Football in England…you know, the non-Soccer kind of football.

1 Mar

Well, I recently got a heavy dose of homesickness. This February 5th I realized how much I missed being in Indy for the Super Bowl. That is until 11:30 p.m. my time when the game started, then I was pretty much too enraptured in the Giants’ march to victory to be thinking about anything else. One thing that I couldn’t help but notice though, was the commercial breaks. While Americans were treated to the delightful, multi million dollar battle between companies grasping for our attention, the UK was treated to a charming sit down between an unenthusiastic BBC host and the two most incredibly random NFL insiders they could find. During the breaks, Danny Amendola (Wide receive for the Rams) and some paper journalist from somewhere would explain what happened during each of the previous plays to the BBC host. It was actually really entertaining to hear him try to explain this game because; honestly some REALLY uncommon things happened during the game. This gave them the chance to delve into the deepest recesses of the NFL rulebook and seemed to confuse the host to no end, and keep me in my euphoric state of anti-Patriots Schadenfreude as I got to watch each play over and over again.

On another happy note, I got to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon recently. This is the birthplace, burial-place and long-time performing place of William Shakespeare. Although I certainly could never call myself a devoted Shakespearean, I can’t deny his impact on literature (and storytelling as a whole) so it was actually quite fascinating to be there. Also, while I was there the first big snowfall of the winter arrived. It was really fun because I was with a girl  from Brazil who was seeing snow for the first time. I still think I might have been more excited than her, though. Another awesome part of the trip was when we got to watch a couple of actors that were performing a scene from Hamlet outside. (In the snow!) When they were finished, they asked if anyone had a specific scene, from ANY Shakespeare play they wanted to see, so one guy asked for Act 1 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet. If you’re familiar with the scene, you’ll know it was pretty funny. Then I wanted to take them up on their bet and I tried to think of the most random scene so I asked them for Act 2 Scene 2 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Then one guy was like “Well, I’ve never done anything from that one before, but I think I could pull it off.” And he did! Almost flawlessly! As soon as it was over I realized that The Taming of the Shrew or The Two Gentlemen of Verona would have been waaaay more random, but I didn’t make them do anymore.

And on an unrelated note; this semester I’m taking a documentary video class and my group and I have recently begun to officially start working on our final project. After ten million concepts were tossed around, we finally decided to focus on a racism and anti-immigration sentiment in Brighton. These sentiments aren’t typical though, in fact the reputation of Brightonis is that it is a very open-minded and diverse place. However, there were actually three separate attacks on Arab immigrants in the general region in the past few months and we thought it provided an interesting juxtaposition of perception versus reality (albeit the reality of only a small part of the population.) However, this got me thinking about domestic violence in the UK and US as a whole, and I realized that it seems like the UK is way less violent than the US. After some statistic checking it looks like the US is indeed way more violent than the UK, so I began trying to figure out why this might be. My first reaction was that it had something to do with the collapse of the family structure in the US, as made evident by the ridiculously high divorce rates. However after comparing it I realized the UK actually has very similar statistics in terms of number of divorces per 1,000 married people. My next inclination is that English folk don’t seem to have the same level of infatuation with violence that Americans have. I suppose rather than delving into an endless analysis of further possible reasons, I’ll just leave it as a thought for those that like to think about it.

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