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What's the Deal with All These British Assholes?

Los Angeles, CA  |  Does anyone remember when British invasions were pleasant? In the good old days, America was conquered by mop-top crooners proclaiming they "wanna hold your hand" or "I'm 'Enery the 8th I am," or by lovable loonies doing the Fish-Slapping Dance or being chased around in circles by bobbies and big-breasted beauties.

But at some point, everything changed. Somewhere between Basil Fawlty and Mr. Bean, things got nasty. With the rise in popularity of so-called reality television and talent competitions, we now find ourselves subordinated and humiliated in a contemptuous face-off against our former allies. We can only sit by helplessly, or shout the occasional "boo." And some might lament we have only our own arrogance to blame.

The first real harbinger of disharmony may be traced back to the early '70s, with the constant abuse endured by Arthur Treacher during his tenure as "sidekick" on The Merv Griffin Show. A few years later, English sensibilities were further insulted by Richard Dawson's unceremonious deportation following a sexual harassment class-action by former female contestants from the Family Feud game show.

Perhaps the unkindest cut of all came when a quintessential British comic device, men dressed in women's clothing, was "borrowed" by Tom Hanks and that other guy on the Bosom Buddies sitcom. A long, bitter patent dispute ended with an American victory in the Supreme Court and laid the foundation for inevitable retribution.

Ultimately, the stream of English performers seeking employment in the U.S. would slow to a trickle. Their self-imposed embargo forced American television networks to fill British roles with "ringers" from Wales, Scotland, Australia or, in the most desperate cases, Canada. A few authentic Brit expatriates did work, but most often found themselves cast as drunks, ne'er-do-wells and pitiful buffoons in shows like Frasier, Seinfeld and The Osbournes.

But now the tables are turned. Having maneuvered themselves into positions to pass ultimate judgement on the very country that treated them so shabbily, they now scold, criticize, insult and ridicule us at every opportunity. Simply put: The English are the new French.

Continue to Page 2 : The Top Ten British Assholes »











All original content on The Specious Report © Dale McFarland  Political Satire  Redistribution limited to excerpts for non-commercial use only.