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Harris and O'Toole Weren't British...,
This review is from: Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down: How One Generation of British Actors Changed the World (Paperback)
It always troubles me when books like this, which look to celebrate a certain aspect of a nation's culture, resort to shoe-horning in factually inaccurate subject matter just to pad out the word count. The whole world and its dog knows O'Toole and Harris were Irish so why the pretence that they are part of this celebrated group of British actors? For sure, O'Toole and Harris would have worked alongside Britain's finest and, for sure, both actors would have learnt some of their craft alongside Britain's finest too BUT the two Irishmen also went to America and got their hands dirty with America's finest. The two Irishmen travelled the world and worked alongside a whole host of international stars.
O'Toole and Harris were very proud of being Irish and if the Americans, the British, the French or whoever tried to claim them they would have politely pointed out that they were citizens of the world and IRISH.
In short, a message to British social and cultural commentators: please stop claiming other nations' jewels as your own.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Mar 2014 13:53:57 GMT
I thought "Great Britain" included Ireland, thus making the inhabitants of Ireland both British AND Irish........whether the Irish like it or not.
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2014 10:54:43 BDT
British, when used as a geographical term, includes Ireland, since it's one of the British Isles. Great Britain, however, denotes the bigger of the two islands, which includes England, Scotland and Wales, and most emphatically not Ireland (hence "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"). This only as information, not meant to offend.
Apart from that, I think the most sensible approach is to see British here as a geographical term including both the British Isles and smaller islands and enjoy the book.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Aug 2014 15:13:19 BDT
Tim Mc Caffrey says:
I hope you never come to Ireland and repeat what you've just said here!....Even the most laid back of Irishmen would take offence at being called British after finally ejecting the said British from most of Ireland after a struggle lasting eight hundred years and the loss of tens of thousands of people on both sides.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2014 12:04:35 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 29 Nov 2014 13:16:07 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2014 12:29:26 GMT
The term "British Isles" is the name the British have given to the archipelago of islands that the Irish and British inhabit - this is not the name that the Irish government, for example, uses for the archipelago. The larger island, "Great Britain" is so called to distinguish it, historically, from "Little Britain" (now known as "Brittany") in northern France. There is no collective term for the peoples who inhabit the archipelago. The term "British" denotes citizens of Britain and the UK. Calling people from Ireland "British" is as ridiculous and erroneous as calling people from Britain/UK "Irish". To put it another way, calling Harris and O'Toole "Britons" would be akin to calling French people "Germans" or Danish people "Norwegians"...or, indeed, United States citizens, "Mexicans".
The most sensible approach, when writing books such as this, is to stick to the boundaries of the project. If I wrote a book on great American rock bands and included chapters on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones I would - quite rightly - expect flak from British rock fans. If an American commentator than made the point that, for the benefit of the book, Britons should simply (and sensibly) accept the Beatles and Stones as American rock bands (after all they spent a lot of time in the US and were greatly influenced by US culture), I am sure British rock fans would raise an eyebrow.
This is a book about British actors...shoe-horning in a couple of non-Brits is a fudge and clearly casts doubt on the credibility of the project.
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