Sunday, September 23, 2012

BBC America's "Mind the Gap"

So my first piece is up on the BBC America web site. "Mind the Gap" is a column explaining American things to Brits (and vice versa on occasion.) I wrote a piece about volunteering, in my usual don't-take-this-seriously, tongue-in-cheek fashion.

And I'm reminded once again, of why sarcasm and general piss-take should be applied very lightly in the USA. Read the comments and you'll see what I mean.

Sometimes I give up.


19 comments:

  1. Great column. I see what you mean about the comments. (!) Don't give up, you'll win them over in the end I'm sure.

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  2. You commenters, I fear, are new age parents. As a grandmother just drug back into the schooling of a fifth and ninth grader I look at this stuff and ask myself one question: did my parents do this? Of course not. We were expected to get through school on our own.

    I may have just soap boxed here, but think about it. We didn't have snacks and drinks to get through the day. If we left our mittens and hat at school, we walked home cold and walked to school cold the next day. We went home and played our own games in the side lot.

    Enough. Your commentors can't be illuminated. They may be the dark side.

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  3. I am very tempted to point out that the very title "The Dark Side" surely heralds some sort of gentle piss-taking (excuse the French), but alas, I think it will only stir the pot.
    Kind of disappointing really. I thought I was dealing with a different audience. My bad, as they say.

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  4. Tee hee, love the comments. Totally agree about class mom, it always seems a thankless task and I would not volunteer for it!

    You should definitely read the book I've just finished. Where'd you go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple. The heroine makes herself extremely unpopular by not volunteering at school......

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  5. I got it. And it's true. I remember what it was like when mine was in grade school!

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  6. Just keep writing in your style and don't worry about the annoying comments. There are lots of great articles online with silly comments.

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  7. Great column, Toni. I agree with all your points, and even me , the French lady, understands your sense of humor!
    I think parenting in the US has changed a lot within the last two-three decades. Just by watching some movies from the 80s you can feel it, when you compare to what's going on now in school.

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  8. Enjoyed your article and the comments (!) but just spent 10 minutes searching through texting dictionaries trying to find out what "NVG" means (from your most recent comment).

    I thought maybe it meant "Not Very Good" but the context wasn't right, and the web translated it to "Night Vision Goggles." Then I looked at the comment above yours and realized you were referring to Nappy Valley Girl.

    In an effort to keep this comment from being totally off-topic, allow me to point out that night vision goggles are handy to have if you're living on the dark side ;)

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  9. I'm surprised no one wrote that if you don't like it you should go home. That's the standard comment for people who dare to criticize France and the French.

    You got off lightly!!

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  10. Yup... I think your tongue-in-cheek column was completely lost on some of them judging by their comments! :)

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  11. Sarah - I get that a lot, and I also get attacks on the UK system when I never even mention it in the article. Someone's wittering on about the fact that in the States, it's not automatically assumed that if you have money your kids will go to private school. What?

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  12. Mike - LMAO. Now look that one up.

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  13. LOVE IT!!!! I was just thinking about doing a post on volunteering at schools - reading yours was so much more fun! And the above comment about NVG and night vision goggles had me in giggles at work - work being my not-very-water-tight excuse for getting out of being class mum/getting into a swimsuit to help with swimming/running bake sales/organising international day - the list goes on!

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  14. I shouldn't worry - I read a few of the articles on the BBC America website, and most of them got complaining comments, so it's not just you. They're obviously just a whingey lot of readers. I thought all the articles were fine. Ah well. You'll just have to teach them some humour.

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  15. Someone else suggested that. I don't think I can face trying to explain sarcasm and mickey-taking. It's bound to fall flat.
    I loved the one commenter who mentioned the "soul-destroying" sarcasm of the UK. Jeez, I was only talking about school volunteering. Get some perspective!

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  16. No one even mentioned your British teeth, I'm disappointed. ;)

    Who is the target audience for BBC America? I would have thought anyone tuning into a BBC website is at least a little familiar with British Humour. I grew up in the States with Masterpiece Theatre (Read: BBC Costume Dramas), Monty Python, All Creatures Great and Small and Fawlty Towers--all offering different versions of British humour. I know I wasn't the only one in the States who saw those shows.

    Anyway, this looks like a cool gig. Just watch out for the people who don't get it and I guess work out which audience you want to write for!

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  17. Wow, tough crowd, reminds me of the group that used to read Alpha Mummy. Anyway, hope you get "skin like a rhino". Just ignore the idiots. x

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