Ryan, I suppose your denunciation of deportation in the case of Piers Morgan is all the stronger, given your dislike of him and the British in general. But as an Anglophile, I must take up for my cousins Over There.
I suspect that most of your complaints actually pertain only to the British government – which is as despicable and Satanic as its American descendant. And if Morgan is a mouthpiece for both, he is vile (I don’t own a TV and, blissfully enough, had never heard of this twit until he started popping up on LRC’s blog recently). But then, that’s the case for every country, especially empires, isn’t it? We rightly excoriate the Nazis while recognizing that they oppressed Germans as the psychopaths in DC do us – and many of their serfs despised and denounced that regime as we do ours. Ditto for Russia, Cuba, China and all other totalitarian horrors.
But I’ve never found British people “naturally humorless, smug, ignorant about American civilization, and generally pretentious.” Indeed, one of the humblest introductions to any book I’ve seen came from historian Paul Johnson in A History of the American People. There he frankly admits his ignorance of American history and culture as a Briton and asks readers’ help in spotting errors in the volume.
As for British humor, some of the funniest lines I’ve ever read were on British ads and billboards during the only tour I’ve taken of England (pre-TSA; yet another reason to loathe those perverts and thieves is their keeping us stateside). And who can forget the innumerable bon mots of Samuel Johnson or Oscar Wilde? Meanwhile, one of my favorite anecdotes of British wit comes from the eighteenth century, when the Earl of Sandwich was scolding the notorious libertine John Wilkes. Sandwich denounced Wilkes’ behavior as so scandalous that it was impossible for him to predict whether Wilkes would die on the gallows or from the pox. To which Wilkes responded, “That depends, sir, on whether I embrace your morals or your mistress.”