Why am I such a hopeless anglophile?
I wrote about it “back in the day.”
I think it’s due to the brevity of the occasion – ten days in Europe: six in England and four in France. I also think it’s due to the circumstances – ten days with Kerrie, July 7th to July 17th; a birthday present and long awaited visit. Both of these made me stand in awe at most that I experienced. The reasons behind the stick – the holding fast of “ye ol’ Anglia” still confuse me. Why England? Why not India or Prussia or Eastern Texas? Why not something close to the Queen Bee Mill?
I know the fascination started early. My mother was a closet “anglophile,” drawn to the more British things on the television dial. It stems, I feel, from the accessibility of British culture, the familiarity and differences combined. A person can grasp the culture so easily because of its close parallels to an American one. Similar language, similar foods, and similar – nearly identical – ancestry put less fear into the English culture. There’s little to learn and nothing unfamiliar to jar Americans in their all-too-consistent worlds.
So, for some oddly exotic reason, British media is shown in the U.S. as a higher-brow form of entertainment. Therefore, as I was bred on English mystery programs and raised on late 70’s English rock, the vision of the U.K. as intellectual capital (and the “place to be”) grew.
Later, as I reached high school level, I began to latch on (after my punk phase and before my emo phase) to 60’s-70’s rock – late era Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Who – and also discovered the high-brow yet low and subtle humor of Monty Python. These shows formed the visual background to my thoughts of London: village-like and cozy, reserved and quirky. My love of England sprouted primarily from the humor of the island. Through this humor (and one movie in particular) the love turned into a past time.