Darya Conmigo's Reviews > Stephen Fry in America

Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry
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Aug 28, 11

bookshelves: 2011, only-some-chapters
Read from March 10 to August 28, 2011

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Darya Conmigo A quote from Intro:

"I have often felt a hot flare of shame inside me when I listen to my fellow Britons casually jeering at the perceived depth of American ignorance, American crassness, American isolationism, American materialism, American lack of irony and American vulgarity. Aside from the sheer rudeness of such open and unapologetic mockery, it seems to me to reveal very little about America and a great deal about the rather feeble need of some Britons to feel superior. All right, they seem to be saying, we no longer have an Empire, power, prestige or respect in the world, but we do have ‘taste’ and ‘subtlety’ and ‘broad general knowledge’, unlike those poor Yanks. What silly, self-deluding rubbish! What small-minded stupidity! Such Britons hug themselves with the thought that they are more cosmopolitan and sophisticated than Americans because they think they know more about geography and world culture, as if firstly being cosmopolitan and sophisticated can be scored in a quiz and as if secondly (and much more importantly) being cosmopolitan and sophisticated is in any way desirable or admirable to begin with. Sophistication is not a moral quality, nor is it (unless one is mad) a criterion by which one would choose one’s friends. Why do we like people? Because they are knowledgeable, cosmopolitan and sophisticated? No, because they are charming, kind, considerate, exciting to be with, amusing…there is a long list, but knowing what the capital of Kazakhstan is will not be on it. Unless, as I repeat, you are mad."

I have to show this to some British intellectuals at work, no kidding :) Such a perfect fit for the university environment.


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