Feeling left out

I joined SFN because I thought it had a lot of good information that I could learn from. It does, and I do. I do have a bit of a gripe though and just need to vent. See, I'm American. No, no, that is not my gripe although it seems that many of the British here in France feel it is! Americans too, get lonely for our homes. Americans also need to know that English humor (yes, without the “u”) is appreciated, whether British or American. We'd like to feel welcome and sometimes, I feel that the French are more welcoming than the British I meet. Please, don't get me wrong. I DO have British friends here and they are extremely lovely people, but we Americans can be extremely lovely people too. Give us a chance.
On Riviera Radio, the station I listen to on the way to and from work, I was listening to a story about how items were being donated to help local Brits. Americans aren't good enough? We're from too far away? Our English is slightly different so therefore disqualifies us? Listening to that and then coming home and reading a blog about the benefits of staying in France versus going back to England, or something along those lines, just threw me over the edge. I had to have my say, so thank you for taking the time to read. Please keep posting great material, but also try to keep us Americans (and Irish and Scots and Australians, and everyone from any other country besides England who joined SFN) in mind too every once in a while.
Feeling a little left out,
P.S. I just have to comment on the fact that my French husband is happy because for once, I'm not venting about the French and France.

Hi Shirley, and thanks for your ideas for my possible future honours. 'Sab' is in fact an invented name which I adopted when I came to France 19 years ago for fun and it's stuck. In the end I do think of myself as a Brit but never accept being called English without telling people I was, in fact, born in Scotland, which isn't the same thing, and some people do need to learn this fact. To a lot of French anyone from the other side of La Manche Anglaise is English, and that's it, but I think they are really meaning British, whether they're aware of it or not!

I haven't got a clue what I am.

Born in Scotland until the age of two (it was a difficult birth), my allegiances lie roughly thus (in chronological order):

Edinburgh, therefore Scotland, London, therefore England, Australia (for a year, aged 9-10), Britain (widening national view), France (moving on), Europe (seeing the bigger picture), Universe (child of - back to my long-haired hippy roots).

All of this makes me a bit of a fence-sitter and unable to get involved in issues of national pride and suchlike. Am I the only one who doesn't quite know where they're really from? Perturbed, Paris

Johnson, was that not 'Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel' in his The Patriot which is a critique of false patriotism and one of the Enlightenment's more 'sarcastic' views of the establishment. Yes, Chris?

I think really it is a matter of identity, back to our original post from Holly whose identity was stamped on the world by Bruce Springsteen, born in the USA. She is not a hotch-potch of all of her origins, she is what people in/from the USA call American. We have a choice of Scots or whatever, national identity, British, geographical identity, European, continental identity, or whatever we prefer.

I am sympathetic to the Scots cause and wish independence, remembering recent history and the Baltic states being laughed at, two of them are now doing quietly reasonably well for themselves. The Scotland-Slovenia discourse is disengenuous because it was contructed to be entirely negative and assumes Scotland would not regain control over resources. I doubt that will be tested, Salmond and the SNP have not made a strong enough case for the people to be convinced and 2014 is highly likely to see the majority go against independence. It will not stop there, I suspect it will lead to a new and wiser wave of Scottish nationalism that in a couple of decades, and beyond my years, will wave Westminster goodbye. Thus, my ancestral identity is only pre-emptive of what may eventually be and I would like to see. It has nothing to do with my scorn for anybody else.

If that was the case then the USA would still be at the throats of England, France and Spain given what all but Alaska and Hawaii have been until the 18/19th centuries. So, back to point. We are what we see ourselves to be. If we feel overwhelmed by others, and Holly and Susan have been very precise in decribing their positions, then we have every right to kick out and ask 'What about me/us?'. Let's all simply remember and respect difference in order to be united in our variety, but above all inclusive.

Shirley, I will reply to your point as is covers the problem about "Englishness". The family origins are Scots but only until 1607(?) when James 1 kicked out 6 or so clans of reavers to stop them raiding adjacent families and over the border into England. James sent them to Northern Ireland. The Scots were, of course, covenenters the Irish catholics. My grandparents were born in Ulster but my parents were born in England. My mother side of the family also comes from Scotland (Crawford), Wales (WIlliams) and Holland (De Groot|) - so what does that make me? Am I entitled to wear the kilt?

What was it that Samuel Johnson called false patriotism?

As to Slovenia and Scotland - yes but would Scotland survive as an independent country without help?

No I am not Robin's son, while he is MUCH older than me, I am his brother. no Scots accent, no Ulster accent, no accent at all really (despite being born in Cheshire near Liverpool

Really Finn....? why? Has anyone else received a 'warning'? I really think if someone is that upset that they fess up and say why and how....this smacks a bit of running to teacher......I'm sure I too could complain having been well and truly patronised...and I am sure some would choose to complain about me and my 'sloppy wording'....if we are going to be reined in....then that is going to spoil future debates...I might have to go back to my Arab/Israeli site to enjoy lively debate in the future.

All I can say is that I think Alexander got his wish. It wasn't a Friday night but I think it will suffice!

@Carol - good! ( that you will be back!!) x

Celeste I am not taking it personally...really I'm not....I have just had enough lectures about history to last a lifetime; I know why some people are 'sensitive' about times past....I just don't see we can do anything about what has gone, so why bring it up all the time. Its horrible that the English starved millions of Irish people, but I cant change that....and I didnt personally take part.

I don't have a great pride in my nationality, I am what I am because of my parents....People can knock the English all they like...I don't take it personally....I just object to being lectured (not by you Celeste) on why certain people have the right to hold a grudge and be snarky with me! I think if nothing else, what this has evidenced.....is that there is no chance of world peace...when people born on the same island or nearby islands, who can communicate using the same language and often sharing the same mixed nationalities can still be aggrieved or constantly reminding others about happenings hundreds of years ago.

I should think Holly is now greatly relieved that she is from the US and not anywhere else! My husband is Canadian and always said the relationship between Canadians and Americans, certainly when he was a child, was not dissimilar to the English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh relationships.

Have a good week guys....I have a busy week ahead.....and wont be online much (can hear all the sighs of relief!) but like Arnie....I will be back!

Ah yes but the point is we can learn from history without needing to keep throwing it back at people.

I don't normally say 'keep on topic' but I think this thread has been sufficiently hi-jacked to either a) stop debating or b) open a new discussion.

Now I am off to open a bottle - been a very long day today and I feel I deserve a glass. Cheers ladies! xx

Agree...so why keep bringing up the past? Respect is earned.....as individuals we earn it. As individuals on SFN do you not think we are upstanding citizens? have I taken the p*ss out of you or anyone? I think not....So it's not necessary to keep bringing up history......

Hi Celeste....Im sorry....I dont agree with your last comment...I think you are right.....there are plenty of English football hooligans...and I have travelled sufficiently to see English Tw*ts behaving like the idiots they are. I agree in the past hideous things have occurred under English rule...not least slavery....starving people living in Ireland...yes...its all true. I dont take exception to the truth...why should anyone else. Now...we have established that....do you really think that every time we talk about the EU or the future...English people have to think about every and anything that has ever happened in the name of England???? I have to laugh when I see comments about bringing the EU closer together....when too many people spend their time looking at the past and not willing to look to the future. Its pathetic that we cannot consider ourselves citizens of the world and take our individual behaviour as what is important. What hope has the world if the Jews and the Arabs...the Protestants and Catholics refuse to ever take a step forward without a glance backwards? its either religion or historical politics that ensures we are never going to learn to change the future...because we are too hung up on history. I am not pure English...who is? but that is not important nor is it relevant....birth countries are accidents of nature. Behaviour of the individual though...not that is what really matters.

Who gives a proverbial toss? I’m a man of the world, and as an anti-nationalist, feel in good company with, Marx,Engels, Chaplin, Lennon etc. It’s all this patriotism that is the cause of most wars, along with religion (i’m an atheist, to boot).
I find that I naturally root for the underdog, be he/she British, English or whatever. The World Cup and Olympics are wasted on me.

Oh Finn, I feel for you. With my "accent" I have been accused of being both American and German.

Oh Finn, don't you wish you were French just a little bit? I'd love to have the confidence of a Parisian woman in a clothes boutique or to be able to walk into a French underwear shop with my cheque book in hand thinking 'I'm worth it' as I spend a month's salary on very little (whilst taking 10 minutes to write out the cheque in immaculate french hand writing) or to be able to taste cheese at the market then walk away with the 15 euro still in my pocket or to go to a degustation and NOT feel obliged to buy their mediocre wine. Or to shrug my shoulders when things don't go right & get on with something important like filing my nails and to have children that eat anything I cook for them...oh I could go on...

that's true about 'les anglais' Chris - my friend is Australian, her husband Irish, one child born in Germany the other 3 in France, they all speak English as their maternal language and hence are known as 'les anglais' just like us.

If you assume that "les anglais" refers to people who have English as their first language, rather than people who live(d) in England, perhaps fewer would take offence.

Great Britain refers to England, Wales and Scotland - so they can truthfully be called "Brits"

The United Kingdom refers to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

I find it sad that everyone wants to split up into smaller and smaller nations, I deem myself a European anyway. For example where was it I read that an independent Scotland would have the same size economy as Slovenia.

Well I don't really care what I am to be honest and heaven knows what my children will call themselves. My great grandad was Scottish, his wife was Irish, the rest I don't know but looking at my second toe they were probably of either Greek or Celtic origin. My eldest kids were born in France but have British Passports, their surname is Irish as my husband's Grandparents were Irish. My youngest was born in Camden so she must be truly an English Maisy Rose then even if she spends most of her young life in France...All Mixed Up is what my generation and that of my children are. Most of our friends have, since university moved to Asia, the USA, other European Countries...we are migrants. There from now on I think I will call us Migrants with British passports. Well the same can be said about many of you including many Americans so we all actually have something in common after all xxxx

I'm convinced that brutal Brian's bark is bigger then his bite. He does have some interesting knowledge to share but it's a shame that he feels the need to beat us up while sharing it. Half the time I think that it might be just for the sake of turning a phrase. I'm calling your bluff Brian and please don't bite my hand off.

Another virtual kiss on the way.