Friday, December 08, 2006

Shakespeare: Like Sandler, only less funny

Ameican citizen and British resident Gwyneth Paltrow made waves from across the Atlantic last week when she reportedly said "the British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans."

Paltrow claimed she was misquoted and gave the half-probable Tower of Babel excuse that she was speaking seventh grade Spanish to a Portuguese newspaper, and now the quote is being translated back into English.

I would be willing to let her off the hook if she didn't have a history of making similar statements, in tenth-grade English, to English news sources. Also, Paltrow married perhaps the most
boring man in the world and named her child "Apple," so she should probably keep herself five paces away from the nearest stone.

Nevertheless, you have to admit British people do sound awful smart and civilized when they talk old-fashion like they do. But are they smarter than us Americans?

I don't know. But what I can do is take a look at the UK's top ten
Internet searches of 2006 in hopes of finding the answer. Because I don't fully comprehend the complexities of such an old, nuanced culture, I won't be able to analyze the results with the depth I attacked America's top ten search list. Instead I will provide a quick and dirty sketch and let the reader decide. In descending order, ten to one:

Kate Moss Coke-sniffing model.
Zinedine Zidane Ill-tempered French footballer.
Notting Hill Carnival Street festival (OK, that's sort of cultured.)
Borat Fictional anti-Semite.
Steve Irwin Excitable Aussie TV star and sting ray victim.
World Cup International sporting event.
The Ordinary Boys Rock band and Big Brother participants.
Big Brother Popular reality television show.
Pete Burns Cross-dresser and Big Brother participant.
Heather Mills McCartney One-legged former prostitute and Beatle tormentor.

The British list was, in fact, completely different than the American list, which was dominated by skin-showing, slutty types. So what does this say about Paltrow's controversial statement?

Not much, actually. But it is clear when Americans are thinking about sex the Brits are thinking about television.

And, between the Anglo cousins, there isn't a whole lot of Chaucer being read.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Beckham didn't make the top 10.