Joining the misc link bandwagon

I’m not sure if this will become a regular feature, but I thought I’d share a few links that caught my interest:

  • Lost World War II battlefield rediscovered deep in the jungle of Papua New Guinea.
  • After a very sophisticated study involving the analysis of Hollywood villains and overheard conversations, British columnist Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher Hitchens) concludes that Americans hate British people.

3 thoughts on “Joining the misc link bandwagon

  1. Well I think Hitch II really thinks you chaps hate us English rather than all Brits. I’ve run into more than a few jabs about Ireland or Empire (on the other hand I’ve also been asked what uniforms the Scottish Army wore in the Second World War so I don’t take this stuff too seriously).

    Most of his points don’t hold up well. ‘The Patriot’ was garbage but you hardly saw Americans threatening to burn English shops after watching it. The number of posh English villains always seemed to me to be more about class than nationality (especially as the Brit actors are usually playing dastardly foreigners).

    [Though if you could please ask Hollywood to stop making films where Blighty is going to intervene in the Civil War because we love slavery/hate freedom/are still pissed about 1776/have giant mechanical spiders that’d be great because I’m bored of that plot already.]

    On the other hand I agree with some of his points. The notion that WW2 was all peachy and we’re BFF’s now is rot and the historians and politicians would do well to listen. There is a tendency in the UK to go on and on, interminably, about the special relationship in quite a wrong-headed manner. Which royally buggers up the UK’s foreign policy on occasion.

    Or maybe Hitch II is going even more Enoch Powell than I thought…

    P.S. Sure you’ve seen it but the NYT story has been fairly debunked. It would cost $1.5-2 trillion to get at that $1 trillion.

    • I read the Hitchens column primarily for the entertainment value. I find much of his social and cultural commentary interesting, but when he turns to international affairs or relations with the United States, his mind goes completely unhinged and he adopts the tone of a communist pamphleteer.

      If Hitchens wants to dredge up ancient history (the War of 1812, the Washington Naval Treaty, World War II, Suez) to argue against the existence of the “special relationship,” so be it. It’s actually quite fascinating to read of tension in the long history of US-UK relations. But it is fascinating exactly because of the strong linguistic and cultural ties between the two countries. The “special relationship” exists on the social – not the political – plane. Contrary to Hitchen’s nonsense, I do not know a single American that harbors ill-feelings toward the UK. America is not “itching to bash [you] in the snoot.”

      It is clear that he has some fixation on The Patriot – an infamous box-office disappointment – because this is now the second time he has cited it as evidence of latent anti-British prejudice in America. The absurdity of using Hollywood products as evidence of ANYTHING is obvious to the rest of the planet, but evidently not to Hitchens. And, I must admit, I’ve seen some British productions that paint Americans in an equally bad light.

      [Idly channel surfing one day, I came across Spooks on BBC America. Sure, there’s the female “good” American character, who is tall, blonde and attractive, but the other Americans are apparently members of the Gestapo.]

      And comments about how “few Americans have heard of Wales” and “the ignorant millions who get their history off the TV” are cheap shots more fitting as the vapid remarks of talking heads on cable news networks.

      Oh, wait. That’s basically what Hitchens is…

      • “Idly channel surfing one day, I came across Spooks on BBC America. Sure, there’s the female “good” American character, who is tall, blonde and attractive, but the other Americans are apparently members of the Gestapo.”

        Touché sir, touché.

        (I’ll be honest, there’s much worse than Spooks when it comes to anti-Americanism in the UK, much as I wish there wasn’t.)

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