Log in

No account? Create an account
Across Our Pond - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Across Our Pond
When I was a kid, my parents watched a lot of PBS. In particular, they favored British dramas. Long before I could follow the grown-up themes in Upstairs, Downstairs, I was absorbing its ambience, particularly the sounds of the characters' conversations. Given the popularity of that show in the States, I'm sure I wasn't the only American in my age-range with that experience. As I think back on it now, though, it strikes me how odd it was. I knew little about the United Kingdom at the time. The approaching Bicentennial had alerted me to the fact that the British were once our enemy, but my knowledge of contemporary Anglo-American relations was minimal to the point of non-existence. Yet British -- or perhaps I should say "English" -- culture saturated my domestic life. I wonder what happened to my worldview as a result of this double consciousness. Would I have been less interested in world affairs without it?

Tags: ,
Current Location: 85704

4 comments or Leave a comment
From: batdina Date: June 19th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I wonder the same thing. J just ordered that show from amazon (on sale for 50% off) and we're going to compare late childhood notes, as she watched it on that side of the pond and I on this. I suspect I knew a bit more about over there than you did (I was 15) but all things considered, certainly not as much as either of us know now.

I would guess that the pervasiveness of British drama of every kind in our household is at least in part why I am who I am today. Still, it's an interesting question, since J *can't* say the same thing, but here she is.
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: June 19th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
My mother was also an avid watcher of Upstairs, Downstairs. She was always interested in all things British, and I think I picked up my Anglophile tendencies from her. I do think it permanently changed me--I've never been a proper American since :-).
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You might not have grown up to be a 'left winger'.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 19th, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Could be. Of course, the programs I was absorbing tended to be pretty mainstream and, what's more, oriented towards the past in a manner that was at least partially nostalgic. And many of our conservative figures in the States have had a thing for Englishness.
4 comments or Leave a comment