Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

05 February 2003

It's peculiar, but I've noticed that popular songs are used in British television a lot. Particularly for promos and ads between programs. I've often wondered if they actually pay to use these songs, or whether fair use and copyright laws are different in the UK. Just today I heard the Barenaked Ladies song (just the instrumental section) 'It's All Been Done' played during an Argos commercial. I wondered if Argos has actually purchased the rights to use this song, or whether they're just sneaking it in on these little islands, far away from the humming metropolises of the New World.
11:03:11 PM    comment []

Salon features an entertaining interview with the author of 'Brit-think, Ameri-think'. Jane Walmsley is American, but has lived in Britain for 25 years. She originally wrote the book in 1986, but was motivated by recent events to update it. Based on the interview, the subject matter seems to range from the trivial to the essential, but seems like it would be pretty interesting. These excerpts seem to ring true for an Irish/Canadian comparison:

Even more fundamentally -- heating. I have been cold here for 25 years. I'm sitting in my office now with my business partner and I know that I cannot turn on the heat -- even though it's very cold here today -- because Brits get hot very quickly. Americans are cold in Britain from the minute their planes land. And they never warm up.

When you move to a different country, the last thing that you adjust to is the internal temperature in that country. That belongs to wherever you grow up and never changes. People who were born in Scotland where it's very cold, come south to London and are always hot. They throw the windows open in any room they walk into. They never adjust.

Based on English television, this one seems deeply true:

The first thing you need to know about the Brits is that they have the most heightened sense of personal embarrassment of any national group in the world. We are embarrassed to do anything because we're British.

10:48:47 PM    comment []

© Copyright 2003 Darren Barefoot.



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