Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Illuminating Anomaly
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The real story. They hate women. The Nanny State is pure guilt.

FAITH. I told you I got streaming Netflix as an early Christmas present. Mrs. CP thought it would inspire me somehow. What do women know? As it turns out, everything. Why I haven't been paying much attention to domestic political developments. I've been too busy watching British TV shows on Netflix. They do have the best shows by far. As of this moment, I'm surfeited with the superiority of such series as Touch of Frost, Wire in the Blood, Waking the Dead, and a truly landmark trilogy called Red Riding. The writing is extraordinary, the acting superb. And unlike the old BBC, the production values range from competitive with American shows to cinematic.

All of which leaves me in a quandary. You have a nation that is clearly imploding on itself, day by day and month by month, yet its dramatic output remains the best in the world by far. Their writers are better. Their actors are better. And not by just a little. They're a lot better than we are. The tempting answer is the old Greek-Roman thing -- the Greeks were cultured while the Romans were, uh, er, dominant somehow. But I have a different theory in this case. One that might actually shed some light rather than muddy the waters.

Some of you aren't going to like this theory. Bear with me. I'm not arguing politics. I'm pursuing human nature. I think what we're looking at is the biggest disconnect ever between the soul of a people and its contemporary cultural assumptions. The result is absolutely stupendous irony that is nevertheless revealing and potentially healing, if people weren't so determined to be blind.

A case in point. American TV shows love the premise of unresolved sexual tension between a male and female lead. In American hands, the result is invariably irritating and strained to the point of making intelligent viewers want to vomit. (You Bones and Warehouse 13 fans know who you are...You're morons.) The Brits can get away with it. For two reasons. First, their idea of a TV series is a lot shorter than American producers insist on. And, second, everyone in Britain is actually severely repressed, regardless of deep-down sexual preference. And they're all impotent or frigid. Nobody in Britain has had sex in a generation. But they think about sex a lot. Artificial insemination is the national pastime. Along with Manchester United soccer.

When you watch enough Brit TV shows, you realize that emotionally, every female is actually male, with tits she'll show you (desultorily) if you ask. It's just that the women are dumber somehow. Because the U.K. is the single most masculine culture on earth. Why their writing is better than everyone else's, for example. But when you watch their dramas, it turns out that all the women are really men. And increasingly, all the authority figures are women who are, uh, men. Which is why their female dramatic characters are still interesting even when they're not beauties and why there are still always parts for Helen Mirren and all the other non-beautiful, naturally aging female actors who get the best parts in even Hollywood movies.

Except that Britain is dying. Day by day and month by month. How comes it? This is how. The Brits have become the ultimate nanny state because they hate their own masculinity and are looking for women who are no longer women to save them.

Ya know, they never were women. All Brit women turn into men as they age. Even Mrs. Peel. Their voices get deeper, they get more frank and technical about sex. Their increasing sophistication about life and the tea lines in their faces makes you dread the possibility of accidentally seeing their breasts. It might hurt somehow, that contrast between stern authoritarian face and smooth bosom. Some of them were never women in the first place. Just Brits with vaginas. "Cheerio. Saddle up. Afterwards we can trim the hedge."

Something about empire. Something about Rome. About now, the Brits are trying to save themselves from what they believe is excessive masculinity. Hence, the nanny state. I'm thinking the problem is exactly the reverse. A nation without women. And therefore no blood, fertility, or reason for living. Fitzgerald said something about "making love to dry loins." How many hundreds of years can one nation survive on such a diet?

In the meantime, the rest of us get great writing, and the women actors get to be all the man they always wanted to be.

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