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Two letters from Alan De Wolfe

July 30, 2012

First:

Many thank to Elizabeth Whitehouse for that primer on how not to talk like an American.  In case anyone missed it it was on The Leader’s op-ed page one dy after out Independence Day celebrations.

Good timing Liz.

Intelligent Americans are painfully aware of our shortcomings, y’know, how we’re money grubbers, racially prejudiced, have glass ceilings, allow only a few people to be wealthy, etc., but the very person who wants most to come here. Why? Because there hs never been a country like this for opportunity and freedom. Is your own presence attibutabe to opportunity discovered here in dinky little Corning?

Referring to our opinion of ourselves, you said “Please define greatness.” As a British subject, you will recall from history that the early British Isles were light years from greatness until, through hardship and perseverance, greatness became a thing you could actually lay claim to.  Hurrah for you.  But what have you now? A governing body which comes to fist-fights regularly, a society sapped with skinhead (and other) hooligans because of shocking unemployment, and according to Professor Higgins, a native people who do their darndest to destroy their own language. (I seem to remember that he said something about “There even are places where English completely disappears – in America they haven’t spoken it for years).  Other things could be added by the bushel, but unlike you, I have not come to bury you, just to edify. The world knows, there is nothing as accurate or soothing as well-spoken American English, which is free from those totally weird British inflections which can cause serious misunderstandings.  And if you attended Eton (which I could not have even if I had wanted to) there’s no help for you at all.Fro the decks of the HMS Pinafore, Sir Joseph Porter would call those observations unanswerable. (Want to bet?)

Do e have problems? Oh gosh, yes.  Remember though, the United States is still called the great experiment, where the people of the world have assembled to form a more perfect society.  We don’t need you to tell us that is fails in many ways, but we overcome most of our own stupidity by letting cool head prevail.

Ad who is the world’s policeman? Picture a world without US.  You excellent Europeans would be speaking German now but for American sacrifice in the 1930s-40s.  You want us to be free from bigotry nd oppression, hunger, etc.  Wake up lady.  We are the human race.  Imperfection is what we do best. Utopia exists only in the minds of Ithaca liberals, and perhaps you.  All we can do is try.  as for the British pretense of civility, those maddening little flaws persist, don’t they?  The British and the US have the greatest alliance in history.

Don’t let  flapping mouth sink the ship.

I am flattered that Alan thinks that my comments in dinky little Corning could disrupt years of Anglo-American relations. I could, if I wanted to, demolish most of his arguments, but I won’t because he wrote a second letter which I took as something of an apology (with a sting in the tail):

Time for Mature Reflection

Regarding the matter of Mrs Whitehouse vs the United States, it’s time for mature reflection.

We know you mean well, Liz, but sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.  A better choice of words on your part, and those of the patriotic rabble, would have accomplished a more positive result.

It’s good to get riles up occasionally, that’s what op-ed is for.

Thanks for the painful introspection, Mrs. W.

Now cool your afterburner.

 

 

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