More Things Brit

                                                                                                                                        3:41 a.m.    1/14/15/05

Irish gardenIt never ends. That’s something Alan Rickman says in Dogma, and it’s true with my never-ending thirst for all things British. Correction: All things UK. I’m surprised I didn’t become hornier watching Liam Neeson in Kinsey as he’s an Irish lad as well, but he doesn’t do much for me. Neither does U2, except for the song Numb by the Edge. That gets me hot, but I’m not sure why. I find most of their other work pretentious and boring, and I can’t stand Bono. That is neither here nor there, however, and I dismiss U2 from my mind.

I have placed a few Taiwanese movies and martial arts movies on my Netflix Queue to see if I can break this obsession of mine. I must say, the boys and girls of my ancestors are hot as well, so why am I slavering over Brits, especially one twenty-five years my senior? I mean, looking at it objectively, the Asians have it all over the Brits in the look department. Granted, the UK accent is infinitely hotter than an Asian one, but is that all it takes? A posh accent and…great acting skills? Mind you, I’m not saying the Brits are dogs, hell no. It’s just that looks-wise, I am much more attracted to Asians than Europeans.

So why, oh why, am I drooling over Alan Rickman, Jason Isaacs, David Thewlis, Ewan McGregor, Jamie Oliver, Hugh Laurie and Kate Winslet when I could be going gaga over Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung-both of them!-Michelle Yeoh, Gong Li, Leslie Cheung, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, just to name a few? Why is it that just one sentence out of Alan’s mouth, and I turn to mush? I think that’s the crux of my question, why Alan Rickman? My friends don’t understand it; I don’t understand it; I just shrug my shoulders and continue watching his movies.

There is one thing I can say about my UK choices-they like to take odd roles. Sure, most of them will do a blockbuster now and again, but they seem more interested in quirky roles than anything else. The one thing I appreciate about Alan Rickman is that I rarely see the same role from him twice. Whether it’s the impish dead curmudgeon with a big heart in Truly Madly Deeply, a conflicted wandering-eye husband in Love Actually, a cold-stare, burning with anger, dressed completely in black professor in the Harry Potter series, or a cold-blooded German villain in Die Hard or somewhere in between, he becomes someone different every time. There is a crossover of characteristics with certain roles, but each feels different than the others. Rickman is one of those rare actors who elevates every movie he’s in, regardless of script, the other actors, scenery or anything else.

Hm. This has digressed into a paean for Alan Rickman again. I didn’t mean it to go this way, but so it goes.

I’m still puzzling over my Brit thing. Is this god’s way of laughing at me for all my passionate disdain for being made a fetish object? Is this turnabout is fair play, or is this the way for me to see that perhaps I was too harsh on the countless white boys who tried to get into my pants because they found me exotic? I think not. The difference is that I’m aware of my fetishization whereas most white boys don’t have a clue. They just like the type or the culture or whatever, which would be more believable if I didn’t get dumped every time for not being ‘Asian’ enough. Read, submissive enough. So, really, I get how painful it is to be objectified. In that case, I have no excuse, do I?

In some ways, it’s even worse when I do it because I know I’m doing it. No, I’m not automatically attracted to every Brit who walks by-not that there are many in Minnesota, but you understand what I’m saying-but I definitely lean that way. Maybe I should go to Brits-a local pub-or Kiernan’s-another local pub-to see if I truly do have a Brit thing. Might as well test the waters, so to speak. I have a hunch that they won’t be as disapproving of being stereotyped as I am if it gets them laid. Shagged. Snogged. Whatever. Actually, I’m not sure the latter is a real word. I know you can snog, but I don’t know if you can get snogged.

Why is it that things never seem so bad in another language? Blimey. Bollocks. Bloody. Shagging, snogging, knickers, fanny, arse. It sounds so civilized, doesn’t it? Much better than shit and fuck and fucking and cunt and ass and panties, isn’t it? Oh, and the Brits use cunt in a much different way than we do over here. Flat, torch, petrol, mobile, lift. Lorry, prossie, dosh, kip. I could go on for days, but I won’t. My spellcheck doesn’t like it. It also doesn’t like spellcheck, which is funny. Then, of course, they spell things the proper way, such as theatre and litre. Colour me tickled!

Damn it. Maybe I have to move to that side of the pond. I don’t want to do that, however, as they don’t like me over there. The one and only time I’ve been there, the border guards questioned me extensively about where I went to school, what my parents did for a living, etc. Why was I going into their country? I made the cardinal sin of telling me that I was visiting my boyfriend-I didn’t know it was such a crime-and they asked if he was American or British. When I said neither, he’s Sri Lankan, well, they had to call him down and question him for twenty minutes. He got mad at me, saying I should just say that I was visiting a friend. Meanwhile, they were letting in the riff-raff left and right. Funny, how they just waved and smiled as I left. No questions then. They were glad to see the back of me.

Let me hasten to add that I didn’t have tattoos then. Yes, I wore a colorful jumpsuit, but I was neatly dressed. I don’t speak with an accent, and I was born in Minnesota. I am an American citizen, for God’s sake. I don’t speak any other language fluently except English. Yet, because of the color of my hair, I was subjected to a lengthy and personal interview. This was before 9/11, so they don’t even have that as an excuse.

As an aside, the American airports aren’t much better. I get stopped at least one leg every trip. For a period of three years, I traveled once every other month or so. That’s two trips each time-once there and once back-so let’s say I made…thirty trips in that time. One ways, I mean. Out of that number, I wasn’t stopped at least once….twice. Maybe three times. That’s it. They say it’s random, but it isn’t. There is no way in hell that I get stopped that many times if it’s random. Don’t tell me it’s the way I look because I always dress nicely when I travel. Nice shirt and slacks-no jeans for me. My tats are mostly covered, and I don’t look like a terrorist. I have no idea why I’m targeted, but I’m used to it.

In a way, it made airport ‘security’ after 9/11 easy for me to deal with. Except for having an expired license. I was living in the Bay Area at the time, and there was no reason for me to have a valid license. I had no problem using it as identification before 9/11, but I was warned after that I’d have to have a valid license or state ID which made no sense to me. Don’t you think if a terrorist is going to do something nefarious on a plane, he would have a valid ID? That just makes sense to me, but I bowed to the wisdom of the one who made this decree and got my new license, though with more difficulty than I ever anticipated.

Anyway, since I always got searched pre-9/11, it made no difference to me when I got searched post 9/11. It wasn’t noticeably more rigorous or invasive. In fact, it was less so because when I set off the metal detector once at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, they only had a man on duty. He had to wand me, but he was careful not to touch anything important. I could have had a bomb taped between my boobs, and he would never had known it.

What disturbed me about the security is that I noticed how many different ways I could get around it. They made me drink from the bottle of water I had to ensure that it wasn’t liquid nitrogen or something of that sort. I couldn’t help thinking that if I were going to blow up the plane, I wouldn’t balk at sipping a little liquid nitrogen. Likewise, they would make me show them my laptop and my battery, but very few inspectors made me turn it on. I could have had something crammed in there for all they know. In fact, I think I only had to turn it on once. It bothers me not that I get searched-well, yes, that does bother me-but that it’s so lax.

Then, once while I was waiting to be searched, a man behind me grumbled that while he understood the need to seek out terrorists, why was he being searched? He wasn’t a terrorist and didn’t look like one. See, that’s the problem with Americans. We want to feel safe against attack as long as it doesn’t inconvenience us personally. Yes, let them search for terrorists, but God forbid I actually have to take a few minutes out of my time and be searched. The pathetic part is that the searches they do are so inadequate. The only way to be fairly sure that a person isn’t packing something is to completely dismantle his or her suitcase and to make the person strip naked. That’s it. Anything short of that leaves way too many loopholes. There is no way the members of this country would put up with something like that, which is why we should be resigned that we aren’t as safe as we want to be when we fly.

Wow. Where the hell did that come from? I was waxing poetic about the Brits, then I hopped to airport prejudices which quickly dissolved into a rant about airport security. Brilliant, really, the way my mind jumps from point to point. No, not really, but I’m trying to rationalize the way I think. Much harder to do than you might imagine.

Anyway, I liked what I saw of England while I was there. Pretty countryside, nice pubs, friendly people, but too much rain. I only went into London for a day, so I don’t know much about the capitol. The chocolate is good, and my boyfriend was great until we broke up. I guess Britain isn’t that bad. I might want to keep that in mind if my pash for Brits continue. Hell, the way it’s going over here, I might want to pick up and leave soon. Might as well enjoy the local colour where I go.

2 Responses to More Things Brit

  1. Life is always greener on the other side of the pond! Until you have to live and work there every day! But I agree about British men as we see them in film and on tv (I mean, Colin Firth!) and I all of those Asians you mentioned do it for me as well. Hmmm…. We do seem to have like taste!

    And I love your stories and analysis of airport security – at least your crap experience give you stories to tell.

  2. Jamie, yeah, no doubt. I can always idealize the Brits because they are not here. They are hot, but who knows how I would feel about them in real life?

    As for the airport security, yeah. I boycotted the country for over fifteen years before going back again. I hold grudges for a loooong time.