My children have had a couple of movie days over the summer complete with a few snackettes – cost friendly entertainment. Many of the TV offerings that they’ve been glued to are American-made, which got me thinking about the impressions we get of other countries based on what we watch.
For example, if I did not have common sense, a passport, a love of literature and a geography GCSE, then perhaps I would believe that all Americans have lake houses.
You know the ones I mean. The homes that are constructed of timber, beautiful and cosy with a couple of taxidermied heads mounted on the inner walls (and possibly a resident psycho lurking in the obligatory crawl space under the house).
They’ll have a boat, a small jetty, and the lake will be clean enough to swim in (probably complete with a prehistoric monster or two), and there will be teenagers engaged in frolics at night (most likely naked with an obligatory topless girl who shrieks a lot, and she’ll be the one to get slaughtered first).
All standard American homes – by which I mean the ones where they spend their weekdays – have verandas. They have door numbers like 20980007, and at Halloween they put an entire field’s worth of pumpkins on their front steps – and nobody picks them up and chucks them around the neighbourhood at night, or throws them through their windows.
Given the stereotype of America that we glean from the movies, does this mean that little USA residents everywhere are growing up to believe that all British women have intimate knowledge of Hugh Grant?
That we go to school in castles and travel by broomstick?
And act like we are starring in a Richard Curtis movie 50 per cent of the time and spend the other 50 per cent talking in Cockney Rhyming Slang, and wittering about apples and pears, clad in Union Jacks and whizzing around in black cabs?
It is an almost scary state of affairs when you consider how much of our lives are spent being influenced by film and media.
La la land indeed!
There are columnist perks, and I, for one, enjoy them
One of the many marvellous things about writing a column is the ability to have a good rant. It is extremely therapeutic to get stuff down in words. To spill your guts on to the page and to feel as though you’ve cleared at least part of the problem from your head.
There are certain things one cannot write about – partly due to their nature, partly because one does not wish to have one’s pants sued off. This is frustrating when one is, for example, going through a stressful time. Such as moving.
One has said ‘one’ too much now, and must refrain from writing anything else in case one says ‘too much’ in general. But, as suspected, one does feel better just for having filled the page.
You don’t need great exam results to be successful
Students all over Portsmouth will soon be in receipt of their GCSE results. Doors will be opening to futures, further education, jobs and employment.
Some will be riding high on exam glory, others will be feeling disheartened by not having received the results that they wanted or worked for. Either way, it is only as an adult that we come to realise just how important both our exams and our choices are in life.
You don’t need fabulous exam results to be successful. Exam results help but it’s more about the willingness to work, the common sense, and your own personal humanity.
And one of the best lessons you can learn is to dust yourself off and try again.
Get back up and be resilient.