British influence pervades American popular cultureGail M. Williams September 16, 2022 0 COMMENTS
In 1776, the American colonies declared independence and went to war against a flaccid English parliament in order to form a new government without any of the trappings of royalty, no bowing or curtseying, no queen, no king, no head of state beyond term limits.
So why are we watching every move the British make to honor their queen after her death and to welcome a flawed individual as her replacement?
Although Queen Elizabeth was a woman of character who devoted 70 years of her life to doing her duty, our fascination with royalty, and, indeed, with all things Brit, has little to do with the queen as an individual. Nor is it fairytale wistfulness having to do with princes and princesses living happily ever after.
Of all that we share with Great Britain, the most important are a common language and a common literature. From the very beginning, we are indoctrinated into British lore through the works of P.L. Travers (never mind that she was Australian, Mary Poppins is English), Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne. Later we read Jane Austen (and wish that filmmakers would stop fiddling with her), continue with Agatha Christie and move on to John le Carré.
In 1936, an academic named J.R.R. Tolkien published “The Hobbit,” a little book he had originally written for his own children. It would surprise him very much to learn that nearly everything he wrote has since become what is known as a “blockbuster.”
Alongside of those movies are more by another initialed author named J.K Rowling. Her last book in the series “Harry Potter and The Seven Deadly Hallows” was so long it had to be split into two blockbusters, leaving producers wishing they’d thought of doing that with some of the others.
Should we mention Ian Fleming and James Bond? His influence is persuasive, especially when you consider that he also wrote “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car.”
The qualities we admire in Queen Elizabeth such as good manners, stoicism, patriotism, devotion to duty, bravery and even a quirky sense of humor are easily found throughout British literature.
And, really, are they so far distant from our own?
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent