Thursday, June 24, 2010

Get to Know England

The team that finished behind the Mighty, Mighty United States, England had some bad luck.  That's why they scored all of 2 goals in 3 games.  They had a bunch of goals wrongfully taken away from them.  Oh, wait, NO THEY DIDN'T.  That was the US.  No wonder John Oliver seems so high strung.  Fun facts underneath the funny angry Brit.  More fun facts here.

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1.  England has had some of the most entertaining Civil Wars in history.  Whether it is the mostly power struggle of the War of the Roses, or the philosophical underpinnings of The English Civil War (Cavaliers vs. Roundheads--seriously, the best match-up ever), or the religious based simmering Cold War between Catholics and Protestants that emerged after Henry VIII's death,  there are few countries that can compete with the cast of characters that rose through violent struggle in England.  Of course, it helps when you've got Shakespeare covering your shit, and the Irish writing nasty songs about Oliver Cromwell.  

2.  Home to one of the coolest and strangest guys writing anything anywhere, Alan Moore. Have you read From Hell?  Why the fuck not?












3.  Obviously, a home for great rock and roll since the first British Invasion.  I would like to just mention very quickly that The Kinks, in America, are too easily reduced to a couple of early British Invasion songs, "Lola", and for a brief moment of time in the early days of MTV, "Come Dancing".  All are fine songs, but if you don't know about the The Kink's late 60's, early 70's output, holy cow are you missing out on some of the finest records made in any era.  Starting in 1967, with Something Else, they had a run of great classic albums that combined produced maybe one hit in the US:  The Village Green Preservation Society (1968), Arthur (1969), Lola Vs. Powerman and The Money Go Round Pt 1 (1970), Muswell Hillbillies (1971).  I'll put that set of records up against any band, ever; and yes, I'd include the Beatles with that.

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