Thursday, February 16, 2006

Daniel Kitson

Somehow, managing to get over my World Cup mourning (I'm now on to 'Acceptance' stage), I have a late Valentine's day with the Boy. Here's the bouquet he surprised me with on Tuesday. Sadly, I think I'm against cut flowers now (trying to be more ethical and such), so these will be the last I will have. Boy's response: "Whew!" I'm getting cheaper and cheaper the longer he knows me.

A co-worker gave us her reservation to see a comedian, Daniel Kitson. We vaguely had heard his name, but we knew nothing about him. He was actually good, though he didn't say much that was funny. He just a lot of things that were true: humanity is cruel and vapid and we are encouraged to be this way. I think his show was a one-man revolution to encourage people to break off the shackles of indifference and self-centredness and embrace a more global view of life.

Anyway, there was an American girl in the audience who must have felt the same way. Every time he said something that she thought was interesting or she agreed with, she would 'Whoo!' in a typical American way. The amusing thing was that everyone could see that it was disconcerting to Kitson and he finally told her, very politely (as they do here), to shut up.

I, too, found her most annoying. Look, I agreed with the fellow as well, but that is not how things are done here. I guess I can't stand Americans who come here and think everyone will think they are cool because they are Americans, thereby behaving in a 'typically' American way: being loud. People take the piss out of us here all the time, more than Americans realise. Like if someone says something a bit stupid, then a British person would most likely affect an general American accent to respond. Something like, "Yeh, like, no duh." Or, "Ohmigod, you're, like, so stupid." (Whereas in the US in this situation, I would put on a southern accent)(Actually, when British put on an American accent, it's usually a 'valley girl' type; when Americans put on a British accent, it is usually vaguely posh and southern sounding)

But, I digress. The show wasn't really a 'Whoo!'-type show, so it was grating that she wasn't picking up on the context, despite watching the same show as everyone else. But, as I think about the annoying American bird more, I don't find her as irritating. I think it's natural for people to try to reach out and to respond to others that they like, say things that agree with, or care about. Which is what I guess she was doing. It's normal to try to make a connection with others.

I dunno. Something to marinate on.


Blogger svetlana said...

hey, is it okay that i followed your link off your myspace profile? just stopping by to see what this is about... as for the american thing... some americans are absolute goofs and need to learn a few things about the inhibitions of life in britain. and maybe, by acting out, that's exactly how they'll learn. NOT to say that it's fair that life here IS inhibiting... but it's life, nonetheless and changing them is less likely than changing our own attitudes about how we feel we're being approached. in a nutshell, i guess we can't prevent some poor, ignorant but sincere americans from stepping in a british hole of slime. they need to fall in, writhe in the goo and then react accordingly.

harsh? perhaps. hey- it's what we had to deal with.

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 12:40:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

You know, Americans are something I have to deal with. My own prejudices have a lot to do with my own particular situation. The last time I lived overseas, I was very much the 'typical' American. I think I'm trying to right a wrong -- trying to alter my karma?

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 14:11:00 GMT  
Blogger svetlana said...

well last year i seriously went into a character switch and shrunk into myself... fully afraid of all of my american parts. it was at christmas that i made the conscious decision to come back into town as ME, myself. not an american shriveled into submission. but then again, the american that i've become is far from the american i once was... so although i feel more comfortable being more 'american' (and allowing myself to be that, now) the concept of being american is all so relative.

going to wesley owen on george street now. need anything?

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 14:16:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

True, true. However, I'm pretty sure the true ME is terribly self-conscious and too muddled by the various cultures (whether I was born into them or just inhabited them) that are within me. I know that sounds right awful, but I'm learning to embrace that neurotic bit of me.

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 14:24:00 GMT  
Blogger svetlana said...

you're my favourite neurotic. ;)

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 14:32:00 GMT  
Anonymous the ern said...

heya, leave the poor WOO! girl alone, yo. she didn't know she was being weird/annoying. although, i know how it feel like people like that are damaging your carefully-cultivated foreigner balance ('disgrace to the race' and all)...they aren't thinking about anyone else.

but i did want to say that i think your americanness was refreshing you-know-where. i don't think you were rude/annoying; you just had no problem being yourself. without u i would have been doomed to an indirect life of dodging people and would have had a worse time here in the states figuring out how to be american when the time came to re-integrate with the masses. now i love laughing uproariously in public.

Monday, 20 February 2006 at 09:29:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

No matter where I am, nothing will stop me from laughing uproariously, including a stick-in-the-mud, though handsome, uptight English hu'bands.

Monday, 20 February 2006 at 16:56:00 GMT  

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