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Posted by MachoFantastico

BEING ENGLISH!

Now I have to admit that writing a more personal and none game related blog on Giantbomb does feel a little weird and maybe even a little wrong.  But I'm a man of order and I wasn't keen on mixing both game related blogs with more personal matters of discussion. Of course there's nothing wrong with doing so, afterall when one writes about videogames as a passion and hobby, one cannot help but talk about his or hers personal feelings in some way or another. Anyway, enough with me talking like the Queen of England (I do that sometimes) and onto the subject I wish to discuss. Being English!   

Being English is an odd experience, we are a nation that often looks down on folk who are the least bit patriotic. There is no denying that we are a nation who love a good moan and whenever we do well at something we find ways to beat ourself up about it. This is usually best seen in some sports event where we'll do better then expected, but still find some way of putting a downer on things. It's the actual part of being English that I hate the most, we can't be proud of anything nowadays without then critising it in some form. But patriotism is somewhat of a rare sight nowadays, not like the days of old. In fact you'll only ever find your common English citizen hold up their English flag with pride when the England National Football team are involved in an international match. It's sad in some respects but also understandable. For England and much of Great Britain as always seen change, with nation after nation bringing it's influence.
 
English Football fans, the only real time you'll see your modern day English man or woman, be patriotic. 
It should be noted that I've always felt more English then I have a British citizen, I'm not totally sure why that is. Being 'English' isn't a hugely popular image these days, we are told we must be British and British we will be. In fact some special English historical days go by without even a word of mention on the news or in the papers. It's all quite peculiar and indeed sad. Now I'm sure there are many proud English men and women out there, but you ask your average Tom on the street and he'll tell you he's British. One of the reasons for this is the different cultures we find in the United Kingdom, Now I have no wish to begin a rant about immigration. Afterall it's easy to forget that these lands have welcomed immigrants since records first began.  
 
I shan't act like I know all of English or British history, but even I probably come from a family who had once immigrated to these lands many, many years ago. Even though I was born here, it's to easy to forget that this small Island as been home to all sorts of folk of so many languages from the Romans to the conquering Danes. It's history as been filled with war and it's never truly had one national image. That alone is something I'm quite proud of, it's a land with such a rich and amazing history that as always had it's part to play. Even if that part hasn't always been a proud one. It could be argued that we do seem to apologise for our past mistakes a little to often, but that is more my opinion then a national one. Like every nation we have made mistakes, but that doesn't mean we need to keep apologizing for them. 
 
I'll leave it at that for now, maybe I'll return to this subject at a later date. It does interest me though and I'd like to know what other England based Giantbomb users think of 'being English' right now or maybe users from other countries would like a say. I hope my words don't cause any anger in any of you, there just my personal feelings of being English and while I wouldn't call myself patriotic to a huge degree. I like to think myself proud of the achievements of this nation, while we might not be as patriotic as a full nation of people like the men and women of the United States of America are. It wouldn't hurt us to be a little more willing to fly our English flag from time to time without feeling like we're doing something wrong. There's nothing wrong with flying the flag of the lands your born on.... is there? 
 
Thanks for Reading! 
Follow me on Twitter if your the slightly bit bored (JosephBayliss). 
  
Edited by torus

I never saw the sense behind being proud of your nationality/ethnicity, when you are that way pretty much by chance. Identifying with your nation's ideals or cultural achievements because you value them, however, is more legitimate in my view.

Posted by Iggins

Why would you be proud of your nations achievements? It was just chance that you were born there and you didn't contribute anything to achieve them. I'm english too but can't understand this.

Posted by PenguinDust

Excellent read, TEG.  
 
An interesting side note from the States; if you ask anyone in America (the US part at least) what nationality they are, 99% of the time they will respond with something other than "American."  I guess we often confuse nationality with ethnicity.    

Posted by MatthewMeadows

It's hard to feel patriotic when you think that the Government and a lot of the people in England are going down the pipe. 
 
I disagree with Labour's politics and am disgusted with the rise of UKIP and the BNP. There are some things I love, like our sense of humour and the NHS but I can't see myself living here too much longer.

Posted by bigx14

You'll have to excuse my ignorance but whats the difference between being British and being English.

Posted by Iggins
@bigx14: British means your from the british isles; england, scotland, northen ireland and wales. English means your from england.
Posted by bigx14
@Iggins: Oh ok thanks never knew that
Posted by GunstarRed
Being born in england and living there for 16 years of my life I never felt like I was meant to be patriotic, not once were we ever given a reason  to be proud of our country...it was always...king harold got an arrow in the eye...what a  dick! 
moving to scotland though was a massive change, I have never seen a country so proud about being... just being it seems. and I cannot for the life of me understand it and i don't think I ever will despite living here for over 10 years now... i do try to not use scottishisms like my mother and sister have picked up though and maybe thats being a tiny bit patriotic and if it is it's probably the most i will ever get.
Online
Posted by natetodamax
@Iggins said:
" Why would you be proud of your nations achievements? It was just chance that you were born there and you didn't contribute anything to achieve them. I'm english too but can't understand this. "
I think your definition of proud is a bit funky. It's like a kid showing his mom that he got an A on a test. She would be proud of him even though she probably didn't contribute anything to the good grade.
Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin
@natetodamax said:
even though she probably didn't contribute anything to the good grade. "

Apart from growing the child in her womb, forcing him out of her vagina, and then raising him - sure.
Posted by HandsomeDead

Being from Liverpool, I have nothing to be proud of. Only things to be ashamed of.

Posted by ShaneDev

Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past.

Posted by Agent47CSim2

I'm very patriotic. I love my country (England) and nothing will ever change that view.
Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin
@Agent47CSim2 said:
"I love my country (England) and nothing will ever change that view. "

Well you obviously haven't read the previous two posts.
Edited by Iggins
@Agent47CSim2 said:

" I'm very patriotic. I love my country (England) and nothing will ever change that view. "

You're part of the problem.
Edited by EdIsCool

Very interesting blog.
Also Irish, I have no problems with English people, its a different story with the  english government and military who must shoulder a lot of the blame for 30 years of needless bloodshed in the north.
The exception to the above statement is english people who talk about the British Isles.The British Isles do not exist.Ireland is not part of the Britain hence not a British Isle.All who use this phrase please stop using it, or make very clear you are including only the isle of man etc.Bigx14 thanks for recognisng this.Even though northern ireland is not an island.

Posted by HandsomeDead
@Agent47CSim2 said:
" I'm very patriotic. I love my country (England) and nothing will ever change that view. "
Why?
Posted by Canberra

Be patriotic but by no means hoot and holler about it or even speak of it out loud doing so is decidedly un-English and yes I cant help but cringe in embarrassment every time I see a St. George cross painted on a rotund builders torso.    
Posted by EdIsCool

Has anyone here heard Bill Hicks' bit on patriotism?
Heres a link 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W27wBf7Jw34

Posted by Food

Being English is a horrible thing to do and you should all feel bad.

Posted by Food

PS: Dear Scottish, Welsh, and North Irish.  YOU ARE FROM GREAT BRITAIN.  WHEN I SAY YOU ARE BRITISH I AM RIGHT.  SCOTLAND IS NOT IT'S OWN COUNTRY, THEY JUST CALL IT THAT TO FULFILL YOUR DESPERATE NEED TO PRETEND YOU AREN'T OWNED BY THE ENGLISH.  YOUR PRIME MINISTER IS GORDON BROWN.  YOU DON'T SEND A SCOTTISH, WELSH OR NORTH IRISH REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN.  GET OVER IT.

Posted by PeasForFees
@ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
None of it to you
Edited by EdIsCool

Well if a relative of his was killed in any bombing in the North over the past 30 years then he can apportion some of the blame on the english government and military.

Posted by Jimbo
@Iggins said:
" @bigx14: British means your from the british isles; england, scotland, northen ireland and wales. English means your from england. "
Hmmm, not quite right.  'British' means you're from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK).  The Republic of Ireland is a part of the British Isles, but not the UK; its citizens are not referred to as British.
 
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not sovereign states in their own right.  England hasn't been a sovereign state in and of itself for almost 500 years.  This is why most people from England consider themselves British before being English.
 
It's fine to consider yourself English before being British, but it's a bit like somebody considering themselves a Confederate or a Yankee rather than an American.
 
Personally, when I think about what makes me proud of our recent history, I think of the Wars and I find it hard to differentiate between the members of the UK or even the British Isles as a whole.  Our pasts are too inextricably linked - The Irish were an independent nation by 1939, but they were still serving (as they still do today) in the UK's armed forces.  I feel no less proud of their contribution or the Scot or Welsh contribution, than I am of the English soldiers' contribution.
Posted by ShaneDev
@PeasForFees said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
None of it to you "
Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2.
Posted by Iggins
@Jimbo: Yeah, i butchered the defintion. Sorry guys, i let the team down.
Posted by chrisser665
@BiffMcBlumpkin: SHE DID WHAT NOW?!
 
I'm an American, born and raised, but I always identify myself as Half Polish, Quarter Scottish, Quarter Dutch, etc.  Thing is... I know little to nothing about these countries other than their capitals, forms of government, maybe a few major issues regarding them.  But I'm proud to be an American, because I've done many things while I've existed here, these scant 21 years.  I mean, I've picked up litter, entertained other Americans, taught them, helped people, supported local businesses... I feel like I done tiny things that make the country a better place.  (I mean, I'm from Massachusetts, so there's that.  I'm proud to be from the US, and prouder still to be from MA.  We have good history here in the Northeast, and it's fun to make fun of some of the southern States in our "we-know-they're-gross-generalizations-but-let's-make-them-anyways" shouting matches.  
As a side note- I'm not from Boston.  I'M NOT FROM BOSTON.  I'm like 3 1/2 hours away from that silly city.)
Posted by Colonel_Cool
@ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
This kind of attitude really bugs me. The same kind of thing happens here in the US with whites and blacks over the whole slavery thing. A few months ago the US congress made a formal apology for slavery, and many blacks were saying that it wasn't enough and they wanted some sort of compensation from the government. I don't see why an apology was necessary in the first place; any black person alive today has never been a slave, and any white person alive today has never been a slave owner. For someone who has never suffered to deserve (let alone demand) an apology from someone who didn't do anything is just nonsense.
Posted by EdIsCool

Im confused the Republic Of Ireland Act was signed in 1948 by Taioseach John Costello, among other things it removed us from the Commonwealth. 1948 is the date of independence.
Neutrality in the war was achievable because we had a measure of indepence but the country was a long way from being fully independent.
This may offend people but I honestly am sickened by Irish people joining the British military, which has been shooting Irish men for centuries.

Posted by ShaneDev
@EdIsCool said:
" Im confused the Republic Of Ireland Act was signed in 1948 by Taioseach John Costello, among other things it removed us from the Commonwealth. 1948 is the date of independence. Neutrality in the war was achievable because we had a measure of indepence but the country was a long way from being fully independent. This may offend people but I honestly am sickened by Irish people joining the British military, which has been shooting Irish men for centuries. "
I have no problem with irish people joining the british army its their choice  
 
@Colonel_Cool said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
This kind of attitude really bugs me. The same kind of thing happens here in the US with whites and blacks over the whole slavery thing. A few months ago the US congress made a formal apology for slavery, and many blacks were saying that it wasn't enough and they wanted some sort of compensation from the government. I don't see why an apology was necessary in the first place; any black person alive today has never been a slave, and any white person alive today has never been a slave owner. For someone who has never suffered to deserve (let alone demand) an apology from someone who didn't do anything is just nonsense. 
i dont think any compensation is nesscary but when irish people clearly wanted indepence from britian they dodge the issues and forced violence 
Posted by Jimbo

Yeah, but this is somebody that just said 'The British Isles do not exist.', so I'm struggling to take your opinion on anything else too seriously.

Posted by EdIsCool

1.The country remains partitioned,Nationalists are still oppressed by Unionists, it is only very recently that a Catholic would stand a chance of getting a job if a Protestant was going for it.
Serious issues are only 10 years ago in Ireland. 31 people were killed in Omagh by an IRA bomb 11 years ago, a bomb which would never have gone off if the British government had shown leadership instead of backing up an apartheid system.
 
2.Black people continue to face a more difficult time than whites, the legacy of slavery is still felt even by those who were never slaves.

Posted by Food

Yeah, there's a reason Black people have a lower average income than whites.  It's because we didn't just enslave their ancestors for hundreds of years, we also severely restricted their rights for another hundred years after that, and that didn't stop until less than a generation ago. 

Posted by EdIsCool

Geographically they do, however it is always said as if the British own these isles, which is offensive.

Posted by JJWeatherman

I was always a little confused about what exactly the difference was between being British, being English, being from Great Britain, etc. So I decided to look all this stuff up on wikipedia and I think I understand it now. Anyways just thought I would let you know I'm smarter because of your blog.    : )

Posted by Jimbo

And 'British Isles' is a purely geographic term.  If it's being used in some other context (as above) then it's already being used in error, so what's the problem?
 
It's a group of islands which happen to be named after the largest island (fancy that, right?) - somebody would need to have a massive inferiority complex to purposefully misunderstand the term just so they can get offended by it.  If you want to take issue with the name then take it up with the Romans, if you want to take issue with it's use then take it up with whoever is using it incorrectly.
 
I can't even begin to imagine how angry you must be about having to have this discussion in English.  At least - thanks to men and women from all around the British Isles - we're having this discussion in English rather than German, eh?  The Irish Government may have been neutral but, fortunately for all of us, a great deal of your countrymen were not.  I can't find the exact text, but Churchill dismissed the proposed British invasion of Ireland during WW2, in part due to the immense contribution being made by so many Irish servicemen.  Had the RAF lost the Battle of Britain, Germany already had plans for the invasion of Ireland anyway, so without the contribution of Irishmen in Britain's armed forces, Ireland was very likely to be invaded (and completely torn apart) by one or both of us either way.

Posted by Cube
@ShaneDev said:
" @PeasForFees said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
None of it to you "
Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2. "
None of it to you.
Edited by EdIsCool

He dismissed it after Hitler began Operation Barbarossa, once that had commenced it was never going to happen.
Yes I would love to speak Irish unfotunately the famine(1845-50) caused entirely by British plantations,penal laws(laws to keep Catholics down), and British neglience, killed a million people and forced a million people to emigrate.(Ireland's population didnt show an increase for a century after the famine).The famine mostly affected Irish speakers and so Irish becaame associated with poverty, parents wouldnt speak it to children because they thought that it would hold them back.  It is now on the brink of extinctation it is taught very badly in schools everyone hate learning it by the time they might take an interest its too late.

We had a taste of what would happen if we took an active part in the war with the bombing of Belfast(a town that was producing planes and other important supplies for Britains war effort and which the British had attempted to fortify, it was horrifically damaged. We could not have defended ourselves in anyway.English soldiers on Irish soil just 19 years after they had been burning houses ,killing Lord Mayors(Terence McSwiney). i, would have been unacceptable, so they could not have defended us.  So neutrality with a barely concealed bias for the Allies was the correct choice.
The reasons for neutrality:
1.The ultimate statement of independece(which wasnt quite achieved..but a statement of intent anyway)
2.Ireland could not fight on the side of a country which held a part of her national territory.
3.Small nations should not become the pawns of larger nations as they cannot defend themselves.
 
Irish people certainly contributed they did so because the Irish economy had been engineered to produce basic goods for Britain.Decent paying jobs were very rare.Of course some young men would have wanted the excitement.I dont know If I could have fought for a country which for centuries had tortured mine.I accept that it is a good thing that irish people did I also stand by neutrality..having your cake and eating it.

Posted by Baillie

It's better being Scottish. Name me one Scotsman who says their British.

Posted by EdIsCool

Gordon Brown if you asked im in public.

Posted by ShaneDev
@Cube said:

" @ShaneDev said:

" @PeasForFees said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
None of it to you "
Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2. "
None of it to you. "
 Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2    
Posted by HandsomeDead
@ShaneDev said:
" @Cube said:

" @ShaneDev said:

" @PeasForFees said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
None of it to you "
Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2. "
None of it to you. "
 Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2     "
None of it to you.
Posted by artofwar420
@torus said:
"I never saw the sense behind being proud of your nationality/ethnicity, when you are that way pretty much by chance. Identifying with your nation's ideals or cultural achievements because you value them, however, is more legitimate in my view. "

Wow, you just articulated something that I've never been able to express, finally it's out of my head. Kudos or something.
Posted by ShaneDev
@HandsomeDead said:

" @ShaneDev said:

" @Cube said:

" @ShaneDev said:

" @PeasForFees said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" Me being Irish i dont think you can apologise enough for what England has done in the past. "
None of it to you "
Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2. "
None of it to you. "
 Just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2     "
None of it to you. "
 just to my ancestors,  many people in northern ireland, india, africa, the middle east and whole business of nearly re-invading ireland in ww2     
 
and i am done with this thread Edls Cool said all there is to say on the subject of irish and what not, perhaps it can go back to being what its author intended it for