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May 10, 2009


I Hate Whiteys

Pity those insecure countries with no international sporting champions. Yes India and Indonesia, I'm talking to yous.


I've responded to you before in this vein, but you do seem to enjoy your little polemical poke in the eye at your own country, a sort of self-loathing very common in long term expatriates.
I really don't think your comparison stands up; are the British insecure? I don't think so, certainly not judging by individual behavior. On the contrary, often. Nor, I think, do we yearn for our lost Empire, as you alluded.Certainly not the younger generation, most of whom, I believe, would wish us to behave less imperially (Iraq, Afghanistan) and get on with our own lives.Me too.As for the Philippines, well I know it well enough and enjoying being an observer;yes, I would agree that there may be an underlying national sense of insecurity, but I think it is generated by frustration brought on by the sorry state of affairs the country finds itself in at the hands of generations of corrupt and incompetent politicians, and there seems, alas, to be no change on the horizon. The mass of the population are cowed by the national malaise visited upon them, largely through no fault of their own, apart from their propensity to vote for charlatans.

Your commentaries are , I find, usually well observed, but are occasionally spoiled by your inability to resist a gratuitous dig at your own.

Major Tom

It is clear that like religion, sports or sporting success could be an opium of an ailing society.


As always your commentaries are spot on.

What amazes me most is that a lot of people got problems to see their own country in a bad light...
I wonder if this is misplaced nationalism or the inability to think rationally.


Keith – Thanks for visiting and commenting even though you disagree with my point of view.

On the empire thing, my point wasn’t that we are all yearning to re-establish colonies in distant lands, rather that a whole generation was born in the most powerful country in the world yet had to put up with living in “just another country” as the Sex Pistols put it. I think that is bound to have a damaging effect on concepts of national pride, as it did for Russians when Yeltsin was making them seem ridiculous and as it will for Americans in due course.

As for the “self-loathing” phrase (which I think I introduced in my post on Jade Goody), I don’t think it is quite fair to apply that automatically to Brits who criticize their country, at least not in the sense in which I originally meant it. In fact it seems to me that the phrase most applies to Brits who profess a deep love of “Ingerland” yet express this in a most weird and dysfunctional way – I am thinking for example of a favourite British skinhead badge of honor, the phrase “MADE IN ENGLAND” tattooed across your forehead. Now that’s self loathing.

Just one question: don’t you agree that the 1966 thing is overdone? It seems more important to many Brits than winning the second world war! And if so, why?

Having said all that, I have to concede there is something in what you say. I can be hard on the Brits, as Carla, another visitor, has argued. My problem with the country is not that there is nothing to admire, but that somehow all of Britain’s great contributions to, for example, literature, governance, popular music, and (yes) even football are somehow either ignored or put through some hideous tabloid wringer that cheapens and distorts them beyond recognition.

Sidney -- Nice to hear from you again. That reminded me to look at your wonderful site. Thos photos of Cubao by night are incredible! Here is the link for any interested in seeing Sidney's photos:



Manny's ball sweat on Moorer's neck. Ew!


Torn, you are always gracious in the face of dissent and actually I agree whole-heartedly with your view that all that is worthy in British culture is demeaned in favour of superficial rubbish that will not stand the test of time. And I hate football.And let us not forget Samuel Johnson's "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel".
I am reading Hamilton-Paterson's "America's Boy" at the moment, which gives much valuable background comment on the culture of the Philippines and the historical explanations for much that bemuses Philippine "watchers".Every day I learn more.I am sure I will continue to enjoy your commentary.

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That reminded me to look at your wonderful site. Thos photos of Cubao by night are incredible! Here is the link for any interested in seeing Sidney's photos

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