The (British) Empire Strikes Back : American Idiots

Idiot – a foolish or senseless person; a person of subnormal intelligence; a person lacking intelligence or common sense.

“Don’t wanna be an American idiot” warbled Billy Joe Armstrong a little unkindly I felt. I am a huge Green Day fan having accidentally bought an early offering from them under the misapprehension I was purchasing a Prince Buster CD. I must have picked the wrong one up but, not noticing until I got home I gave it a go and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Now why do I say “A little unkindly”?


We, the people of Great Britain, once had an empire.

Then we suddenly ceased to be ‘chinless wonders’ with handle bar moustaches and a love of dying gloriously in mad cavalry charges and drinking tea by the bucket full and nibbling cucumber sandwiches and referring to a particularly marvellous activity as ‘the hurly burly of the chaise longue’ as the late Mrs Patrick Campbell so quaintly put it.

We suddenly started to stick out our chins, use Gillette products, send the poor into battle on our behalf, drink lager beer, eat hot curry, and refer openly to a certain activity as shagging or fucking.

This came about primarily because we, the British people, thought we were far too clever to misplace an entire empire and much too open and civilised to retain the ‘quaint’ politeness of Victorian society.

Look where all that has got us.

Bradford and Southall have taken on the appearance of Islamabad and not only have many informative signs begun to appear in various languages other than English, even the English bits of the sign are frequently mis-spelled.

We were far far better off as idiots.

We ruled a large part of the world as idiots.

So, people of America, we, the British people are somewhat nostalgically fond of your idiots.

The late ‘B’ movie actor and President of the USA Ronald Reagan for example was often lampooned both here and in the States as a bit of an idiot.

We adored him. We adored him for his eccentricities. For the classic occasion he addressed Princess Diana as Princess David. For his ‘homeliness’. His ‘Aw shucks’ persona.

How the hell could this pleasantly bumbling buffoon of a ‘B’ movie actor become the most powerful person in the most poswerful country on the planet?


America still have their version of ‘chinless wonders’. Reagan was an American ‘chinless wonder’. He presided over the American Empire.

Empire? I hear you ask.

Great Britain, some South American countries, Europe, even one or two middle eastern countries and, up to a point, Israel.

Of course you don’t officially ‘own’ them as we ‘owned’ India and ‘Australia’ and all the other so called ‘Commonwealth’ countries but America’s influence is huge almost to the point of empire.

America says “Jump” much of Europe says “How high?”

America says “Let’s blow the crap out of somewhere Britain says “On our way chaps!”

It’s a 21st Century version of an empire and it’s all yours.

We, the British people, strongly advise you to cherish your idiots.

Without them we would possibly love you all a little less.

With a stiff upper lip I bid you good day and until next Sunday, the wisdom of Mrs Patrick Campbell –

“It doesn’t matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.”

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Posted by on March 7, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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24 Responses to The (British) Empire Strikes Back : American Idiots

  1. MadMike Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Dinners writes:

    “..we, the British peo­ple, thought we were far too clever to mis­place an entire empire…”

    ROFLMAO!!! Wonderful Sunday morning delight that is perhaps not as good as the fondly remembered “afternoon delight” but a helluva good time nonetheless…4D you have outdone yourself! 🙂 🙂

  2. MadMike Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Testing the comments at your expense I am afraid 4D!

  3. MadMike Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    We’re back!!!!!!!!!! Well so much for technology. I am taking your advice and will cherish the idiots who caused the SNAFU. 🙂

  4. Oso Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Well aside from departing the “Crown Jewel” like a hotel guest with a taxi waiting the British Empire wound down rather gracefully and passed the baton to the US in the same manner the Netherlands passed it to them. Spain kind of bungled their handoff previously to the Dutch, they were sort of Oliver Reed to the UK’s David Niven.

    I don’t know who the US will hand the baton to, most people say China but let’s hope we use the David Niven approach as well.

  5. Oso Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    hey Mike still trying to login with my avatar, the “osori” login. Site keeps directing me to the WordPress login screen.

  6. fourdinners Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Excuse me!!! Would you kindly bugger off and have your technological arguments elsewhere!

    My stiff upper lip is getting annoyed.


  7. MadMike Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    LOL LOL! Damn Limeys 🙂 🙂

  8. Beekeepers Apprentice Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Huh. Before I logged in, I could see the pictures fine. Once I logged, in, I get those little icons of death. Yep, new server time if the site was gone for 10 hours…I must be one of those idiots 4D mentioned, because I never even knew I misplaced an entire blog.


  9. MadMike Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    LOL LOL Bee!

  10. Truth101 Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I say Four Dinners old bean. You seem to be on to our little charade of saying we don’t want an empire while building one. You saucy old chap you.

    I hope that made sense Dude. I don’t speak good English. American is my first language.

  11. Will Hart Reply

    March 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    As much as I disagreed with Reagan a good deal of the time, the fellow wasn’t even remotely close to being an idiot. He was a voracious reader and critical thinker. And, yes, that’s why I protest so much when I hear people saying that Palin is the next Reagan. That woman is no where close to being the next Reagan. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

  12. Barnsley Sime/Cappy Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

    WOW! 15 minutes and an entrance exam just to post a comment? whats all that about, i have forgotten what i WAS going to say now!
    crafty bloody sods. sidetrack us dumb northerners so we can’t slag you off? sneaky i call it.
    i dunno 4D, what with your problems with SAMs and 365 on saturday, my problems for me commenting here, i think it’s a conspiracy against us brits!
    i’d rarther have 5 Reagans than 1 Bush. sr or jr.
    pair of fucknuckles, both.

    another good post.

  13. octopus Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 8:59 am

    After Four Dinners, perhaps it is appropriate to countenance the moment with a light dessert of fine words most fitting for the occasion:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

  14. fourdinners Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Right. In the absence of anything vaguely intelligible going on around here due to technical issues we get some plonker speaking Latin.

    This just keeps getting better and better!

    I know the translation Octopus (I’m English don’t you know)…so come on then! Give the transaltion and I will mark you as a Latin teacher would mark you!!

    Dare you!

  15. MadMike Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Dinners: It is actually nonsense. It is used as placeholder text to demonstrate type, fonts, and etc, including graphics. If translated it would be something like this:

    “Lorem itself vim when to both sides order intellegebat , when she to omit maidservant sadipscing , very and her loosening truthfulness.”

    The Octo is having you on 🙂

  16. Beach Bum Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    It’s a 21st Cen­tury ver­sion of an empire and it’s all yours.

    4D,The only thing I will add my friend is that the Chinese are just offstage getting ready to stand in the global imperial spotlight. The 21st century will be theirs like the 20th was the United States’.

    Given how many of the narrow minded “America First” crowd acts and sees the world they will not take the decline of the country gracefully once the evidence becomes so huge they can not ignore it anymore.

  17. osori Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Your comments got me to thinking.I wonder if we would just fade into irrelevance if the Chinese did move into our slot? The US hasn’t fought anyone who could fight back since WW2, we don’t do casualties well.We couldn’t take China on straight up, and we won’t be able to afford any proxy wars.

    As for nukes, it’s like that Chinese general told one of our guys-now that we have nuclear weapons everything changes. You will not sacrifice Los Angeles for Taipei.

    Maybe we’d just reach an agreement with them-as long as oil isn’t interrupted we’ll just hang on to the Western Hemisphere-no armies here to fight back-and you guys take the rest.

    Eventually to end up like the Romans at their empires frontier in Britain-slowly absorbed by the surrounding populace.

    Death by Demographics.

  18. MadMike Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Oso writes:

    “The US hasn’t fought any­one who could fight back since WW2…”

    Wrong my friend. The North Vietnamese were every bit as formidable as the Germans, sometimes even more so, because we underestimated them, at least in the beginning. Then we knew that was a bad idea…that underestimating thing….

  19. osori Reply

    March 8, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Mike,
    I agree the NVA were formidable individual fighters.

    What I mean is, we don’t tangle with nations that we expect would inflict an amount of casualties unacceptable to the American public, or where the outcome is ever in doubt. I didn’t put that well.

    Your point is well taken, that we underestimate these weaker nations. We get bogged down in wars that are unwinnable and a drain on our economy but have no bearing on our national security.

    I think we learned the “unacceptable casualties” lesson in Korea when we tangled with the PLA. They were essentially infantry with hand grenades and small arms and we had probably a 12 to 1 kill ratio, but it still resulted in, what, 50,000 US dead? So I think that’s when our govt realized we could no longer fight the big guys and the counterinsurgency stuff came about.

    Of course it went to hell in a handbasket in Vietnam because of “credibility” so we really didn’t learn anything huh ?

    • Holte Ender Reply

      March 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

      OSO – The thing about China is historically they don’t fight very far from their homeland, very much like the other bogey man Russia, neither of them have sent troops by air or sea to fight wars, only Britain and the United States have done that in recent years.

  20. (O)CT(O)PUS Reply

    March 9, 2010 at 8:00 am

    MadMike (March 8th, 2010 on 7:44 pm) – Dinners: It is actually nonsense.

    The first is a nonsense sentence … followed by two interrogatories from Cicero’s De finibus bonorum et malorum, which translates as follows:

    To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?

    Now, where is my extra helping of dessert?

  21. MadMike Reply

    March 9, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Ouch Octo!! I made an assumption that was not in evidence and my Latin is pretty good, or was a hundred years ago. Nice job…

  22. Infidel753 Reply

    March 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I gave up at the end of the second sentence, with the seeping liquid from the consecrated commode.

  23. osori Reply

    March 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Holte,good point.Thank you!

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