dog shit?

See Here for the explanation - one explanation anyway - others say the cause was a brand of worming medicine. Whatever the case, white dog shit is very much part of the mawkish nostalgia that passes for English Cultural Heritage these days and one that most English people can relate to, along with the Johnny Seven and the Party Seven, depending how old you were at the time, though I old & young enough at the time to have fun with both.

English Culture - whatever the fuck you want it to be just as long as you accept your opinion is only as valid as anyone else's.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:40 PM

Sorry about that, I pressed Submit without checking the preview box...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:50 PM

Insane beard, I enjoyed it more for the error.

Funny, but in the recent TV series "life on mars", in which a modern day cop, as a result of being run over by a car, goes back in time to 1974 (or some such), there are many funny observations made, one of which is the white dog shit. Silly it might be, but it has its place.

Warts and all ... an accurate portrayal of culture has to be realistic.

Absurd? well apart from history, a culture is shaped by its environment.

Admittedly white dogshit is unlikely to have affected Englishness that much, but I remember asking about it (we had it in HK too) when I was little. "why does it turn white?" - noone knew.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:53 PM

Lets hope noone is so cheap as to attempt a weak metaphor using the above ...

... I would like to preempt such an attempt by laughing at what it might be ...

LOL


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 04:33 AM

My prob with the whole kulture game is it assumes there are shared resonances which elicit a unified response. Now I can get quite lachrymose thinking about downtrodden Saxons or Tommys (like my grandad) going over the top in the trenches but my connection with both are wholly outside my lifetime. The chin wobbling sentiments are all mine, a human response to a human narrative but the connections are distant and tentative.
If I thought about it s'more I could get equally tearful about some poor Frenchie skewered in the mud by a rain of arrows at Agincourt or a kraut dragged from his Bavarian homestead to bleed away in Flanders mud. For many of us the chances of a line reaching back to Normandy is as likely as one to Saxony.

If folk is about the universal shit people have to take it'll ring good honest bells. If it's uz n' them nationalistic twaddle, me hearties can keep it.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:22 AM

"My prob with the whole kulture game is it assumes there are shared resonances which elicit a unified response"

I'd disagree with that. I think we should celebrate the diversity and eclectic nature of our culture and fight against the uniformity that is creeping in - especialy the Americanisation and the threat to our wonderful family high street shops and small food-producers posed by the big supermarkets and ludicrous EU regulations.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:49 AM

That, if I may say so leveller, shows the poverty of ideas that contribute to an English cultural heritage. Not indigenous music, cuisine and dress (all long gone) but local goods in brown paper bags sold by rosy cheeked folk. I remember cantankerous old buggers selling overpriced stuff from shops that hardly ever opened, lacked choice when they did and was bought by people who couldn't afford the contents. A fag and a match may be a response to a local need but I'd rather that requirement never happened.
Likewise americanisation, a dubious benefit but preferable on the whole to a shiny booted third reich with its volk songs and monumental art.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 07:17 AM

Glueman, I really don't think your 'either/or" options match reality (well not the reality where I live). For instance, our local independent butcher was voted friendliest butcher in Yorkshire. Our local Tesco, on the other hand, has the grumpiest produce manager imaginable who, when they ran out of potatoes on Christmas Eve and several customers staged a sit-down protest, was extremely rude, especially when it was pointed out that we live in one of the most prolific potato-growing areas in the country and a phone call to a local grower would have brought a lorry load immediately: "We don't operate like that – all our buying is centralized. There won't be any potatoes now until after Christmas. What do you expect me to do about it?"

We used to be a nation of shopkeepers - now we couldn't care less about what we buy or where we buy it from.


"Likewise americanisation, a dubious benefit but preferable on the whole to a shiny booted third reich with its volk songs and monumental art."

I agree with you, but why should we accept either option? Apart from a tiny bunch of BNP nutters, I see little sign of a third reich.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM

It is Attila the Stockbroker and Blyth Power loving crusties on the one hand and it is BMW driving Phil Collins and Chris Rea loving middle englanders in equal measure.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,No English connexion
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 10:12 AM

Is it only English people who can comment on what English Culture is? I should think that, for people living in a sizeable proportion of the globe, "English Culture" is a mess of lies with which Public Schoolboy colonizers tried to replace numerous indigenous cultures.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Loadsamoney
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 10:15 AM

Does anyone have the words of the 1980s song, to Elgar's "Pomp and circumstance", which began

Land of piss and lager
Ere we go ere we go

and ended with

You are going to get your
F***ING HEAD KICKED IN>


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 02:32 PM

"Does anyone have the words of the 1980s song, to Elgar's "Pomp and circumstance", which began

Land of piss and lager
Ere we go ere we go"


Strangely, no, but I have this:

A different view of England


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 02:46 PM

Apart from a tiny bunch of BNP nutters, I see little sign of a third reich.
Leveller, that's near enough what people said in Germany in the 1920s.

Cricket, even though we are not the only ones to play it, we inviented it, therefore it is ours.

Penguin Egg! Ooooh! Naughty naughty! I suppose the rest of the cricket palying world should be issued with licences then if they want to play. Shall we take our ball back? No, put the buggers against a wall and shoot 'em all!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Phil
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 02:55 PM

English Culture - looking after the rest of the world, and letting our old die to decrease the surplus population of our once Great Country.

England - Gone Forever.

Phil*


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 02:55 PM

Geez, what's eating some of you people? Why are you so filled with hatred about people feeling their English and talking about English culture?

Why do you make it sound so...so...evil?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 02:57 PM

My message was for Steve, above.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM

That "Different view of England" was Thomas Tallis as screwed up by RVW, nothing whatsoever to do with Edward Elgar (who, quite rightly, thought not a lot of Benson's imperialistic lyrics set to his tune from the trio of Ponp & Circumstance March No 1). Actually, Land of piss & lager fits a lot better.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:06 PM

Before making such knee-jerk judgements, Lizzie, it might be worth knowing who you're actually talking to:

Steve Gardham


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:12 PM

White dogshit was caused by bone content, not chalk as the Urban Dictionary would have it. They stopped adding bonemeal to dogfood after the BSE epidemic.

You got white dogshit in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Scotland too.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:19 PM

Lizzie, why don't you take notice of what other people have to say on the subject - any subject, really? Just because other people don't agree with you, doesn't mean they're against you. They're just offering points of view, discussing. Some of them have made some really good points which just don't happen to be the same as yours.

I'm English, abhor the BNP but don't feel the need to get all aggressive about it.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:05 PM

I don't like the comment above, regardless of who wrote it. I didn't like the insinuation behind it, which, to me at least is, that if you dare to talk about anything coming from, or belonging to England, then you're being incredibly arrogant, and 'let's get back to putting people against walls and shooting them.'

Pardon?

Cricket came from the English, so, it's part of English culture/heritage, as in, an English game. Yet, anyone can play it, as PE said. Flamenco dancing came from the Spanish, but anyone can dance it. Would the same have been said about the Spanish there, as was said about the English? I think not.


Yes, I was well aware it wasn't Elgar. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:20 PM

"that if you dare to talk about anything coming from, or belonging to England, then you're being incredibly arrogant,"

So do you honestly think that someone who is leading projects that celebrate and preserve English culture is really objecting to anyone "daring" to talk about anything coming from, or belonging to England?

Maybe it's all about context, Lizzie, and how that belonging is expressed.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:21 PM

Flamenco dancing came from the Spanish

It's actually a mélange of Arabic, Andalusian, Sephardic and Gypsy cultures and the word actually means "flemish" as well so it's probably Belgian.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:12 PM

You took your words from here, I'd presume, Diane?

Flamenco on Wikipedia


So, if we're down to pedantics, let's get it straight and say that it may well have come from the Spanish themselves, or it could have come from somewhere else. They don't actually know, for certain, or so it says further down.

Either way, those words would not have been said about any other country, I very much doubt.


"So do you honestly think that someone who is leading projects that celebrate and preserve English culture is really objecting to anyone "daring" to talk about anything coming from, or belonging to England?"

I'm not the person you should be asking.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:15 PM

No, Lizzie - YOU need to re-evaluate your response to his post. The "insinuation" was in your head.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:27 PM

"So do you honestly think that someone who is leading projects that celebrate and preserve English culture is really objecting to anyone "daring" to talk about anything coming from, or belonging to England?"

Ruth, are you suggesting that before we respond to a post here we research the posters political history/viewpoint/credentials first?

Or is it ok to just read a post, evaluate it, decide if we agree or disagree and then respond appropriately?

Steve might well be the grand druid of glastonbury tor for all I know, but I don't think he was right to refer to the leveller as follows:

"Apart from a tiny bunch of BNP nutters, I see little sign of a third reich.
Leveller, that's near enough what people said in Germany in the 1920s."

I think an analytical comparison of modern britain and 1920's germany throws up many differences and that levellers comments are fair and supportable.

I would also say that I don't think Steve meant to chastise him particularly, nor indeed to be involved on such a poisonous level, or moreover to be used a political football.

You have much of value to offer, and it is disappointing when you follow up an interesting post with one for which you have dipped your quill in venom first.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:32 PM

Okay, let's put this in some sort or rational context. There is a vast
difference in being interested in one's heritage and wanting to select through rose-tinted spectacles a romantic image of a Merrie Englande. The critical word here is 'select'!

I repeat my first post. In answer to the question the simplest and most accurate response is DIVERSE. In other words every bit of England (and everywhere else) has its own culture that is unique to that area, and the influences on those cultures are manifold and frequently not English in origin. For god's sake let's celebrate the diversity!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:38 PM

Steve, i think that once again, if you take tme to scrrutimize posts in this thread fairly, you will see that Lizzie has in fact been talking about her Personal Experience.

We may or mey not wish to compare that to a rose tinted view of England, and we may or may not be accurate in doing so, but unless you are accusing her of lying, her testimony is a useful and valid contribution to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:40 PM

Lox, I'm sorry, but there is no venom. I thought that the post in question was perfectly valid, and that the response to it was more about what was read into it than about the post itself. The reason I posted the link explaining Steve's work was to demonstrate that Lizzie had got the wrong end of the stick about where he was coming from.

There is an oft-repeated fallacy whenever this discussion of "Englishness" rears its ugly head: it states that no one is "allowed" to talk about Englishness in a positive light. Quite frankly, I believe this to be utter nonsense, so whenever it is reiterated, I will continue to challenge it. It feeds into this whole notion that "English culture is under threat", another oft-repeated chestnut on Mudcat. The fact is that SO many people here are actively engaged in preserving and celebrating English culture; the idea that we're "not allowed to talk about Englishness" is bit ridiculous, and rather dangerous as a concept. National pride takes many guises, and some of them are, in fact, downright nasty; celebrating the positives while refusing to give in to the negatives means walking a very fine line.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:41 PM

To add to my last post, Lizzie has also consistently shown an open mind to and interest in other peoples accounts and experiences.

Tikka Masala and chips is not something to be viewed through rose tinted specs unless you are dyslexic.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:45 PM

accusing someone of being "filled with hatred about people feeling their English and talking about English culture" is showing an open mind?

Interesting.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 07:32 PM

Ruth, I gather from your posts that you live in the USA and your family are Sicilian Americans.

As such, it is unlikely that you would be aware that defining English culture is a real challenge and a topic of genuine importance.

I am not English and did not grow up here - or even in Europe - or even in the west for that matter.

So I have no prejudice when I make the following comments.

Young British men and women today, of all ethnic backgrounds, are part of a generation unlike any other in British history.

50 years ago, the idea of a multicoloured/multicultured nation of brits would have been inconceivable to most Brits of that time.

I spent 12 years living in Leicester, where whites make up the largest minority by a slim margin.

Unlike America, this has only been the case for a comparatively short time.

The United States was, successfully or unseccessfully, constructed of numerous cultures going right back to the days of its creation.

In 1958, Leicester was white.

Now, 50 years later, it is a model of multiculturalism and integration.

The success of leicester contrasts with the comparative failure of Bradford where integration has been much less successful.

In their attempts to celebrate diversity, Schools in leicester (as in the rest of the UK) celebrate events such as Black History month, they are supportive of Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, Jain, Seikh and a whole host of other traditions.

This in itself is all good and positive and serves to make racial and cultural minorities feel welcome in the UK and consolidates their right to be there - as it should be.

And for many middle class whites, this is something that isn't threatening, so they are happy to participate in the process.

For many uneducated whites however, who are not informed about the "british legacy," and who are proud of their identity, but aren't very good at expresing themselves, and wwho are vulnerable to the predations of groups like the BNP, they can feel marginalized and that, while evryone elses culture is being celebrated, theirs isn't.

In fact, for the working classes, their culture, football, songs, pastimes etc are positively sneered at. Not least by what they perceive as the treacherous middle classes with their bleeding heart liberal views.

Their brand of Englishness is "excused" and apologised for and consequently it retreats into itself, distorts and takes on an ugly persona.

The overall result of the nations desire to reassure its newest citizens, is that the need to assert an "English" Identity is supressed and viewed as being a bit embarrassing.

A large segment of white England "feels" disenfranchised, and just as minorities deserve reassurance that their culture has a useful and relevant role to play in British culture, so "native" English also deserve the same reassurance and attention.

"Englishness" isn't celebrated in the same way as Blackness is.

One of the main reasons for this is that it has become very difficult to define.

Black Britain knows its roots, because Black British people know the value of knowing your roots.

English culture and roots arent celebrated in the same way.

They are considered taboo subjects and discussed carefully.

British culture is evolving very quickly, and in my opinion very maturely. The question of "indigenous" English heritage is one which has been brushed under the carpet for diplomacy's sake, but it is becoming clear that it should be brought out more into the open lest it go undergound into the sewers and mutate into something the BNP can exploit more easily.

St Georges day is now sadly considered synonymous with skinheads, the BNP and general aggression.

The only alternative given to the English is to celebrate Englishness as defined by multiculturalism.

But then the working class kid thinks "hey - he gets to be "english" and "Black" but I only get to be "English" - what is it about my roots that makes me special like him.

Of course if he were reassured properly he might see that Blackness isn't an exclusive thing, but that just as Black British youth are constructed of both English and African ingredients, it is also true that most white english youth feel a certain "blackness" in themselves that their parents never had - in their music, dancing, slang, and of course on deeper more substantive levels too.

Anyway, as you can see, the whole can of worms is exponentially complex.

Lizzie is right.

Englishness is a sensetive subject and it shouldn't be.

To add to that, there is an aspect of Englishness that doesn't include multiculturalism that can be celebrated, and to remember fondly actual experiences should not be considered good reason to be accused of selling a chocolate box view of Englishness.

Finally however, as interesting as this discussion is, it isn't actually the purpose of this thread as I read it.

But this thread is symptomatic of a wider mature evolution of English society.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 07:41 PM

Lizzie, you asked me a question a while back, before the ill-natured donneybrook, and I'll try to answer as I see it, without picking up on the insults and aspersions between.

Yes, "the culture of xxx"--in this case, England--(unless the reference is qualified as being as of a particular time) refers to the present--but! The past is part of it to the extent that the past is always reflected in the present.

Thus, Guy Fawkes Day is part of English culture even though the root events were way back, because it has its part in today's memory and customs. King Arthur is part of English culture even though he's way back (if he ever existed) and probably is more Welsh than English, if I understand correctly. Morris dancing is part of English culture to the extent it is part of what goes on today. And of course Rafe Vaughn Williams, Edward Elgar, and Holbein, and James McNeill Whistler even though I believe he was an American in origin. And let me not forget J.R.R. Tolkien.

Warm beer is part of English culture, as is fish and chips. The Queen is part of English culture, as are the attitudes--for and against-- toward the royal family. Curry is part of English culture even though it originated elsewhere, because it's been "adopted" into English culture. Pounds and crowns and shillings, The Darby Ram, Shakespeare, Dick Whittington's cat, the sound of Bow Bells--they are all in there, and will be for a long time, as long as they are remembered and celebrated--or deplored--and affect how the English think and act. (I'm sorry to say that I suppose one would have to say that even the BNP is to some extent a part of the English culture.)

Some of those things are part of what I call "culchaw", a subset of culture.

I hope I've answered your question, Lizzie. And I hope I haven't offended anyone.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 07:46 PM

Just to clear up a point:   the write-up on flamenco on Wikipedia is pretty accurate.

I have several books on flamenco, both musical and historical, and I took flamenco guitar lessons from Antonio Zori, one of the guitarists who was performing, both as a solo guitarist and accompanying dancers, at the Spanish Village exhibit at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962. I also learned a great deal about flamenco in all its aspects from a friend named William James (distantly related to the more famous William James). Bill made yearly trips to Spain, and he put me in touch with the Madrid luthier who made my flamenco guitar for me.

Flamenco blended itself together in Andalusia, but it is, indeed, a combination of several cultural and historical influences—exactly as Diane said.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 07:51 PM

By the way, Uncle Dave, that's about as good a desciption of the kind of influences that make up a "culture" as I've ever read.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:04 PM

"Thank you, sir," said he, blushing, head down, scuffling the earth beneath his feet.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:07 PM

Dave,

Beautiful insightful post.

in particular "The Queen is part of English culture, as are the attitudes--for and against-- toward the royal family"

and "I'm sorry to say that I suppose one would have to say that even the BNP is to some extent a part of the English culture"


I have never seen facing up to simple realities encouraged in such an inviting way.

You have a warm affection for your country that could be used as a model for the englishman looking for a way to be proud of his Identity.

And at the very least he could be proud to have you as a compatriot.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:25 PM

Lox, thank you.

But I have to disabuse you. I'm American up to here.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:29 PM

We've got more in common than you realise, lox. :)

I was born and raised in America, but have been living in England for 18 years. I went to university in Leicester and lived in Leicestershire for about the same period of time as you, and I worked in Leicester with many culturally diverse communities.

Two of my jobs involved bringing arts projects into Leicester schools and community groups. I worked with schools from Highfields to the Saff, and with African Caribbean community organisations, Bangladeshi women's organisations...oh all sorts really. I even ran Bob Marley Day for a couple of years, in partnership with the African Caribbean Centre.

I do understand that white English people sometimes feel disenfranchised as a result of the politics of nationalism which are an overhang from the 1980s. However, I have very mixed views about this. Let me stress that i think positive representations of English culture are wonderful, and exciting, and absolutely vital. What concerns me is the undercurrent of suspicion about foreigners and immigrants undermining English culture, which goes hand in hand with the concept that "the English are not allowed to talk about their own culture anymore." I believe that most of this stuff is witch-hunt nnonsense whipped up to sell certain newspapers, as I have pointed out exhaustively in these threads.

So, for what it's worth, my observations go something like this: there is no one stopping anyone from talking about England and its culture in positive and uplifting ways. Where it gets worrying is if that vision begins to exclude more recent emigrants to England as somehow "other", and not an equal part of the society we currently live in (which is still, let's not forget, over 90% white). Sometimes anecdotal stories give people quite a skewed vision of the world they're living in.

There is sometimes a perception that funding cannot be had for folk music and dance projects which deal more or less exclusively with celebrating English culture, and that preferece is given to anything which celebrates cultural diversity. Again, in my experience this is untrue. Whether it was true at one time i cannot say, but it has not been my experience; I got £30k from the arts council over 2 years to nmanage projects specifically bringing English music and dance into schools.

Most of us who object to these misleading statements, such as "English people are not allowed to talk about Englishness" are worried about the underlying political connotations and agenda behind them. Why? Because it's the starting point for many of the arguments pedalled by the BNP. No one would deny that the political fallout from the 80s has made nationalism a delicate subject, and probably led to a level of under-representation of English culture as a response to the nastier side of nationalism. But I think that that under-representation has to be addressed carefully, and positively, in a spirit of unity rather than division.

And finally, my own perspective: well, talking from the perspective, once again, of working in folk, I have never encountered a resistance from the community or funders to English artforms. But I believe that all the cultures in Britain today have equal validity; my concern in developing the projects I did was to ensure that English culture was represented - not in a position of primacy, but as a vital part of the mix. And I think that probably sums up my position generally.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:41 PM

You know Ruth, I think if you read back through lizzies, mine and your posts, you will find that they are not actually that far removed from each other.

And that is exactly where I agree with Lizzie (not anyone else who might or might not be similar to her) - because it is a narrow tightrope we are walking and each of us is trying to ensure that the other doesn't fall off the other side.

Some feel we are leaning too much to the left and some that we are leaning to much to the right.

But I see no evidence of Extreme thinking or politicking in this thread from those who are actually engaging in the discussion with their hearts and minds.

If you want to meet the enemy and see how they really think (or not as the case may be), go down narborough road and just before the bridge, opposite cafe twentyone, you'll see the imposing hulk of a detached PUB - the huntsman I think its called.

Anyway, whilst sipping your tasty beverage, you may observe as the large clientele playfully headbutt each other and assert their version of Englishness.

Its a "last stand" pub and a thoroughly unpleasant place and you wouldn't get a word out ... let alone get one in!

I suspect we know some of the same people judging by your resume and perhaps even know each other.

You are into folk and cultural projects so you definitely know my friend carol leeming.

If so tell her that lox says hello ;-D


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:43 PM

Dave I should have known! It takes an outsider to see the true value of a place sometimes.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:57 PM

I did work with Carol in my time in leicester. I was on the Black History Season programming board, too.

The problem is that people bring their experience of each other's points of view from previous threads and as well, and it's hard to view the one discussion in isolation...I would personally disagree with you about the politics of some other posters, but I have decided that my energies are best saved for much more important battles right now. In any case, it's very nice to have met you. :)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 09:00 PM

vice versa.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 04:00 AM

There is sometimes a perception that funding cannot be had for folk music and dance projects which deal more or less exclusively with celebrating English culture, and that preferece is given to anything which celebrates cultural diversity. Again, in my experience this is untrue. Whether it was true at one time i cannot say, but it has not been my experience; I got £30k from the arts council over 2 years to nmanage projects specifically bringing English music and dance into schools.
that is wonderful news, Ruth, well done,Iam sure you will use the money well.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 04:09 AM

Steve might well be the grand druid of glastonbury tor for all I know, but I don't think he was right to refer to the leveller as follows:

"Apart from a tiny bunch of BNP nutters, I see little sign of a third reich.
Leveller, that's near enough what people said in Germany in the 1920s."

Just seen this. I think I do understand what Steve is saying and, up to a point, agree with him. We have to be vigililant about allowing the perversions peddled by the BNP from gaining a stronghold and subverting our Engl;ish culture. I suppose I have a certain optimism and a faith that, as in the time of Mosley, the people of Britain (not just England) will stand against this sort of extremism. Hopefuly, too, we will have learnt from history.

I suppose, on the whole, 'culture, is always a work in progress and, like folk music, cannot be set in aspic. My wish is that we embrace the best of the past and welcome innovation where it is not destructive or so insidious as to pervert out inherent national sensibilities (oops, sorry if that sounds ridiculously pompous - cue Elgar!).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 04:16 AM

Warm beer is part of English culture

NOOOOO!

Most draft beer, both domestic and imported, is intended to be served at 38º F. If it is any warmer, the CO2 will be coming out of solution before the beer even reaches your glass, and that means foam. 95% of the time when people have a problem with foamy beer, warm beer is to blame. In order to pour a good looking and great tasting beer, the beer that goes into the glass needs to be 38º F.

I don't particularly care what English culture is, but let's not preserve the myth of warm beer as being part of it... :D


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 04:27 AM

"The Queen is part of English culture, as are the attitudes-- for and against-- toward the royal family"

So, fortunately, is the tradition of radicalism and revolution. Just finished reading and excellent account of 'the 9 days that shook England' - the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. As you might expect from my pseudonym, I'm a staunch republican and fairly knowledgeable about the English Revolution culminating in the end of the monarchy in 1649, but I hadn't realised before just how advanced the ideas of John Ball and the other instigators of the Peasants' Revolt were - and how they could so easily have succeeded, resulting in a radical change in the history of England and the culture we know today.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 04:33 AM

"So, for what it's worth, my observations go something like this: there is no one stopping anyone from talking about England and its culture in positive and uplifting ways...... "


Really?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 05:09 AM

Dave, thank you for your beautiful words about England and her culture. I couldn't agree more. :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 07:04 AM

'ROOTS'is an inspirational song about England, about all that we have lost, which we have allowed ourselves to lose, through our apathy. It's very much about our loss of identity as well, for it seems that as a nation, we no longer seem to know who we truly are anymore. - from the Albion Heart myspace page

As I've said in verse, English culture is taking a hammering and, when people lose their own culture, society suffers. - from Walkaboutsverse.

The rich legacy of tradition, legend, myth and very real wealth of landscape and man-made structures is one of our island's richest treasures. The men and women of the British National Party are motivated by love and admiration of the outpouring of culture, art, literature and the pattern of living through the ages that has left its mark on our very landscape. We value the folkways and customs which have been passed down through countless generations. We enthuse with pride at the marvels of architecture and engineering that have been completed on these islands since the construction of the great megaliths 7,000 years ago. - from the BNP Mission Statement.

The only thing that threatens English Culture is reactionary drivel like this.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 07:10 AM

the Albion Heart myspace page

Somebody asked me much higher up what was meant by the webpage that rhymed with "fart".
That's the one.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 09:25 AM

The rich legacy of tradition, legend, myth and very real wealth of landscape and man-made structures is one of our island's richest treasures. The men and women of the British National Party are motivated by love and admiration of the outpouring of culture, art, literature and the pattern of living through the ages that has left its mark on our very landscape. We value the folkways and customs which have been passed down through countless generations. We enthuse with pride at the marvels of architecture and engineering that have been completed on these islands since the construction of the great megaliths 7,000 years ago.

Reactionary drivel? I agree with it 100%, and if the provenance hadn't been identified I suspect many others here wouldn't hesitate to agree also. The problem is not that BNP embraces these values, which are unobjectionable, it's the conclusions they draw from them and the actions they propose which are utterly unacceptable.

What is pernicious is the way the BNP seeks to pervert these values. But I see nothing wrong with these values in themselves.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 10:14 AM

English culture is like a mongrel dog.
there are Norman,Viking,Roman,Celtic,Anglo Saxon,and European influences.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 10:20 AM

Sounds like a very white, positively albino, dog.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Albino Doggie
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 10:49 AM

Yes; Some Normans, Vikings, Romans, Celts, Angles, Saxons and some other Europeans all had some part to play, at different times, in the RULING of the country which was or became "England". Blacks never did.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM

So English culture is not only "white dogshit" but also "white dog's shit?" Amazing!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 12:00 PM

From Diane:

"Somebody asked me much higher up what was meant by the webpage that rhymed with "fart".
That's the one."

I presume this is the new 'let's *really* wind her up then, shall we?" thought for today.

IB, for your information, as if you didn't already know, for I'm sure you've been informed, I created, and run the Albion Heart Myspace page. It's a very popular page, and only this morning, I accepted a Morris Dancing page to it. Perhaps you should have gone on to quote the rest of what is on the page, although I'm sure that would have then lessened the desired effect that you want to give to people.

Albion Heart Myspace

Albion Heart has NO members of the BNP on it, they get kicked very far away if they do turn up, and they have, because of the flag. I, unlike some of the utter 'traddie' dingbats in here, have no problem with the flag of England, other than the ********* BNP have decided to use it for their 'message' Well, "it's my flag too, and I want it back" (taken from 'Roots')

Diane, for years now, has been trying to tell people that my page is linked to the BNP, please see her post above. She put this on the fRoots board, and someone from the English folk world, the very person who was worried about the English flag on my page and who wanted a church instead (but I managed to make him see another view), contacted me about it, because he was so enraged. We'd had quite a chatter about it all, and had come to trust one another.

His band is very similar to Simon Care's Edward II band, you see, in that it has musicians from different cultures, who are all English, and they're damned excellent too. When I heard what was being said, I went back on to the fRoots board, and threatened to sue Ian Anderson's backside off unless he removed that post. He removed that part of my post, (no surprises there then) but left on the part where I pointed out that there was a HUGE notice on there to tell the BNP where to go. I have since removed that notice, because I no longer apologise for my flag, and I want no mention of the BNP themselves on my page.

This vendetta, a very personal one against me, all that I say, or do, or create, has, in my eyes at least, gone on for way too long. I would hope that most of the people who read this thread are able to now see exactly what has been going on for a very long time.

England does NOT belong to the BNP or to the traditionalists within the English folk world. It does not belong to the Extreme Left or the Extreme Right, who are both as crazy, bigoted and dangerous as each other, in my view. England belongs to her people, be they white, black, black, white, yellow, brown, green or spotty! I really don't care because I simply see people. And you know what, unlike the hypocritical bigots in this thread, I see no man or woman as 'class'...I never put England's people into Upper, Middle or Working Class, because I see no colours and no divisions.

We are all people, and those within Class War, who have done nothing but spread hatred and unrest across this nation, dividing it off into 'them and us' and adding fuel to the fire all the time, by saying many of the things that have been said in here, have done more damage to England and her people than almost anything else, apart from crazy political correctness, dumbing-down and controlling politicians who don't give a damn about my country, from all parties.
My ex-husband stopped Class War from delivering their darkly disturbing propaganda via the Royal Mail, years back...and a damn good job too. People who spread hatred are evil, no matter their title, or their political affiliations.

My country is NOT **filled** with BNP supporters. They are a minority, one that has upped it's numbers, yes, but still a tiny minority. And, they are a tiny minority within a vast ocean of multicoloured and multicultured Britain. We are not on the brink of facism or anything else, other than unbelevable apathy, due to a disturbingly dumbed down population who are so easily controlled, just like Orwell's 1984 Proles. And if the BNP are getting a fraction more support, then maybe some in this thread should read their own words again, and realise that the more you stop a nation from being a nation, the more you tell the English that to be proud to be English, or fly their flags is racist, the more trouble you are stirring things up and the easier you are making the job of the BNP.

My country is a beautiful country, with a history that is so rich that we are the envy of many parts of the world. Geographically we are beauty unlimited, from our mountains to our shorelines. We have the most incredible wild life, the most wonderful gardens, houses, palaces, ancient circles, universities, ancient cities, cathedrals. We are overflowing with poets and writers who are loved and adored throughout the world, and have been for centuries.

We are some of the luckiest people on the planet, and is it really any wonder that half the world seemingly wants to come to our shores and be a part of it all? No. We welcome them, when others in this world have turned them away, we welcome them and give them safe harbour...

However......something has gone drastically wrong, as can be seen by this thread and the vicious things that have been said in it, because to dare to be proud of being English, to love it, to remember things for her past, from your own past, is now, apparently wrong. And it's wrong because complete prats (you know who you are) have decided to dictate what we should celebrate and what we should not. Well they can stick their ideas where the sun don't shine, because this is my country and I will damn well love her, with all her faults and all her beauty, in whatever way I so choose. And if that means that I talk about cricket upon the village green, whilst the church bells ring in the background, well tough, because hey, that STILL happens all over England, as it has done for centuries.

Do your damndest to discredit me, but don't you dare discredit my country any longer with you ridiculous pie eyed, po faced view of what is and isn't England.

I have the right to love her, from Chaucer to Enid Blyton, from Dickens to Wordsworth, from Shakespeare to Orwell, from Show of Hands to The Imagined Village, from Elgar to Paul McCartney.

I loathe the Lad and Ladette kultcha, it is not England, it's just yobbishness. I know damn well that Merrie England is not always around, because I have damned well cleaned up villages where I used to live, picking up the broken bottles, the used condoms, the dirty nappies shoved into the hedgerows, I've painted the 'F*ck Off' out of the bus shelters, I've picked up the rubbish and cleaned up around the park benches...Why??? Because I am shite fed up with slobs and yobs and a culture that no longer knows about respect, or good manners, or thought for others..and part of the reason that youngsters feel so hopeless in this country is because they have no roots! They are NOT proud to be English, they HATE being English, because for way too long they have had every shite bit of our history shoved inside their heads, whilst not being given the other side of it all. That has been a terrible, terrible mistake!

So don't tell me that I must only love the England of 'Now' because I love ALL of England, and that includes most of her present and most her past, but unless we change things around then I worry about her future.

This is my country, and I love her in my own way. You love her in yours, and leave me the f*ck alone.

And now...back to England, although I expect Joe will close this thread, which is, I'm sure, what those who've been spewing out their vitriol about me these past weeks have wanted, right from the very start.

And yes, it saddens the beejayzus out of me, that one of those very people is now helping to run Sidmouth Folk Week, because anyone who has so much hatred inside her, as she does for me, and who is prepared to stop at nothing to twist the minds of people against me, puts a festival I once loved into a very dark place.

Sam always told me that the music was everything, it didn't matter about those who surrounded it, or what they said, how they were to me, because it was the music that mattered, at the end of the day, and nothing else. Well, they have poisoned the music for me and I hope they feel proud about that, but they will never poison my love for my country, because England runs through me like her rivers run down from her hills and into her valleys, and just like her tumbling waters, nothing will ever stop that love for my country.




Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 12:08 PM

yes, well, the less said about Ian Anderson the better,I am still waiting for an apology,for calling me a drug taker.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 12:15 PM

Sounds like a very white, positively albino, dog.
no, pink with sepia,italians/romans can be quite swarthy in appearance,but dont fretDiane the time will come when we will have a black prime minister.,its just happened in America.
but the capitalists/businessmen will still run the economy,regardless of the colour of the prime minister.the 17 per cent who own 84 percent of the wealth,will not give up their power easily.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 12:56 PM

"The rich legacy of tradition, legend, myth and very real wealth of landscape and man-made structures is one of our island's richest treasures. The men and women of the British National Party are motivated by love and admiration of the outpouring of culture, art, literature and the pattern of living through the ages that has left its mark on our very landscape. We value the folkways and customs which have been passed down through countless generations. We enthuse with pride at the marvels of architecture and engineering that have been completed on these islands since the construction of the great megaliths 7,000 years ago."

This may be taken from the BNP Manifesto, but there are several clues that it doesn't rerpresent them in the slightest, but that they use it in an attempt to make themselves a bit more attractive to voters.

Clue 1 - "very real wealth of landscape and man-made structures"

I used to go on demos alongside groups such as friends of the earth etc to attempt to save sites like twyford down from destruction - I never saw a sigle BNP activist there in support of any of these demos.

I have seen the same hippies who risk their own welfare to save such sites be intimidated and beaten up by BNP activists for being hippy eco warrior scum.

What you call reactionary drivel is in fact what motivates british environmentalists to put themselves at risk in the first place.

Clue 2 - "outpouring of culture, art, literature"

Have you ever met a member of the BNP?

Try talking to them about Culture Art and Literature in any depth at all and risk getting a beating for being a middle class bleeding heart liberal.

Point out to them that many of Britains greatest Artists were from the "face don't fit" category, and have your beating upgraded to a good kicking.

The quote above doesn't not represent the BNP mindset any more than a quote from Mandelas Autobiography might.

But I have no doubt that there are many finely crafted phrases in his autobiography whic, taken out of context, could be used to enhance their image.

The BNP are interested in only one thing - bullying people who look or act differently to them.

Suggesting that any of the above quotes shows allegiance to fascist politics is puerile nonsense.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 01:06 PM

I don't suppose witch hunts are exclusive to English culture?

Or kangaroo courts?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 01:07 PM

The answer to that is provided by Howard Jones at the end of his comment on the BNP quote:

"
What is pernicious is the way the BNP seeks to pervert these values".


They operate somewhat differently from the National Front of the 70s, presenting themselves as far more "reasonable", and "just like you, you dim-witted, Daily Mail carrying, easily swayed, Mary Whitehouse clone".


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 01:35 PM

"They operate somewhat differently from the National Front of the 70s, presenting themselves as far more "reasonable", "

True on TV,

but not in their pubs.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 06:01 PM

Lizzie,
I am genuinely sorry you have become so distressed about all this.
However I feel that you have only yourself to blame here. You got several very simple, sensible and straightforward answers to your question at the beginning of the thread. There was really no need to take it any further. Surely you didn't expect people to even start listing the multiplicity of what constitutes a culture!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 06:30 PM

Hey steve,

I think you've overlooked the value of this thread.

It is evidence in itself of Lizzies first point which is that there are a lot of different ideas of what english culture is on the one hand, and that people are very sensitive and protective of their perceptions and views of what is/should be seen as Englishness on the other.

That includes Lizzie and those who were under the illusion that they were her opponents.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 06:32 PM

Bruce Forsyth.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 06:32 PM

Those of us who have been here before will suspect that this thread was only started with the aim of stirring up the sort of vitiriolic accusations which have appeared.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 06:47 PM

I just don't understand where this slightly paranoid notion that English culture is under attack comes from. From where I stand we haven't been invaded. It's still the dominant culture in the UK. It's talked about all the time in the media, in the pub, in politics in the workplace, in schools. It has its good and bad aspects and all are part of it. It's also a constantly evolving and changing thing (the only static cultures are dead cultures) in order to incorporate new ideas, the cultures of different immigrant groups, changes in perception and so on. That's a good thing.

It's not really about stuff like flags and so on. Its about people and what they do and how they interact.

I'm also with Leveller in wanting to celebrate our fine and longstanding tradition of resistance, rebellion and dissent. I can't help feeling that this, rather than the history of kings and queen and conquest and empire is my history, my culture.

Finally, anyone who is interested in the history of English culture is urged to read Ronald Hutton's excellent The Rise and Fall of Merry England.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 07:01 PM

Spleen Cringe,

Yes - its about that too, but is it ok to say to someone else for whom its something else that they're wrong?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 07:21 PM

I'm a little confused here. How do you attack a culture?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 07:28 PM

lox, I can't pm you as you're a guest, but I just wanted to say thank you, for being such a fair poster who sees all sides. Heck, we may disagree about the 'class' thing, but thanks is due on a few other issues.

So, thanks. :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 07:57 PM

Don,

One word.

Penicillin!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 08:47 PM

And for those of us who identify a LOT more with Class War than with Lizzie and her hubby's Daily Mail bollocks: a gathering to celebrate Wobbly songs, in Glasgow, 18/1/2009.

http://www.footstompin.com/public/forum?threadid=375366

I'll be there. I've lost touch with the Class War members in Glasgow and don't know if there are any these days, but if there are, it'll be good to meet up. I was never a member of it, but you've got to hand it to a group prepared to say Britain was a better place for having Norman Tebbit's balls blown off.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Bert
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:14 AM

Gobs, conkers and cheddar cheese.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:24 AM

"English Culture - What is it?"

Diverse, Dynamic, and Dysfunctional !!!???

that's the 3D's,

or DDD,

if you consider the the vast importance of large bosoms in English culture...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:32 AM

Don
"I'm a little confused here. How do you attack a culture?"
As far as folk culture is concerned, you constantly snipe and sneer at it, as the musical establishment does; you pretend it doesn't exist, as adequately demonstrated by the media and the educational establishment, or you claim it requires no standards or criteria (or even definition), as with a large section of the 'folk' (using the term very loosely) establishment.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 02:31 AM

Lox: is it ok to say to someone else for whom its something else that they're wrong?

Not entirely sure what you mean. I've just stated an opinion. I think some of the things being said on this thread are wrong, but that's not what or why I posted. But yes, if I think someone's opinions are wrong I reserve the right to politely but firmly disagree with them and tell them why. Surely that's not a problem?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 03:42 AM

The issue seems to be that some people want 'folk' to be a dominant tradition, rather than take its place alonside vying and more dynamic cultural forces. As I've been forced to say before, I greatly enjoy folk music and consume it enthusiastically without feeling the need to invest it with importance, or attribute it with characteristics beyond its natural thrall - which is an attractive, beguiling sound.

When people give that sound an unprovable provenances, or rally to it becaue it isn't all the other stuff they hate, everything goes weird.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:05 AM

"This vendetta, a very personal one against me, all that I say, or do, or create, has, in my eyes at least, gone on for way too long."

I couldn't agree more. It was pain on the BBC board and it's a pain here. Disagreement on issues, however vehement, is fine - personal vendettas are a bore.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:09 AM

"And for those of us who identify a LOT more with Class War than with Lizzie and her hubby's Daily Mail bollocks.."

I'm divorced. And I don't read one paper or other, but sometimes, many of them. If you can't be bothered to read what I say, then please don't comment, incorrectly, about me, because if you do, then I presume you do it only to paint me in a bad light.

"I've lost touch with the Class War members in Glasgow and don't know if there are any these days, but if there are, it'll be good to meet up. I was never a member of it, but you've got to hand it to a group prepared to say Britain was a better place for having Norman Tebbit's balls blown off. "


I can assure you The Royal Mail doesn't refuse to deliver post 'just on a whim'. The content has to be **incredibly offensive** for that to happen. Class War were banned for that very reason.

This world has enough hatred in it, but it seems that you wish to add to that hatred, enjoy it, even. Maybe you need to look at what causes you to think like that, then turn it around.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:11 AM

Thank you, leveller.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:22 AM

English culture is -

Looking longingly at a past that can never happen again

Accepting new peoples and rolling them into the mix

Complaining about new ideas and traditions while still accepting them

Constantly changing

Multi racial while still distinctly English

Putting up with people in the BNP but never giving in to them

Full of nutters

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:28 AM

While there is some rambling here, and while there are some quite balanced and thoughtful posts, there are no posts taking an NF or BNP (or even UKIP) view - but many attacking the idea that England has an indigenous descended culture or ethos, or conflating such a culture or ethos with racism.

That says something, I think.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:40 AM

Glueman,
Folk is-or should be a dominant tradition, simply because of what it is - the culture of the 'uncultured'; the artistic expression of a group whose creativity, artistry and history has gone largely unrecognised and unacknowledged.
It is not merely an entertainment (though it is certainly that), but it is the expression of the majority whose history, creativity and experiences are largely unrecorded.
If I wanted to know who won the battle of Trafalgar, who were the officers or which ships took part, I would go to he history books and naval records, On the other hand, if I wanted some idea of how it felt for a farm worker, or miner or weaver to be hoiked off out of his field, mine or mill and stuck behind a cannon below decks expecting to be blown to pieces at any minute, I would have to go to the songs.   
These songs are very much a part of where I come from - may be weird to you, but very important to me, and certainly not available in any of these "more dynamic cultural forces" - whatever they may be!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:43 AM

Dave,
Sorry - crossed postings
"Looking longingly at a past that can never happen again" - or makilg bloody sure it DOESN'T happen again,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:46 AM

Leveller, just to refresh your memory: the "vendetta" on the BBC board went on for years, with Lizzie constantly getting into screechy tangles with many, many people. It was certainly going on long before I even joined the board, and Lizzie had already been banned from that board at least once before I ever joined it. It was her constant badgering of the BBC staff that got them to threaten her with legal action.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, this thread was started to stir trouble. When someone persistently posts to elicit emotional responses and to wind people up, who is it that's waging the vendetta? I've deliberately ignored several posts over the past few days which have been deliberately placed to bait me (including Lizzie mentioning, yet again, my place of work, which is completely irrelevant in this context, and which I identified some time ago as a particularly nasty type of bullying). But I also feel compelled to point out the numerous posts on this and other threads which correctly identify that Lizzie herself bears the responsibility for her current situation.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 05:17 AM

Ruth, I was not apportioning blame or taking sides - just echoing the point that personal attacks and vendettas should not form part of debates.

I certainly wasn't of the opinion that the thread was started to cause trouble; I think it's an interesting debate - am I being naive here?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 05:21 AM

yes, mate - I think you are. MHO, of course.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 05:26 AM

The BNP are such a load of congenital idiots they can't even get the flag right. If it's British it should be the Union Flag and not the English Flag.
The whole lot are complete arseholes and - yes - I want my flag back please, and I want it to be looked on as a proud symbol for ALL who live in England.
John Baden


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

The signature on that last post should read 'John Barden'. I've not changed my name by deed poll :-)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:29 AM

"yes, mate - I think you are. MHO, of course."

Well, it certainly wouldn't be the first time - or the last!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:21 AM

Good post at 0440 Mudcat time, Jim.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM

It's is one of the necessary myths of the tradition that it is under attack. As others have intimated, there's little evidence unless you equivalence horse-drawn transport as under assault from motor cars, or steam from electrification. I doubt Lumiere's motive in projecting moving pictures was to marginalise live performance any more than Vaudeville sought to institutionalise and codify entertainment practices; they just sorta evolved that way.

Folk is not dynamic in that sense. It chooses an historical framework and seeks to valorise it, or suggest emblematic national status. It can't evolve because it suggests the conditions that gave rise to 'folk' no longer pertain but insists that other cultural processes endanger it's wider dissemination. It seems like cake and eat it to me - stop the world I want to get off. It doesn't stop me liking the noise or admiring the work of those who take their tradition seriously but the attack stuff seems like a wagon circle when there ain't no Indians/Native Americans.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:03 AM

Just so people can see the ideas Lizzie was so keen to get suppressed:

Class War statement of principle

Current activity:

London Class War - Burn a Banker!

The Wobbly song event I mentioned:

A celebration in song and narrative of the American Labour movement of the 20th century. Dow's Bar, Dundas Street (at Queen Street station) Glasgow, Sunday 18th January 2009. Starts at 8.00 pm. Admission 7 pounds (5 pounds conc) at the door. Part of the SongWright Glasgow Festival.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:33 AM

I see that the "Class War statement of principle" thinks doctors belong to the middle classes and nurses to the working classes.
If whoever is responsible for writing this stuff doesn't realise that nurses have been spending the best part of 20 years establishing themselves as professionals on an equal standing with doctors, it doesn't say much for their grasp on reality.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/dec/18/nursing-rae-research


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:53 AM

What Class War actually says is that it is capitalism and the state that has split workers into classes of people who hold positions in direct relation to capitalism and the state. Which is undeniably true. As is an observation that doctors are predominantly from middle class origins while a nurse's background is usually working class. It's all sound logic and it's news to me that the Post Office took it upon itself to suppress it.

And even more fascinating to have it revealed that it was the infamous Peter Route, organiser of Sidmouth's Acoustic Café (or whatever it's calling itself these days) who was responsible. I do believe he got fired (from the Post Office, not Sidmouth).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:55 AM

an equal standing with doctors,

Not in terms of pay.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 11:04 AM

Some senior nurses make it to a level of privilege and autonomy comparable to a professional occupation.

For most it's a McJob and they only stick it for a few years. Or else they spend the rest of their lives drifting in and out of it, in between raising kids.

I know nurses in both groups.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 11:19 AM

I work with nurses (and other health professionals) and can't think of any who wouldn't find your suggestion that "For most it's a McJob" deeply offensive.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,NHS worker
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

From personal experience (and talking to many colleagues over the years), I have found that most senior nursing positions mentioned by Jack Campin are held by types of an upper or middle class origin. My husband tells me it's the same in his experience of University teaching; those who make the appointments choose "the right sort of people", and of course "the right sort" always seems to come from the same class as they do. Has there ever been any study or survey, with statistics, of the proportion of public schoolboys and finshing school misses who occupy these positions, compared to the proportion of them in the population as a whole, or the comparably qualified people in the country at least? If the great majority of a country's population was black, but almost all University posts were held by whites, the conclusion would be obvious with regard to "strategies of exclusion". So, is there any survey in England (or Britain) like the one I mention?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 11:52 AM

Wow, Jack Campin, the Nurses of my aquaintance (a variety of friends and family) would find such a statement profoundly offensive. All of whom are very hard working, equally hard playing, 'educated working-class'. And being a bloody outspoken bunch, would have probably flamed your comment to the ground, or more likely punched your lights out (well, the girls anyway!).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM

An editorial in Nursing Times in 2003 (Vol 99 No 24 p13) put its finger on the real issue (which is not one of class):

"Looking after people...is not regarded as having any direct benefit to the economy and is therefore not perceived as a real career".

I am not aware of any survey of the kind mentioned by NHS worker.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: SRD
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 12:13 PM

English culture as opposed to what other culture?
Do you mean something intrinsically English that doesn't occur anywhere else? You won't find anything, neither will you in any other culture.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 12:28 PM

Indeed SRD. I'm all for culture but it rarely stops at the designated boundary.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 12:59 PM

Good Heavens!

I agree with the Countess!

Mr Sticky, however, falls into the elementary error of assuming that "folk" is a sound.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:04 PM

It is Herr Bridge, with a bit of dance and some frocks thrown in. Ask anyone except a folkie.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:53 PM

Mr Sticky, however, falls into the elementary error of assuming that "folk" is a sound.

Now there's a good idea for a thread. Just what the f**k is folk, anyway? Have we had that one yet?

Let's see - if it's not a sound, what else could it be? It is a way of life, perhaps? Is it a crucial aspect of our Good Old English Heritage? Or is it just a piece of bogus hokum to be quibbled over from our various and equally deluded standpoints all of whom claim their way is the right way? But before 1954 ever defined itself, and even 1903 when C# filched the magic Seeds off Mr England and grew himself the magic beanstalk that eventually became The Revival, there was no Folk Music, nor yet the attendant prissiness, purism, pomposity & pedantry that invariably attends it.

A New Year's resolution therefore - I hereby extract the finger from my ear and renounce folk in all its ghastly forms. Instead, I will continue with my love of Traditional Song, Story, Lore, Ballad, Fiddle-Faddle Stuff, Dance, Music, and suchlike Fol-de-Rol. As an born-again non-folkie I will still frequent folk clubs & festivals, and I will be in no way evangelical (unlike when I became a non-smoker) but tacitly pursue my new calling with the calm dignity found only in the truly self-righteous. Of course I could start a new organisation: The English Society for those who Love Traditional Song, Balladry, Custom and Usage but for whom the Concept of Folk Music Sticks in Gullet like a Dogshit* Sandwich - but I don't suppose too many would join.

*White, or otherwise.

IB ;-]


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:57 PM

Count me in IB.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM

Where do I join?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 02:21 PM

I thought I'd founded it long ago but was stuck with a membership of one.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 03:26 PM

"Leveller, just to refresh your memory: the "vendetta" on the BBC board went on for years, with Lizzie constantly getting into screechy tangles with many, many people. It was certainly going on long before I even joined the board, and Lizzie had already been banned from that board at least once before I ever joined it. It was her constant badgering of the BBC staff that got them to threaten her with legal action."

Can this *please* stop.

Every single time someone is half way supportive of me, or kind to me, you come swooping down to 'put them straight'. ???????

Just to set the record straight, before yet again you 'spin' it out of control, the BBC themselves referred to what was happening to me as a 'witch hunt', I have their email if anyone wants the proof. They too will have a copy of it. Anyone can email them or me, you have my full permission. I HAD to continually email them to ask them to remove your posts, Ralph Jordan's and Diane's ALL of which were deeply personal, vindictive and broke every single BBC House Rule. They had banned me, because I dared to respond to you all, they also banned Diane, at the same time, but left you and Ralph free to do your worst, and you did. Eventually, I told the BBC that if they did not remove these lies and deeply personal insults, then I would cause absolute chaos on their board, because all I was asking was for posts which broke their own rules, and which put my family at risk, to be removed. I had gone down the normal route of complaining to them via the board, but nothing happened, and so I had no option but to email both them and Smooth Ops. You have a problem with that? Then ask Mel, Smooth Ops host, I'm sure you know her. Again, you have my full permission, for I have *nothing* to hide.

Nothing happened, and so, as I'd informed them, I caused chaos on their board one day, which, surprise, surprise, FINALLY resulted in your posts being instantly removed, along with Ralph's, the two of you being put into pre-mod and the BBC putting their own thread on, saying that anyone who from now on even mentioned my name would have their account looked into, and if anyone thought I was on the board, then they should contact the BBC via their complaints button, immediately. That thread is still there, from their 'host' 'Jane'. But heck look at what I had to resort to before they finally did what they should have done in the first instance.

In all this time, by the way, I have never referred to your family, your relationships, nor belittled your intelligence, nor left comments so vitriolic that at times, I've hardly believed what you are willing to put on message boards. I have even put up with you threatening to 'have a drink with my (then) husband' when you saw him at Sidmouth, to 'tell him all about me' (???) You said that on this board. Yes, I have referred to 'your place of work' which means that you are helping with Sidmouth Festival from next year, being it's artistic director, I believe. I refer to it because I live in Sidmouth, and once loved that festival. You have in the past made highly derrogatory comments about a particular band, who bring in more people to folk festivals than many others, headlining at all the major festivals. When you made those comments, you were working for another festival and I reprimanded you on the BBC for what you said, as I felt that working 'in the trade' as it were, festival organisers should be way above making unpleasant remarks about ANY artists, particularly on the major folk boards and the BBC in particular. And especially when those very artists are bringing in thousands of people to their festivals and making them a lot of money. It was, in my view, dishonourable. There has since followed a vendetta of major proportions, from you, Diane and Ralph, although Ralph has now backed right off.

I did NOT start this thread for the reasons you are telling everyone, not at all, but you will not accept that. leveller simply left a kind message which supported me, that was all and yet again, down you swooped, to 'put him right'. Well I'm afraid you got it wrong, very wrong. I started this thread to have an open discussion about what people think English culture actually is, because of the condescending comments Diane comes out with so often, about 'other people's' views of English culture. So, just for once, I wanted to hear what other people views *actually* were. Instead, I got all this. And yet, perhaps if you had just left this thread alone, then no doubt more would have felt able to join in, but you haven't. And so, it's turned into this.


From Diane:

"And even more fascinating to have it revealed that it was the infamous Peter Route, organiser of Sidmouth's Acoustic Café (or whatever it's calling itself these days) who was responsible. I do believe he got fired (from the Post Office, not Sidmouth).

My ex-husband was not fired from The Royal Mail. Sorry to take the sting out of your sting. You'll have to go away and think of something else to try and rile me with. He was also, for one year at least, one of those very people who stepped in to save Sidmouth Folk Week, working alongside many people that you and Joan know. I'd suggest you ask Derek Schofield, Diane, or ask Joan to ask him for you. Peter was one of Sidmouth's directors that year, as well you know. I have nothing to hide, nothing. I will always correct wrongs that are written about me, even if it embarrasses me to do so. I have never walked away from the truth, ever.

I wish you both a Happy Christmas and hope you enjoy Sidmouth next year, but perhaps, sometime over the Christmas period, you should both find some time to dwell on this fact. If it wasn't for people like my ex-husband, who stepped in to help save Sidmouth and who all worked their butts off that year, not knowing what would happen, then Joan would not be the artistic director of a Folk Week that is loved by very many people. Please ensure you take care of it.

And now, back to English culture, or fish and chips, or cream teas...or Maypoles...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:01 PM

Most excellent idea, Mr. Beard! A small number of individuals (including myself) have organized--or resurrected--something similar to what you propose here in the U. S. and A. It's small, but it appears to be thriving.

Dedicated to traditional song, balladry, et al. What a novel idea!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: peregrina
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:04 PM

In the history of the development of ideas about the right to free speech, using free speech to abuse individuals was considered an abuse from the beginning.

I don't see any reason that posts which abuse individuals should be tolerated here.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM

"From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:28 AM

While there is some rambling here, and while there are some quite balanced and thoughtful posts, there are no posts taking an NF or BNP (or even UKIP) view - but many attacking the idea that England has an indigenous descended culture or ethos, or conflating such a culture or ethos with racism.

That says something, I think."

Richard, I am right with you word for word.

___________________________

I feel it is a matter of denial to (in my view) pretend that class doesn't exist.

I believe in recognizing and celebrating the different cultural values of different classes

I would rather stick red hot needles under my foreskin than have to endure the jingoistic narrow minded boredom of anything to do with "class war".


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Bert
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 05:24 PM

Kippers, bloaters and buckling.
Morpeth Rant, Rakes of Mallow and Cathewsalem.
London Buses, Tower Bridge and The Woolwich Pedestrian Tunnel.
Greensted Church, The Eleanor Crosses and St Peters on the Wall.
The Great Britain, Stephenson's Rocket and The Geordy Lamp.
Sunday Lunch, Pie and a Pint and A Ploughman's Lunch.
Beer you can taste, A Cuppa, and Scrumpy.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Gervase
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 05:49 PM

At the risk of repeating myself, I'm partial to Ian Dury's take on the subject:
There are jewels in the crown of England's glory (England's glory)
And every jewel shines a thousand ways

Frankie Howerd, Noël Coward and garden gnomes
Frankie Vaughan, Kenneth Horne, Sherlock Holmes
Monty, Biggles and Old King Cole
In the pink or on the dole
Oliver Twist and Long John Silver
Captain Cook and Nelly Dean
Enid Blyton, Gilbert Harding
Malcolm Sargeant, Graham Greene (Graham Greene)

All the jewels in the crown of England's glory (England's glory)
Too numerous to mention, but a few (but a few)
And every one could tell a different story (different story)
And show old England's glory something new

Nice bit of kipper and Jack the Ripper and Upton Park
Gracie, Cilla, Maxie Miller, Petula Clark
Winkles, Woodbines, Walnut Whips
Vera Lynn and Stafford Cripps
Lady Chatterley, Muffin the Mule
Winston Churchill, Robin Hood
Beatrix Potter, Baden-Powell
Beecham's powders, Yorkshire pud (Yorkshire pud)

Billy Bunter, Jane Austen
Ray Ellington, George Formby
Billy Fury, Little Titch
Uncle Mac, Mr. Pastry and all
Uncle Mac, Mr. Pastry and all

All the jewels in the crown of England's glory (England's glory)
Too numerous to mention, but a few (but a few)
And every one could tell a different story (different story)
And show old England's glory something new

Somerset Maugham, top of the form and the Boys' Brigade (England's glory)
Mortimer Wheeler, Christine Keeler and the Board of Trade (England's glory)
Henry Cooper, Mighty Strangler, England's labour (England's glory)
Standard Vanguard, spotted dick, England's workers (England's glory)

It is rather dated now, but so am I...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:04 PM

It'll do for me, Gervase.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:31 PM

Lox, if you make the effort to read some of Class War's stuff you'll find that, agree with it or not, it is anything but boring.

They came out of the punk movement (which was one of England's major contributions to world culture in recent decades) and preserved its core values better than most.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:53 PM

"They came out of the punk movement (which was one of England's major contributions to world culture in recent decades) and preserved its core values better than most."

Looks like you'd better get a load of jeffrey lewis
defining the moment that "stupid on purpose" became the new "smart"


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:00 PM

IB, your suggestion is concentrated gibberish.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 11:32 PM

Jim Carroll - on a couple of your posts above, well said, sir!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 02:10 AM

Does anyone else think of Class War as a charming 1980's thing like leg warmers and rara skirts? England will turn Eat the Rich into another Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases, or Dig for Victory and have the poster in regional museums where you'll be able to buy it on a greetings card with pictures of pantile roofs and fingerposts and the history of the pork pie.
We are the Borg of Nations.

IB, I reckon your idea may have found its time.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM

Jeffrey Lewis is excellent! Ever seen him perform? If not, do!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:06 AM

IB, your suggestion is concentrated gibberish.

Thanks, Richard - nice to have you on board!

IB (operating as TtAYC until 12th Night / Epiphany / Old Xmas Day)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:19 AM

Folk without the yoke.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:29 AM

glueman (2.10AM), you've got it.

If Lizzie was a bit more thorough in her efforts to serve English nostalgia, Class War would be in her website along with Elgar, cricket and cream teas. (Or whatever - I don't do MurdochSpace on principle so I'm never going to look at it again).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:58 AM

The reason at least one edition of Class War will get in the 'Great British Icons' retrospective of 2025 at the V&A and the front cover of, for example, Socialist Worker, won't is that Class war made it their mission, rather grandiosely, to compete with the tabloids. They didn't want densely written treatises on the proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist project to rebuilt the Fourth International via Marxist-Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international, they just wanted a short, sharp shocking headline and an image that stuck in the brain. In that they certainly succeeded. For a small grouping with fairly conventional left communist politics underneath all the shouting, they had a reach and reputation far beyond their almost invisible political bedfellows. I reckon Ian Bone and his mates learned a few lessons from the Situationist International, if you ask me. Which no-one did.

This is how someone not a million miles from here critiqued Class War back in 1989. Of course, that same person has chilled out a hell of a lot since then...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

Sorry jack,

But Jeffrey Lewis is about as non industry as they come and there is nothing about his excellently put together little bit of rhyming history that you can dispute.

Punk was alive and well in America long before the Brits took it to be their own.

It isn't "british" any more than it is french or japanese or any othe nationality in which the youth have embraced it as representing their sense of ennui and disillusionment with established norms ...

... like class war.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

They didn't want densely written treatises on the proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist project to rebuilt the Fourth International via Marxist-Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international

Neither did Socialist Worker, to be fair, but I take your point.

how someone not a million miles from here critiqued Class War

Ha! Another pro-situ unmasked! Where shall I send the denunciation?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:42 AM

It's worth reminding ourselves that British punk grew out of a Kings Road fashion shop who made fetish wear desirable for the demimonde of mid-70s London. Overseen by a woman who was to become grande dame of catwalks worldwide and a man with a situationist arts background. Not very street, except perhaps with a capital S.
It did adopt a peculiarly British form, in much the way that rockers and greasers were different from Hells Angels but went into self parody before 1977 was out and died with the Sex Pistols.

Punk's legacy was to enfranchise a range of ideas, political, artistic and cultural which doff a cap to the spirit of '76 but who choose to forget its bourgeois, ironic roots. Some would say McLaren and Westwood saw what was happening and put it the shop front but either way commerce and The Man was there from the beginning.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:47 AM

Class warfare is as indigenous to English culture as....er, anything else (diplomatically bland statement). It's been fermenting under the surface as long as there has been any form of society. Let's not forget that, for the most part, history has been written by the educated, privileged, landowning commentators. Fortunately, their views are being redressed by the likes of Tawney, Christopher Hill, Trotskyist historians like Reg Groves, Hyman Fagan and Rodney Hilton. They, of course, have their own axes to grind but at least they are redressing the balance of opinion.

For myself, I just echo the rallying cry of John Ball: When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?

A Merry Winter Solstice/Yuletide/Christmas/whatever to you all in your own concept of Merrie England, and peace and goodwill to all, except those miserable, greedy, unprincipled bastards who created the current economic crisis that's left me out of a job.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:50 AM

Lox, I've always viewed British and US punk are different though intertwined beasts. British punk may have initially been influenced by the look and the attitude of the New Yorkers and by some of the US punk precursors (60s garage rock, the Velvets, The Stooges, the New York Dolls etc), but was equally, if not more influenced by Roxy Music, Bowie, Mott the Hoople, glam rock, the pub rock scene and other UK precursors. The Ramones, I give you, but I don't see much of Television, Patti Smith, Richard Hell and the Voidoids etc in bands like the Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Damned (well, maybe in the Damned a little...).

Personally I prefer the US model, and whilst Television's Marquee Moon will always be in my top twenty favourite ever albums, I tend more towards Ohio than either New York or the West Coast.

Incidently, here's the sainted Mr Lewis covering Crass's Banned From The Roxy live. His "Twelve Crass Songs" album is a corker. Were Crass, I wonder, an example of English culture? As they said, The Hippies Now Wear Black... and Crass did a very British, if not English, take on the whole hippy thing. Commune in Epping Forest and all that.

Finally, another thing about contemporary English culture: an abiding love of great American rock albums...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 06:35 AM

Spleen,

The thing I like about your post is that it doesn't just state "punk is british".

Too often the claim is made that 'america never had a punk revolution unlike Britian and thats why they'll never understand things like irony or get some other aspects of British culture' etc etc ... you know the kind of thing.

Jeffrey Lewis does well to dispel that Myth.

And by the way, yes I've seen Lewis twice and he is awesome live.

The first time, the show began with a bit of low fi punk noise with a dancer wearing a suit covered in hands which made me wonder initially whether it was going to be my thing or just a floppy teenage punk night.

Lewis himself was consistent with the spirit of that, but his lyrical mastery is something to behold.

He comes across as shy, awkward, geeky, unassuming and you'd miss him if it wasn't for the sense of hush and anticipation in the room that kept your mind open to the ossibility that something interesting was about to happen.

He deliberately plays his guitar in a simplistic non showy way and then mumbles at the crowd in a self effacing almost embarrassed voice like a teenager whose vocal chords are starting to change.

But then you are hit by his absolute mastery of the English language, his wit and his ability to refer in a very original way to numerous cultural influences.

There is nothing ostentatious or overdone about his language (unlike mine!!!) he makes everything sound simple and even a bit dumb, but comparing him to someone like steinbeck in this regard doesn't feel inappropriate to me - he is simple in style, but extremely sophisticated in content.

And that is his greatest strength. He sells himself purely on the strength of his wordcraft with the only arguable gimmick being a deliberate lack of Gimmicks.

My favourite song of his is his tribute to leonard cohens chelsea hotel


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 07:10 AM

Love the link. Not heard that one before.

Did he do the thing where he illustrates the songs with a series of his own hand drawn cartoons when you saw him? And that brilliant epic ballad about meeting Will Oldham on the Williamsburg Bridge?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 07:41 AM

Talking of English culture, here's Jeffrey Lewis's illustrated history of The Fall.... I'll shut up and go and buy that sausage meat now.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 08:21 AM

"My favourite song of his is his tribute to leonard cohens chelsea hotel "

That's lovely!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 12:16 PM

"If Lizzie was a bit more thorough in her efforts to serve English nostalgia, Class War would be in her website along with Elgar, cricket and cream teas. (Or whatever - I don't do MurdochSpace on principle so I'm never going to look at it again)."

England, to me, is not about class war. It's not about punks either. That was a period of our history that I disliked intensely.
Mclaren and Vivienne Westwood do nowt for me at all.

I guess I've never been as angry as some of you people in here, as angry as some of the punks were. I never wanted to spit on people, nor wear bin bags, or follow the Emperor's New Clothes. I had a great deal in my younger life to be angry about, trust me, but I deal with it inside, never in the faces of other people.

The anger that hit my country with the Punk Era has never left. It divided it and it saddended me intensely. None of you saw what Class War was sending out to people via The Royal Mail, they did, because their customers rang up, filled with horror. When it was looked into more deeply, they were banned.

Malcolm McLaren, to me at least, seems to be a man with much hatred inside him...and having watched Vivienne Westwood recently on a documentary about her, I think she felt that he controlled her absolutely at that time. He controlled many things, but why the British Press turned him into some sort of God, along with the Punks themseleves, is beyond me.

My attitude to life is don't scream or spit in my face, if you do, you'll get short shrift. Wear whatever daft things you want, like whatever crappy music you want, and to me, the music of that period was total rubbish, but leave your foul manners out of my face, and out of my life. I'd not spit on you, so treat me with the same respect. The punks had no respect for anyone, they just wanted to shock.

Have a mohican, paint your hair pink, have it leopard spotted, whatever, I really don't mind, but don't, don't bring your bad, foul-mouthed manners and outlook into my face.

Good to know that Johnny Rotten is now an estate agent and loves England, albeit from afar. Not sure what the Queen thinks about him, maybe she quite likes him. Who knows.

30 years on this country is still ruled by foul manners and little respect, because that era made it 'acceptable'. It's not acceptable in my book and never has been.

But then, as I said, I'm not filled with rage against everyone and everything, just a rage at what has happened to my country, because I think it was done deliberately, and I don't think we've gained anything from it.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 12:54 PM

On Monday, 22 December, it is 6 years since Joe Strummer died.

The Clash / White Riot at Rock Against Racism 1978
The English in Victoria Park, fighting for and hanging onto their culture against a very real fascist threat. It's still out there and needs anger to counter it.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 01:11 PM

Lizzie, I suspect you have missed the point of punk. "England's Dreaming" by Jon Savage is a good starting place if you want a well written insider's view.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 01:12 PM

Great book, Spleen.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 02:21 PM

I think there is a definitive English folk music culture. I think this maybe the point of this
discussion. Certainly you could define the North Country Border rural music as "English" or areas such as Cornwall. There is an English ballad singing style. A.L. Lloyd or Ewan McColl has popularized it. Louis Killen as well. There seems to be a fiddling style that's unique to England.

I think Elizabethan Pro-Musica defines a tradition of Campion and Dowland which is
definitively English.

There is a Cockney music culture which as analogous to the city music halls of early America such as early Broadway or Second Avenue.

As in any country, there are regional styles that are a composite of the overall "culture".

As an outsider, I find that an English culture tends to be more subdued than the American one which is more bombastic like the German culture. These are gross generalizations, of course.

In the personalities on the stage, eccentricities of comics such as Monty Python,
the Goon Show, Spike Milligan, and even America's Danny Kaye seem to define a different emphasis on humor which tend toward the oddness of the characters. I think that English humor is different than in America which has more of a wise-cracking approach. The English appreciate the role of the clown in comedy. It's no accident that Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin instituted a brand of humor that is uniquely English in my opinion. I find the English Brit-coms equally reflective of British humor unlike the stuff from Stateside.

Ralph Vaughan Williams could not have originated in America, I believe. His music has
a distinctly English character as does Percy Granger.

The tunes of Henry the Eighth typify an English musical approach. "Pastime with Good Company" could not have been written anywhere in the world except England.

Then there's the poets.

I think a strong case can be made for English culture citing these examples for a start.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Kampervan
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 03:16 PM

In a discussion about English culture I'm surprised that no-one has picked up on Ms Easby's posting re The Clash.

Whatever you thought about their musical style, they fought against racism and fascism; warning of the dangers of both in a way that was understandable to a whole generation.

They, and Joe Strummer especially, are sorely missed.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM

What Diane and Kampervan said.

White Man in Hammersmith Palais


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 06:53 PM

"Whatever you thought about their musical style, they fought against racism and fascism; warning of the dangers of both in a way that was understandable to a whole generation.

They, and Joe Strummer especially, are sorely missed."

Indeed. And their music was ace, too.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:19 AM

'Fraid I'll have to be the odd man out on this one. The Clash were one of my least favourite punk bands and I saw them on a number of occasions. Worthy lectures on the state of society by a public school boy seemed to be exactly what Britain had plenty of. When they went reggae they really lost it.
Strummer in his pub rock days with the 101ers was far more endearing.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Kampervan
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:25 AM

To be fair, Strummer couldn't help where he started out from. It's what he chose that's important, and he chose to highlight a lot of what was (is?) wrong with our society. That he wasn't alone doesn't diminish the relevance of what he was saying.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:28 AM

"Lizzie, I suspect you have missed the point of punk. "England's Dreaming" by Jon Savage is a good starting place if you want a well written insider's view"


Nope, I 'got' the message, but it wasn't delivered in a way I liked.

The huge anger that Mclaren has inside him for everything and everyone, was picked up on by those who had huge anger inside them too, over Thatcher, the miners strike, etc..etc..etc..

Punk became the voice of that anger. But most of the punks didn't really have a clue about all of that. They just latched on to the 'fashion' and er...'new English culture' side of it all. From that day, to this, respect for others kinda flew out the window in my country, as those who had always wanted to put the boot in to others did exactly that, driving many young people to a dark place, filling them with anger and vitriol against so many, many things.

I get kind of incensed when people deface Churchill's statue, or verbally spit on so many of those who gave *their* lives to give the punks, etc, the freedom to behave in such a loutish way. It wasn't what many of those men and women went to war for, not at all.

Freedom comes with many responsibilities. One of those is not willfully hurting others.

What's happened since Punk has been the biggest kind of 'inverted' snobbery, in my opinion, where anyone who comes from a place that's considered 'posh' is already loathed, without any personal contact ever having taken place, or they're despised because they don't speak 'estrry' English, or don't swear, or aren't Left wing, or don't read The Socialst Worker, or don't live the 'Eastenders' lifestyle, or maybe they went to public school, or grammar school, which wasn't even their choice, but that's never even considered...etc..etc..etc.

It's no different, in my book to many of those who lived in grand houses/palaces who looked down on those they considered lesser mortals.

All who think like that, are wrong.

This hatred betweeen 'them and us' should stop. It's gone on for way, way too long, and if England is ever going to get to a good place again, then she needs her people to let go of their hatred, not hatred against the rest of the world, but hatred for their own countrymen. The English people need to stop hating each other, and come together, seeing no class, no divide, just 'we'...

I know that you can be a Lord or Lady of this land and be the most compassionate and loving person. I also know that you can be a complete and utter bastard. Exactly the same can be said for a miner, or a dustman, or a shopworker, they too are either someone to have respect for because of their compassion and love for others, or someone to avoid like the plague, because of their hatred for so many things, and so many people who they don't want in their 'box'.

People are people. We are not supposed to live in boxes. Punks put people into boxes, like so many others did and still do. I don't think the Hippies did that. They loved everyone, Love was the message there, for me at least.

Love and Unity is the way forward.

Hatred and Division is the way to hell.

And if anyone wants to read a truly magical book on England, which will have you falling around with laughter at our beautiful eccentricites, and wiping away a tear at the beauty of our country, then I can't recommend Colin Irwin's 'In Search of Albion' highly enough.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:37 AM

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros:

Redemption Song

Bankrobber


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:54 AM

The huge anger that Mclaren has inside him for everything and everyone, was picked up on by those who had huge anger inside them too, over Thatcher, the miners strike, etc..etc..etc..

Punk became the voice of that anger.


Ummmmmm! I'm a bit old and my memory is fuzzy, but weren't Thatcher & the miners Strike after Punk?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM

They certainly were (the 2nd Miners' Strike anyway).
The Strummer vids I just posted have mysteriously become unavailable. Here are some dups:

Redemption Song

Bankrobber


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:06 AM

From LC: "...in my country..."

but this is OUR country. For many people, punk was a seminal cultural movement, the positive repercussions of which can still be felt today. For many people, football is absolutely fundamental to their cultural identity.

When it comes to defining what "English culture" is, these are both examples of why the answer must contain a plurality of visions, rather than some shared ersatz nostalgia for village greens and milkmaids.

As Billy Bragg once said: "Identity is purely personal. It only becomes a problem when someone else tells you what you are."


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:25 AM

Yup, it's OUR country, but it's also MY country, same for anyone else who loves England.

You like the punk movement, that's fine by me. Your choice is your choice and you are entitled to it. I didn't like it, nor what went with it, or what is left over from it. This country has been at war within itself for way too long.

Village greens exist still to this day, as do many other things from an England that many want to wipe out. We are a mixture of old and new, not just new, and that is what I have a problem with, being made to feel that I do not have a right to the England I grew up in.

I do.

It was and is my England. And it always will be.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:28 AM

I get kind of incensed when people deface Churchill's statue, or verbally spit on so many of those who gave *their* lives to give the punks, etc, the freedom to behave in such a loutish way. It wasn't what many of those men and women went to war for, not at all.
Is it not bad to deface anyones statue?
however his record as a wartime leader has to be seen in relation to his record as a peace time leader.,and home secretary.and other positions of office.
Churchill was a good wartime leader,and was the right man who was needed at that time.
However in his dealings with   DeVelera,[irish neutrality],he gave the impression to Develera of untrustworthiness,because of Churchills history[including his involvement in the irish free state peace treaty],this was[imo] a reasonable assumption on De veleras part,
a great opportunity to unite Ireland was missed,Churchill must take a lot of the blame.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:31 AM

Give me the football and polite attitudes of Geoff Hurst, Bobby Charlton. Bobby Moore, Jack Charlton, George Best et al. Then, I might enjoy a football match again.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

"Magical" books about England:

News From Nowhere
A Dream Of John Ball
The Pilgrims Of Hope

by William Morris.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:37 AM

"This country has been at war within itself for way too long."

I have heard this from you endlessly, but still don't understand what you mean by it.

If your version of English history is to be believed, there was never any division or dissent in England until the 70s and 80s, until miners strikes and punk. Do you really believ that this is when the class war began?

But dissent is as fundamental a part of English history as your village greens, Lizzie. Being ignorant of it, or choosing to pretend it didn't exist, doesn't make it any less real. Read Billy Bragg's The Progressive Patriot. Listen to Chris Wood. Go to see Roy Bailey and Tony Benn's The Writing On The Wall. These would all be good starting points if you want to begin to understand a vital and vibrant part of your heritage.

By the way, I live in a village, with church bells and a green. But I'm not daft enough to think that my way of life is in any way emblematic of the wider English experience in 2008.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:46 AM

"polite attitudes" of George Best??!!! the originator of the pisshead, womanising, money-squandering, shallow, cult-of-celebrity lifestyle which has swamped the modern game??


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:05 AM

"Magical" books about England:

News From Nowhere
A Dream Of John Ball
The Pilgrims Of Hope

by William Morris.

Can I just add: Mark O'Brien's "When Adam Delved and Eve Span", Christopher Hill's "Liberty Against the Law" and Christopher Hibbert's "The English"?

"By the way, I live in a village, with church bells and a green."

I live in a village which has the remains of the only castle in East Yorkshire. The castle was built by Harry Hotspur and legend has it that he took all the men of the village to fight at the Battle of Otterburn, where they were all (except Hotspur) killed. The local "squire" still owns the castle and a large tranch of the land around and still likes to think he can all the shots on the parish council. He is, however, now opposed (by mrsleveller, so maybe thinks have changed just a little in th last 600 years.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:45 AM

Did you ever meet George Best, Lizzie? I did, in his boutique in Manchester. Arguably the best footballer ever but never known as a polite man. And most of the footballers of his day were just as ruthless as their modern counterparts on the field; you just never saw it. They were just like the modern players off the field as well. Some good, some bad. Just like most people realy. Maybe you need the rose-tinted lenses changing?

DeG


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:54 AM

Not only was George Best all the things Ruth said, he was just a little bit Irish and not at all English.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 07:16 AM

I wrote a well argued (for me) response all this but the software sent it to all hell. Can't be arsed to bother any more.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 07:46 AM

Dave
The First Time (Ever) I was introduced to Ewan and Peggy was after a concert at MSG in Manchester.
We were all standing outside when a taxi pulled up and a smart young man got out and headed to the night club next door.
A friend, a football nut (City supporter, which qualifies him for the title 'nut') said, "That's Georgie Best".
Peggy said, "Who's Georgie Best, and on being told that he was the world's greatest footballer (if you don't count Liverpool and Liverpool reserves), she sprinted after him and got his autograph (for Calum, of course!!!)
I agree with Ruth - especially about football and class.
"Is it not bad to deface anyones statue?"
Probably - just as it is bad to destroy a work of art like the Sutherland painting of the old, cold warrior, as was done by the Churchill family.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:21 AM

Churchills war time record,needs to be seen in relation to his peace time record,he was a war hero,but he was a failure[imo] as a peace time prime minister,he also missed a great opportunity to give Ireland its freedom during world war two[which would have saved thousands of lives in the island of Ireland],it was hardly surprising that De Velera did not trust him.
defacing anyones statue is pretty pointless,whether they are Churchill,or George W Bush,or whoever.
destroying works of art because they are not to your liking is Vandalism.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:30 AM

There have been some really interesting points made in this discussion. I don't think there can ever be a definitive definition of 'English' Culture, as we all interpret it in different ways. The recent discussion on punk proves that. Lizzie, YOUR England isn't the same as other people's England - but that's OK, surely? Can't you learn to be tolerant? Just because someone has different ideals and a different vision from you, doesn't mean that they're wrong.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM

"Village greens exist still to this day, as do many other things from an England that many want to wipe out."

Another thing - can you tell me who the "many" are? And can you identify what they're doing to wipe out this England?

Is it just me, or can anyone else hear Ray Davies playing in the background...?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 09:14 AM

Village greens get threatened from time to time, but by greedy middle-class developers who think it might be nice to build houses on them for city-dwelling mates who can afford somewhere else to go at the weekend. Opposing that is all well and good but of far greater importance is the threat to the many ordinary little people from big business / municipal expansion of airports, trunk roads and commercial development of no relevance or benefit to them.

"They're going to build a motorway through my back garden
No-one can explain how I came to be chosen
They're going to build a motorway, they're ripping up the trees
Soon the lorries will be lurching through my cabbages and peas".


That's why the working classes get angry and rise up. Though not nearly often enough. It's somehow not English to do so. Bollocks.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 09:15 AM

Bugger, missed the Leon Rosselson credit off that.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 11:40 AM

"Though not nearly often enough. It's somehow not English to do so."

Sometimes, just sometimes, it works, though. They tried to build a Sainsbury's on allotments in our nearby little market town. There was a lot of protest and it was finally stopped - they still built a Sainsbury's but at least not on the allotments and, hopefully, the majority of people will continue to use the family-owned shops in town.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:28 PM

I've been observing this thread for a bit.

But one of the more inwittingly pertinant responses for me, came from Don Firth way back. An intended amusing repost saying something akin to "isn't culture what you grow in a petri dish".

Well I must admit, despite taking a quick dip into the etymology of "Culture" (as is my wont) I failed to organise any thought fully worthy of communicating on the matter.

Nevertheless, Don's energetically scented, fertile coagulation of fermenting human thought and life, appeals far more to me than, the sterile unproductive leavings of reminiscence.

And as for IB's response. What a brilliant resignation of the bonds of domination implicit in the yoke of 'but a word'. Well said Gervase indeed.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:37 PM

Typically English Day

The Astronauts 1983

On a typically English day
When the man in the street alway has his say
On a terraced house with no yard
A couple of people are playing cards
And the street outside is a dance hall floor of the lunatic brigade
To help compensate the profits and the losses of the men who'd been self made
And she says "Maybe we should leave this place"
And he says "Watch out I've trumped your ace"
And they put the cards back and quietly fade away
And they both have a doze on a typically English day

On a typically English night
When the announcer on the telly hopes that we're alright
On a terraced house with thatched roof
A couple of people are hoping for truth
Becauase it's getting colder and they're both aware
That thier health is getting poor
And a man in a sports jacket on the TV
Was saying something about the war
And he says if I wasn't confined to this bed
I'd pick up my pistol and go and teach the reds
And she says "I know dear" and quietly turns off the light
And they both have a doze on a typically English night

On a typically English day
When the baying of the hounds keeps the fallout at bay
On a terraced house with no yard
A couple of people are finding it hard
But he says "They can drop all the bombs they like just as long as I've got you
So lay down next to me, hold my hand, lets make love like we used to do
And damn this gout, and damn this leg
I really want to have you and I ain't got time to beg"
So the fire storm slowly came their way
So lets leave them to cry on a typically English day.

(A small offering from the best anarchist punk band ever, no contest).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 02:31 PM

You'll find a link to Billy Bragg's book on Albion Heart. You'll find a great many more books on England on the chest of drawers behind me, as I write this, but I love Colin's the best, because he has the greatest sense of humour and a way of talking about England that I find very endearing.

I find it very strange that so many on here, who are divisive and so desperate to put people into 'class' boxes, and keep them there, catawaul at me for not being like them. I don't want to be like them.

George Best, gawd, lovva duck! He's Irish?????? Awww..come ON, you're just joshing me, right? Holy Jumping Catfish, the things you learn on Mudcat, eh?   























Er..I did actually know that, but again, thanks for pointing out the obvious.

And yes, George became an alcoholic, but listen to Michael Parkinson talking of George, a man he loved and admired deeply, and who was a dear and genuine friend of his up until the day George died, and he will tell you that George Best was one of the kindest, most genuine and lovely people he'd ever met. That he was a man who loved everyone, and who loved them so much that every time he went to his local pub, or indeed any other where he was recognised, someone insisted on buying George a drink, and he'd accept, not wanting to seem rude, then he'd accept the next one and the next, because he didn't want to upset people. Michael had seen this happen, and it had made him angry, particularly when people could see that George was three sheets to the wind and *still* they bought him drinks. And it happened after he'd tried so hard to stop drinking too.

In a pretty short time, George found he couldn't refuse the drinks for very different reasons.

It's something that Parky feels very strongly about, that George was led down that unforgiving road by kindness, from those who bought him the drinks, and from George himself not wishing to hurt people. George was nursed for very many years by his young wife, right away from the spotlight, in Ireland I believe, and I think all his wives remained his friends, which says a great deal about a man.

Drink changes many people's personality, but that personality is not the true person inside. George Best was loved by many, for a long part of his life, and those who knew the 'real' George Best, like Michael Parkinson did, stuck by him through thick and thin. Parky interviewed hundreds, probably thousands of the world's most famous people in his career, and yet, he always had a very soft, and very protective place for George, always, in his heart.

I'll take Parky's word on his great friend, thanks, not the words of those above who refer to this man so unfeelingly as a 'pisshead'.




'They' are the ones who for the past two decades or so have made it almost a sin to be English in any way other than 'their' way, as er...can be seen from some of these posts. The ones who feel they know ALL about England, in every minute detail and have decided what is good, and bad about it, and if anyone dare speaks of things they do not like then...they call them racist, to shut them up and make others loathe them. It's called suppression, and for years it's worked quite well, until along came a few people who knew that the Emperor had nothing on, and said so.



'Song for Saint George' written by Gez

It was this time last year when they told us to hide
To hide our St. George Flag away
"Take them down from your windows, they litter our streets
If you don't, they'll be much hell to pay
And we'll fine you if you choose to, so it's best you choose not
It's worse than the Union Jack
For St. George is dead and buried
We suggest you sit down, shut up, and please don't answer back

Just sit down
Just sit down
Just sit down
No, don't stand your ground"

On St. George's Day morning I want to run through my street
Find its Bank Holiday with her parties so sweet
Send my love to my country, be proud of this place
See the flags flown from windows, with a smile on my face
But I fear Monday morn' we'll regret we were born
In this country of green promised land
And we'll trudge off to work with no pride in our heart
And no love for our own countrymen
Oh the Irish - St. Patrick, The Welsh - David's Day
The Scottish - St. Andrew I'm told
Celebrated by all who arouse one and all
Old St. George has been left in the cold

Don't sit down!
Don't sit down!
Don't sit down!
Just stand your ground!

On St. George's Day morning I want to run through my town
Find its Bank Holiday with my neighbours around
Send my love to my country, be proud of this place
See the flags flown from windows, with a smile on my face
I know is I'm small, yet I try to stand tall
For my country on St. George's Day
Raise a glass to Old England my neighbours and friends
So they know that he's not gone away
I'll run with my flag in the cool winter spring
Through the fields and the streets of this land
You can take Old St. George from our windows and doors
In my heart there remains an England

You can take Old St. George from our windows and doors
In my heart there remains an England
You can take old St. George from my windows and doors
In my heart there remains an England"

You can listen to Gez's song right here:

Gez - Myspace



Village greens are very, very bad, it would seem. ;0) And yes, ask Steve Knightley about those 'Agribarons' who are stripping this green and pleasant land...or who were, until the bottom fell out of the housing market.

I heard some good words from Tom Brown's Schooldays today, the film of the book, with Stephen Fry in.

Headmaster: "You, sir, you are a coward and a bully. Gather your things together, then leave this school immediately."

Flashman (puffed up with self-importance says threateningly): "Do you know *who* I *am*?"

Headmaster: "I do, sir. You are a coward and a bully. Leave this school"


Great film.
Great book.
Great way of dealing with bullies.


And a great thing to say to those who, for so very long, have tried to take away our heritage.

This country belongs to us all, colour, creed, bank balance, religion, it makes NO difference. England belongs to her people, so does her history ahd her culture. And I'm perfectly happy for everyone to have their own view of culture and to dislike mine, but please remember, that I also have the right to disagree with yours.

Football and punks are not the be all and end all of English culture.

Get over it.

:0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 02:42 PM

I refer you to point 7 of my post of the 19th...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 02:50 PM

"You'll find a link to Billy Bragg's book on Albion Heart."

That doesn't mean you've read it. Can I ask what you make of Bragg's thesis on the alternative English history of dissent? Because considering that The Progressive Patriot celebrates all you would appear to despise, from punk to football to class warfare, I find it hard to believe it's something you'd celebrate if you truly understood its contents.

What I actually said was that George Best was "the originator of the pisshead, womanising, money-squandering, shallow, cult-of-celebrity lifestyle which has swamped the modern game" - and nothing you've said disabuses me of this notion.

"'They' are the ones who for the past two decades or so have made it almost a sin to be English in any way other than 'their' way, as er...can be seen from some of these posts."

Ypou mean like the ones saying that punk, dissent, class politics and football culture are not particularly valuable or valid aspects of English culture?

You still haven't explained, specifically, who "They" are, or how "they" have stopped you or anyone else saying whatever you like about England or interpreting it however you like. I mean, you work in the National Trust shop, for heaven's sake - purveyor of all that is twee, nostalgic and sentimental about England. Surely if all these class-war yobs were genuinely trying to stop you, or anyone else, from being English any other way than "their" way, they'd be attacking all the NT and Past Times shops in the land...

In fact, no one is stopping you from interpreting "your" England, Lizzie. It's only when you try to shove that interpretation down the throats of people who have a different view that you are met with hostility.

""And a great thing to say to those who, for so very long, have tried to take away our heritage."

Again, who are "They"? it's these paper tiger bogeymen, created by (dare I say it again) the likes of certain newspapers, that's who. Specific examples of who they are and what they're doing to try and take away our heritage, please.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 03:02 PM

I really don't understand where this certainty comes from that there's a whole cohort of people out there who want to destroy village greens. I've googled it and can't find any evidence to back the myth up...

Even my little bit of Urban Northern has got one. Right next to where we have our traditional music singaround. People sit on it is summer and drink beer and play music and even juggle. Morris dancers have been spotted on occasion. Can I say that bit again? It's urban. It's northern ... and here is is.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 03:27 PM

Mr. Spleen, now play fair.
With respect, I have every reason (including well reported English cultural evidence) to suspect that you have knowingly cut and pasted that image from Narnia...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 03:37 PM

I've googled it and can't find any evidence to back the myth up...

Well, let me assure you that we here at The Society for the Abolishment of the Village Green have been trying to stamp out this Village Green nonsense for years. Our feeling is that they conceal the oft spoke of rotten heart of our debased motherland and represent an indulgent misuse of so-called common-land. So far we've managed to spirit away a fair few, stockpiling them in our lockup on an industrial estate in Middlesbrough - but space, as you might imagine, is at a premium. I fear in 2009 we'll have be selling them off, or else donating them to more deserving inner city communities by way of an essential redistribution of our heritage.

Each day you pass the village green
But seldom look my way
Each day I sit just in between
The words I want to say

My love I've viewed you from afar
I'd screw you if I could
Meet me tonight by the miller's stream
'Neath mossy willowood


(The Amazing Blondel)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:57 PM

So far we've managed to spirit away a fair few, stockpiling them in our lockup on an industrial estate in Middlesbrough

Berwick Hills? Grove Hill? Pally Park?

Seriously, Lizzie was right in one respect about many people in Britain being filled with hatred. Where she was wrong, IMO was in identifying the source of the trend. It was not punk but Thatcher. Thatcher herself was filled with hatred and her mission was to take on and defeat (as she saw it) those she hated -mainly on the left. In the process she did a great deal of damage to this country and we are still feeling the effects of her policies.

The sad thing is that so many people still think she was wonderful.

As to punk, it was never my favourite musical form but that's a matter of personal taste but it is interesting to see what has happened to some of those involved in the punk movement.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:34 PM

We at the Society For Chopping Off Norman Tebbit's Balls are dedicated to the preservation of village greens which incorporate ponds, ducking stools, stocks, catherine wheels, racks, gibbets and any other Olde English apparatus suitable for eliminating Tories and employees of HMRC.

Our next campaign will, therefore be to liberate those village greens detained without trial on Teesside and utilise the freed-up storage space to impound 'heritage' tat and crap CDs.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:54 PM

"What I actually said was that George Best was "the originator of the pisshead, womanising, money-squandering, shallow, cult-of-celebrity lifestyle which has swamped the modern game" - and nothing you've said disabuses me of this notion."

I find 'pisshead' an abusive term. Each to their own though.

No, the cult of in yer face footballers started comparatively recently, and it stemmed from a society which has been deeply dumbed down and one that had already adopted a similar attitude itself. Footballers today are paid millions and millions of pounds, in a seemingly never ending uphill staircase of wage rises. With that has come the lad and ladette culture of footballers and er..footballers wives, which has been vastly helped along by the media in general and, imo, trash such as 'Hello Magazine.' Jimmy Hill pushed and pushed for footballers to get paid more, back in the 1960s, but it took a long time to reach where it is now. I wonder if he now regrets that. Perhaps you should blame Jimmy. Or, the dumbed down society itself which now surrounds us all. That isn't George's fault either. That has happened because of apathy and a deliberate dumbing down by the media in particular, who for far too long have glorified the likes of crude comedians, pop shows such as The X Factor and Pop Idol, Big Brother and I'm A Celebrity...etc...etc...etc...

Football is only *part* of the problem.   It has become fashionable to appear thick, to be oikist, loutish and yobbish, to speak as if everyone comes from Sarf Larnden, like, know wha I mean, mate?


George was no angel, but he was no demon either.

And he was the most brilliant footballer I've ever seen.

Yes, he became an icon of his time, along with people such as The Beatles, The Stones etc...he was as much a part of the 60s as they were. Did he ask for that? I don't think so. He was merely a charming young Irish lad from a council estate who was thrust into the spotlight because of his incredible skill at football. The fact he had filmstar looks and Irish charm to match, made him easy prey for an ever hungry media. But there wasn't the 'cult' back then around 'celebrities' as now exists today. The paparazzi were far fewer back then and celebrity magazines didn't even exist. George was held up as an icon because he was so damned good at what he did. There has never been anyone to touch him, as a football player, nor has there been since.

And then, when the media lost Princess Diana, they 'discovered' David Beckham and good ol' Posh, who took her place on their front pages..and the Footballer's Wife was born, along with the TV series and the never-ending photos in all the latest fashion magazines..etc.etc..etc. Posh and Becks became the new 'Royal Family' of the UK. Nowt to do with George.

Football now is about greed and little else, with many clubs standing on the brink of disaster. It lost its magic a long time back.



"Ypou mean like the ones saying that punk, dissent, class politics and football culture are not particularly valuable or valid aspects of English culture?"

I said that football and punks were not the be all and end all of English culture. To that I will also add 'class politics' for I loathe the whole class issue. It divides people up and sets them against one another, and it has been used to do that very thing in ever increasing amounts these past decades. There is far, far more to English culture, far more.

"I find it hard to believe it's something you'd celebrate if you truly understood its contents."

Oh well, you know me, I understand nuzzink, ignorant person that I am, as you've told me over and over.


"I mean, you work in the National Trust shop, for heaven's sake - purveyor of all that is twee, nostalgic and sentimental about England. Surely if all these class-war yobs were genuinely trying to stop you, or anyone else, from being English any other way than "their" way, they'd be attacking all the NT and Past Times shops in the land..."

Well, that is, of course, a sort of 'attack' on the National Trust itself. Past Times is nowt to do with me, ask them.

The National Trust, for your information, sells many wonderful things to do with England. Perhaps, when Derek came in earlier this year, to purchase the Sidmouth Calendar, you weren't able to look around long enough.

Nostalgic items? And what's is wrong with that? Are you saying that people aren't allowed to be nostalgic? They're not allowed to look back, only forward, in blinkers? That's ridiculous, because again, if people aren't allowed to look back, then they will never know the heritage, the history of this land.

We sell beautiful things connected with England. We sell things that our customers love, because many of them grew up with those things. Nowt wrong there.

We sell some *incredible* books about England, along with jams, honey, (although that's in very short supply now) cakes, calendars, perfumes, cards, photos, prints, garden items, wildlife items, plants and trees (in our Houses) writing things. There are books on how to keep chickens, how to live off wild food, how to grow vegetables, how to grow fruit, how to get back to the land, how to take care of so many things in this country, how to have your own allotment, how to cook what grows on that allotment, how to cook almost anything under the sun, including English cooking too, There's music, jigsaws, outdoor pursuit things, rugs, picnic sets, walking sticks, maps, Kendal mint cake, survival guides, canoeing guids, books on country walks and coastal walks, pub crawls and tea shop walks..We sell local produce, from apple juice to soaps. We sell rose and lavender, and flowers and jewellery, hats and scarves and mugs and jugs.

Sidmouth is one of their most successful shops, often outselling city shops such as York and Bath.

And the reason we sell all of the above and far, far more, is firstly because our customers love it, secondly it brings generations together as grandparents buy many of the games, stories, practical books etc they played, or read, or skills they discovered as children, to share with their grandchildren..it passes the memories down..from how to play cribbage to how to grow a cabbage.

Then, all profits raised from those sales is ploughed into The National Trust itself, where it finds its way into the very footpaths that thousands walk each year, through meadows, fields, parks, or along a Coastal Path, more often than not all owned by The National Trust, or to a beach which is also owned and cared for by The National Trust. Or to a Stately Home which you can enjoy to your heart's content, wandering around its beautiful gardens, all owned and cared for by The National Trust, and part paid for by those very goods within our shops, which you talk of so disparagingly.

When you eat at a National Trust property, the food is locally grown, locally sourced, always fresh, very often organic. It's not just the farmers you're helping, but the industries which surround him, from the bakers and butchers, to the greengrocers and wine producers. When you buy the local products in all our shops, you are helping to keep alive the thousands of cottage industries in this land, who, without the support of The National Trust would go under.

The National Trust owns and cares for thousands of miles of coastline, conserving it all. They do the same with the Stately Homes of Britain, woodlands, fields, footpaths, stone walls, farms, rivers. They teach people of all ages, all colours, all religions, how to restore and conserve all of the above. They teach people the old skills in how to make most of the above, ensuring our heritage and traditional ways and skills continue. They are passionate about everything.

They have approximately 5,000 paid staff and approximately 40,000 volunteers. We have so many volunteers because we have so many thousands of people who love The National Trust and all it stands for, and they love helping to tell people about their heritage, be it from a castle, to a farm, to a workhouse or where John Lennon grew up.

The National Trust's properties are visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year, probably millions, and they come from all over the world to visit us.

'Forever, for Everyone' is their motto, their reason to be.

And they ensure that as much land as possible is opened up for us all to enjoy, forever...for everyone.

I am **immensely** proud to work for them and with them, because a harder working, more committed, intensely passionate and proud band of people, you'd be hard pushed to find, and they are pleased to work their butts off for The National Trust, because they all believe in the wonderful work it's doing.

Our shop, I think, as do many of our customers, is one of the most beautiful shops in Sidmouth, and one of the NT's most lovely shops in the country, or so we've been told many times over. Sometimes, we have people who just sit down on the chair and say to us, as one elderly lady did just recently "I hope you don't mind, but I'm just sitting here taking it all in, my dear, as it's so beautiful in here, so much to look at." I told her she was welcome to sit there as long as she wanted.

Our shops are now so popular that all the shops throughout the land are being updated, slowly but surely, after the success of Sidmouth's 'makeover'

We have people who buy their entire list of Christmas presents with us, because our range is so unusual and so varied, so they are able to find something for almost everyone. We are getting younger and younger customers in all the time, too, from teenagers to guys with amazing dreadlocks, like the young man who was in on Saturday. His hair went below his waist, and I smiled and told him how lovely it looked. He grinned at me from ear to ear, then went back to looking at all the products in our 'Recycle and Reduce' section, from energy saving kettles, kitchen compost bins, books on how to recycle almost anything, or how to save water, to wind up torches, radios and lanterns...

Yup, probably the most glorious shop in Sidmouth, and heck, are we loved!

The National Trust

Join The National Trust from the USA

The Royal Oak Organisation (USA)

Sidmouth - National Trust Land


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:59 PM

"oikist,"

LoL A new word...

Oikish.


And Tootler..no-one, but no-one forced anyone to follow Mrs. Thatcher. I certainly didn't. I loathed her.

The hatred comes from the people themselves and those who are determined to keep us all in boxes.

How much longer are people going to use her as a Scapegoat for their own shortcomings?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 07:30 PM

"No, the cult of in yer face footballers started comparatively recently,"

Evidence? Look at what Georgie was actually getting up to. I maintain it was the Best era that spawned this whole sorry sub-culture. Have you any evidence that the phenomenon is "comparatively recent"?

"And then, when the media lost Princess Diana, they 'discovered' David Beckham and good ol' Posh, who took her place on their front pages..and the Footballer's Wife was born, along with the TV series and the never-ending photos in all the latest fashion magazines..etc.etc..etc. Posh and Becks became the new 'Royal Family' of the UK. Nowt to do with George."

Bollocks. Gazza came in the meantime, with Sheryl and their chavvy spawn. Posh and Backs are the end result of a trend which began in the Best era.

Why do you insist on mentioning the fact that my boyfriend tried to buy a calendar from your shop? What does it prove, except that he wanted a calendar? Do I refer to your ex huspand or the boyfriend who ran a mile when he realised what a nutcase you were? Does the fact that I set foot inside the shop where you work detract from the fact that 99% of what the National trust shops sell is twee, sentemental and nostalgic? No, it doesn't. I'm a menber of the National Trust, as it happens. I still find their shops twee and sentimental. The point is that no one is stopping you from interpreting England in a twee, sentimental and nostalgic way, as is evidenced by these Mrs Tiggywinkle-style merchandising enterprises. So WHERE is this great threat to your culture? Again, very specific evidence, please.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 07:38 PM

ok girls - you're starting to sound like a couple oof prom queens fighting over a tiara now.

You might not like that analogy, but I don't like this personal crap.

You're both pretty normal nice people.

This is a personal argument.

If you hate each other that much then leave each other alone.

You're just giving yourselves headaches.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 07:53 PM

Lox, perhaps you should stick to bizarre, obscure theories about aboriginals. I can't imagine they're any more interesting or relevant for the peanut gallery.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:52 PM

I don't know what a peanut gallery is.

There's nothing bizarre about me finding it interesting that archeologists have found evidence that the first homosapiens in America may have come from an Australian Aboriginal root and not from a north east asian root.

I'll express my point of view as and when I have one that I feel like expressing.

And I'll respond to posts on this thread as i read them without any need to do a background check on anyone I'm responding to first.

If you don't want the public to comment on an issue, don't post in a public forum.

You're all strangers to me and you all look the same ... like 26 letters jumbled up into different patterns.

I'll judge based on what I read.

I don't think much of that St George Song, but I think less of witchhunts.

Lizzie says she loves he country, "....her people of ALL colours, creeds and backgrounds...and damn the BNP to hell! "

If she was pro BNP she might have said "they aren't all that bad actually" in which case I would have pointed her in the direction of the Nick Griffin Holocaust Denial video on youtube and asked her to explain it.

But that didn't happen.

She's out of touch in some ways, but that's country life for you.

You guys are commenting about each others personal lives and that has nothing to do with politics.

I don't give a monkeys about the history of this issue, there is enough in this thread to give me a pretty clear picture of who you both are.

I don't have a problem with either of you and unless someone starts giving me a load of grief or says something that I find particularly offensive that's how it will remain.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 09:01 PM

"The point is that no one is stopping you from interpreting England in a twee, sentimental and nostalgic way, as is evidenced by these Mrs Tiggywinkle-style merchandising enterprises."

Hang on a tick, wasn't that *exactly* what happened, earlier up this thread, or was I dreaming?


And talking of Hedgehogs in Bonnets and Dresses... :0)

We sell Mrs.Tiggywinkle notelets, of course, and many things Beatrix Potter in general, from time to time, as it was Beatrix who gave so much of her land to The National Trust, which of course was started by one of her great friends, the Rev. Hardwicke Rawnsley, amongst others.

The Founders of The National Trust

Hardwicke Rawnsley

Beatrix Potter

Hill Top Farm - The Home of Beatrix Potter

Mrs. Tiggywinkle's Birthplace

And finally, a film produced with the help of The National Trust:

Miss Potter - Youtube

I love Beatrix Potter. You know why? She never gave up being who she wanted to be, who she was. She refused to change her outlook, her way of life, no matter what others thought about her. And as they say in that trailer above, Beatrix saw things differently.

Then one day, she met a man who saw things the same way....


And they danced...

Let Me Teach You How To Dance



Now, I'm off to dream of Dancing Hedgehogs and Falling In Love.....


"She's out of touch in some ways, but that's country life for you."

Oy! Cheeky! lol

Good Lordy!! Did someone mention COUNTRY LIFE????

Hey, there IS a God! :0) :0) :0)

What a song to go to sleep on.... :0)


Although, I think that tonight, Hedgehogs, Dancing and Love may well win.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 12:20 AM

Would somebody please define "twee" for a poor ignorant colonial who's more or less following this discussion while scratching his head?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:32 AM

Somebody called Lox says of Ruth (the farmer) and of Lizzie (purveyor of tat in a souvenir shop) that he has a pretty clear picture of who you both are.
No you haven't.
Ruth (Ms Crump) is an experienced and respected festival organiser with an extensive musical knowledge and wide awareness of English traditions.
Lizzie (for this is the name the former Mrs Route is using today) is a loud-mouthed, verbose bore, wilfully ignorant of the English tradition which she mistakes for a crackpot, mythical existence of dragons, Mabel Lucy Attwood, faded wannabe purveyors of pub rock, home education and no lager,
Is Ms Crump wrong to be upset by this airheaded Mary Whitehouse clone, spouting such dangerous, irritating tripe?
Yes, but how could she react otherwise?
Somebody has to stem the flow of sickly bilge and tell it to the world in general how it really is here in Eng-er-land.
Today it was her turn. Well done Ruth.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:39 AM

Whilst I've nothing against the National Trust per se, I do question the time, effort and money put into preserving "stately homes", those often quite hideous buildings (is neo-classical really true English vernacular style?) that stand as monuments to misery and edifices of oppression; built by landowners who were the beneficiaries of the enclosures, which deprived a whole class of society of the means to live independent, if hard, lives and forced them to become wage-slaves of the very people who had deprived them of their livelihoods (and, in the process, drove John Clare mad). Surely, it would be better to allow these redundant buildings to become ruins and watch them fall apart and rot along with the over-privileged class that built them and the wastrel monarchy that is the backbone of a defunct and discredited social system.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:26 AM

Lizzie, you are BINGE posting again, stop it NOW, take a valium, you know it makes sense.

eric


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:28 AM

I have a lot of friends who would agree with you, leveller, and I can sympathise with where you're coming from. But in more recent years they have started preserving other aspects of social history, like workhouses, the back-to-backs in Birmingham, a pub in the Cotswolds, and more ordinary people's homes which represent more of a range of different histories. They also preserve a number of natural sites - there's a beautiful bit of the Pembrokeshire coast which is owned by the National Trust, for example.

In the American south you can visit the old plantation houses which have been given the stately home treatment, but more recently many of them have started to preserve and show the slave quarters - the other side of the story. I think that approach is starting to be incorporated in the NT as well.

I actually joined because Isaac Newton's house is down the road from me, and I wanted to be able to go and sit in his garden and read the paper under the apple tree. :)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:47 AM

Ah, so we let all our stately homes, our castles and the great gardens that go with them just fall apart?

We throw the treasures away, smash the furniture and leave the empty shells as rotting carcasses?

Hell, let's not stop there...

We could chuck the Queen into a caravan, tear down Buckingham Palace, The Tower, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, The Houses of Parliament, I mean heck, that's a grand historical building too....

In fact, why not stop there, let's tear down everything that is in our history that we don't like or that we disagree with, so that nothing is left. Burn the books, burn the museums, burn the whole lot of everything, and rub out all our history, save for that of which we approve.

When the tourists come over to see our incredible history, we'll just shrug our shoulders and say "Oops, sorry, we didn't approve of it, so we destroyed it, yes, even Newton's garden, the whole lot of everything has gone and now, we're a Land of the Free at last, but simply with that part of our culture removed, forever"

Silly me..I just never thought of it like that..

I'll suggest to The National Trust that they replace their 'Forever, for Everyone, with 'Nothing, for Anyone' as that'll go down far better with some in here.

Sorry folks, but Long Live The National Trust and all that they do.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:50 AM

To be completely fair, that really ought to read "Forever, for Everyone that can afford the admission fee." :)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:54 AM

Ruth, I'm totally in favour of the projects you mention - I just feel that preserving stately homes takes a disproportionate amount of money and effort.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:01 AM

on the other hand, leveller, it's not public money. The trust is currently trying to preserve Seaton Delaval Hall, but has also asked mebers for innovative ideas of how to use the site, which I thought was cool - it would make a great venue for music events.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:01 AM

Most people will happily pay the same amount, or more, to go to the cinema, or the pub, so yup, they can more than likely afford the same amount for The National Trust, and they'll get far, far more for their money. Whether they want to go there or not is the real question.

If you join as a member, you'll have made the money back within the first 3/4 visits, and you can visit every single day, for the rest of the year, whenever you so choose, for as long as you choose, as you must know, being a member.

Preserving our history, whether it's a history you approve of or not, is always worth doing, in my opinion, but heck...what do I know. :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:03 AM

Just a quick comment: I don't have a brief either way for the NT, but it's worth noting that the NT's properties aren't all "stately homes". There are some small places which are low-key and fascinating. Examples round me are Rudyard Kipling's old home at Burwash in Sussex, the tiny Clergy House in Alfriston, Bodiam Castle (ruins but fascinating), etc. They also own large areas of countryside - free and open to anyone, in most cases.

It's always worth keeping things in proportion...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

The Trust has a new calendar. You may like to tell someone you know about it.

It's our Men Of The National Trust calendar, raising money for that very project.

We all love Mr. November best, as do most of our customers...sat in front of his fire, with his dog and the light reflecting on his face..

Not a cream bun in sight though.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:07 AM

I know that it can be an expensive day out for a family.

Not everyone CAN afford to go to the pub or cinema and spend £10 - £15 per person, which is what a lot of properties charge. Like it or not, it will be a cost-prohibitive pursuit for many people. "Forever, for Everyone" is somewhat misleading.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:13 AM

Do you know the film V for Vendetta TheLeveller?

A horribly pertinant Sci Fi distopia (all new to me) by care of DC comics and the Wachowski Bros.

Saw it the other night, some barely veiled (if at all) political activist messages riddled right through it, which almost made my jaw drop.

Some super monologues by the softly spoken V. Great stuff.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:26 AM

"Not everyone CAN afford to go to the pub or cinema and spend £10 - £15 per person, which is what a lot of properties charge."

Well, I've just looked at three of the major Houses in Devon and Cornwall. It'll cost you £19-£23 for the entire family to get in.

For a Family Membership, it'll cost you £61 approximately, a year, for two adults and all their children or grandchildren. That's by direct debit, around £85 if not by d/d. You get 12 months for the price of 9 very often too, as you do at present. Yes, the Houses close in the winter, for cleaning and repairs, but the gardens are open all year round, along with many of the restaurants and shops.

So, around £5 each for an entire day in a very beautiful and often very educational place, ain't bad, in book.

The admission prices for each property is at the bottom of the relative page.

National Trust prices


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:29 AM

English heritage and culture is not JUST about football, it is also about our palaces and houses and the huge amount of history tied up with them. All sides are important to get a true and accurate picture of our roots.

I'll leave you now, Joan to become an 'expert' on the National Trust, so that you can 'out knowledge' me and finally feel happy. I ain't interested in all of that. I just know that I work with and for a great bunch of people who care passionately about England and all she stands for, both from the past and the present, and in the future..and that'll do for me.

Have fun.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:34 AM

"Well, I've just looked at three of the major Houses in Devon and Cornwall. It'll cost you £19-£23 for the entire family to get in."

There will still be people for whom this is a lot of money. No matter how you look at it, Lizzie, there will be people who are excluded because of cost from utilising the National Trust - there's also the additional cost of getting to the properties if you don't own a car, as most of them are in rural locations.


I understand very well why they have to charge what they do, and it's one of the reasons I joined; I'm simply suggesting that "For Everyone" might be slightly misleading.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:43 AM

Lizzie, you complained elsewhere about people not reading what you have written and, in effect, putting words in your mouth. Don't you feel that's excatly what you have done here? Please do me the courtesy of not implying that I am in favour of the wholesale destruction of our national heritage - nothing could be further from the truth.

Rosie: no I haven't come across V for Vendetta. It sound a bit 1984ish - which I have just finished re-reading and mulling over its pertinence.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:51 AM

I mentioned it in part because of the political significance it places upon *buildings as symbols*. And specifically on buildings as symbols of public oppression. Rather a garbled tangental response to your comment on Stately Homes.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 09:03 AM

"There will still be people for whom this is a lot of money. No matter how you look at it, Lizzie, there will be people who are excluded because of cost from utilising the National Trust - there's also the additional cost of getting to the properties if you don't own a car, as most of them are in rural locations."


To be honest, Joan, if you want to nit pick, then go ahead and do it. I realised a very long time ago, that anything I champion or love you'll either try and discredit, criticise or become a major part of.

I have no problem with The National Trust, because I know that everyone is able to afford a day out at some point in their lives, if they so choose. I have worried about money all my life, it's nothing new for me, and given a choice of a six pack of lager and a night out with the girls, I'd rather pack some sandwiches and spend my day in a National Trust garden.

What 'Forever, for Everyone' actually means is that the great houses, casltes and gardens, are now there, restored and immensely beautiful for everyone to enjoy, along with the country and coastal paths, which are completely and entirely free, the woodlands, and many other things which the National Trust takes such great care of.

If people don't want to go, fine. That is entirely their choice, but it's all out there, if they ever do want to.

Take it up with the lady who's in charge of The NT if it irks you so much. I'm sure she'd love to pass more information on to you.

There are many who can't afford a season ticket for Sidmouth Folk Week, and other festivals, which costs hundreds of pounds, for just one single week. The National Trust costs a tiny fraction of that and you get to visit 52 weeks of the year, on almost every day, in many of the properties.

Go figure.

And, just like folk festivals, there are some things which are free to watch, some entertainment that anyone can enjoy, just as people are free to walk the woodlands, the paths and coastal paths which cost The National Trust hundreds of thousands of pounds to look after.


leveller. If you want to remove the Stately Homes of England, or rather leave them to rot, then I'm presuming you'd want to get rid of all that they contain, including all the antiques, the artwork, the beauty....and leave a rotting corpse.

I'd suggest, if this is the case, that you also tear down the statues to people such as Nelson, burn The Victory and let The Mary Rose rot back in the bottom of the ocean bed, because WHY would we want to conserve a part of our history that smacks of the Royal Family, The Royal Navy and well....all of 'them'

I don't see 'them' and 'us' I only see 'we', so therefore I don't judge things perhaps in the same way. I know that without our Stately Homes, Castles, Abbeys etc, thousands of people would be without jobs, because it's not just those who work within The National Trust itself, but all the workmen from outside who keep the poperties going, the plumbers, the builders, the decoraters, the cooks, the cleaners, the people who provide, and deliver the food and the goods for the shops...And without the money that the Stately Homes of England bring in, there'd be no money to conserve our countryside and coastline.

It is a huge machine, and I for one am very grateful that The National Trust is there, doing what it does, and it will continue to do so.

History is history. Good and Evil. Rich and Poor. It is a mix of all. To lose so much of our history, would be a very sorry thing indeedna and very irresponsible, I feel.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 09:37 AM

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
He ordered their estate.


Ah! The dreaming of England whereby the injustices of social class might be excused in the name of God Given Heritage to further justify the alienations that would fret over the fate of the monstrous theatricality of Delaval Hall whilst tearing down the cathedral-like splendours of Blyth Power Station without batting an eyelid. Still, we might take heart that Social Class is the defining quality of English Culture, as atavistically entrenched as the Hindu Caste System and as inhumanly divisive as Apartheid, it stands as our ancient heritage - one of being continually fucked over by the bitch mother England who maintains the over-privileges of the few on the impoverishment of the many.

On the subject of country houses, here's a transcription I made of the 1911 guide book to Coldharbour in Northumberland, which might be of interest to some of you.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 11:19 AM

"The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
He ordered their estate."

That verse had already been dropped from school hymnbooks when I last sang it at my South London primary in 1961.

Out of all possible scenarios by which society might be brought crashing down around our ears, a popular revolution by the working classes seems to me the least likely. And I refuse to believe it's simply because so many have "swallowed the lies of the Capitalist media".

I regret the passing of the opportunity England once offered (before the Enclosures) for scraping a meagre but independent living from the commons and living in a shack you'd erected overnight. I'd have probably gone for that myself as a young man, and would now be worrying about how much longer my aging frame would stand it.

But those times aren't coming back anytime soon. Does anybody seriously believe that the country would be set back on its feet if only we could depose the Royal Family and slaughter the bogeyman Capitalists?

I'd be interested to hear of any historical example in which a corrupt power was replaced by another ideology that didn't eventually follow its predecessor down the path of absolutism and terror.

And before anybody accuses me of being a Daily Mail reading Middle Englander, I'm a modestly-paid NHS employee, originally from the East End of London, whose ancestors mostly ended their days in the workhouse.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 11:52 AM

"anything I champion or love you'll either try and discredit, criticise or become a major part of."

ROFLMAO!!!!

Yes, Lizzie. My whole life and career are driven by you. I got involved with fundraising at Sidmouth not because my partner was involved with the festival, but to get at you. I applied for the job of AD not because it was a great opportunity in the sector in which I've worked for many years, but to get up your nose.

"There are many who can't afford a season ticket for Sidmouth Folk Week"

and this is relevant how, exactly? I have already said that I understand why the NT has to charge, and certainly understand why festivals need to charge. My (relatively light-hearted) point was simply that the NT's slogan might be slightly misleading, or at least open to misinterpretation. I've already pointed out that I'm a member, for heaven's sake. That's hardly the action of someone who wants to discredit the organisation. I should also point out that, when I did research for my ex-husband, who is a travel writer, we worked really closely with the NT over many years and helped to promote a number of properties.

Btu I still think the shops are rather twee. I think the same about Past Times. Sue me. Or hit me over the head with a giant oak-finish bagatelle board.



Trollie: I interviewed Anthony Gormley a few years ago (see my reference to research, above), and when I asked him what his architectural wonder of Britain was, he said "The M1 - especially the view of the cooling towers at Tinsley Viaduct." Perhaps the NT should have tried to save them, too. :)

BTW, Jonathan Meades chose Seaton Delaval as his architectural wonder of Britain for the same piece. It suits him, looking as he does like a refugee from a Smiths concert circa 1984.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 12:14 PM

"I mentioned it in part because of the political significance it places upon *buildings as symbols*. And specifically on buildings as symbols of public oppression."

Ah, Rosie, I see your point. Personally, I think there is a differentiation between civic , municipal and government buildings which should, in an ideal world, be symbols of the democratic process, and those buildings, epitomised by stately homes, which, as symbols of personal greed, oppression and social superiority, are there to "prove the upper classes have still the upper hand".

There are, however, some historic buildings about which I'm ambivalent. For example, as I have mentioned before, the village where I live contains the remains of the only castle in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It was built in the 1380s by the Dukes of Northumberland and it was from here that Harry Hotspur led all the able-bodied men of the village to be slaughtered at the Battle of Otterburn. In 1648, however, despite the then Lord Percy being a Parliamentary supporter, the majority of the castle was demolished by Parliamentary forces to prevent its falling into Royalist hands.

The remains of the castle are today still privately owned by a local landowner and there is no public access to them. On old maps, much of the land farmed by the current owners, can be seen to have once been common land annexed during the enclosures and, whilst they constantly claim to have the best interests of the village at heart, the owners deliberately block well-established rights of way and refuse to allow a large piece of unused land that they own at the centre of village to be used as a village green (imagine actually creating a village green!). Nowadays, though, most of their "serfs" come from Poland.

"leveller. If you want to remove the Stately Homes of England, or rather leave them to rot, then I'm presuming you'd want to get rid of all that they contain, including all the antiques, the artwork, the beauty....and leave a rotting corpse."

That was, I'm afraid, very presumptious.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 12:44 PM

Jonathan Meades chose Seaton Delaval as his architectural wonder of Britain for the same piece

I like Meades, and to be honest I love SDH. I grew up nearby and I'm suitably entrenched in the lore and continuity of the place - the fact however so modest a corner of England remained in the same family for night on a thousand years is sobering,and the fact I might be related, albeit illegitimately... Whatever the case, SDH will forever be a part of the landscapes of my childhood, as were the chimneys of Blyth Power Station which once complemented Vanburgh's masterpiece so perfectly!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:01 PM

"Ah, Rosie, I see your point. Personally, I think there is a differentiation between civic , municipal and government buildings which should, in an ideal world, be symbols of the democratic process, and those buildings, epitomised by stately homes, which, as symbols of personal greed, oppression and social superiority, are there to "prove the upper classes have still the upper hand"."

Yes, I recognised the apparent difference you describe, prior to posting. Of course I suspect that the 'symbol of power' involved becomes more or less troublesome, depending on whose *cause* the symbol either origionally serves, or (by either appropration (subtle or direct), public claim, or some other legally binding default) comes to serve?

In the instance cited (ie. the Houses of Parliament) the assumption that the HoP were serving the public, was actively questioned and indeed.. Well, y'know. Anyway, I do love me Sci-Fi and comic books. Probly just as well. Cos you don't get a lot of interesting dissent via newspapers..


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM

In William Morris's futuristic, utopian-socialist News From Nowhere, the Palace of Westminster had become the very useful Dung Market and Trafalgar Square (which no-one had got round to renaming because dead follies don't bite) was an orchard filled with blossoming trees and bronze statues of no-one anyone could remember, a bit like Shelley's Ozymandias lying in the desert, "Look on my works ye mighty and despair".

As a child, I used to play among the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Now you have to pay to get in. You could also just walk up to the stones at Stonehenge, or right to the edge at Land's End. Now you can't. Someone's collecting the dosh. Even in a church, there's someone following you round with a collection tin. The state ought to be providing upkeep on our behalf for historic buildings and ancient sites out of the taxes we pay but have no say in how they are spent. And the National Trust could close down its tat shops and use the premises for a more edifying purpose.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:39 PM

Interesting that you call it Vanbrugh's masterpiece, Trollie. Jonathan Meades said the same thing. He said that Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace were immature works, and very much influenced by the collaboration with Hawksmoor, but that Seaton Delaval was a kind of perfect reaslisation of Vanbrugh's architectural vision.

He also said that he likes how it sits there, all squat and glowering on the landscape, and that the best time to visit it is on a gloomy day. Hence my Smiths reference. :)

He also said that it used to scare his kids when they were little...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:49 PM

Please don't stop....This is the funniest thread in years!!!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:54 PM

"The state ought to be providing upkeep on our behalf for historic buildings and ancient sites out of the taxes we pay"

I agree. In a perfect world, the NT's properties would be like our national galleries - subsidised by our taxes and free at the point of use.

To be fair to the shops, they are just another way to generate revenue - they have to be as easily marketable as possible to the typical NT visitor, and I assume they generally do pretty well and cosnequently serve their purpose.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:52 PM

I wish we had something like the National Trust here in the States. The historical landmarks seem to be MacDonalds or Early Coca Cola bottles. Bush and his clan want
to fill up the Grand Canyon with water. You might bitch about paying to get in to see some of these landmarks in England but to an outsider, they would be worth the money.

If only the US government could subsidize our national treasures, that would be a gift.
It's not likely to happen though because the cultural aspects of the US are given short shrift today.

Frank


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:59 PM

Someone called Lox prefers Bilge to Bile.

Someone called Diane is free to define her own identiy as she pleases.

As is anyone else on this site.

someone called lox is genuinely surprised at the defensive edgy messages that have been directed his way.

I think it can certainly be concluded that this is indeed a sensitive issue.

English culture is also about freedom of expression, dissent and refusal to be shaped, censored or defined by any outside influence.

There is no CV in the land that gives any one English person any greater ownership of Englishness or what it means than another.

So stop picking fights and grow up.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:01 PM

funny,NO
its tedious.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:11 PM

300?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:12 PM

I've read that Vanburgh considered SDH his masterpiece, in principle anyway as his vision was never fully realised. I once asked him (or at least the spectral Thespian that lurked around Castle Howard a few years back) his opinion on the matter and he looked frankly baffled (there's a moral here of course, don't visit country houses whilst pissed, but it was our honeymoon...). It's a haunted landscape for sure, with the ghost of Sir Francis D lurking in the sea fret along with those of the 199 Miners of Hartley who died in the disaster of 1862. So much for social class, eh?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:13 PM

Well, that "300" wasn't English culture, but it's internet culture, as well as "Mudcat culture." And, I realize, slightly obnoxious...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:13 PM

"There are many who can't afford a season ticket for Sidmouth Folk Week"

"and this is relevant how, exactly? I have already said that I understand why the NT has to charge, and certainly understand why festivals need to charge. My (relatively light-hearted) point was simply that the NT's slogan might be slightly misleading, or at least open to misinterpretation."


Nope, the way it was written, imo, was to knock The National Trust, making out that their charges were exorbitant, (they're not, as I pointed out to you) and to make out that many people couldn't afford to partake of the beautiful places they have saved. Both those things are totally wrong, as I again pointed out, because much countryside and coast owned by The National Trust has entirely free and open access to the public and it always will.

When Fiona Reynolds took over running the NT, she knew that many of us these days lead busy lives, and get little time to enjoy the countryside and open areas. She wanted to ensure that as much access as possible was given to everyone, on National Trust land, so that all could enjoy themselves as often as they wanted to. If you want to support the NT on here, then it would be nice, if, just for once, you could forget who is writing the details of these messages, take the blinkers off and see what I am writing for what it actually is, rather than going through it with a fine tooth comb seeing if there is anything you can pick me up on, twist, spin, put into a bad light, belittle, or basically be a smart arse about. The National Trust, to me, and millions of other people, is very important, and to try to make out that many can't enjoy it, as you were doing earlier, purely to, in my opinion, score 'points' is a real pain in the backside, because the NT matter, and....they matter hugely.

The comparison to a folk festival ticket was made to put your comments into perspective, which was perfectly clear. For a family ticket for most festivals, I'd have to pay a small fortune, around ooh..£300 ???? That is for just one week. The National Trust family membership for 52 weeks of the year would cost £61/86 depending on how you were paying. For that you'd get open access and free entry to all NT properties throughout Britain, for the entire day, for almost every single day of the year. In the winter months, this would be mainly for the gardens alone, which are still kept very beautiful during that time. And you'd still have hundreds and hundreds, thousands in fact, of acres of incredible land to enjoy, which is entirely free to you, your family and friends, throughout this beautiful country. So, for the final time....'Forever, for Everyone' means exactly that.

And just one final thing:

>>>"Why do you insist on mentioning the fact that my boyfriend tried to buy a calendar from your shop? What does it prove, except that he wanted a calendar? Do I refer to your ex huspand or the boyfriend who ran a mile when he realised what a nutcase you were? Does the fact that I set foot inside the shop where you work detract from the fact that 99% of what the National trust shops sell is twee, sentemental and nostalgic? "<<<

...I didn't reply, last night.

You have said many foul things about my ex-husband and myself, using any opportunity you can. You also, along with your band of buddies, launched a totally unwarranted and unpleasant attack on Sam, for no reason whatsover, other than he was associated with me. You knew and still know nothing about him, or my relationship with him, or anyone else for that matter, because you know nothing about my private life. Yet, you fill these threads with lies and vicious words about me, which you so willingly choose to use. Again, that is your choice entirely. Why you do it, I've no idea, only you have that answer.

I mentioned Derek coming into the shop, that was all. I did not say anything about your personal life, or about any relationship. You did that. Obviously you are going to know him, because Derek too works for Sidmouth. I have never mentioned anything about your private life, nor would I. The reason I mentioned him, was to point out that whilst you thought the NT sells nothing but 'twee' stuff, (that is just your opinion, not 'fact') Derek obviously doesn't feel that way, as he came in to buy something from us. You may dislike what we sell, that is entirely your right, but please remember, there are millions of people out there who love much of what we stock, and the money the shops raise, helps to ensure that all our members and non-members too, get to enjoy everything, including places such as Newton's garden, which you said you liked visiting.

I wish you well. I wish you a good Christmas and New Year. I wish you success in Sidmouth. I also wish you'd get off my back and stop being bitchy, condescending, lying and unpleasant.

Thank you.



>>>"Personally, I think there is a differentiation between civic , municipal and government buildings which should, in an ideal world, be symbols of the democratic process, and those buildings, epitomised by stately homes, which, as symbols of personal greed, oppression and social superiority, are there to "prove the upper classes have still the upper hand". "<<<

'To prove the upper classes have still the upper hand'...Really?

But they've given up their stately homes because they can't afford to live in them any longer.

That's defeat, not the upper hand.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:27 PM

Diane: "As a child, I used to play among the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Now you have to pay to get in. You could also just walk up to the stones at Stonehenge, or right to the edge at Land's End. Now you can't. Someone's collecting the dosh. Even in a church, there's someone following you round with a collection tin. The state ought to be providing upkeep on our behalf for historic buildings and ancient sites out of the taxes we pay but have no say in how they are spent. And the National Trust could close down its tat shops and use the premises for a more edifying purpose."


Yes, you could walk up to the stones at Stonehenge, and then English Heritage came along. Not the NT. Now, you can't even touch the stones. Something had to be done to stop vandalism ruining that site, because sadly, we now live in a society that doesn't give a shite about our anciet sites or history, because two generations have been denied it and don't have a clue how much it matters.

Perhaps the Trust would have arranged it so that you could still touch the stones, but they were protected and kept safe from harm, who knows. I think English Heritage have got it wrong, personally.

HJang on, it would cost the state hundreds of millions of pounds to keep all our ancient sites, buildings, stately homes, castles etc..renovated and in the beautiful condition that The Trust keeps them.

I can just hear the screams of indignation from those who don't even want our stately homes saved, if they had no option but to pay for their upkeep out of their taxes. They'd be fuming! This way, at least, those who DO care, pay to go into the properties, leave The National Trust money in their wills, raise money themselves, whatever it takes..and those who loathe what they stand for and have no interest in history, don't have to pay a single penny.

Surely, that is a far fairer way.

The shops earn the NT a great deal of money. We are one of the busiest shops in Sidmouth, all year round.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:39 PM

Blah blah blah...usual tripe. Usual complete and utter maniacal rubbish from the banshee. I honestly can't even be arsed to refute your more outlandish claims anymore, love. And I won't begin to try to explain the concept of state ownership and shared resources.

Bored now.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:39 PM

Ooooh, there's a tough one.
Where could the state possibly make savings and so pay for cultural upkeep?
Not by cutting back on military spending or handouts to financial institutions. Oh no.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:42 PM

Hahaha, and I almost recommended The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.
Waste of bloody time.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 03:32 AM

"'To prove the upper classes have still the upper hand'...Really?

But they've given up their stately homes because they can't afford to live in them any longer.

That's defeat, not the upper hand."

Damn - my humorous analogies have backfired once again. Lizzie, listen to the rest of Noel Coward's 'Stately Homes of England' and I think you'll get the gist.


"As a child, I used to play among the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Now you have to pay to get in. You could also just walk up to the stones at Stonehenge, or right to the edge at Land's End."

Diane, The tallest standing stone in England is Rudston Monolith, in the churchyard of the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds village of Rudston. You can touch it, hug it, sit with your back to it and have a picnic or play some appropriate music. It's a wonderful experience and hardly anyone knows about it. Also, you can still walk up to the edge of the cliffs at Flamborough Head or Bempton. Fortunately, there are still magical places in England that are free to anyone who cares to discover them. These are the inspirations for much of my music.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 03:58 AM

I think that programme on the English Village Carols on Breakfast TV showed British culture at its best.

Irreverence, religion, community, talent, history..........what more could a person want?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:08 AM

"Irreverence, religion, community, talent, history..........what more could a person want?"

Beer?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Tangledwood
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:09 AM

Do the Christmas traditions of peace and goodwill to all still feature in English culture?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Joseph P
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:26 AM

"Also, you can still walk up to the edge of the cliffs at Flamborough Head or Bempton. "

After paying the entrance fee ...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:38 AM

Here's a little bit of what I'd like to put in my English Culture drawer...

'Carry On' Culture


;0)


Cripes, I miss Sid James, and his deliciously naughty chuckle. But then, I miss the 'Carry On' team in general, and that naughty humour we once had, were allowed to have, when we were all able to laugh together.

Great humour. Sadly missed.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:48 AM

""Also, you can still walk up to the edge of the cliffs at Flamborough Head or Bempton. "

After paying the entrance fee ... "

Oh, no. That's happened since the last time I was there. Bugger!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:55 AM

Sid James was a South African Jew.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:07 AM

and that naughty humour we once had, were allowed to have, when we were all able to laugh together.

We had all sorts of things in them days we don't have now.

Rickets, diptheria, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever.

Mind you could still get a tanner's worth of chips, a bag of monkey nuts, a trip to the cinema, bus there and back, and still have change from sixpence. (Thanks Tony).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:11 AM

"Sid James was a South African Jew."



Sid James was a man.

A very funny man. He was also a wonderful part of English humour, as were the Carry On Films.

As I said earlier, I don't put people into boxes.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Joseph P
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:12 AM

'itler ....


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:38 AM

I don't put people into boxes.

A job best left for the undertaker I would have thought, which in Sid's case was on the 26th of April 1976 when he died on stage at The Sunderland Empire. A piece of resonant personal lore here, because Sunderland were playing at home that same night (Roker Park!) and the next day my mate Eric Burnett (a devoted SAFC fan who had been at the match) solemnly intoned: I wouldn't care, but I saw the ambulance - words that have haunted me for nigh on 33 years...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:56 AM

Sorely missed.

I didn't realise he'd died on stage. Tommy Cooper and Eric Morecambe too, as I recall. I think it's the way they'd all have wanted to go.


And St. Trinians, gotta have the St. Trinians lasses in there too. Joyce Grenfell, Alistair Sim, George Cole. Great films. (don't like the new one, I'm afraid)

And talking of Alistair Sim, and Charles Dickens, and Christmas....

A bit of a treat....Bah! Humbug!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 06:02 AM

I'm beginning to get the hang of this brand of logic.
A comedian of whatever provenence becomes "English" as a result of an affair with Peggy Mitchell.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 06:06 AM

Pointless observation:
Where Roker Park used to stand is a hell of a long way from the Sunderland Empire. How did you know it was the right ambulance?
It's said that Les Dawson was so spooked by a sighting of Sid James' ghost in the dressing room that he refused to play the venue. So, not all bad news . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 06:37 AM

"I'm beginning to get the hang of this brand of logic.
A comedian of whatever provenence becomes "English" as a result of an affair with Peggy Mitchell."

Nope, I don't have a racist view of 'being English'....Sid James was part of our culture. Where he came from, or what his religion was, doesn't matter at all. Neither does who he slept with. And I think you'll find that ALL the Carry On Ladies, loved Sid dearly. And to be honest, whether he slept with one, or all of them, who gives a darn.

I also happen to like Barbara Windsor, for her bright, sunny personality and for the way she's always been able to laugh at herself, even through some pretty tough times.

I find Eastenders a real downer though, and I think it's contributed greatly to modern England and the in yer face loutish attitude of so many. The storylines make me stare in horror most of the time, as they're so often filled with hatred and abuse. Children watch that, young children. It's one of the things I wish the BBC would get rid of. The scriptwriters...(writers???) need a good kick up the whatsit for the messages they're putting out there.



Here's some great English Giggles...

The Vicar of Dibley


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 06:40 AM

And of course, you can't have Dawn French (above), without her equally talented and very funny husband:

The Lenny Henry Show


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 07:44 AM

English culture,is diverse it has to include all the nauseous soaps,The Sun newspaper,bums, tits, football,cricket,croquet,polo,Shakespeare,Morris Dancing,Sword Dancing,EFDSS,Public Schools,Fox Hunting,Greyhound racing,bareknucle fist fighting.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM

The kitchen sink has totally dominated English sensibilities for years now. Eastenders purports to reflect 'real lives' and promote catharsis but that reality is as much a fiction as Brief Encounter or The Greengage Summer. It's mostly either Japanese style torture tv or a bedlam tour. I've almost totally given up television, seen about three programmes this year on my son's telly. Wretched, desparate stuff the lot of it.

I have a personal bit of Tommy Cooper lore. Walking through the back alleys of the West End in the early hours a little the worse for wear minding my own business but with nobody much about when a side door opened next to me and a figure stepped out.
'Goodnight' it said.
Odd in itself for central London and it sounds like Tommy Cooper. It was. He raised a hand and smiled and I did the same back and went on my way. The next night he was dead. Nice chap and very funny.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 09:14 AM

Sid James was a very nice man and Hitler was good to his mother.

eric


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Joseph P
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 10:17 AM

What part do the Carry On films have to play in contemporary English culture?

hmmm....


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:22 PM

Ah - 26th April 1976 night of my 28th birthday and my girlfriend(now wife) had a three way choice as a surprise for me:-

Book tickets for the Sunderland Empire

Get tickets for the match Sunderland v Leeds

Book a table in a local restaurant

she chose the latter and the place was infested with mice (and I think Sunderland lost 1-0)

Really bad night all round


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:36 PM

English Culture...? My top three votes go to:

2000 AD
The Mighty Boosh
Some Olden Days Geezer


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 01:45 PM

other england


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 02:23 PM

I kind of understand why Diane would bring up James's being South African (hence, presumably, not English). But why bring up that he was a Jew?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 02:44 PM

Because, other than being American, the combination is about as far removed from an instrinsically English cultural stereotype as you can get. As is George Best, a sozzled Irish (Catholic, I think) "sports personality"). It is merely a further illustration of just how off-topic the OP strays in the entirely hopeless bid to validate a non-existent point.

Coincidentally (and uninterestingly), both Sid James and George Best feature in the list of Peggy Mitchell's exes.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 03:43 PM

Just finished listening to a very interesting and relevant programme on Radio 4:

Great White Hopes

Not available on Listen Again, unfortunately, but really worth trying to catch when it's repeated on 28 Dec at 5pm.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:40 PM

I've just managed to listen to it through the page Ruth linked to (maybe They sneaked it in there after she posted). I was even able to get the TV clip of the Yorkshire carols (take a bow, Folkiedave) from Diane's link in that thread, though we're not supposed to be able to receive the telly ones here in Ireland. So it's worth another try - interesting programme.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 07:09 PM

Diane,

I take your point.

On the other hand, J.R.R. Tolkien has a German name, was born in Bloemfontein to parents who were born British subjects (as Sid James's probably were--though I'm not sure), and was Catholic. Yet he was also a typical Oxford Don, and is seen by many as a stereotypical (even archetypal) Englishman.

Other people seen as typically English these days (such as Mike Leigh, Helena Bonham Carter, George Michael, and Daniel Radcliffe) are Jews. (As Jonathan Miller might say "I'm not a Jew! I'm JewISH....")

It seems to me that Lizzie including Irish and South African immigrants to England who made a contribution to English culture is not necessarily out of bounds. I haven't seen Lizzie talk about "an instrinsically English cultural stereotype" [sic]; that's your wording. She asked what English culture is, and for her it includes (at least some) immigrants who make a contribution to the cultural scene in England. I believe you actually agree with this assessment, so where is the incongruity?

I realize that whatever argument is going on here has gone on for years, and will continue to go on without my input, but from what's here on this thread I can't see why you'd disagree that these people are part of English culture.

George Best, BTW, was neither "Catholic" nor "Protestant" in the usual Belfast sense of the word. He was Presbyterian, which in Ireland is a whole separate category. Remember "Galway Races": "The Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew and Presbyterian."


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 07:23 PM

Diane,

So George Best is not representative of English culture?

Try telling that to a Man U fan.

I am concerned that you see a distinction between Jewish culture and English culture as Judaism is a religion not a nationality and English Jews may feel that distinction to be an inappropriate way to discriminate.

Jews have been Living in England since Roman times at least - which means they have been here at least as long as "the christians" who - off the top of my head - didn't get here till about 300AD, which makes them a pretty integral part of British culture despite the persecution they have received fairly consistently since then.

I am intrigued that you see a distinction between Jewish culture and English culture as Judaism is a religion so you might find that English Jews consider that distinction to be inappropriate grounds to discriminate.

I don't know the history of your little spat, but you are coming out with some seriously borderline stuff and I would add, in a pretty charmless way.

I Disagree with what I perceive to be Lizzies judgemental approach to some aspects of English culture that don't fit her frame of reference, but whether she be mad sane or otherwise, she's coming across a lot better in this thread and on others where I have encountered her than some of her critics.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 10:45 PM

Judaism is an ethno-religious group, not merely a religion. The Jews, in common with other European countries throughout history at various times, were expelled from Britain in 1290 as a race on these grounds.

The Irish (of whichever religion), similarly, have been oppressed by the British as a race, militarily, politically and economically ever since conquest. Six of their counties still languish under British occupation.

While representatives of such backgrounds may live in in "enlightened" England today and play an equal part in a diverse culture, they are not ethnically English, nor are they representative of English culture although they may contribute to it. This is a lazy description of a "white" resident who may, rightly, feel insulted at being lumped in with the oppressor, and is a clear hangover of imperialism.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Joseph P
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:52 AM

Jew, sitting there
being Jewish
To this street
his face is newish

He saw a frog
hopping along
and so he sang
a froggy song

'hop along
little green friend
may your mad hopping
never end'

the frog then leaped
into the road
where by a fast car
down he was mowed


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:54 AM

George Michael jewish ? he's a Greek Cypriot FFS.

eric


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:58 AM

Sigh....

George Best was part of the England World Cup Squad, as well as Man. United...and...he was part of one of the BEST England World Cup Squads, ever.

Sid James was part of the Carry On team, who were hugely popular in England, and Britain generally, to be honest, probably around the world. But the humour leans far more to English humour than Scots, Welsh or Irish, perhsaps.

There is *no* such thing as an 'English stereotype', nor has their ever been, in my book. English culture, to me, is not about that, it's not about being white and being born and raised in England for 100 generations or more. It's about being part of the country, part of the country's history, part of its culture, part of something which means a great deal to many people, part of something people from abroad may think of as being intrinsically 'English'....as we may think about something intrinsically 'Russian' or 'African'.

Heck, the people of the world are all going to fall in love with each other, eventually and marry or live with one another. Humans will one day start to become pretty much one colour, and will see each other as people, at long, long last. It's already happening in our lifetime, hugely accelerated forwards from when we were children...and that's a wonderful thing. But when all are the same colour, it will still be worth having a pool of culture that once went to make up where everyone came from.

I'd like the pool where I was born to include far more than football and Eastenders, because I happen to think the pool runs far deeper than that, and is filled with some of the most amazing history, from all walks of life.



With regard to 'The Great White Hope' programme which 'Ruth' recommended earlier on, I couldn't believe what I was hearing, to be honest.

Once again, for me, it was riddled with this peculiarly English 'class' obssession.

In my book ALL our children are suffering at school and not reaching their potential, not just those who are on free school dinners or lower income families. It has *nothing* to do with class. Children who are not loved by their families, no matter what their background, do not do well in life, let alone in school. Children who ARE loved by their families do better....of course they will, because their parents take notice of them and want to help them do well, rather than ignore them totally.

Most of the problems in schools are coming from the schools, not just parents. It's because English kids, in particular, are now the most tested and overworked, stressed out and pressured, in...the...world.
They are judged on their examination passes and nothing else. Schools are only interested in getting the 'pass' rates, rather than helping every child to become a wonderful human being, who judges no-one, who cares for everyone, who still has that natural instinct they were born with to learn and to enjoy learning, because this has been fed and nurtured by teachers who have the child's interests at heart, all the way through their schooldays.

Our current system stinks, in my opinion. It nearly killed my daughter, and it nearly got hold of my son as well. I took both of them out, my daughter not fast enough, and the damage that was done to her self-belief by cruel and thoughtless teachers will remain in her for many years to come, but it gets a little less as the years pass on. She was 15 when she could no longer take it. My son was 7. He had far less damage done to him, and he's had far longer to just 'be himself' to grow and learn in a non-stressful environment, where he learns what he loves to learn, his way, in a way he understands. My daughter's deep love of learning was turned into fear, fear that she was learning 'the wrong way', fear when she failed tests, because she'd been given an absolute horror of them by stressed out teachers who demand, demand, demand, all the time, and then publicly humiliate and belittle the child when the scores are low. It happens over and over and over.

My kids are both on the dyslexic circle, my family (on my side) is, in general. MANY kids are, regardless of background or income of their parents. It is hugely overlooked in schools, and the new way of thinking is that is doesn't even exist anymore. Pah!

You cannot teach a class of 30/40 kids with one teacher. As a mother, I couldn't possibly look after that many kids. Children need adults, many adults to teach them, where the ratio of teacher to child is the right balance, but they *only* need adults who love and respect them, not ones who will belittle them and take great delight in doing that, at times.

Natural teachers never belittle children, they simply love them, nurture them. They are like natural gardeners, who know who to make the seeds grow into beautiful flowers, and who take great pride in helping those flowers come to life.

UNICEF have said that British children are the unhappiest...in the world. That's a terrible, and shocking, thought for us, as a nation. I'd say that English children are even more unhappy than the Scots, Irish and Welsh, because they have been denied their identity and their culture for so long, and we still have the ludicrous SATS tests which do so much damage, so early on, and start the pressure ball rolling from such a young age. Scotland, Ireland and Wales have now chucked them in, because the teachers there have had enough and know the terrible damage that was caused.

The NUT themselves have now recognised, this year, at their conference in Torquay that something terrible is happening to many of our children, stating that many of them had 'mental problems' and were very unhappy. But will they SEE why??????

Last night, I watched a programme on Christmas shows from the 70s onwards...and there it all was..The happiness and fun of Morecambe and Wise, The Two Ronnies, the wonderful Christmas specials that we all used to love so much, Top of the Pops too....and I watched as the programmes became more 'modern'. The interesting part was when they started talking about the soaps...and how they vie with each other for ratings these days, becoming more and more sensational. It started with Eastenders...because the producer of it, way back, decided that he'd introduce darkness into the Christmas show, because he wanted to have a go at 'ruining everyone's Christmas' for them ??????? (Irresponsible b*stard!)....and so the Cult of Misery came into being. And the younger generation started to be raised on murder, infidelity, wife-beating, alcoholism, treachery, depression, unhappiness. You name it, it's in there, and to me at least, the damage that has been wrought on two generations, because of how that programme has been copied by others and that sort of outlook is now so rife on our TVs and in our lives, has been one of the most terrible things to happen in a long time.

So, take on board that schools have a great deal to answer for, politicians too who constantly interfere in Education and who've made it a Corporate Education system, one which fuels the anxiety about examinations. Look at the entire 'industry' which has so cleverly been built around that anxiety, and you start to get a deeper picture of what is happening to our children.

It has nothing to do with 'class', imo,...and everything to do with children not being allowed to be children any longer. Children who feel that life is about exams and little else. Children who are turning off in droves, or judging each other on their exam passes or University degrees, because hey, *everyone* **has** to go to Uni, regardless of whether they may actually want to or not, or have the ability or not...It has everything to do with this insane desire to make all children 'the same', all people 'the same', when each of us is so very different from the other in so many ways, yet alike in others. You cannot make the poet into a mathematician. You cannot turn the scientist into an artist. You cannot make the writer become an engineer.

If you want to find the way to get children to learn, then remove the exams. Let them learn what they love to learn, teach them the basics, yes, of course...but give them a LOVE of reading, of wanting to know. Feed and nurture that natural learning instinct we are nearly all born with, and watch those children grow inside..

"Educating the mind, without educating the heart, is no education at all" - Aristotle.

Many have forgotten that children have hearts. Many are intent upon breaking those hearts. Break a child's heart and you also break a child's mind. You want to know why schools aren't working? Because they do not have love for the inidivual child inside them. Our way of educating is a damaging relic left over from Victorian times, when 'mass' education kicked in. It needs to be changed, drastically, and the way to do that is not stick the poor kids into yet more school, from Breakfast Clubs to Tea Time Clubs and Extra Homework Clubs, it's to ask what kind of society we now have that doesn't even WANT to feed it's children first thing in the morning, because life has become so stressful that many parents haven't got time to feed their kids any longer, or...they don't even want to.

So don't talk to me of class, because class is a label that is stuck on a child's head in this country, and there are those who ensure that never, ever, is that child allowed to remove that label and that they will always be judged by it, first and foremost, being 'a chld from 'a working class background' rather than just a child.

ALL are suffering. There is far more to be being a success than being able to count your GCSEs on two hands. Our kids are spilling out their souls on our city streets, at a younger and younger age, in a way that has *never* happened before. Drunkeness is putting the Ambulance Service in dire straits, as they can no longer cope...

Our children also, can no longer cope...but so many are refusing to see it.


And yes, this is just my opinion. I recognise that others will not be able to understand what I'm saying here, or will disagree with it hugely, but hey, that's what makes us individuals and some of us are still individuals..although that number gets less with each passing year as Orwellian England becomes ever stronger.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:14 AM

George Best was part of the England World Cup Squad,

Lizzie it is possible to be interested in football and folk music.

Thus people will tell you that frankly it is impossible for someone who played for Northern Ireland at football to play for England at football too.

Now if you can get a simple, checkable fact like that wrong what dos it say for the rest of your post?

And the younger generation started to be raised on murder, infidelity, wife-beating, alcoholism, treachery, depression, unhappiness. You name it, it's in there, and to me at least, the damage that has been wrought on two generations, because of how that programme has been copied by others and that sort of outlook is now so rife on our TVs and in our lives, has been one of the most terrible things to happen in a long time.

There are two simple answer to the programmes on TV.

The first is to get Sky. Then you could watch football and perhaps have more idea of what you are talking about.

The second is to do without TV.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:24 AM

I'd like the pool where I was born to include far more than football and Eastenders

This from someone whose two chosen "thinking of Eng-er-land" candidates both shagged Peggy Mitchell.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:39 AM

Lizzie, your comments on English schools are not only grossly inaccurate but deeply hurtful and offensive to those teachers and others in the education system and the vast majority of parents who seek to do the very best for children.

The infant and junior school where my two younger kids have been educated is fantastic – my 9-year old not only has a reading age of 12 but is learning to play the cello and absolutely loves school. I have four children and two grandchildren and I have nothing but praise for the state education system in this country – improvements, of course, can always be made and there does appear to be a constant progress towards this.

For the last 15 years, mrsleveller has worked as a peripatetic tutor for the Workers Educational Association, training classroom assistants in some of the most deprived areas in Yorkshire. She does this in local primary schools with the help and support of the staff there and the results are fantastic , with huge benefits to parents, pupils and the schools themselves. The enthusiasm of head teachers and parents is unbounded. Her specialist subject is Special Educational Needs and she is reassured that the stringent measures that are in place in schools ensure that the guidelines for 'total inclusivity' are always adhered to.

Perhaps, before spouting off in an ill-considered and ill-natured tirade, you should actually find out how the education system works outside your tiny circle of experience and the unrecognisable scenario that you have dreamed up in your own mind. Were you to visit a few schools, you would see how, in the vast majority of cases, children are taught with sensitivity to their abilities and needs and, indeed, with love, both of children and of education. Perhaps, instead of spouting off like a deranged banshee on something you know absolutely nothing about, you should take some time to examine how your own attitudes and behaviour towards schools and teachers has had a detrimental effect of your children's education. But, hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good rant?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Joseph P
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:47 AM

I dont understand what the failings in our educational system has to do with losing our 'English culture'?

Whilst I agree that the way the education system has gone is not great, I also believe that this affects certain groups in society more than others. Call these the new classes if you want.

And why the obsession with specifically English culture? What about the local culture in your area, that differs from the next town or county? Is this not as important, or more important?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:01 AM

I agree with Lizzie's analysis of what is wrong with the UK education system. If I had young kids now (mine are grown up), I would be thinking seriously about contacting Education Otherwise to find out more about home education.

http://www.education-otherwise.org/


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:13 AM

Having just read Leveller's response (which appeared while I was typing mine), I can only say that this is a common problem with online forums.

People tend to speak as they find from their own experience, as few have the time or inclination to do wide-ranging research into what goes on in the big picture before posting.

My daughter (although not dyslexic) suffered in much the same way as Lizzie's did, and for the same reasons (schools being obsessed with targets and trying to force square pegs into round holes).

I was lucky with my education - I was nagged for being poor at maths and science(being good at English, I apparently should have been good at everything else too), but didn't come under the sort of pressure to achieve that I see now being applied in schools.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:19 AM

It's very easy to get on well at school even when it's not a very good one because a mrsleveller has not, unfortunately, got there. You just do all the work you're supposed to, get the grades and keep a bit ahead. Just like a McJob, really. That way, the education "system" keeps off your back and you can get on with the stuff you want without adults (even if well-meaning) telling you not to.

Pushy parents get in the way. Way back when I was at school, those of us from vaguely dysfunctional backgrounds skipped off from the convent having disposed of our homework in the library and got on with our music and dance, often in the pub. No-one ever (I'm relieved to say) ever mentioned hauling us off to "special units" or into "home education". Has it changed that much?

The very notion that teachers are "natural gardeners" growing "beautiful flowers" is pretentious shite. They have their work cut out simply preserving some semblance of order and dodging the knives. This is only because some parents relinquish their responsibility to instill social behaviour and ought not to have been allowed to reproduce in the first place. Now, there's rather a lot of those about . . . and precious little hope of their children acquiring a concept of indigenous culture.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:27 AM

Davyr, I wonder how long it is since you had first-hand experience of the education system. I have four children, ranging in age from 26 to 9, and 2 grandchildren and have never experienced any problems. In fact, when my eldest daughter (now 24) developed ME whilst preparing for her GCSEs, she was given a huge amount of support and encouragement. The system is constantly improving and, especially in deprived areas and "sink" estates, one of the most important aspects is changing the attitudes of parents to education. If parents have no respect for the system and are not prepared to become involved, for instance as classroom assistants or governors, then how can you expect the children to approach education with the right attitude.

Home education is simply not an option for the vast majority of people and, ion my opinion, is not the way to produce well-rounded and socialised adults.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:38 AM

My wife is a recently-retired primary school teacher. Most of the problems seem to be at the secondary level, but are steadily trickling down to the lower age groups too.

As with most "systems", there are obviously wide variations in people's experience from place to place - you obviously have had experience of one of the better examples of practice.

When I worked in Chesterfield in the 90s, home education seemed to be quite a popular choice. The fears about kids not being well-socialised didn't seem to be realised amongst the families I encountered who were taking that option (which, as you say, isn't for everyone).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:39 AM

Thank you, Leveller. Lizzie has made some very hurtful accusations about me in the past because I'm a teacher, She doesn't know what I teach or where I teach or who I teach. All she knows is that I'm only a teacher so that I can go to Festivals in the long summer holiday.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: davyr
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:41 AM

"This is only because some parents relinquish their responsibility to instill social behaviour and ought not to have been allowed to reproduce in the first place"

Well, I never had you down as a supporter of Eugenics, Diane! Any ideas on suitable baseline criteria for the allocation of breeding permits? ;-)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:46 AM

breeding permits

Possibly, though I have no intention of expanding on that here.
Who, exactly, is to be held responsible for the irresponsibility of those who don't / can't recognise the lack?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:54 AM

"Who, exactly, is to be held responsible for the irresponsibility of those who don't / can't recognise the lack?"

I think the answer may be - education!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 06:02 AM

Well, yes indeed.
Education it is.
Children have been taught for a couple of generations to ridicule and disown their cultural inheritance. Their children can and should be taught to value it and, eventually, add to it.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 06:08 AM

"As with most "systems", there are obviously wide variations in people's experience from place to place"

This is true. The thing which came out of the programme I posted, which I thought would be incredibly interesting to the people who have been participating in this discussion (I'm not referring to the ones who periodically go off on screeching tirades) is that white, working-class boys have been identified as a group in need of special educational attention. The programme highlighted a particular out-of-school programme which has focused on young British black boys, providing them with extra tutition and a place to hang out after school, but which has also reinforced positive cultural role models. I hasten to add that this is not some "PC gone mad" government initiative - it has come from within the communities themselves, and they have found the funding for it. There are also people from within the community who staff it.

The R4 programme suggests that many white, working-class British boys could do with the same sort of project. It explained how white British society can learn from the sort of cultural pride which other communities take for granted. I thought that some of you would find this interesting. For me, this is a positive way of learning lessons from the cultures which have come to reside more recently in Britain.

The thing that worries me about this "English culture is under threat" argument is that it contains within it a resentment, a veiled aggressive subtext of belligerence, a need to reassert authority. The interesting thing about the Radio 4 programme is it demonstrated a more positive way of working together, of recognising the achievements and good practice within one community and saying, "Maybe we can learn from this..." The programme also discusses many of the difficult and tricky aspects of the argument which have been touched on in this and other discussions, which is why I highly recommend listening to it.


With regard to the UK education system, my daughter is currently in her first year of GCSEs and is doing fine. She's a clever girl and just got As on her science mocks, but I don't see any signs that she's headed for breakdown as a result of the academic pressure being placed on her. Her school is quite academically rigourous, and she gets the occasional kick up the arse when she needs it (most kids do from time to time) but she seems to balance her academic achievement with a very healthy social life. I should add that she's at an all-girl's school, which seems to encourage a more focused academic environment.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 06:09 AM

Hurrah! I'm all for that - and it brings the thread very neatly back on track. Off now to investigate the English culture of fine beer in convivial company.

Blessings on all.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 07:24 AM

Just noticed a reference to "intrinsically African". What the fuck is this?
"Africa" is a geographical term for an immense continent encompassing a bewildering variety of ethnicities and cultures, examples of which are establishing themselves in England as a result of an imperial past.

Is the OP denying the glorious array of such diverse genres as Touareg desert rock, southern township jive, the fado influence of former Portuguese colonies, the blues DNA of Mali and the Maghrebi / Berber rhythms of the north and wishing them all to be merged into one bland "Afro-pop" nonenity spewed out by coffee-coloured, anti-cultural buffoons? Any old deity forfend . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM

In the season of peace and goodwill to all - I see a recognisable pattern developing.

One of the posters who shall remain nameless stirs up some fertiliser or other and goes on a mad rant. Most sane people recognise it for pretentious shite and write accordingly.

Said poster accuses all of sundry and eventually the rest of the world (except for one beautiful person) that they are against said poster.

SP writes that SP will never ever ever grace the doors of Mudcat 'cos SP knows everything and the rest of the world (except for one beautiful person) knows very little.

SP comes back tentatively and most people ignore said poster as writing usually consists of links to other sites.

Then as SP realises that SP is being ignored - starts stirring fertiliser.

SP then gets brave enough to start a thread. This can be "Why the BBC is not a cultural organisation" to "Folk Police - you are all against my favourite artists" to "Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman - Why They Deserve Loads of Honours Heaped Upon Them!".

People then contradict SP who gets more and more voluble eventually promising never to post on Mudcat again.

And so the cycle starts again.

We are coming towards the "Never again on Mudcat" point on this thread.

Look out for the next posting about the end of January.

As I said - peace and gpoodwill.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Eleanor Rooseveldt's knickers
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 12:31 PM

Brilliant, Folkiedave!

I don't know why we fall for it every time.

Merry Christmas one and all.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM

Me: "George Best was part of the England World Cup Squad,.."

You: "Now if you can get a simple, checkable fact like that wrong what dos it say for the rest of your post?"

Probably that I know very little about football and far more about what is happening in many schools? :0)

But, yes...absolutely *no* excuse to be made on my part there, other than daffyness and associating Manchester United's George with the England team. Thank you for pointing it out.

Simply The Best


As to your second post, I'm assuming you've either been at the Christmas Eve sherry a little early or the usual spinning is happening, dave. :0)


leveller - You have no idea how very lucky you are. None at all. And thank you, but I know much about the education system. I can tell you things that'd make your hair stand on end, that not only have happened to my kids, but to those of my friends as well.


Davy - Yes, Education Otherwise, I couldn't agree more. They helped to save my daughter's life. When Iris first started it, after very similar problems befell her own daughter, she had no idea what lay ahead for her, how she would go on to save the lives of so many children pushed almost to the brink of suicide by a system that so often doesn't care. She's a brave and wonderful woman.

Anyone can sign up for their magazine, and in there you'll find a host of wise and useful information, as well as many heartbreaking, yet uplifting letters about children who've been to hell and back in the school system, but whose lives have been transformed for the better, once they left it. So if there's anyone reading this, whose child/children are struggling, then there's help at hand, a whole army of people 'out there' who understand exactly what's happening for so many families and who want to do all in their power to help.
Please look at Davy's link to EO, above and then contact them if you need to, they are always there for you.

Diane - I agree with you that many teachers can no longer teach as they want to. Many schools have become 'holding pens' where just keeping order is the main job of the day. I do not agree that this is *solely* down to parents, although I agree that many parents have walked away from responsibility. There are many other contributing factors though. The education system and 'school' itself are, in my opinion, also contributing hugely to the current problems. And I disagree again, because school is not 'easy' for everyone. Not at all.



In my opinion, teachers are 'born' not made. They are born with an understanding of others, a desire to help others, a love of children, and a desire to set children on the right path in their lives, not just academically, but spiritually too. They never belittle or humiliate.

Natural teachers 'educate the heart' as Aristotle spoke of.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for natural teachers.


And now, back to English Culture...after a busy Christmas Eve in The National Trust shop, selling loads of beautiful books about England. Things are looking up, people want to know about this country again. :0)

A very Merry Christmas to everyone.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM

Ian Beale - A Scrooge for our times? Spooky Eastenders tonight...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:03 PM

George Best was part of the England World Cup Squad.
George Best was a Northern Ireland international.
Lizzie,Diane,I am not interested in taking sides,just stating a fact.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:05 PM

the first statement,was a quote from.Lizzie.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:16 PM

Best made 37 appearances for Northern Ireland and scored 9 goals.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:53 PM

As a point of information, I didn't actually make any comment on the lizziecornish footballing boob of the century as Dave got to it first.
I might have let slip that everything else she says is complete bollocks though . . .

While I'm here, someone doubted that George Michael is Jewish.
Reluctant though I am to concur with Nerd the Tedious, the ex-Wham's mother's family is Jewish and thus he is too.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 07:21 PM

Thanks, Diane. I'm sorry you feel you have to insult me at every opportunity.

"Ethnically English" is of course meaningless. English people have ancestors who were Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Roman soldiers from all over the Empire, Normans (themselves mongrel French-Scandinavians), Danes, etc., etc...and, probably Jews as well. There have been Jews in England as long as there have been Normans, and probably longer than that (as you yourself pointed out, they were unsuccessfully and incompletely banished in 1290). The proposition that Jews, whose families may have lived in England for nine hundred years, can't be considered English is a bit thick. And your use of a clearly anti-semitic and literally Medieval law claiming Jews were a non-English race and expelling them from the country as support for your position is troubling.

Your suggestion that Jews are intrinsically un-English could be interpreted as anti-Semitic (though I don't believe you intended it that way), and would certainly cause offense among English Jews. Furthermore, the idea that English Jews might contribute to English culture but can't be considered representative of it seems self-contradictory. Some of the people mentioned on this thread, for good or ill (Malcolm McLaren for example), are Jews, and most English people are unaware of it. Same with folks like Mick Jones of the Clash and Charlie Watts of the Stones. Most people just consider them part of the cultural scene in England, and, I think, "representative" of English culture...again, for good or ill.

One might as well say the Watersons aren't representative of English culture because of their Romany-Irish heritage. They'd tell you where to stick that idea!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 09:56 PM

Nerd,

You have hit the nail on the head.

In the midst of somebody's silly garden fence squabble, somebody has made a significant error.

Using the attempted expulsion of Jews in the 13th century as evidence to distinguish them from English culture is like using expulsion of Jews from European society in the 1930's and 40's as evidence of their non-europeanness.

And to emphasize your point and repeat mine, "they" have been in England as long if not longer than that other group, the christians.

Diane, you are embarking on a very dangerous road if you persist with the view that Sid James can be distinguished as non English since he is in fact Jewish.

I suggest you consider your mistake and explain what you really meant.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 03:02 AM

Such muddled thought, and not even from madlizziecornish. Have some of you been swigging the sherbert just a tad early?

As any fule kno, I cited the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 as a specific example of their persecution, to add to someone else's somewhat incomplete catalogue. Where exactly did I say this medieval law was justified? I did not. I merely stated that it was implemented. Nor did I say "Sid James can be distinguished as non-English because he is Jewish". I said he was South African with a Jewish ancestry.

The point was to show that neither he nor the distinctly shamrock-tinged George Best are clear-cut examples, by a long chalk, of "Englishness", and thus glaringly ill-chosen by the OP. It wasn't me who tried to insert either into the England football team in the vain hope of proving an unsustainable point. I did underline, however, that each had shagged the landlady of the Queen Vic (though not, as far as I know, simultaneously). Some might deem that passing the "Englishness" test. Who knows?

The premise of this thread was a quote of mine, dragged screaming out of context, with some vague aim of stirring the shit but, principally, to provide a platform to regurgitate every tired old prejudice culled from the Middle England sewer that runs down Derry Street. And haven't we had them all, yet again and at length? Dave Eyre has summed it up neatly a mile or two up the thread, except that MLC has not (yet) flounced off to MySpace, vowing "never to post on Mudcat again".

This sort of meandering thread does also serve as a soapbox for any other tired old whinger to emerge from the woodwork, which is the only conceivable reason for their tacit tolerance of MLC's rantings. We are all, of course, only too aware of the Tedious Nerd, but just check on one of "Lox"'s early postings: it's a complaint about the "anti-semitism" of the funniest film ever, Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. I almost look forward to MLC's views on that one.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 04:46 AM

One might as well say the Watersons aren't representative of English culture because of their Romany-Irish heritage. They'd tell you where to stick that idea!.[quote]
Martin is of Irish descent,not sure about John Harrison or the Watersons,they may or may not be of traveller descent,but not all travellers are of irish descent.
I have traveller ancestry too,[and they were fiddlers]but I am not sure they were Irish[tracing itinerants is much more difficult than tracing middle class burghers] .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM

Martin is nothing to do with the Watersons as a family. He is a Carthy. The clue is in the name. He married Norma in 1972.

John Harrison is a (very) distant cousin.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 06:16 AM

my points Dave.
1.are the Watersons IRISH?,
2.are they of traveller descent?
3.both John Harrison, and MartinCarthy,were members of the Watersons.
4,was John Harrison a cousin.
5.Martin is of Irish descent,he is a member of the Watersons,so one member is of Irish descent,but the original group werent,but possibly were of traveller descent.
6,It doesnt matter anyway,because all formations of the watersons were /are great.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 08:32 AM

1.are the Watersons IRISH?, Not aat all - no way - never.

2.are they of traveller descent? I doubt very much if they are. Put it this way, Mike's uncle Len denied it vehemently.

3.both John Harrison, and MartinCarthy,were members of the Watersons.

So were Pete Ogley a founder member, Sue Cochrane who stood in for Lal when she was pregnant, Bernie Vickers who replaced John Harrison when the Watersons reformed when Norma came back from the West Indies, and Jill Pidd.

4,was John Harrison a cousin. Like I said - a very distant cousin and certainly not a first cousin.

5.Martin is of Irish descent,he is a member of the Watersons,
so one member is of Irish descent,but the original group werent,but possibly were of traveller descent.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM

Two points,

(1) Yes, the Watersons have Irish and Gypsy forbears.

This is from the "Norma" page at the official Waterson:Carthy website:

"Both sides of Norma's family were musical and almost all of her extended family were accomplished musicians. Partly of Irish gipsy descent, like thousands of others they came to folk song through an early interest in jazz and skiffle."

I have, by the way, spoken extensively with Martin for an in-depth cover story profile I did on him about ten years ago, and spoken less extensively with both Norma and Eliza. Such details tend to come out more in directed interviews of that sort than in the more natural, friendly contact many of you have probably had with the family.

However, they have never really hidden their Gypsy ancestry; the last time I saw the Watersons (as opposed to Waterson:Carthy), in the early 1990s, they referred to it in their stage patter, and I believe it's even referred to in the 1965 film about them, called "Traveling for a Living."

(2) Diane, I wasn't in my last post referring to your remarks about Sid James specifically, but to your later post, in which you referred to the 1290 expulsion and said:

I still think referring to the 1290 expulsion as evidence of anything about modern England is off-base. If nothing else, England has evolved considerably since then! So, the English aristocracy in 1290 didn't consider the Jews to be English...most of them were native speakers of Norman French. Many modern English people wouldn't consider THEM English!

You also said: "While representatives of such backgrounds [i.e. Irish and Jewish] may live in in 'enlightened' England today and play an equal part in a diverse culture, they are not ethnically English, nor are they representative of English culture although they may contribute to it. This is a lazy description of a 'white' resident who may, rightly, feel insulted at being lumped in with the oppressor, and is a clear hangover of imperialism."

I suspect from this remark that you are more familiar with the case of the Irish in England (who may indeed consider themselves not to be English) than with English Jews. And I did say I didn't think you were intending to be anti-Semitic, because I saw from the above that you fear that English Jews may resent being considered English and you wish to respect that. I appreciate that impulse, but I don't think it's necessary.

The historical circumstances that led to Irish people and Jewish people coming to England were very different. Irish people went there, by and large, because they were already colonized, and thus could be used as an economic underclass within a colonial system. This led to a set of attitudes about England, to which you refer above.

The medieval Jews went to England for economic opportunity at a time when all of Europe was hostile to them, so one place was the same as any other. But the 19th and 20th Century Jewish immigrants went there because England was a relatively welcoming place where they had equal rights under civil law, and although they suffered some anti-semitism there (as they would anywhere) it was very mild compared to most other places. In other words, they felt (relatively) welcome, were able to assimilate rapidly, and now feel quite happy to be a subset of "English," just as most American Jews feel thoroughly "American."   

I have a large Jewish family in England, on both sides, and I can tell you that they consider themselves to be English, and consider their artistic endeavors to be part of English culture. In fact, as I said, they'd be insulted to be considered "non-English." (Sometimes, they take their Englishness TOO seriously. I still remember the outrage when I considered a year abroad at Oxford. My late cousin, who was of my grandfather's generation, thoroughly English, and in fact a Barrister who reminded everyone of Rumpole, told me quite seriously, "our family has always gone to Cambridge!" The American side of the family got a good laugh at how pretentious it sounded.)

By the way, I don't know if anyone here has seen Mike Leigh's play "Five Thousand Years," but it's about the confusion a Jewish family from London feels when one of their children actually begins to observe the Jewish religion. He is considered almost insane by the rest of the family, who are thoroughly assimilated middle-class English people who happen also to be Jewish.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 01:41 PM

By the way, folkiedave's comments suggest that there may be controversy within the Waterson family as to whether they have traveller descent. I'm only reporting what I've heard Norma say and what is on her official website.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 01:45 PM

Rats, I messed up in my last post but one. I ascribed to Diane some of my own verbiage. The quote from Diane was meant to be:

"The Jews, in common with other European countries throughout history at various times, were expelled from Britain in 1290 as a race."

It was I who said, in repsonse, the following:

"I still think referring to the 1290 expulsion as evidence of anything about modern England is off-base. If nothing else, England has evolved considerably since then! So, the English aristocracy in 1290 didn't consider the Jews to be English...most of them were native speakers of Norman French. Many modern English people wouldn't consider THEM English!"


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:02 PM

Folkie Dave,You are very well informed,and I know you have been involved with the Yorkshire folk scene a long time,I accept what you say.You have confirmed my original thoughts.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:05 PM

I can only say what their Uncle Len - their father's brother - told me.

There was no family dispute about it as far as I am aware.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:27 PM

The medieval Jews went to England for economic opportunity at a time when all of Europe was hostile to them, so one place was the same as any other.

All of Christian Europe. They didn't have many problems in Muslim Spain.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM

Well no, not until 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella booted them out pretty damn quick.
Not everyone was over the moon about the Reconquista, but at least Columbus had conveniently just "found" America . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:48 PM

folkiedave,

If Len said one thing and Norma says another, both in person and on her website, that must count as controversy, surely.

However, is it possible that it was Mike, Lal and Norma's mother who carried the Irish Gypsy descent? That would be consistent with Len NOT having any such ancestry, no?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 03:04 PM

Indeed it would.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 03:31 PM

I'd guess that's the answer then.

Eliza C. tends to stop by and put us right on these things, but as she just gave birth last night (see the Congratulations Eliza Carthy thread), it seems unlikely she'll be along too soon!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 04:12 PM

Ok Diane,

I get where you're coming from now.

First, if you are going to claim to quote me then do so accurately.

Bring up the post you have referred to and let people se exactly whether it says what you claim or not.

Then, when it becomes obvious that, in your haste to discredit me, youe only gave it the most cursory glance, we can begin to wonder who the hell you think you are.

But then paying attention to what has been written here, even by yourself, isn't your strong point, personal attacks are.

And I don't give a fuck about your garden party tiff with eva peron or whoever you think she is, I'm talking about your wilful and unprovoked attacks on me.

Listen up.

You gave two criteria why it is wrong to call sid james representative of British culture.

1. He's south african - fair enough

2. He's Jewish - err ....

Your argument (cut and paste) was that:

"Sid James was a South African Jew."

And you explained your point by saying,

"the combination is about as far removed from an instrinsically English cultural stereotype as you can get"

In other words, not only is he south African (pretty unenglish) but he is Jewish.

The Jewish factor for you seals the case conclusively that he couldn't be considered representative of English culture in any way.

BUSTED!!!!

Now you go and start the revolution in some mad old ladies gift shop if you like and when you've trashed the place you can plant your England flag and pat yourself on the back for the great valour you have shown, but beware cos I can see how nasty you are when the "right on" facade has been stripped away.

And don't ever go on the offensive against me without a reason.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 04:29 PM

Mad ol' lox feels "attacked" 'cos I said he called Priscilla Queen Of The Desert anti-semitic.
Jeez, he's even more bonkers than MLC . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 06:36 PM

Lizzies Question:

What is English culture?

Lizzies answer (amongst others).

Sid James.

Diane Easby's response:

Lizzie is wrong ... and out of two reasons one is that He was Jewish

It is all there in this thread.

Diane doesn't have a satisfactory explanation.

So she flails about desperately dredging up old posts of mine that she hasn't read properly, in the process embarrassing herself.

Truth is that it is as clear as the nose on barry manilows face that Diane is painting herself as an unapologetic closet racist though I feel it is more likely that she is just an adolescent minded snipe who has got herself out of her depth.

For the record.

Disraeli (A British Prime minister) was Jewish.

The South African, Jan Smuts, importance "to the Imperial war effort was emphasised by a quite audacious plan, proposed as early as 1940, to appoint Smuts as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, should Churchill die or otherwise become incapacitated during the war. This idea was put by Sir John Colville, Churchill's private secretary, to Queen Mary and then to George VI, both of whom warmed to the idea"

And perhaps this next point can be confirmed, but I seem to remember that he served as acting Prime minister (Of the UK) during the War while Churchill was away.

He was also Prime minister of South Africa and there is no confusion between that and the point above..

And Finally, another Prime minister (Tony Blair), much like the rest of England - particularly those in Manchester, had this to say about George Best.

"probably the most naturally gifted footballer of his generation and one of the best footballers our country has produced,"

George Best was Irish.

So am I.

He is an Icon of English football, and as I have opined to Lizzie, English Football is Central to English culture.

Prime Minister of the UK Diane is quite an important aspect of English Culture.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM

I'll write Lox's next crazed post for him to save him the bother:

Britain's last Prime Minister was in a band called The Ugly Rumours and is therefore an important part of English culture.

Even though he's a bit Scottish.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 03:45 AM

I thought the thread was about English culture.

If it is now about British culture be kind enough to point out when it changed!

There are a lot of Scots - amongst others - who will point out the two are not the same.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 04:01 AM

There are those who seek to widen it a lot more than that: to the Humpty Dumptyism of PMs around the world, potted film reviews and football opinions (regardless of nationality of the subjects).

I recommend actually watching Priscilla Queen Of The Desert myself. Terence Stamp is very "English". And spot the anti-semitism. If you can.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 06:23 AM

"I recommend actually watching Priscilla Queen Of The Desert myself. Terence Stamp is very "English". And spot the anti-semitism. If you can."

Ok Diane, where's the post where I said anything remotely approximating that?

Link please.


The post where you suggested that Sid James isn't English because he's Jewish is in this thread.


Truth is you're in a fix ...

Either - you think sid James being a jew means he has nothing to do with English culture,

In which case you are a racist.

Or - you actually don't think that any more

In which case you would be saying that Lizzie wasn't wrong after all.


You sad case - you'd rather be cast as a bigot than give in to Lizzie.

Not that I care, but perhaps that gives us a useful insight into your ... (wait for it) ... History ... (Gasp)


Its Ok - you carry on with your Priscilla delusion and I'll return to those who merit my attention.

Have fun.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 07:22 AM

Why is Poxy-Loxy regurgitating my quotes and pretending I am quoting him? It's not yet midday on Boxing Day . . .
In a thread about the Jewish influence on folk music he objected to a song called "Hava Hangover" (I don't actually remember it but might dig out the Priscilla Queen Of The Desert vid later if I've nothing better to do). Bit pathetic really, somewhat on the lines of madlizziecornish starting this thread to enable her to say at some point that the dubious, dismal dirge called Roots is the epitome of English culture, then for someone to tell her 'no, it's a pop song' thus facilitating her flouncing off to MySpace to announce that she'll never post on Mudcat again. Again.

Maybe Poxy-Loxy might do us a favour and piss off to enjoy a bottle of Valium with her?

Jewish musicians that I know are investigating their roots according to the provenance of their ancestors (Sephardic, Ashkenazi, Ladino . . . that sort of thing). Granted, this is a relatively recent phenomenon and a turnabout from "assimilation at any cost" in an effort to become more English than the English. Some (for example Lucie Skeaping) have an interest and expertise in both their own and indigenous musics). I am course, referring to music rooted in a tradition, not to mainstream pop produced by musicians who happen to be Jewish. Leave Helen Shapiro out of it.

But to put it in perspective, these are but a tiny minority among Jews, and an infinitesmal proportion of the wider English population at large who, sadly, still do not give a toss about their own cultural roots, but might regard those of others a bit quaint, in a touristy sort of way. If their grasp of "English culture" doesn't extend beyond trashy Carry On films and being football bores, it's their loss.

And Sid James still isn't English . . .

Oh, and my history? I must, of course have been bluffing when I churned out all those anti-racist pieces in the Morning Star / Searchlight / The Leveller and so on. And I fixed it with the RUC to lock me up in Derry so I wouldn't have to write about their partisan attack on civil rights (and so on). And when I sat on the press bench through interminable public order prosecutions, I really wanted the fascists to get off. And when I revealed racist police practices when reporting on the Carib Club raid or the Islington 18, the black communities told me to stop.

Have another Valium, Poxy-Loxy.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 11:08 AM

One of Dianes quotes - Sid James was a South African Jew.

The one Lox seems to have stopped reading at - Lizzie is wrong ... and out of two reasons one is that He was Jewish

followed by a post by Lox

The post where you suggested that Sid James isn't English because he's Jewish is in this thread.

No it isn't! Just very selective chosing of quotes. If you was to quote the whole lot there would be no chance on Earth that anyone could interpret Diane as saying Sid James isn't English because he is Jewish. Even if that was said how does it make anyone a racist? Jewish is a religion, not a race.

I've completely lost track of some of the arguments here. I refer once more to point seven of my post on the 19th...

DeG


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 11:34 AM

well said, Dave.
I cant possibly see how Diane is a racist.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 12:55 PM

I don't think Diane was actually being racist in the post involving the 1290 expulsion of the Jews from England. I suspect she was worried that Jews objected to being called English, in the same way an Irish immigrant might, as I said before. But as I also pointed out, this is not the case, and many English Jews would in fact be offended to be considered anything other than English.

Lox is right about the rest, though. Diane has painted herself into a corner, because she has a hard time admitting she is wrong about anything. So she is flailing rather desperately now, trying to suggest that a post of Lox's from the distant past invalidates his argument now.

So why was she eager to delve into the past and find the post in the first place, but unwilling to do so again and provide us with a link? Because Lox did not object to the song "ha'va hangover," at least not in the thread I saw. In fact, the entirety of Lox's post was:

"Who's seen priscilla queen of the desert?

Annoying people with headaches the morning after the night before has never been such fun.

'Ha'va hangover...etc'

(best accompanied with any detuned percussion instrument) "


It sounds to me as though Lox enjoyed the scene in question.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 01:31 PM

Flailing? flailing? Moi?

Anyone who has ever been arsed to delve into my "distant past" will be aware of my long record of anti-racist writing and campaigning, already alluded to after someone inquired about my "history".

What I did much earlier in the thread was point to two idiotic "examples" supposedly of "English culture" dragged out by madlizziecornish as exceptionally ludicrous because the persons named (Sid James and George Best) were far from being typically "English" nor were they even remotely related to "culture".

As for poxy-loxy's pathetic attempted putdown of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, my eyes fell upon it when taking a quick look at his back catalogue to see whether his insane quest to seek out anti-semitism where none exists had a precedent. It has. Didn't take long and anyone can do the same. I'm not in the habit of providing unnecessary links all over the place. I simply identified the thread.

The fact is that this loxy-poxy person (who had not previously penetrated my consciousness) lurks mainly in the murk of the basement, picking fights, apparently, as a hobby.

Why he should have appointed himself knight on a charger to defend the indefensible madlizziecornish is distinctly odd. Why the distinctly odd Mr Winick is hanging on to his coat-tails is completely devoid of explanation. Other than that they're both at a loose end. Very loose.

Neither of them is English. Nor indeed (apparently) from this planet.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 04:31 PM

There is a genuinely serious subtext (in my humble), written into all the recent paranoia that has been voiced via various right wing tabloids about "overflooding with immigrants rah rah" and "wots 'appened to English culture, brilliant fish'n'chips/olden days/church bells bla bla." The simple equations of which appear to result in classic scapegoating of blame for whatever shite we're currently in, and an even more preposterous renouncing of the responsibility of the English themselves to appreciate and maintain their own cultural traditions.

Paul Burke gave an excellent summary some time back of much that has contributed to the seeming disenfranchisment of the English from their culture. Though I feel he may have not commented on what I feel is the role the promotion of decades of a rampantly capitalist "have it all, have it now!" ethos may have had overall, in inspiring the working classes in particular to "aspire to better things" and thus abandon their personal cultural heritage.

It seems to me that what Capitalism has sowed, Fascism is reaping. And that is a grumbling mumbling insecure mass of populace, who as always are inevitably looking for an anonymous 'Johnny Foriegner' to blame for their discontent. This rubbish foriegner is counterpointed by the brilliance of our own traditional English culture, which he has somehow magically spirited away. No doubt by bringing in sex and drugs and violence and total economic collapse, and other such un-English things.

Groups like the BNP are now grasping joyfully at these kinds of feelings of discontent. And this IMO, is the most seriously dangerous subtext that I read from a plethora of "English" headed threads along these lines on Mudcat. It's one I find personally unsettling.

I do however think that debate over these issues aught to at least be conducted in a relatively sensible fashion. And in a manner worthy of their profound and immediate seriousness.

This is the last comment I'll make on this thread. So no need to bother flaming - because you will win.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 07:48 PM

Nerd,

Thankyou for posting my pathetic putdown of Priscilla.

I see that nothing escapes your sharp eye.

It would have been easy to get confused by my words and read them as damning of "Priscilla", but you (you rascal) have revealed my true feelings.

I confess, as dirty and as wicked as it might make me seem, that I did in fact derive great enjoyment from the scene in question.

Oh the shame ...


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 09:23 PM

To put Lox's comment on Priscilla in further context, the thread was about Jewish influence on folk music. Therefore, his post about a movie in which a Jewish folksong is adapted to another context was not an example of random sniping, it was directly on-topic for its thread. And again, it never accused the film of anti-semitism.

To put Diane's comments in this thread in further context, first she said of Lox's post:

"it's a complaint about the 'anti-semitism' of the funniest film ever, Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert."

Not only is she wrong, she put the phrase "anti-semitism" in quotation marks, suggesting it was a direct quote from Lox. This is misleading in the extreme, as Lox does not allege anti-semitism in the post at all.

Later, Diane repeats the claim that the post was a "quest to seek out anti-semitism where none exists." As I pointed out, it is no such thing, and nowhere alleges anti-semitism in the film. It merely points out the scene as a "fun" moment in which one character annoys another with an adaptation of a Jewish folksong.

Finally, Diane defends herself for not providing a link (which would have made these deceptions plain), by saying "I simply identified the thread."

In fact, she didn't identify the thread. I had to search on "Lox" and "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" to find it.

I defended Lox because, after Diane attacked him, I was interested to see what he had said about Priscilla. Investigating, I found that Diane was misquoting him. So in short, Diane is up to her old tricks, being deceitful and rude, bringing up people's personal lives and their real names when this is a breach of what used to be called 'netiquette," and making up false histories about other 'Catters.

I haven't really defended Lizzie in particular, though I think she has the same rights as anybody here. I merely wanted to point out, from the perspective of someone with a large family of English Jews, that English Jews consider themselves English, and consider much of their culture to be English culture. Otherwise, as Diane says, I am not myself English, so I prefer to see what others have to say.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 09:27 PM

Diane,

Thanks for the cv.

So you are an opinionated journalist?

I hope your published articles are better researched.

You went in search of dirt on me.

And you found this

You confidently wrote:

(Imagine voice of Miss Marple)

"my eyes fell upon it when taking a quick look at his back catalogue to see whether his insane quest to seek out anti-semitism where none exists had a precedent. It has. Didn't take long and anyone can do the same. I'm not in the habit of providing unnecessary links all over the place. I simply identified the thread."


My My ... seeking things out where they don't exist eh? ... who needs a valium ...


And thanks for the offer of drugs, but reading your clumsily written attempts to verbally intimidate me are enough to give me the giggles for a week without them.

Besides which, your little psychotic episode would be enough to deter the most hardened addict from doing drugs ever again.

Go easy on the coke hun   ;-)      ROFL


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 09:39 PM

Sigh.

400?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 03:17 AM

Bollocks.

At 7.22 yesterday I wrote:
In a thread about the Jewish influence on folk music he (poxy-loxy] objected to a song called "Hava Hangover".

Anyone who wanted to look up such tripe could. I put the alleged "anti-semitism" of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert in quotes to demonstrate that it was no such thing, not (as Mr Winick alleges in a typical nerdism) to attribute it to poxy-loxy. Scarcely to "verbally intimidate" him but to emphasise how ridiculous such a tedious, whingeing complaint sounded. They (collectively) now allege it was not a complaint at all. I suggest a course in How To Write With Clarity.

Later in the post I identified that various strands of culture culled from the Jewish diaspora that musicians (such as Burning Bush) are pursuing here in England, and that some, because they are resident in England, pursue English tradarts too. These are different (as is bleedin' obvious). Nerdy's relatives may be poncing around pretending to be more English than the Royal Family isn't but the practice of immigrants (however far back) concealing their roots is, fortunately, dying out.

This nerd alleges that he has leapt, knight-in-shining-armour stylee, to poxy's "defence" after I "attacked" him. No, I treated him with contempt and scorn after he launched, out of the blue, a pathetic, incomprehensible attack on me. What exactly would be the point of attempting to attack a nebulous, allegedly Irish (possibly Jewish), shit stirrer? He's now in a playground-taunting gang of two with a tedious, out-of-touch Murkan academic who emerges occasionally to make frankly weird observations on English tradarts from his ivory tower.

This, remember, is all because I said a South African Jewish comedian was rather far removed from being an example of "English culture", and thus ill-chosen.

Go figure, those of you who want. I've lots to do in the real world of Eng-er-land today.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 04:23 AM

Diane, this is the answer you gave to 'English Culture - What is it?'


A Place Called England

I rode out on a bright May morning like a hero in a song
Looking for a place called England trying to find where I belong
Couldn't find the old flood meadow or the house that I once knew
No trace of the little river or the garden where I grew

I saw town and I saw country, motorway and sink estate
Rich man in his rolling acres poor man still outside the gate
Retail park and Burger Kingdom, prairie field and factory farm
Run by men who think that England's just a place to park their car

But as the train pulled from the station through the wastelands of despair
From the corner of my eye a brightness filled the filthy air
Someone's sown a patch of sunflowers though the soil is sooty black
Marigolds and a few tomatoes right beside the railway track

Down behind the terraced houses in between the concrete towers
Compost heaps and scarlet runners, secret gardens full of flowers
Meeta grows her scented roses right beneath the big jets' path
Bid a fortune for her garden, Eileen turns away and laughs

Rise up George and wake up Arthur, time to rouse out from your sleep
Deck the horse with sea green ribbons, drag the old sword from the deep
Hold the line for Dave and Daniel as they tunnel through the clay
While the oak in all its glory soaks up sun for one more day

Come all you at home with freedom whatever the land that gave you birth
There's room for you both root and branch as long as you love the English earth
Room for vole and room for orchid, room for all to grow and thrive
Just less room for the fat landowner on his arse in his four-wheel drive

For England is not flag or Empire it is not money and it is not blood
It's limestone gorge and granite fell, it's Wealden clay and Severn mud
It's blackbird singing from the may tree, lark ascending through the scales
It's robin watching from your spade and English earth beneath your nails

         
So here's two cheers for a place called England, sore abused but not yet dead
A Mr Harding sort of England, hanging in there by a thread
Here's two cheers for the crazy Diggers now their hour shall come around
We shall plant the seed they saved us, common wealth and common ground

(Maggie Holland)



Now in Maggie's song there is no distinction made about country of origin or religion. None whatsoever.

And yet, when I put down Sid's name, all hell broke loose.

Sid James, a man I didn't even know was South African or Jewish, because I'd simply always thought of him as English, came over here in the 1940s, on a one way ticket. He lived here for the rest of his life, amongst people he took to his heart, dying on stage whilst entertaining them. He was taken to the hearts of us too. His ashes lie in 'The English Earth' that Maggie speaks about above, in Golders Green cemetery. He loved this country and he was loved by this country. He gave us much joy and happiness, as did the rest of The Carry On Team who were a major part of English humour back when I was young.

I have never thought of people's religion, or country of origin, as excluding them from being English. It simply doesn't, in my book, for it doesn't matter where you come from, so long as you love England, again, as Maggie speaks of above.

If you regard England as your 'home' then in my mind, you are English. Love for this country is all that matters, plus a respect for England's culture and her people. And for me, her culture is not centred around football, but around a myriad of other things too.

And you spoke earlier of 'Roots', saying it was the reason I had started this thread, and that I had taken your quote out of context. Yet, if you look back, 'Roots' is barely mentioned, and as I have explained, all I wanted was to find out other people's views on English culture, from this country and from others, as you so often say those very words about 'other people's views', so for once I thought I'd give other people a chance to put theirs down.

However, as you speak of 'Roots' may I just remind you that Steve Knightley took neary four years to write that song, because he couldn't get the 'jigsaw' to fit into place, couldn't quite get it right..

....and then, one day, he spoke to a young man he knew, a young man who is also a friend of yours, I believe, call Chris, who used to present the 'Cool As Folk' radio show from Reading University. Chris and Steve got talking and Chris, as I recall him saying on the BBC board a long time back now, told Steve that many of his young friends didn't know what their roots were, didn't have a sense of 'belonging'.....

And the final part of the jigsaw was put into place...

'ROOTS' by Steve Knightley:

"Now it's been twenty-five years or more
I've roamed this land from shore to shore
From Tyne to Tamar, Severn to Thames
From moor to vale, from peak to fen
Played in cafes and pubs and bars
I've stood in the street with my old guitar
But I'd be richer than all the rest
If I had a pound for each request
For 'Duelling Banjos' 'American Pie'
Its enough to make you cry
'Rule Britannia' or 'Swing Low'
Are they the only songs the English know?

Seed, bud, flower, fruit
They're never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoots - they need roots

After the speeches when the cake's been cut
The disco is over and the bar is shut
At christening, birthday, wedding or wake
What can we sing until the morning breaks?
When the Indian, Asians, Afro, Celts
It's in their blood, below the belt
They're playing and dancing all night long
So what have they got right that we've got wrong?

Seed, bud, flower, fruit
Never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoots - we need roots

Haul away boys let them go
Out in the wind and the rain and snow
We've lost more than well ever know
Round the rocky shores of England

And a minister said his vision of hell
Is three folk singers in a pub near Wells
Well I've got a vision of urban sprawl
It's pubs where no one ever sings at all
And everyone stares at a great big screen
Over-paid soccer stars, prancing teens
Australian soap, American rap
Estuary English, baseball caps
And we learn to be ashamed before we walk
Of the way we look and the way we talk
Without our stories or our songs
How will we know where weve come from?
I've lost St George in the Union Jack
It's my flag too and I want it back

Seed, bud, flower, fruit
Never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoots - we need roots

Haul away boys let them go
Out in the wind and the rain and snow
We've lost more than we'll ever know
Round the rocky shores of England"


And now, perhaps we can get back to what other people think, rather than personal attacks on those who disagree with what you have to say. We all have different ideas of English Culture, because we all have lived different lives, but somewhere along the way there are many things which unite us.

We *have* lost more than we'll ever know around the rocky shores of England, but we've lost it because we let it go. We let it be lost through apathy. It was no-one's fault but our own, because we kept silent as our culture was put into the shadows.

Well, the English need their roots, in the same way that other countries do. It is no sin to be proud of your country in many other places around the world, to know your heritage and culture, but in England, for so long, it has been.

That is finally changing.

And no, it does *not* mean that we're all going to 'rise up and join the BNP' that is the most insulting accusation that you can throw at the English. We went to war, this tiny nation of ours, to keep the flag of freedom flying. We sacrificed a great deal, and we are not about to throw that all in for complete b*stards like the BNP.

And now, I'm off to work...so try not to kill one another whilst I'm gone, eh. :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 04:33 AM

Icons such as Sid James and George Best are classic examples of the all inclusive nature of English Culture dismissed by others as a foreign farce, but which is, in fact, integral to the nature of any culture thus perceived, or else desired, simply because most of us are too busy getting on with our lives to give a fuck. In any case Sid James worked better as a foil for Hancock than he ever did in the common-minded trash served up in the terminally unfunny Carry On films which defined the urban / lumpen proletariat as idiots and set out to patronise them as such.

I'm surprised there's been no mention of Bernard Manning yet - as I recall his obit thread was another long runner:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102603&messages=239


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 04:42 AM

See, told you madlizziecornish would use this thread to drag up the dreary, ideologically dodgy dirge Roots again. Mind you, it was really funny when Cool As Folk managed to broadcast it at a slowed-down speed (just so that estuary people could catch the slight and proceed to put the boot into the poncy West Country . . .

The passage of A Place Called England which Mrs "down-the-MOR-route" has chosen to embolden highlights a class perspective of England. A concept which the dozy OP refuses to acknowledge exists, thus missing the point entirely. Nothing new there.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 09:25 AM

Everyone still here? I hope you all enjoyed a taste of English Culture over the last couple of days. For me that meant plenty of traditional food, excellent beer and falling asleep in front of a blazing log fire surrounded by my delightfully diverse and disfunctional family.

Tomorrow, I'm off to walk part of the Wolds Way up on the Yorkshire Wolds where there's 4000 years or more of English culture, with ancient mounds like Willy Howe, the only square barrows in the country and the tallest single standing stone in England, which stands next to a 12th century church. There's deserted medieval villages, big estates, owned for centuries by the same families who are infamous for oppressing their tenants and workers, and hillsides rolling down to the Humber Bridge. Pretty much a microcosm of English culture.

I also received two interesting books as presents: The Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore and Christopher Winn's I Never Knew That About the English. Plenty of grist for the mill there.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 11:00 AM

Diane said:

"Nerdy's relatives may be poncing around pretending to be more English than the Royal Family isn't but the practice of immigrants (however far back) concealing their roots...."

Sigh. This is Diane, who claims she has made a career of defending the poor and downtrodden. Sadly, because she is unable to stop talking or to admit a mistake, she will say more and more hateful things, digging away until she has buried herself.

Leveller, the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore is a great little book. Much grist indeed!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 01:03 PM

a career of defending the poor and downtrodden

I make no such claim. My name is not Richard sodding Bridge. I am (or was) a writer - a political journalist, a music reviewer and a children's programmes researcher who got many a young musician / dancer onto the telly. But never an out-of-touch academic in some ivory tower in Pennsylvania (or wherever it is). Nor indeed an overgrown teenage groupie drooling over faded wannabe pub rock stars.

And no, I won't be stopping talking or ceasing to say bollocks to Nerdy Stevie (who is still too dim to grasp that a South African Jewish comedian is scarcely representative of either Englishness or of culture), till the end of time. Even Peggy Mitchell / Barabara Windsor regrets having taken part in the Carry On tripe because it limited her as an actor.

Never mind the Dictionary Of English Folklore. I recommend starting with English Tradarts For Dummies.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 01:06 PM

"See, told you madlizziecornish would use this thread to drag up the dreary, ideologically dodgy dirge Roots again. Mind you, it was really funny when Cool As Folk managed to broadcast it at a slowed-down speed (just so that estuary people could catch the slight and proceed to put the boot into the poncy West Country . . ."


Now now, Sweetums....I know you is gettin' older, same as me, but methinks you've forgotten that the only person who didn't realise something was drastically wrong with Cool as Folk's output of 'Roots' was er....you. although I appreciate the humour of your post there. ;-) Chris came on the thread to apologise and to explain as well, bless him.

BBC Thread about it...


"In any case Sid James worked better as a foil for Hancock than he ever did in the common-minded trash served up in the terminally unfunny Carry On films which defined the urban / lumpen proletariat as idiots and set out to patronise them as such."

See, shows how different we all are, I used to fall around chuckling at the cheekiness of them. "Quick, Nurse..the screens!"

:0)

And as for BManning...Yuk.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 01:19 PM

the only person who didn't realise something was drastically wrong

Funny that. It was the airplay première and I heard it go out live. People were saying how crap it sounded so MLC came along, screeching and screaming that it was "fab" / "brilliant" etc etc without having heard the transmission. Then she heard it on the replayer and joined (screechily) in the chorus of whingers. I just said "It's a dirge, innit? Wasn't it supposed to sound like that?"

Chris Conder apologised, yes, for screwing up the studio equipment and letting it run at just over a semitone flat. It's a very dangerous lyric to hold up as representative of "English culture". It's borderline racist and that's far from being just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 01:24 PM

In fact, to counterbalance the (imo) 'orrible Bernard Manning, take a listen to Big Al Whittle's (mudcat's 'wee little drummer') song on his myspace page:

Al Whittle - 'Every Englishman's Friend' - an anti BNP song


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 01:35 PM

"It's a very dangerous lyric to hold up as representative of "English culture". It's borderline racist and that's far from being just my opinion."

Er..the song is about losing our culture, not about culture itself, ask Chris. It's also about how important culture is. Similar to what you've said over the years, really. :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 03:32 AM

"more English than the Royal Family" - German, surely?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 03:43 AM

Someone's inept cutting and pasting destroyed the formatting which originally read " . . . the Royal Family isn't . . . ". (27 December @ 03.17).
[as in not which transatlantic persons invariably fail to comprehend].


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 04:07 AM

Season of goodwill eh Diane? Not just the one post above but since about Xmas eve, in general, a large range of spiteful posts in a number of parts in an uncalled for xenophobic vein. I am inclined to think that Healey's rule of holesmanship needs applying.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 04:21 AM

Oh, I just correct other people's inane bollocks, largely because I wouldn't want the curious non-cognoscenti getting the impression that English tradarts are other than what they are. That's what I'm for.

Early yesterday morning I went into my local shop for juice and croissants. Two people (the Polish shopkeeper and an Afro-Caribbean man who said he lives in my street) tried to strike up entirely incomprehensible conversations. At least the latter concluded that he'd mistaken me for someone else but I've still no idea what the shopkeeper was on about.

Just like being on Mudcat, really.
Mouths and feet . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 04:37 AM

William Shakespeare

The Globe Theatre

William Wordsworth

The English Pub - A beautiful short film


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 04:48 AM

The Notting Hill Carnival

Life in one of the last 'free' English pubs.."Oh bring us a revolution.." :0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 09:08 AM

Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 03:32 AM

"more English than the Royal Family" - German, surely?
Jim Carroll .
correct Jim,of German descent,and Prince Philip,is of Greek descent.
the last truly english monarch,was the one who got defeated by William The Conqueror[ NORMAN FRENCH],I think he was called Harold.
can we include WilLiam Topaz Mcgonagle[born a scotsman]but he desperately wanted to be a poet laureate,
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A Descriptive Poem on the Silvery Tay
        
        Beautiful silvery Tay,
With your landscapes, so lovely and gay,
Along each side of your waters, to Perth all the way;
No other river in the world has got scenery more fine,
Only I am told the beautiful Rhine,
Near to Wormit Bay, it seems very fine,
Where the Railway Bridge is towering above its waters sublime,
And the beautiful ship Mars,
With her Juvenile Tare,
Both lively and gay,
Does carelessly lie By night and by day,
In the beautiful Bay
Of the silvery Tay.
Beautiful, beautiful silvery Tay,
Thy scenery is enchanting on a fine summer day,
Near by Balnerino it is beautiful to behold,
When the trees are in full bloom and the cornfields seems like gold -
And nature's face seems gay,
And the lambkins they do play,
And the humming bee is on the wing,
It is enough to make one sing,
While they carelessly do stray,
Along the beautiful banks of the silvery Tay,
Beautiful silvery Tay,
Rolling smoothly on your way,
Near by Newport, as clear as the day,
Thy scenery around is charming I'll be bound...
And would make the heart of any one feel light and gay on a fine summer day,
To view the beautiful scenery along the banks of the silvery Tay.

William Topaz McGonagall proached Queen Victoria on the subjectof being poet laureate[so he clearly didnt think being a scotsman was a barrier]


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 09:12 AM

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clods seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say-
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sught,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of thSilv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 09:15 AM

A Tribute to Dr. Murison

Success to the good and skilful Dr Murison,
For golden opinions he has won
From his patients one and all,
And from myself, McGonagall.

He is very skilful and void of pride;
He was so to me when at my bedside,
When I turned badly on the 25th of July,
And was ill with inflammation, and like to die.

He told me at once what was ailing me;
He said I had been writing too much poetry,
And from writing poetry I would have to refrain,
Because I was suffering from inflammation on the brain.

And he has been very good to me in my distress,
Good people of Dundee, I honestly confess,
And to all his patients as well as me
Within the Royal city of Dundee.

He is worthy of the public's support,
And to his shop they should resort
To get his advice one and all;
Believe me on him ye ought to call.

He is very affable in temper and a skilful man,
And to cure all his patients he tries all he can;
And I wish him success for many a long day,
For he has saved me from dying, I venture to say;
The kind treatment I received surpasses all
Is the honest confession of McGonagall.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 09:25 AM

An Address to Shakespeare

Immortal! William Shakespeare, there's none can you excel,
You have drawn out your characters remarkably well,
Which is delightful for to see enacted upon the stage
For instance, the love-sick Romeo, or Othello, in a rage;
His writings are a treasure, which the world cannot repay,
He was the greatest poet of the past or of the present day
Also the greatest dramatist, and is worthy of the name,
I'm afraid the world shall never look upon his like again.
His tragedy of Hamlet is moral and sublime,
And for purity of language, nothing can be more fine
For instance, to hear the fair Ophelia making her moan,
At her father's grave, sad and alone....
In his beautiful play, "As You Like It," one passage is very fine,
Just for instance in fhe forest of Arden, the language is sublime,
Where Orlando speaks of his Rosilind, most lovely and divine,
And no other poet I am sure has written anything more fine;
His language is spoken in the Church and by the Advocate at the bar,
Here and there and everywhere throughout the world afar;
His writings abound with gospel truths, moral and sublime,
And I'm sure in my opinion they are surpassing fine;
In his beautiful tragedy of Othello, one passage is very fine,
Just for instance where Cassio looses his lieutenancy
... By drinking too much wine;
And in grief he exclaims, "Oh! that men should put an
Enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains."
In his great tragedy of Richard the III, one passage is very fine
Where the Duchess of York invokes the aid of the Divine
For to protect her innocent babes from the murderer's uplifted hand,
And smite him powerless, and save her babes, I'm sure 'tis really grand.
Immortal! Bard of Avon, your writings are divine,
And will live in the memories of your admirers until the end of time;
Your plays are read in family circles with wonder and delight,
While seated around the fireside on a cold winter's night.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 09:56 AM

Prince Philip is, nevertheless, the oldest living great-great grandchild of Queen Victoria . . .



Scarcely the place to begin when flagging up icons of English culture or attempting to define it are a philandering, booze-sozzled Irish footballer or a Jewish South African comedian. Nor is dragging up a dreary, dodgy pop song with such monotonous frequency. That's the burden of what I have said in this thread, rather than that I have a personal antipathy to the Irish, to Jews, or even to Show Of Hands.

I admire a lot of Irish literature and music (though dislike it when performed as a go-faster sprint, and the same applies to bluegrass). Wow, two hits in one sentence, that'll get the small-minded suitably riled.

I have an interest in varied musical cultures of the Jewish diaspora and have many secular Jewish friends who make a clear distinction (as I do) between pride in their heritage and opposition to the unbelievably appalling behaviour of the state of Israel. That's pissed off quite a few more of the blinkered. Good.

As for SoH, they're nice chaps who have, individually, been involved in some very worthwhile musical projects, I just have no interest in the bland stuff they do in that particular combo, but I suppose it pays their mortgages. That will continue to annoy at least one person who wouldn't even recognise "culture" if it bit her on the backside.

It's really weird, these oiks who use "racism" as a playground taunt. Only a couple of decades ago, the culture (ha!) was entirely the reverse, Bernard Manning stylee. I once heard a painter and decorator vow that he'd never use certain shades because they were "wog" colours. Nice, eh? It wasn't as though he was being forced by law to use them on his own house (which might have been a tad coercive), but simply to slap in on and take his payment. It's the assumption of a god-given right to impose wilfully ignorant prejudice on those of the population who have minds that's so vilely offensive.

There are, of course, marked similarities with the coterie of "jokey-blokey", sexist, misogynistic "men" here on Mudcat who hunt in packs and seek to keep women in what they imagine is "their place". Tough, chaps. There are at least some, not all women, who actually know what we're talking about, because of who we are and what we've done.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 10:21 AM

Hang on, so er...any man who disagrees with you, is now a mysogynist?

"..It's really weird, these oiks who use "racism" as a playground taunt..."

Ain't it just. :0)

"As for SoH, they're nice chaps who have, individually, been involved in some very worthwhile musical projects, I just have no interest in the bland stuff they do in that particular combo, but I suppose it pays their mortgages. That will continue to annoy at least one person who wouldn't even recognise "culture" if it bit her on the backside."

Nope, I've always recognised that one man's meat is another man's poison. What I don't keep quiet about though is when one person's poison spreads itself around on messageboards, in an effort to damage certain artists music and reputations.

Did you always love the baddie in the Christmas pantos, by any chance?



Anyways ups...I think we've left Sid James farrrrrrr behind now and have moved on to Shakespeare, although he probably had ancestors who came from Outer Mongolia or Inner TummyButtonFluffovia or some such place, but last time I checked, I think he was your kind of English, although I've heard that Anne Hathaway is now American, which is kind of confusin'...but..........

I love Will. He wrote some great words, didn't he?

"The lady doth protest too much methinks"       ;0)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 10:27 AM

"...Topaz Mcgonagle"

I think I've just found my new name! How COOL is that? :0)


I bet she'd wear a fake fur bikini and elegantly wade out of the surf on a moonlit English night..as James watched from his Aston Martin.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 10:33 AM

English culture is...

bizarely mixed metaphors?

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 10:49 AM

"bizarely mixed metaphors?"

I do Elizabethan English. Far more fun than all that modern day 'stuff' :0)

Sits back and waits for a thesis on Elizabethan English to appear... ;0)

Noooooooo! I just meant that I make it up as I go along because I don't get all inside out and upside down about grammar, mainly because my brain can't remember it all, and even if it could, it probably wouldn't. I love playing with words, standing them on their heads and mixing them up, making patters with them that twirl off the tongue and slide downwards to land in a soft heap of muddle..It's what my brain does. It's 'my' English. :0)

Will Shakey would understand.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 10:59 AM

it is spelled thus: Bizarre
William Topaz mcgonagle,Indeed a splendid name.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 12:16 PM

I make it up as I go along

Yes, obviously.

It's 'my' English

No, it bloody isn't.

any man who disagrees with you, is now a mysogynist?*(sic)

No, any man who behaves like one. Of which there is an over-abundance of blokey prats (regardless of gender) in an extremely backward-looking forum of nasty Tory tendencies. I've already identified the ones who aren't. I could list them. Wouldn't take long.

Do check the spelling, etymology and application.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 12:22 PM

one person's poison spreads itself around on messageboards, in an effort to damage certain artists music and reputations

Ah yes, And there's another list of those artists who shake and shiver in their shoes at the very mention of madlizziecornish's name. They huddle in corners whimpering: "She's not here, is she?"


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 01:08 PM

[imo]Prince Philip is a polo playing pillock.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 01:26 PM

that's a snotty thing to say about SOH.

As a writer, I don't envy them much of their repertoire or their audience, but I AM very pleased for them for the their well deserved success. They have worked consistently very hard and with great dedication to the cause of English folk Clubs and the music that comes from them.

Given the torpor that the English folk movement has lived through since the heady days of the 1960's - what they have achieved represents an awesome achievement - really a lifetime achievement much more deserved than many you see handed out.

You know as well as I do, they aren't there to pay their bloody mortgages - shame on you for saying such a thing. They are there for a deeply passionately held devotion to folk and acoustic music in England.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 01:26 PM

A quiz about Prince Philip's bons mots that shows him to be all too typically "English".


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 01:45 PM

Of course SoH are in it to make enough to pay their mortgages. It's their job. I've never liked what they do as a band, I've always said so, knowing them to be capable of so much better. I don't think they mind. They have quite enough of a "following" to make a living, thank you.

I live in hope that they'll be able, some day soon, to jack it in and concentrate on far more representative English music such as Phil Beer produces from time to time. Farewell "Roots" for ever. Hurrah!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 01:49 PM

>>It's 'my' English

No, it bloody isn't.<<

Yes, it is, as in 'it's the way I write, spell, whatever, as in my way of 'English', that is, *my* English. You've got your way, I've got mine. My way means that I don't tell people how to write English. :0)

And...er...talking of South Africa and Ireland, and Judaism, let's read about Peter Ackroyd's 'Albion'

"It isn't our resistance to foreign influences that makes us English, he argues, but our ability to assimilate them: "Englishness is the principle of appropriation." We're a "mungrell" nation - hybrid, heterogenous, adaptive, accumulative, eclectic. Forget blood or genes. National traits come with the territory. The common ground we have is the ground itself. Placism, not racism, should be the slogan."

Taken from: Peter Ackroyd's 'Albion' (The Origins of the English Imagination)

"Placism, not racism, should be the slogan."

So, let's place Sid James and George Best right back where they belong, as part of English culture..alongside all the other people, places and things already mentioned in here.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 01:59 PM

"Of course SoH are in it to make enough to pay their mortgages. It's their job."

Bit like the Wandering Minstrels or Yore, then, singing for their suppers?


"I've never liked what they do as a band, I've always said so, knowing them to be capable of so much better."

I'm sure they'd love to have you coach them. :0)


"I don't think they mind."

Really? Try asking their manager, Vaughan. You can find him via their Myspace page.

And now, back to Sir Christopher Wren, or had we reached Nell Gwynne?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 02:22 PM

to relieve the tedium,some more mcgonagle.
The Christmas Goose

Mr. SMIGGS was a gentleman,
And he lived in London town;
His wife she was a good kind soul,
And seldom known to frown.

'Twas on Christmas eve,
And Smiggs and his wife lay cosy in bed,
When the thought of buying a goose
Came into his head.

So the next morning,
Just as the sun rose,
He jump'd out of bed,
And he donn'd his clothes,

Saying, "Peggy, my dear.
You need not frown,
For I'll buy you the best goose
In all London town."

So away to the poultry shop he goes,
And bought the goose, as he did propose,
And for it he paid one crown,
The finest, he thought, in London town.

When Smiggs bought the goose
He suspected no harm,
But a naughty boy stole it
From under his arm.

Then Smiggs he cried, "Stop, thief!
Come back with my goose!"
But the naughty boy laugh'd at him,
And gave him much abuse.

But a policeman captur'd the naughty boy,
And gave the goose to Smiggs,
And said he was greatly bother'd
By a set of juvenile prigs.

So the naughty boy was put in prison
For stealing the goose.,
And got ten days' confinement
Before he got loose.

So Smiggs ran home to his dear Peggy,
Saying, "Hurry, and get this fat goose ready,
That I have bought for one crown;
So, my darling, you need not frown."

"Dear Mr Smiggs, I will not frown:
I'm sure 'tis cheap for one crown,
Especially at Christmas time --
Oh! Mr Smiggs, it's really fine."

"Peggy. it is Christmas time,
So let us drive dull care away,
For we have got a Christmas goose,
So cook it well, I pray.

"No matter how the poor are clothed,
Or if they starve at home,
We'll drink our wine, and eat our goose,
Aye, and pick it to the bone."


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 02:29 PM

William McGonagall was Scottish (quite obviously).
So what's his tripe-like doggerel got to do with the topic?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 02:45 PM

paying mortgages.........!

well you can't get much done when you're homeless - not unless you fancy the Robert johnson road where you anaesthetise yourself to not not having a roof over your head, and make a swift exit halfway through the first act.

I suppose I've known the Paul Downes gang since about 1975. they've never shown much signs of being materialistic - quite the opposite. Its always been about making the music work.

Its taken a fair bit of idealism to get them where they are - rooms full of people nationwide singing their songs - despite never really getting on telly very much, no major label, no major agency, no hit record. stuff that mored favoured artists take as a given.

I'm sorry you can't see that. I'm sure they will do better - but really they've done pretty good.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 04:42 PM

Diane,he had aspirations to be poet laureate,his bad poetry is regarded by many as amusing,and since he has graced us with his lines on such notables as William Shakespeare ,and the royal family,he can be said to part of english culture.
An Ode to the Queen

All hail to the Empress of India, Great Britain's Queen!
Long may she live in health, happy and serene;
Loved by her subjects at home and abroad;
Blest may she be when lying down
To sleep, and rising up, by the Eternal God;
Happy may her visions be in sleep ...
And happy her thoughts in the day time;
Let all loyal subjects drink to her health
In a flowing bumper of Rhenish Wine.
And when the final hour shall come to summon her away,
May her soul be wafted to the realms of bliss,
I most sincerely do pray, to sing with saints above,
Where all is joy, peace and love -
In Heaven, for evermore to reign,
God Save the Queen. Amen.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lox
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 05:46 PM

I am reminded of a book of Graffiti I read when I was a lad.

One little gem, spotted in some public toilet somewhere no doubt, read as follows;

"To err is human ... to pretend you don't is English"

Oh England is a merry place.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 08:00 PM

I think the problem wasn't Jim's or my own cut-and-paste, per se, nor any "transatlantic person's" failure to comprehend Diane, but the fact that Diane's original formulation "more English than the Royal Family isn't" doesn't actually mean anything, on either side of the Atlantic.

Nonetheless, the basic point of her post was clear. My relatives, who are English Jews, in order to claim they are English must "ponce about, pretending to be English," but, luckily, this practice, also known as "the practice of immigrants (however far back) concealing their roots," is dying out.

I think most people on this thread have already disagreed with her on this, so we need say no more.

On the other hand, Diane's statement that "a South African Jewish comedian is scarcely representative of either Englishness or of culture" expands the question about Sid James's work a bit.

One can legitimately ask Sid James's work in the Carry On films counts as "English," which was Lizzie's original claim. James was in a series of English films, directed at an English audience, in which he played English characters. Certainly in many other countries, if an immigrant was so fully adopted into a country's cultural scene, especially from one of that country's former colonies, his work would count as part of that country's culture. This is, therefore, open to debate. Diane is welcome to her opinion that it isn't English culture, but this is by no means obvious or uncontroversial. Others can with equal justification say that it IS English culture.

Suggesting, as Diane does, that the films aren't an example of "culture" at all is using a values-based definition of culture. In this scheme, some artistic productions are culture and some aren't, and the arbiter uses his or her values to decide which is which. This is the same understanding of Culture that allows many English people to devalue folklore, or as Diane would say, "tradarts."

Luckily, this understanding of culture has been pretty forcefully rejected by those who study culture. We have learned that a series of popular films like Carry On can tell you as much about ordinary people as either so-called "high culture" (such as Shakespeare) or so-called "subcultures" (such as punk.) So within the British-pioneered discipline of "Cultural Studies," these films are, in fact, regarded as part of English culture.

In an article from the BBC online, here, Andy Medhurst, lecturer in film, media and cultural studies at Sussex University, said of the films that "They capture the way people living humdrum lives with limited horizons found a release in comedy. They seem to encapsulate an everyday life in Britain of that time."

Peter Ackroyd mentions the films in his book Albion - the Origins of the English Imagination, where he suggests that they are typically English, and moreover that they represent a stratum of English humor that goes back to middle English mystery plays.

English? Yes, many people think so.
Culture? Yes, many people think so.
English culture? Looks that way to me.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Tam
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 05:11 AM

So Diane just wants English tripe-like doggeral and I'm sure there's plenty.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 05:26 AM

doggeral (sic)

I can at least spell it.
I recommend actually reading the thread.
There are those who seem intent on contributing tripe-like doggerel to it - from dirgy, dodgy popsongs and pretentious Scottish crap principally - but none from me.
I am simply upholding the importance of English tradarts, as I am wont to do.
This is, after all, what this thread is supposed to be about, rather than extraneous bollocks. (Or is it?)
As I have already remarked elsewhere in the forum this morning. I recommend Specsavers. And engaging brain before fingers land on keyboard.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 05:41 AM

It's about this, actually:

The Culture of England - Wiki


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 05:50 AM

Yes, I see. Extraneous bollocks it is, then.
A rambling piece encompassing all manner of Humpty-Dumpty-like uncited and unreferenced sources.
Highly academic. Not.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM

One can legitimately ask Sid James's work in the Carry On films counts as "English," which was Lizzie's original claim. James was in a series of English films, directed at an English audience, in which he played English characters. Certainly in many other countries, if an immigrant was so fully adopted into a country's cultural scene, especially from one of that country's former colonies, his work would count as part of that country's culture.

Particularly since hardly any of his viewers would have realized he was from anywhere else. It had never occurred to me before this thread that he was anything other than a native Englishman with a Protestant background.

We don't often get to find out the ethnic background of British Jews in public life until we read it in their obituaries (or similar - I didn't realize Malcolm Rifkind was Jewish until he lost his seat and some journo wrote a political obit for him).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

To attempt to equate the Carry On trash films with "culture" is a step far too far. Even for Humpty Dumpty.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:26 AM

From the standard anthropological standpoint, "English culture" *does* include those films, along with Barbara Cartland, Commando comics, Spanish souvenir cruet sets mounted on a toy donkey and hen night parties in fishnets and fluffy plastic stetsons.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:32 AM

So no music then?
Oops, wrong forum, obviously.
Where do you go these days to discuss English tradarts?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:32 AM

Diane,if you cant appreciate bad poetry,that is so bad it is good,,and also extremely funny,it is a shame.
as far as I am concerned it is eminently more interesting and amusing,than much else on this thread.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:37 AM

But (as I said about the Carry On films, what has McGonagall got to do with culture? (Or England?)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:42 AM

His writing about shakespeare and the english monarchy,,Second Anglo-Sikh War 1848-49

During the nineteenth century, the British slowly extended their hold over the whole of the Indian subcontinent, fighting a series of wars to secure their gains. The Second Anglo-Sikh War saw the end of the independent Sikh nation and the incorporation of the Punjab into British India.

The Battle of Gujrat
Crimean War 1854-55

Britain's first European war for forty years, this war with Russia was conducted with quite extraordinary incompetence by the British generals. The most memorable event - and poem - of the war was the Charge of the Light Brigade, but McGonagall adds a few more...

The Battle of Alma
The Battle of Inkermann
Indian Mutiny 1857-58

The rebellion of Indian soldiers, and much of the native population, sent shockwaves throughout Victorian Britain. Marked by acts of barbarism on both sides, the events of the mutiny were still inspiring McGonagall to write twenty years later.

The Hero of Kalapore
The Downfall of Delhi
The Capture of Lucknow
Second Ashanti War 1873

Typical of many of the "small wars" fought to maintain Queen Victoria's empire, the Second Ashanti War saw a powerful West African nation brought to heel.

The Ashantee War
Contemporary Wars

Amongst the newspaper accounts of civilian death and disaster which regularly inspired McGonagall's pen came stories of military deeds from across the Empire. These were grist to the mill of McGonagall's Quixotic genius and inspired the following "Gems":
Zulu War 1879

Border disputes led to this conflict, remembered in the movie "Zulu". Though successful at first, the Zulu nation was eventually destroyed.

The Hero of Rorke's Drift
Second Afghan War 1878-1880

The Last Berkshire Eleven
General Roberts in Afghanistan
First Boer War 1881

The Horrors of Majuba
Egyptian Revolt 1882

The Battle of Tel-el-Kebir
Mahdist Uprising 1883-85

General Gordon, the Hero of Khartoum
The Battle of El-Teb
The Battle of Abu Klea
The Rebel Surprise Near Tamai
Reconquest of Sudan 1896-98

The Battle of Atbara
The Battle of Omdurman
Second Boer War 1899-1902

The Battle of Glencoe
The Relief of Mafeking
Lord Robert's Triumphal Entry into Pretoriain other words subject matter


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:53 AM

What's tradarts?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:57 AM

Closing Down (like everything else)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 09:17 AM

I think its fair to conclude that

1. English culture is a very complex and hard to define amalgam.

2. It is also a very interesting area of study.

3. It is a very sensitive issue.

4. 3 English people in one room will advance 3 different opinions of what english culture is.

5. each will probably argue that the other two are wrong.

6. they will probably all get upset.

7. The BNP will hang around like bad smell to try and convince all of them that they best represent the viw that each of them of them is convinced of


Like the story of the 3 blind men arguing over what an elephant is ...

... its a curly snake - no its a tree trunk - no its like a little rope.


I think the poster has asked an interesting question, though I am concerned that her mind is closed to some aspects of English culture that she doesn't understand and therefore finds unpalatable.

But I don't see that she has been any more closed minded than some of her critics.

Which of course ultimately proves that I'm the most open minded and enlightened person in the whole world!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 10:14 AM

As Jack says, from the anthropological perspective, those films are culture. And in fact, from every other well-defined perspective, except for the values-based one, which says that some person or organization gets to decide if something is "culture" based on how "good" it is. The problem with that model, as I said, is that "tradarts" usually lose out, and are not considered culture by most of the arbiters who decide what counts a "culture."

"Tradarts," by the way, is simply a neologism for "traditional arts," which is itself more-or-less contiguous with what is often called "folklore." The term has developed mainly in the internet age, when "tradarts" became an element of various URLs, including the one Diane gave above. It is a conscious attempt to shed the terms "folk" and "folklore" because of the baggage those terms carry.

Academic folklorists, as well as people who perform traditional music and dance, have for years struggled with the baggage of the term "folk," so I sympathize with Diane's wish to avoid it. The problem is that "traditional" is no better. In the language of arts organizations, which is where my career has been up to a couple of years ago, the "traditional arts" are painting, classical music, ballet, and other "High art." My former boss used to come to meetings with funders and say "we present folk and other non-traditional arts," until I worked with her to break her of the habit. So using another term, which already had another meaning, rarely does any good.

Inventing a new term like "tradarts" may help, so I wish her luck with it. But I don't see it catching on much, so if one uses the term one is rarely understood.

One challenge for this thread, it seems to me, is that some of us are taking Lizzie Cornish's question at face value, and others are responding to different questions, based on a long-running argument that most of us here don't quite understand. The thread was not called "English Tradarts-What are they?" so even if your favorite kinds of culture fall under the umbrella of tradarts, discussing other forms of culture is still appropriate to this thread. I think it's relatively obvious that films and poetry (even poetry I may not like) are perfectly valid examples of "culture." The question was, what makes culture "English"?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 06:00 PM

tradarts,equals bullshit.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 06:09 PM

no captain, its a very good and descriptive term.

the problem is to contain this rubbish - keep it confined to BBC2 programmes that no one listens to; just get the artists to play and sing obscure shit in really silly voices that no one could possibly relate to; make it a sort of middle class ghetto for people with sod all to say to say and just about the requisite amount of talent to say it........

I don't think you could hope make it work.

Happy new year!


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Gervase
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 06:35 PM

Sorry, but that's absolute bollocks.
Look at Boka Halat. Who, you ask? Exactly. A fantastic fusion of English and African music that appeals to people outside the narrow ghetto of 'folk'. It's the sort of thinking that crosses borders rather than erects barriers (as some on here would seem to want to do).
And if that sort of music finds itself confined to BBC 2 programmes - well, good for them, because it's rather more than the average folk club offering manages to do. I'm sorry, but the 'traditional' as opposed to the 'tradarts' stuff can't seem to find airtime anywhere. Sad, maybe, but true.
So instead of sitting on a rather frail ivory tower and casting aspersions, can I suggest that those who would criticise would actually listen to some of the stuff they decry, and look at the sort of people who are drawn to it, and then sit back and think very hard. Think how they can engage the same sort of audience, and how then can make their material as fun, relevant and engaging.
Which leads us, in a commodious vicus of circulation, back to the thread about folk clubs dying....


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Claudes youger cousin-Basic structuralism
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 07:05 PM

What makes culture English?

There's a good un when your pissed and up late and not in England. Lets get started then.

First human activity, First act of humans- seperate self from nature, become cultural. Food (cooked=first culture), drink, family structures, kinship, all cultural. Invent spoken language. Song and storytelling part of language. Codify/organise culture to pass on down generations. Seperate the story/song from act of telling or singing = Myth/survival machine.

Therefore Carry on films=cultural. Music (all)=culture.

Second act of humans-seperate 'us' from 'them' Some 'us' is English. We Chuck bricks at 'them'(Welsh, Scots Irish, Jews, Poles, Immigrants, fill in the blanks, you know your own weaknesses).

Third act of humans- seperate 'us' from those lower/different/ than 'us'- 'them'. (lower class/upper class, high culture/low culture; popular/minority.hmm sounds familiar)

Fourth act of humans- use these categories as a means of forming an identity (sense of self and place in the world)and personalise it so that you describe yourself in terms these categories= 'I am.....'

Fifth act of humans- forget that these categories are the product of humans (cutural) and believe that they are part of nature/common sense/(natural).

Sixth act of humans- ascribe worth to people you have never met on basis of cultural values attributed to them: stereotype. and get very upset with them when they don't behave......

For myself, if I can make a value judgment I think just about the lowest(!) sense of self identity that can be expressed is that of nationality. And the lowest(!) kind of politics is nationalism. Which in my book is but three steps from facism.

SO for that reason, I'd have to answer the question by saying- any human activity occuring in the geographical area called 'England' is English culture. What makes it English is that England is where it happens. And I'd be very interested in hearing why you would think anything else is a tenable position!

Best wishes. I'm going to bed.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 07:29 PM

"And I'd be very interested in hearing why you would think anything else is a tenable position!"

In London - A Brazilian Bar, full of Brazilians, watching Brazil play football on the big screen, as samba music is played on the stereo ...

What do I win?


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 07:31 PM

(and of course not much body hair ... )


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 04:53 AM

what if one of the Brazilians was a cousin of the watersons, and another was actually the third yo yo player in the in 1968 line of fairport, and another had written a song recorded by billy bragg?

i reckon you'd have an entire edition of frooots and half of mike hardings next programme in that pub.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 05:41 AM

I'm struggling with the idea of films 'being' culture. Reflecting it certainly, the Boulting brothers, Hitchcock, Charles Crichton, Powell and Pressburger all held up recognisable mirrors to England but that's not the same as the core cultural product.
The weakness of a consistent meme has made sweet wrappers, pulp movies and pop music suggest culture to someone, which is not the same as an on-going music, dance, dress and cuisine. If it isn't popular culture and isn't unmediated historical fact and English folk is largely a revivalist invention I'd suggest English Culture has not survived in a meaningful or universal way.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 06:38 AM

your view of culture is too small.   sociologists say that three people on an island are a society. and every society has a culture.

All play for example is a form of cultural activity. It is the people's vitality which makes a culture, not a load of dumbshit rules about made up by academics, anoraks and the like.

English culture has no option but too survive, because the place is full to bursting point with creative players. Whether it survives in a form you approve of, is another matter.

But objectively speaking, culture has not left the building.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 11:29 AM

Perhaps WLD but culture (singular) implies homogeneity, a monolithic and easily accessed national default which infers stability in a range of key signifiers. I don't think we have that. We have a situation where skateboarders are on an equal cultural footing to pianists which are vying with experimental video makers and football shirt collectors.
I'm not attributing value to the situation, simply remarking on what I observe.
Actually, there is a prejudice against traditional forms and groups and anyone trying to attain money for artistic projects from the larger sources will find diversity, inclusion, ethnicity, etc., are terms that free up cash more readily than continuity and permanence.

It doesn't make Daily Mail type steam emerge from my ears because all sorts of groups have hogged creative resources over the years, financial and human and most were mainstream, male and white.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 11:36 AM

Got It!

DEFINITION OF ENGLISH CULTURE.

A blind man.
In a dark room.
Looking for a black cat.
Which isn't there

Done Deal.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 11:45 AM

There is surely a degree of expectation, a degree of normativeness, and a degree of distinctiveness about the expression "English culture".

As to "distinctiveness", there may well be representations of facets of other coultures tobe found in England, or observed by some English, but that does not make those things representative of English culture - as the exaple above of the Brazilian bar demonstrates.

As to "expectation" it surely cannot be said that an activity that is commonplace but generally disapproved within a culture is part of a culture - so tax evasion (rather than avoidance) is not IMHO part of English culture but is widely said to be part of the Italian culture (the "two sets of books" philosophy). Conversely, something may be unlawful but widely accepted and so is part of the culture - for example unlicensed downloading of copright music.

As to "normativeness" an activity that has not yet become established and so commonplace within a culture cannot surely be part of that culture.

It would seem to follow that as well as current activitites, past activities will be part of the culture, but not those that have come to be depsised - eg bear-baiting and cockfighting. THey are art of history, but not culture.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM

equal cultural footing.........which bleeding annexe of the planet Zog are you currently inhabiting?

And every seat at Stratford is subsididised by how much, every seat at Covent garden by how much.....And your Public Library won't even let you put up a poster for a local folkclub because that means them getting involved in rank commercialism - The Amadeus Noseflute Quartet are up there with the 'acceptable' folkies (a sizeable part of whose acts seems to be telling you of how they were sudsidised for writing and performing something totally unmemorable).

PRS gets the money no problem for some dotty opera that about three people listen to on the 3rd programme. But hey when you pop in and do a session for afternoon radio somewhere or other - actually they're doing you the favour publicising your minority music, they'll log the play - but hey who knows if you'll get anything. (I do! you won't))

Try suggesting that folk music in England could learn an awful lot in terms of populism and hiring a decent record producer from American Country Music and then you will really hear the howls of derision - you can't improve on the perfection that they consider themselves to have attained.

English artists influenced by americana are the real untermenschen of the folkscene in England.

equal footing....it means they kick you with one foot, then the other.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 12:08 PM

Funnily enough, BBC R4 this very morning broadcast The Fortune Hunters which explained exactly how to go about chasing unclaimed royalties. First of all, you register as the clairvoyancy meter at the PRS is clean out of shillings . . .


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 12:45 PM

I think of the Winter Solstice as a part of English culture, the yule log in its quest to bring back the Sun (not the Son). Happy Solstice, everyone. The New Year started on Dec. 21.

I think of Charles Dickens, too, for his social commentary. No overt religious references
in his "Christmas Carol" which I appreciate. Just peace on Earth and good will. Who can disagree with that (who is in their right mind)?

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 01:26 PM

the prs/mcps are sodding useless unless you're paul macartney. they could afford to dib out a bit more if they weren't always sending idiotic communications and glossy publications generally about bugger all.
Clairvacancy meter always seems full to overflowing...

bah humbug!

quite right Frank, nothing better than the winter solstice; to sit by a roaring fire in the depths of winter and chuck onto the flames the latest glossy publication from the PRS.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: number 6
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 01:31 PM

"English Culture - What is it?"

I dunno ... when an answer is found let me know .... ok

biLL


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 02:03 PM

Dickens is a fine example of English culture. I read and/or watch a film of "A Christmas Carol" every year. It is not only a great English story, but also a great metaphysical story about improving yourself through introspection.

There are a couple of overtly Christian references in it, as when Tiny Tim says he likes people to see him at Christmastime so that they may be reminded who made blind men see and lame beggars walk. Still, Frank's point holds: it emphasizes the peace and goodwill over the religious specifics.

This brings up a folk-related question, which perhaps should have its own thread so as not to divert this one.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 03:31 PM

the prs/mcps are sodding useless unless you're paul macartney. they could afford to dib out a bit more if they weren't always sending idiotic communications and glossy publications generally about bugger all.
well said,and the same goes for IMRO.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 06:31 PM

WLD - ROFL

Antonio Carlos Waterson - the Girl from Bridlington

Young and pale and cold and chubby
The girl from Bridlingon goes walking
And as she passses all the boys go
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

"what if one of the Brazilians was a cousin of the watersons, and another was actually the third yo yo player in the in 1968 line of fairport, and another had written a song recorded by billy bragg?

i reckon you'd have an entire edition of frooots and half of mike hardings next programme in that pub."

Just struck me. chuck in a couple of rockstars too old and useless to get the Stockport pantomime gig as Wishy Washy, and you'd have a pretty typical line up for Cambridge.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 06:34 AM

I hope I am not repeating something earlier in this thread....

To culture = to cultivate

Therefore by definition, a culture is not what something used to be, but something that is now, by an on-going process of refinement and cultivation..... a culture is something that is made, grown.

Therefore, English culture is what we have made 'Englishness' today, but it would be arrogant to say there is one English culture, as local cultures form independently (rural vs urban, city vs market town wealthy 10% vs poorest 10% etc.) It is a sad that many cultures are converging into being defined by identical shopping malls, out of town retail parks, fast food shops, etc.)


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 10:13 PM

But the cultured vegetables or roses (or, indeed, dogs or cats) are based on the genes of the old, and by what their creators wish them to be, as well, plus a certain amount of random variation (and selection).


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Jan 09 - 01:10 AM

Richard is right. The sense in which "culture" is like "cultivate" has no bearing on whether it is a past or present phenomenon. People cultivated in the past, and they cultivate today. They had culture in the past, and culture today. And their current culture, like their current agri-culture, has some continuity with the past, as well as some innovation.

In more tedious academic terms, culture has both diachronic and synchronic dimensions; we can talk about "today's English culture" as a system that exists all at one time, but each element in that system also has a history that stretches into the past. Some elements, like folksong, drama, and literature, stretch back a long way, while other elements, like cinema, only stretch back a few years. Some, like Indian cuisine, have a long history elsewhere and only a short history in England, but they are certainly part of current English culture.

That said, I agree with much of SPB's post as well...I just think the etymology of the word "culture" doesn't go that far in explaining our shared positions.


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Subject: RE: English Culture - What is it?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Jan 09 - 03:23 AM

There is a good culture appearing on some Christmas Day sprouts in my kitchen.

eric


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