Saturday, July 21, 2007

Great Britain: Strong as an Ox

(This is a semi-follow-up to yesterday's post.)

It would seem that Hollywood, and perhaps the world in general, seems to think that England will always prevail.

You see, much in the same way New York City always seems to be destined to be destroyed in the movies, England always seems to be destined to survive whatever apocalypse will destroy the world not so very long from now.

By the way, why is it that celluloid versions of the future always seem to depict the world of the future(s) either as a high-tech utopia or a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Of all the movies I've seen, only Minority Report seemed to achieve some kind of middle ground between the two.

But I digress. As I was saying, England always seems destined to somehow survive whatever cataclysm has rendered the rest of the future world a barbaric wasteland. You see it in everything from movies like Shaun of the Dead to V for Vendetta. (And if you haven't seen either of those movies, stop reading now and go to your local video store and pick them up. You won't be disappointed.)

What is it about England that has everyone convinced it will survive?

Well, for starters, part of it may have to do with the fact that it survived for so long. I mean, here is an island nation whose total land mass is less than the state of Idaho (I include Northern Ireland), with limited natural resources, and with no shortage of enemies throughout the ages. And it's a nation that has not only survived centuries of brutal military assaults, but has beaten them all back and in most cases repaid the favor in spades.

It's also the nation that founded this nation of ours, and that, despite our differences over the decades, remains to this day one of our strongest allies.

It's also a nation that maintains its standing as one of the oldest surviving monarchies, despite the fact that its monarch is little more than a figurehead, and that its royal family is lately plagued by more scandals than Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Michael Jackson combined.

And it's a nation that is famous for the "Stiff upper lip", the trademark stoicism that has carried the British through crisis after crisis for years.

In fact, the only thing I can think of that will bring Great Britain down is if some kind of plant virus were to destroy every single tea leaf in the world.

Without tea, England would be gone in a day.

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