What are Yanks really?
``The trouble with Americans, Meg, is that they're soft centre. They have souls of mush.''
My sister Meg, a highly entertaining and multi-talented woman who contrived somehow to squander all of her talent [i managed to squander only most of mine] was at some point a PA to Harold Conway a director of British Lion, and this is a remark she attributes to him.
And it's not just that they put sugar in everything (as if that weren't enough - Yanks have told me that Mexicans are worse.) There is a story that when Terry Gilliam's film Brazil (a work of quite appalling brilliance) went on general release in America the final scene (in which the Jonathan Price character is revealed to be in a torture chamber not a mobile home with the girl of his dreams - the Kim Greist character) the distributors had the final scene deleted so it appears to have a happy ending. Brits don't like happy endings - life's not like that. (Gilliam started life as a Yank but took UK citizenship: this is not an accident! Thomas Hardy was a Brit, as is Mike Lee)
It reminds me a bit of a remark of my much-loved italian colleague Giuseppe Rosolini, who said to me once (decades later):
``Lovely people, the British, but they have no idea what life is about.''
All right! Very well!! So who really knows?
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