The (British) Empire Strikes Back : America. We Forgive You

Dear America,

We, the people of Great Britain, forgive you.

We forgive you because we like you enormously.

In fact, until you threw a lot of tea into a river somewhere around Boston you were a part of us.

Since then we have watched with varying degrees of astonishment and wonder at quite how you have managed to survive without us and become such a magnificent race of people.

We forgive you for Ronald McDonald and making our children obese with your fast food.

We forgive you for George Bush Junior.

We forgive you for Baseball – which is known as ‘Rounders’ in Britain and is played mostly by young ladies in very short gymslip skirts making it eminently more entertaining than the American version.

We forgive you for American Football – which appears to be played with an oddly shaped ball that is rarely kicked by the foot. Apart from when some chap I believe is called a ‘kicker’ trots on, kicks it and trots off again. Nice work if you can get it…

We forgive you for Arnold Schwarzenegger – well it’s Austria’s fault initially isn’t it?

We forgive you for American war movies (known as films in Great Britain) with lines such as ‘Fire in the hole’ and ‘I’m hit! Blackhawk down!’ as opposed to the British versions for lobbing a grenade into a trench of ‘Take that you rotter!’ or the true story of a Wessex Helicopter crashing in The Falklands killing the crew of two who’s last radio message was ‘Cancel dinner for two this evening if you please’

We forgive you for Dallas and Dynasty.

We forgive you for your marines singing bizarre songs as they march along.

We forgive you for the term ‘friendly fire’ when your fighter pilots decide to shoot British Soldiers by mistake.

We forgive you for not making Great Britain – or at least England – the 51st State, which would have been infinitely preferable to Europe which is, sadly full of French and Germans and other strange people who do not speak English.

We forgive you for not speaking English as we know it.

But mostly,

We, the British people forgive you for one of your number living up to his nom de plume MAD Mike, and permitting this particular Englishman to post on his blog on a weekly basis under the banner of ‘The (British) Empire Strikes Back’ with an Englishman’s perspective of all things American whether in America or elsewhere in the world.

I look forward to showing a stiff upper lip at all times.


You are forgiven because we, the British people, love you dearly.

Yours sincerely until next Sunday

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43 Responses to The (British) Empire Strikes Back : America. We Forgive You

  1. Caffeine Princess

    February 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Why forgive America for all this ?

    I say we should thank them.

    Especially for things like Glenn Beck and O’Reilly (in fact for allowing Fox News to be aired at all — provides endless entertainment for a cynic like me), Krispy Kremes and for people who think Paris is a country.

  2. rockync

    February 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

    And we forgive you for sending researchers into this country who, no matter where they are from, be it England, Wales or Scotland, insist they are from the UK causing untold confusion as many Americans think of UK, Britain and England as interchangable.
    One question – Is Eastenders still on the TV in ummm, England? Britain? The UK? All we get here is very old reruns on Sunday nights. I have now been watching this for several years, slavishly. Some might call it obsessively…

  3. Jack Jodell

    February 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    And we love you dearly, too. We really do! Especially for your marvelous health care system, which you had the wisdom to implement right after World War II. ROCK ON, UK! 🙂

  4. Hillblogger

    February 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Hilarious post.

    To our friends on the other side of the pond: The official country name is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    I realise this may cause further confusion among our American friends but hope this bit of clarification will help:

    Great Britain is composed of 3 nations namely England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland, which is also a nation is part of the United Kingdom but not of Great Britain.

    The 4 nations make up the country which we now know as the United Kingdom aka UK.

    Additional info: Each of these nations have their own national anthem but on the international stage, England’s God Save the Queen is sung as the country’s (UK) national anthem.

  5. osori

    February 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks Hillblogger! I’d number myself among the guilty who’d used them interchangeably.

  6. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Oh dear. This is going to be an uphill struggle isn’t it?

  7. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Caffeine Princess – Who, precisely are these people? I have no idea. As for Krispy Kremes. Well. Really. I think ignorence can indeed be bliss.

    Rockync – Yes. I quite understand. I will endeavour to educate as I go old bean. East Enders? Very few people in England actually watch it as far as I am aware. Apparently they had a ‘live’ edition the other night. The wonders of modern television? Incidentally, the East End is now predominantly made up of muslims and mosques – my daughter is at University there so I know whereof I speak.

    Jack – Having partaken of our ‘wonderful’ health care system I can only concur. A Philipino nurse named Rochelle actually hit me on the head for unplugging myself from a heart monitor in order to enjoy a clandestine cigarette. Marvellous!

    Hillblogger – I worry you are fighting a lost cause but admire you enormously for being prepared to fight it.

    Osori – Quite. I’m sure you are a thoroughly good chap but I assume Geography is not necessarily your strong point?

  8. Hillblogger

    February 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Osori, my pleasure.

    But you are right in that the English, Scots and Welsh are all interchangeably British. Except for the people of Northern Ireland who are UK citizens but will identify themselves as Irish or some, as Northern Irish (as opposed to the people of the Republic of Ireland in the south.)

    The Irish of Northern Ireland may not take kindly to being identified as British in the same way the Scots or the Welsh may not take kindly to being called English.


  9. Hillblogger

    February 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    “Hill­blog­ger — I worry you are fight­ing a lost cause but admire you enor­mously for being pre­pared to fight it.”

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    One of the great virtues of the English is that they never know when to give up. 🙂

  10. Ole Phat Stu

    February 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Oh and we are grateful that Hollywood had the guts to make the film ‘Avatar’, despite it being so anti-american, anti-military, and anti-corporation.
    Even if it did borrow the plot from ‘Pocohontas’.

    FWIW, we do NOT forgive you for Sarah Palin, may she rest in peas 😉

    Declaration if interest . Dinners is one of my better blog-mates 🙂

  11. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Hillblogger – An excellent explanation which I am certain will only add to the confusion of some….;-)

    Also…The Bulldog Spirit old bean!!! May it never die eh?

    Stu – Welcome my friend. Avatar? Pocohontas? Really? Good grief. Is nothing sacred?

    Oh yes we do!!! We forgive them everything because they are Americans and as I’m in Ann Arbor this August I would prefer them to not shoot me…;-)

    …and yes. Stu is a valued blogmate and friend. He is also ridiculously clever, has operated in a clandestine way in his past for MI something or other and loves bulldogs. So be nice to him.

  12. Ole Phat Stu

    February 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Not clever, just overeducated 😉

  13. Truth101

    February 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    AS long as we’re on the subject and have a real British dude available,why are all actors with British accents cnsidered good actors? And they’re all “Shakesperian trained” whatever the hell that means.

    Don’t get me wrong 4D. I like the English. My grandmother was of English descent and made great Yorkshire pudding.

  14. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Stu – no apologies necessary…;-)

    Truth – If you like Yorkshire pudding you are a star of the highest order. The greatest British actor ever? Olivier?…no….Gielgud?…no….Vinnie Jones?….hehehehe…..Sean Connery?….no…..Michael Caine?…..nope.

    David Niven. If you want to understand what being British means watch Niven films…especially Carrington VC (Court Martial in the States due to alternative meanings for VC)

    The Brits are in hiding but we’re still here old bean!!!!

  15. MadMike

    February 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    LOL Truth!!! I LOVE Yorkshire Pudding and my grandmother also made the best ever….

  16. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    You need to have ‘stuffed Yorkshire Pudding’….generally stuffed with sausages…mmmmmmmmmmmm

    oh dear…my keypad is all wet now….oops

  17. Hillblogger

    February 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm


    Do you know that one of the best English (or perhaps British) puddings there is, is called “Niggers in the Snow?”

    Assure you, nothing to do with being politically incorrect but that’s what the pudding’s always been called.

    Yorkshire pudding — the best!!!!

  18. MadMike

    February 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Wow HillB! I had no idea, and I am from there, although most of the years spent in London and Newcastle were as a young boy. I can’t remember the last time I had Yorkshire Pudding!!

  19. Infidel753

    February 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Hey, I love Yorkshire puddings too (and my mother is actually from Yorkshire, so I should know). Maybe we should start a fan club. Just spare us the spotted dick.

    We for­give you for Dal­las and Dynasty.

    I don’t think I’ll ever forgive us for those.

    But thanks for Monty Python. The world wouldn’t be the same without it.

  20. Hillblogger

    February 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    All for it Infidel — this one here is a Yorkshireman.

  21. Hillblogger

    February 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm


    Are you saying you are English?

  22. Bee

    February 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for Sherlock Holmes.

    Sorry about that whole McDonald’s thing…

  23. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Only I could end up with an argument about Yorkshire Puddings on a post….;-)

    Somehow…I can’t quite wait for next Sunday afternoon when I start opinionating about the USA and connected subjects!

    Keep a stiff upper lip chaps (and chapesses)

    4D x

  24. osori

    February 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm


    Re: Being geographically challenged-guilty as charged sir!

    On the other hand, I hope I may redeem myself by stating I am, and always have been a David Niven fan.55 Days at Peking,Guns of Navarone, Pink Panther when he was the jewel thief teaching Robert Wagner the tricks of the trade-classiest guy in cinema.

  25. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    osori – You sir, are a gentleman of the highest order (fuck geography). Have you ever seen ‘Court Martial’ (Carrington VC in England)? I would recommend it very strongly to any Niven fan.

    Your servant sir!


  26. Bee

    February 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    David Niven…pffffft. My all time favorite is Peter O’Toole.

  27. fourdinners

    February 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    pfffft?…Disgraceful behaviour Bee. Consider yourself chastised…;-) O’Toole is the business I have to admit.

  28. osori

    February 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I’ll look for it.
    Hi Bee!

  29. Caffeine Princess

    February 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Fourdinners: Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have their own shows, namely The Glenn Beck Programme (‘The fusion of enlightenment and entertainment’ my BUM although the second noun is only 1/4 false) and The O’Reilly Factor. Just type them on youtube if you’re in need of a good laugh. I had my first Krispy Kreme yesterday. It was awesome. “‘stuffed York shire Pudding’.…generally stuffed with sausages…mmmmmmmmmmmm” Is that periphrasis for toad-in-the-hole?

    Hillblogger: cheers for the clarification. And Yorkshire puddings are amazing. Hmmm Sunday roasts

    Bee: O’Toole is OK. I must admit I had a mega crush on him in “Lawrence of Arabia”.

  30. Gwen

    February 22, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Yes, Peter O’Toole and Richard Harris!… once stayed at Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland same time as he was… a real morning gent…brandy, shotgun and all. And thanks for the delicious pic of HRM Elizabeth II. Though I’m partial to Elizabeth Tudor. Tiny but mighty… a personal heroine. I enjoy the clips you post on your blog 4D. They keep me tied there for some time… I’m a britcom-ophile. 🙂

  31. Lazersedge

    February 22, 2010 at 1:33 am

    A great big welcome to you Four Dinners for the Lazersedge. Sorry to be a bit late in my greetings but I have often been know as the late …
    It will be good to here of events from your side of the pond. I have a particular interest in a town their named Formby from where some of my fore fathers hailed. For all I know I own the place. lol Great to have you join us.

  32. rockync

    February 22, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Sorry, ya’ll I’m married to an Irishman so it’s bangers and mash for me or the Irish-American staple of corned beef and cabbage.
    Is it weird to people from other countries that we hyphenate our origins?
    Can’t remember ever having on of those researchers refer to themselves as Scottish-Britainians.
    Perhaps it’s just getting late and I need to get some sleep!

  33. barnsley sime

    February 22, 2010 at 3:17 am


    the food of the gods, made and named after gods own county!

    toad in the hole is a different kettle of fish from a stuffed pudding, in that the sausages are baked IN the batter. a stuffed pud has the contents placed into it AFTER baking.

    in yorkshire they also tend to be served as a starter, with onion gravy, BEFORE the main course. (or at least they are in every household i’ve ever eaten them in).

    i can say this with clarity, after all i AM a true yorkshireman, whereas that interloper Dinners, is from Oldham…the wrong side of the Pennines. (i’m allowed to say that, he’s my big bruv!)

    can’t wait for the next posts…but please be careful Dinners, you know we are heading accross the water in august, and i don’t want to be welcomed with a large man wearing a rubber glove!

  34. Beach Bum

    February 22, 2010 at 5:13 am

    You guys have some issues as well, you let David Tenant leave “Doctor Who” and replaced him with some kids who isn’t even old enough to shave.

  35. fourdinners

    February 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Princess – Why do I smile at those names? I can only think, for some obscure reason, they put me in mind of two Scottish queers…Ben Doon and Phil Macafferty…

    …oh dear…I’ll get my coat…

    Gwen – First Yorkshire Puddings…now Peter O’Toole and Richard Harris? I am desperately trying to follow all of this from the origin of my post. And I thought my mind shot off at tangents!…;-)

    Lazer – We will all become ‘the late’ one day old bean. Thank you for the welcome and remember – You live, you die. The bit in between is called life. Enjoy! (Dave Lister : Red Dwarf)

    Rockync – Bangers and mash?..mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…keypad wet….

    I suppose I must be a Lancastrian – Englishman. How odd. I must refer to myself as that henceforth!

    Sime – I might have known you’d pop up as soon as Yorkshire got a mention!..;-)

    Beachy – I quite agree old bean. Mind you, we must give the young chap a chance but a Tennantless Doctor Who may take a while to get used to. Still, I enjoyed the Ecclestone incarnation and it all worked out in the end.

  36. Billy B

    February 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I’m pissed at the whole world and don’t feel like forgiving anyone.

    Yeah, I think our dialect of English is in many ways a piece of crap also and they keep making up more words for it to make it even worse.

  37. fourdinners

    February 22, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Billy – Hello old bean. I think they will like you at MMA. If not? And? You could always try forgiving the monkeys for being so extraordinarily stupid? Not that they would ever identify themselves as the forgiven of course…;-)

  38. Hillblogger

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Is it my screen or has Elizabeth Regina’s photo become bigger since yesterday?

  39. Billy B

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Elizabeth Regina??

    Is that what you call her? I call her the queen slut.

  40. Billy B

    February 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Hey, why isn’t my profile showing up with my comments? I’m not that damn ugly.

  41. fourdinners

    February 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Hilly – She’s obviously swollen with pride at appearing on my post. A knighthood may await!

    Billy – You can’t say that!!! Well….you can. I suspect Her Majesties response would be ‘Off with his head!’….quite right too…;-)

    ……in whose opinion?….;-)

  42. Billy B

    February 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I really don’t understand why the Brits still support a fancy, lavish lifestyle for a so called, well, nothing more than a so called royal family that really aren’t anymore special than anyone else.

    It seems to me like just a big waste of the Brits money to support all that nonsense when there tax dollars could be put to much better use. Know what I mean? Tell the so called royal family to make their own damn way like the rest of us have to. Just saying.

  43. Hillblogger

    February 24, 2010 at 4:54 am


    Here is an opportunity for you to earn your knighthood by correcting this absolute nonsense… Billy B’s worse than than ignorant claim that Elizabeth Regina is “just a big waste of the Brits money to sup­port all that non­sense”.

    God Bless The Queen!