Bert and Ernie share a bed. But they’re not gay. They’re just reallyreallyclose.
Britain and the USA are closer than any other two countries on earth. We started out as rivals some 250 years ago, but today, despite some superficial differences around culture, politics and pronunciation of our shared language – we totally love each other. We are like, BFFs. We are in fact so close, that the entire world had to invent a catchphrase to try to capture our closeness: they call it: “the special relationship.”
Thelma and Louise elect to drive their convertible off a cliff.
We do everything together. Absolutely everything – we even self destruct in similar ways. In 2016 Britons voted to leave the EU and Americans elected Donald Trump as President. Many observers see both elections as acts of catastrophic national self-harm. But at least we are going over the edge together.
Bill & Ted do stupid things together that change the history of the world.
It has almost always been this way. The UK and the USA are so closely linked, in so many ways, that we can’t help ourselves. You fight the Germans, we fight the Germans. You elect union-bashing, right wing icon Margaret Thatcher, we elect union-bashing, right-wing icon Ronald Reagan. We invade Iraq, you invade Iraq. We have the most excellent idea of deregulating the financial services sector leaving the economy vulnerable to a sub-prime mortgage devaluation crisis, you have the most excellent idea of deregulating the financial services sector leaving the economy vulnerable to a sub-prime mortgage devaluation crisis. Then, like best friends do everywhere: we stick together as we try to cope with the most bogus problems we have created for the entire planet, as results of our own poor decisions.
Itchy and Scratchy frequently resort to violence, but only as a first resort.
We both share a propensity for conflict, sometimes with each other – but besties are like that. We fought two wars against each other; the American Revolution and the War of 1812. But ever since, we’ve turned our wrath on pretty much everyone else. Together, we’re two of the most violent nations that the world has ever seen. If you’re British, you’re probably thinking something like: “That’s not fair – America is way more violent than the UK. Not only do you have military forces active all over the planet, you have mass shootings practically every day!” It’s true that the USA definitely has taken the lead in recent years, but historically, Americans pale in comparison to their former colonial overlords. Britain has waged more wars, on more countries than any other tribe, nation or empire in recorded human history. Only 22 countries on the planet have not been attacked by the UK. We fight, we bite, we bite and fight and bite!
Hall and Oates aren’t the superstars they once were, but everyone is afraid to tell them. Especially Oates – he scares me.
Speaking of the good old days, it used to be that other nations trembled in terror at the might of America and Britain, but nowadays both of our countries are in geo-political decline, and we’re also both in denial about it. The British pound is at historic lows and the UK has no leverage in its negotiations on the terms of its exit from Europe. The country has no say in the one region of the world where it should have the most influence. It has an ineffective, unelected leader, and an even more ineffective and unpopular opposition party. In the USA, things are actually worse. America is ceding leadership in Asia to China, reneging on trade deals and NATO obligations, and turning over the reigns of government to imbeciles and amateurs. There’s no longer a sense in the USA that the country can accomplish anything. Republicans have been so successful in sowing mistrust of its own government, that the same nation that once put men on the moon, now believes that supplying basic health care for its citizens is an impossible task. Both countries are… out of touch and out of time. You could say our kiss is no longer on everyone’s list. Or that we are behaving like a rich girl who has gone too far… er, you get the idea.
Dumb and Dumber is the name of a fictional film. But it could also be a documentary.
I know that the lesson we’re meant to take away from these recent shock election results, is that non-urban, white voters are protesting against an establishment that has ignored their concerns for too long. But I think the real lesson is that 52% of everyone who lives in America and the United Kingdom are really goddamned stupid. Okay, maybe more gullible than stupid. But what do you call it when someone is told obvious lies by politicians, and they choose to believe those lies, and then when all those obvious lies are revealed to be lies, they still pretend they knew what they were doing all along? Where is that extra £350 million pounds a week for the NHS? When is Trump going to build his giant wall, start ‘draining the swamp’ and locking up Hilary Clinton? We knew all of that was just lies, and we voted for the people we knew were lying to us anyway. It just makes me feel depressed, like the way I felt that time when my parakeet’s head fell off.
Scooby Doo and Shaggy live in a completely unnecessary state of constant fear.
People in both America and the UK are scaredy-cats – we’ve got that in common. We fall for the same tricks over and over again. Sure, we could read the New York Times or the Economist to find out what’s really going on in the world and in our own countries, but most people choose to get their information and misinformation from The Daily Mail and the Fox News channel. Those outlets are all about fear – fear of immigrants, Muslims, Europeans, ghosts, whatever. They distract us from the real baddies and monsters that are hidden in plain sight. Sir Phillip Green bankrupts BHS and puts the pensions of thousands of working class people at risk, but of course he gets to keep his yachts. Donald Trump runs for the presidency on an anti-corruption platform, and immediately starts cutting deals for international Trump hotels, when he’s not busy settling fraud cases. And they get away with it too, because we are misinformation-believing suckers and there just are no meddling kids to interfere. Ruh roh!
Darth Vader and the Emperor just want what’s best for you, and for the Empire.
The USA and Britain – we’re the good guys. Together we stood up to the Nazis, wrote the Magna Carta and the U.S. Constitution, and have societies with enshrined protections for the unencumbered practice of religious beliefs and the exercise of free speech and dissent. But in recent years, both countries have allowed spying on their own citizens to an extent that would have made Stalin blush. Britain has the most extensive cctv citizen surveillance system of any country, ever. It also just introduced “the most intrusive spying law in the history of Western Democracies.” And no one even made a fuss about it. In the USA, the NSA already monitors all phone traffic, and Republicans are toying with the idea of a religious registry for citizens and residents, but don’t worry – that one would only be for the Muslims. But we need to be protected from
rebel scum terrorists.
Beavis and Butt-head are not very clever. But I would still want to hang out with them.
I don’t want to paint too bleak a picture. Sure, we’re being pummelled with misinformation and fear. Yes we have terrible, even hateful politicians running things right now and an erosion of our civil rights in both countries. But so what? We still have each other. Who cares if Theres May is a fart knocker, Boris Johnson is a butt munch and Mike Pence is an ass clown? We still rock. I mean really rock – no two countries have ever rocked out as much as we do. We’ve got it down to a science, and the vibrancy of the partnership of our two nations will continue to survive and even thrive, despite political and financial setbacks…
Churchill and FDR inspired their nations with their speeches, and their blog posts tied together very nicely in the end.
America invents rock and roll and Britain gives us Led Zeppelin. The USA makes the superhero movies, and Britain provides the Cumberbatches to star in them. The USA develops the internet, and the UK creates the world wide web that enables you to read this blog and watch pornography.
No one else does creativity, pop culture and innovation like us. Britain and America have the best universities, the best writers and the best athletes. We have an inexhaustible supply of explorers, entrepreneurs and artists. None of that is going to change in the next four, ten or fifty years.
Britain will still be part of Europe – in some capacity, and America will eventually tire of Donald Trump and elect someone else. Political trends come and go. But one thing that will endure is the productive alliance between our two countries. We’re each other’s dawgs. Have you ever been anybody’s dawg before? Well it’s special. It’s a special relationship. It’s like Mulder and Scully, Batman and Robin, Patsy and Edina, Calvin and Hobbes, Fish and Chips and a bunch of other famous duos who I thought about including in this blog post but then I couldn’t think of anything funny or relevant to say about them so I decided to list them here at the end. We’re just like them, all of them. We are in this mess together.
But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt things if we would could agree, among ourselves as the bestest friends that ever existed in the history of the world, to stop voting like butt munches – at least for a little while. Thanks, dawg.