By Kathleen Bradean
I've mention a few hundred times about my Romanian lineage, but my mother's family is English (and Welsh and Scottish, but the name is English). However, the cast-offs that my mother's people are descended from (scandalous folk, most of them) have been in the United States since the founding of Jamestown, so it's a real stretch to call the English branch family. They probably wouldn't want to claim us either.
Given that background, you'd think I'd have some Anglophile tendencies. I suppose I do. Not that I woke up early to watch Prince what's-his-face marry Pippa's sister a few months ago, or like Morris dancers or even have a great yearning to visit This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. But I'm terribly fond of my internet acquaintances from the UK such as Ashley Lister (former Gripper), Nikki Mangennis (have you read her work? You should. Amazing stuff that fills me with writer's envy. And she's probably going to kill me for suggesting she's English, but I'm not sure exactly how she identifies), Jim and Zetta Brown of Logical Lust (okay, I know he's Scottish and she's from the US, so I'm evoking the ignorant American protective clause right now), and current gripper Charlotte. Not to mention a host of other people I will remember the day after this post goes live.
And I'm hugely envious of the literary output of English (and UK) writers. William Shakespeare - the immortal bard. Mary Shelly - the mother of science fiction. Agatha Christie - who could make even murder seem so terribly posh. P.D. James - who made me realize that murder was actually a rather sordid affair. J K Rowlings - for being a damn fine storyteller and single-handedly saving an entire generation of readers. Jane Austin - for showing everyone that stories about women were interesting. For Rudyard Kipling, Douglas Adams, Author Conon Doyle, W.H Auden, Geoffrey Chaucer, Joseph Conrad, Val McDermid, Beatrix Potter, and oh, so very many names. Too many to mention.
Then there's television. Monthly Python's Flying Circus, Being Human, Dr. Who and Torchwood, Queer as Folk, The Avengers, Blackadder, Hamish Macbeth, Red Dwarf... again, too many to list.
Of course, we get to see only the best, so I'm sure there's mediocre stuff on their bookshelves and on their TVs, but their quality stuff is amazing. So all I can say is "Good show," and thanks for letting us steal it, corrupt it, and try to make it our own. And my apologies for sending, in exchange for all that wonderful work, McDonalds' restaurants and Jersey Shore - the immoral lard.