ads without products

explaining us to each other, part one

with 6 comments

1. At an American public Christmas festival filled with children’s activites and rides, there will be too few (that is, no) stands selling alcoholic beverages. Why such a problem with drinking?

At a British public Christmas festival filled with children’s activites and rides, there will be too many (today at Hyde Park, one out of three) stands selling alcoholic beverages. Why such a problem with drinking?

2. Americans are baffled and intimidated by these:

Britons are baffled and intimidated by these:

3. On a crowded subway train at rush hour in New York, person B steps on person A’s toe or bumps person B thoughtlessly with his heavy computer bag. But person B keeps his mouth shut about it, because to talk shit would be – by social mandate – to force person A to talk shit back, and thus to invite serious escalation.

On a crowded Underground train at rush hour in London, person B steps on person A’s toe or bumps person B thoughtlessly with his heavy computer bag. Person B feels license to begin grumbling and vaguely talking shit about person A, since – by social mandate – the surrounding passengers will immediately blame person A if he responds in kind in his own defense, even if he is clearly the innocent party from the first.

Written by adswithoutproducts

December 6, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Posted in america, britain

6 Responses

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  1. Oh, man… I think this might be too needlingly wonderful to resist turning into a meme.

    Seb

    December 6, 2008 at 11:50 pm

  2. Meme it up!

    By the way, the London part of #3 (of course) actually happened to me on the Underground a few weeks ago. Incredibly crowded car, guy jumps in at the last minute behind me, and is (as happens when you push in) smooshed against the door. Motherfucker gets frustrated and kidney punches me! For no reason at all. Like a punch, with a fist and with force, not accidental. I turn and ask him (per NYC social mandate) “Um, what the fuck was that?” And the entire train, like every single pasty Briton on there, stares me down! In NYC, people woulda known the score, understood what had happened. You’d not say what I said unless something fairly serious had happened. If you were just being a dick, the tone would be different – purposefully different.

    Ugh. Yes meme away!

    CR

    December 7, 2008 at 12:01 am

  3. […] I need one of these in handy pocket book format, in order to negotiate the daily mishaps of cultural confusion. For […]

  4. […] and English cultures, ettiquette, language etc. Its an interesting and enriching process, and Adswithoutproducts and Aloof from Inspiration are doing a splendid job writing about it […]

  5. What I find most frustrating is the confusion over whether to walk on the right or left hand side. There seems to be general confusion about it.

    Logically, I assumed the side you walk on follows what side of the road you drive on. but, the stairs on the tube have you walk up on the right, while the escalators have you walk on the left. Add this to all the other foreigners who walk on the right and it can be a real rush hour cluster fuck.

    I hate it when I get caught in that face off when you end up confronting someone walking in the opposite direction and you both sort of do a jig to the right and left faking each other out as you try to get around each other.

    futuresandpasts

    December 7, 2008 at 7:33 pm

  6. […] badass. It’s the whole MAD doctrine, old pistol-packing sub-ambience, I’ve mentioned before on here. At any rate, I throw back, aiming to hurt mildly, slightly […]


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