U.S. vs. U.K. – Head to Head

After much exhaustive research, I have come to some definitive conclusions about the relative superiority of British and American culture. My anthropological training has prepared me to handle such a delicate issue with both grace and cultural sensitivity, so there are no sweeping generalizations made below.


– – – – –

Food: On the one hand, I appreciate that in the U.K. vegetarian items are labeled on menus. On the other hand, I do not appreciate that most grocery stores have fourteen different flavo(u)rs of breadcrumbs but only one crappy brand of tofu. Also, “It’s getting better” is not an appropriate defense of a national cuisine.
Advantage – U.S.

Politics: Most right-leaning Tories would be considered tree-hugging gay-loving tax-and-spend bleeding-heart knee-jerk-liberal socialists in the U.S.
Advantage – U.K.

Size: The U.K. is comically small, and they don’t even know it. When I explain that the United Kingdom is the same size of my state, the typical response is, “Wait, aren’t there like fifty of those?”
Advantage – U.S.

Music: Everyone knows the Sex Pistols wiped the floor with the Ramones.
Advantage – U.K.

Weather: Initially, I found great comedic value in waking up to a beautiful clear sunrise (at 9 a.m.) and then, by the time I managed to get dressed and out the door, having to face an endless grey drizzle. That said, I have been to many places in the U.S. and never, ever found a place where the weather is even half as shitty. Hey, at that latitude, I guess I should be grateful it’s even habitable.
Advantage – U.S.

Socialized Medicine: They have it, we don’t.
Advantage – Canada.

Beer: I am fairly certain that most of the English undergraduates, in a blind taste test, could not correctly identify Milwaukee’s Best or Natural Ice as “beer.” Actually, I don’t think that they would think it was beer even if it weren’t a blind taste test. I think that tells us something.
Advantage – U.K.

Use of the(u) Engli(u)sh La(u)nguage: “Naff”, “Faffing”, and “Lergie” are all excellent words that I’m going to have to make happen in the U.S. upon my return. On the other hand, those extra “u”s—shockingly—don’t really add or clarify anything. I think the final deciding point for me is the fact that “rising bollard” and “humped zebras” are hilarious terms that the English have managed to work into traffic signage.
Advantage – U.K.

Grading System: When I got back my first paper with a “68” written on front, I panicked, calculating that this roughly worked out to a “D+.” I was subsequently told that’s actually a good grade. While all grading systems are arbitrary, what’s the use of a 100 point grading scale when you only use the range between 60 and 70?
Advantage – U.S.

Monarchy: is stupid.
Advantage – U.S.
Tea: is still tasteless.
Advantage – U.S.

Living in a state of denial: People in the U.K. don’t believe their island is part of Europe. Half of Americans don’t believe in climate change or dinosaurs.
Advantage – U.K.

– – – – –

In my rigorous process of swapping writing about thing I like / annoy me about the United Kingdom, I have shockingly wound up with more “Advantage U.S.”, which is completely terrifying. However, the beer in the U.K. is a lot better, so I’ll call it a tie. I guess they’ll just have to fight it out 1812 style.

Merry (Happy in the U.K.) Christmas everybody!

2 thoughts on “U.S. vs. U.K. – Head to Head

  1. How can you dislike tea? How do you drink it? I feel like you’re not doing it right–tea is always good! Earl Grey or English Breakfast? Sugar, lemon, milk/cream? Plus, it can be vegan (-milk). Don’t hate on tea. Also, our lives would be sad without princesses and kings and queens. 🙂

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