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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Britain vs America


They're two of the most powerful nations in the Western world. The little island conquered 75% of the world, and the giant continent still has the world's most powerful economy (although China and Japan aren't far behind, if not surpassing). What are some of the major differences between the UK and the USA?

Music

UK: we have The Beatles, The Stones, The Clash, The Who, Oasis, Blur, Queen, Pink Floyd, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Jessie J, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Sting, Lily Allen, Katie Melua, and a host of rappers: Wretch 32, Tinie Tempah, Dizzie Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, Dappy, Skepta, Akala, MIA, Professor Green. Just to name a few.

British music is heavy on the alt rock scene, and there are lots of urban/grime rappers hailing from London. Right now, the UK is home to two of the biggest stars on the planet: Adele and Ed Sheeran, the latter being the most listened to on Spotify in the world. And he went to my uni (for a month). But do we measure up to the US?

USA: Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Madonna, Beyonce, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Kurt Cobain, and A list rappers: 50 Cent, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, J. Cole, Nas, Jay-Z, Kanye.

It would appear that the UK may win in terms of rock and grime rap, but the US brings it home on the R&B/soul/pop front. As it happens, I prefer American artists to the Brits. Sorry lads.



Film and TV

UK: The Inbetweeners, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Holby City, Casualty, Doctor Who, Downtown Abbey, Luther, Strictly Come Dancing, Bake-Off, Masterchef, Waterloo Road, Skins, Misfits, Gavin and Stacey, Only Fools and Horses, Outnumbered, Black Mirror.

I do like a few (loved EastEnders growing up and The Inbetweeners is one of my all-time best shows), and they do have that great British humour, but I'm afraid the USA clearly wins on the TV front:

USA: Mad Men, The Sopranos, Orange is the new black, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Friends, The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead, NCIS, Twilight Zone, Empire.

Several of these shows have won huge awards and are loved on both sides of the Atlantic. I doubt the yankees would understand Corrie or Outnumbered. Plus I had to throw in a few reality shows for us lot.
Yes, Cornwall want to be their own nation. One nation under corn.

Politics


UK: Labour and Conservatives are the two main parties, and neither are all that different from one another. We have a National Health Service and free education till uni, with unis capping their fees around 9k a year. People can legally drink at home from the age of 5, in a bar from the age of 16 accompanied by an adult, and totally from the age of 18. Guns are illegal; gun crime does happen in larger cities but you never really hear about mass school shootings. There's a generally tolerant attitude towards immigrants. I'd say the political atmosphere in this country isn't bad.

USA: Donald Trump. That sums it up. I don't dislike him because he's a 'racist/sexist', I dislike him because he's an incompetent moron who shouldn't really be president. I tried to be neutral at first but the guy is just a joke. You would never see anyone like that getting voted in in the UK.
Education is free till uni in the USA, but it can cost around 50k a year to go to the top unis.
https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/top-10-most-expensive-colleges-in-america/
Alcohol is illegal until the age of 21, yet a 15 year old can buy a gun with a licence. There's no national healthcare; people would rather die on the streets then make their family pay insurance they can't afford. Obama tried to bring in Obamacare but everyone moaned and groaned about it. Their country is more 'free market' than the UK, which I am personally against, and, well, we all know Americans love immigrants, especially as their country was founded on em.

Britain wins this one for me.

BUDDIES!!!
Food

UK: fish, chips, tea, chicken tikka.

USA: hamburgers, hamburgers and more hamburgers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity_in_the_United_States

The USA is home to many of the major food stores: McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King - considering there are a lot more people there, it doesn't surprise me that they have a high obesity rate. They could come to the UK and learn a thing or two - our Big Macs are about the size of my two hands in a ball together, and I have pretty small hands.

National Pride

UK: 'God save the queen....crap what's the rest of it?'

USA: 'I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, one nation under God, etc etc!'
Americans are stereotypically super proud about being American, which explains why so many of them never bother to leave their country, let alone their state. Britons, on the other hand, tend not to give as much of a crap, apart from EDL and UKIP members who maybe take it a leeetle bit too far.



Religion

UK: According to the Guardian, more than half the UK population are not religious:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/04/half-uk-population-has-no-religion-british-social-attitudes-survey
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/13/uk-losing-faith-religion-young-reject-parents-beliefs

USA: The US public are declining in religious belief, however a whopping 70% as of 2014 identified as Christian:
http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

This isn't much of a surprise, considering their main political party doesn't believe in climate change or evolution. I expect the South is to blame, with many redneck hill-billies still waving their fists at Jesus in the clouds waiting for judgement day. I have no problem with people being religious as I've mentioned in other posts, but I do think it should stay out of politics and be practiced on an individual/communal level. Also, what's up with all those churches that don't pay tax?
http://www.latimes.com/la-oew-lynn-stanley23-2008sep23-story.html

Language

This is a funny one - looking at the differences in which Britons and yankees use their lingo.

UK: sweets, crisps, candyfloss, lift, trainers, football, rugby, mobile phone, rubbish, petrol, torch, colour, cheque, aeroplane, car park, holiday, bag, flat, snog, motorway.

USA: candy, potato chips, cotton candy, elevator, sneakers, soccer, football, cell phone, garbage, gas, flashlight, color, check, airplane, parking lot, vacation, purse, apartment, make-out, highway.



Whew! Thanks for your help, Google!

So those are just some ways in which the UK and USA differ. I would say I prefer the US in terms of music and entertainment, and the UK in everything else. What can I say? I'm a proud Brit. Or an un-proud Brit, because national pride is overrated and I'm all dry and sarky and negative. Tra la la.

Are you British or American? What are some differences you see between the two countries? Do you have a preference towards the way certain things are? Let me know below!

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