Carbon Copy Cultures?

I watched a documentary about a boy in Afghanistan a couple of months ago. There was one scene where a group of fighters (of mixed and mixed up loyalties) discussed the occupying forces. One thought the UK was part of the US. Another declared that it was the other way round. A third scoffed at them both and informed the gathering that Britain was really the Great Satan, and the US were its puppets.

In Iran there are plenty of people who believe the same, and that Washington does as its London masters bid. Unbelievably, there is a movement within the US itself which seems to believe that the US never did actually gain its independence. In Mexico, I was often questioned about the differences between the British and their northern neighbours.

I wouldn’t imagine that anyone reading this would believe in any of the above theories or concepts. But there are big differences between the two countries. There’s a shared language, many shared beliefs, but two distinct cultures. There are, of course, many sub-cultures within each country. But I have an excellent example of what makes Britain different from the US.

The video below is of a photographer standing up for his rights outside of crisp factory. All the key ingredients are there. Petty incident? Check. Indignant stubborness? Check. Use of the word ‘bloody’? Check. When really heated, use of the word ‘wanker’? Check. Complete lack of real aggression throughout? Check. Generally polite exchange? Check. Nothing really happens before all parties go their separate ways? Check. It’s all very, very ‘unAmerican’… 🙂


4 thoughts on “Carbon Copy Cultures?

  1. Great video. Too many people in my estimation roll over and succumb to intimidation like the security guards were trying to do. In the US, it’s the same thing, but the police do it also and walk all over the rights of the people. The peoples liberties are eaten away bit by bit and all of a sudden it’s considered the norm.
    Lots of woosy people not wanting to rock the boat. Someone in the 60’s said question authority…..we should be questioning it even more today.


    • Absolutely. The guy is getting some criticism on the web, albeit from a minority, for going out with the intent to bait and provoke people into reacting. But in my opinion, if security guards take the bait so easily and clearly possess so little knowledge with regards their job, then the exercise is worthwhile. Doubly so when it gets lots of attention, and other security professionals are made aware of what is and isn’t lawful.


  2. Kim G says:

    Fascinating video. I’m thrilled when people go out and exercise their rights in ways that aren’t easy. After all, unexercised rights are rights that are eventually lost. And yes, it does seem like the UK is quite a bit more civilized in this regard. The U.S. police believe far too strongly that they are their own law and can do whatever they want. Unfortunately, they mostly get away with it.

    As for Afghanistan, you’ve hit the nail on the head. How can you impose democracy on a country where most people are illiterate, or semi-literate? How does such a population exercise a right to vote? I think this is another example of the U.S. not really understanding what it’s getting into in the realm of foreign policy.

    Great post!


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’d love to see more people peaceably confronting the police when they do wrong.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.