"could do better if she applied herself"

"could do better if she applied herself"--the recurrent theme on my term report cards from school. along with, "has a tendency to distract others with chatter" and "can be a bit of a fuss-pot..."

this is all by way of saying that i am about to post something flimsy. you will note a trend in this blog, dear readers, whereby in moments when i can't summon up the creative energy to write about something at any length, i will fall back on my old mainstay "being english..." the rhubarb post below--that was a prime example.

and i must confess to being a little sheepish about this, because although i am happy to exploit the "limey tart" aspect of my identity at times, the last thing i want to be is that pretentious b'yatch who insists on her britishness as a means to lord it over everyone. and for this reason, though i did once say "tom-AH-to" i now say "tom-AY-to."

i had an interesting schitzophrenic experience this weekend.

people often to say to me "joy, don't you find it ironic that MADONNA moved from michigan, acquired a fake british accent, and lives in a country manor house like Lady Muck, and YOU moved from england to michigan, and now saying "trash can" and "dumbfuck" and "freakin' asshole" with the best of michiganians. yes. it's uncanny, i know.

anyway, i watched her being interviewed on Parkinson this weekend on BBC America, and DEAR LORD that woman has got the most off-putting accent i have ever heard these days. i mean she's only lived there for about 5 or 6 years right? how could she have possibly have assimilated in that time? and more disturbing, i felt myself bristle when she bashed michigan.... and this, of course, means that i am assimilated as a midwesterner. and i am cool with that. but please, people who know me, if i start to pull fake british shit for effect too much--please bludgeon me.

having said that, i now invite you to view brit comic/drag queen Eddie Izzard pontificate on the american usage of the term "Awesome" or as my young english relatives would imitate it "Orrr-some"

(click on "Awesome" on this page)

Update: I feel must acknowledge the fair words of my cousin Ele (anon in comments) and give props to Madonna for infusing us with (at times) much-needed infectious pop. I do indeed like to groove down a little to many a Maddona tune, and if you check out my "about me" ramblings, Madonna, in her own warped way had something to do with my feminist leanings in the early nineties. (please do not judge me--judge early nineties "I'm, like, in charge of my sexuality" new-wave postfeminism, k?) Now my cousin, at the same tender age, can also celebrate Madonna, or at least the notion that you can gyrate in a leotard and aviators at 40+ and not "look like a tit..." It makes me feel all fuzzy inside

Oh, and thanks for OUTING me Ele (tsk).


Kristen said...

Ugh. She's SOOOOO annoying. And for real. I hope that it starts evolving into a weird Barbara Walters thing. Now that would be great.

And, will you please record yourself saying "dumbfuck?" It must sound so nice with an accent.

jon deal said...

Her accent is fake, Fake, FAKE!

In my experience, you can develop a *slight* accent of the region where you have transplanted yourself, but hers seems like an affectation. I was born in the south, and can "do" a southern accent, but it's not how I speak. (We moved before I developed language skills) Even when I lived down there later in life, I didn't develop an accent.

I also lived in Italy for a few years and I speak Italian pretty well and can fake a decent accent, but it's just that. FAKE! I have to totally concentrate in order to pull it off. When I speak in Italian "normally" I sound like a foreigner speaking the language.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm just saying... Madonna is being Madonna... assimilating stuff she finds in order to re-invent herself. Or whatever it is she does every few years.

Anonymous said...

My name is Ele. I am an ambassador for Joy's 'young English relatives'. I qualify for this post because I am young (though only 21 for three more months), English (I even play Rugby, y'know - and I call it 'Ruggers') and I am Joy's relative. Joy and I are the two much celebrated female offspring of the branch-Palmer (the good branch)in Joy's family tree.

And I would like to confirm that, yes, I would imitate awesome with a (quite pretentious sounding) 'orr-some'. But, do kids really use the word 'awesome' anymore?

Mainly I wanted to suggest that you find in your hearts a little respect for Madonna. Who is at the moment rather cool in clubs with her new album (and I don't mean the crappy clubs, I mean the good ones that my parents shouldn't find out that I go to) I, personally, feel that should I be able to wear a leotard-thingy with a pair of aviators at the age of forty(something) without looking like a tit, then as god as my witness you just try and stop me. She's orr-some.

doow said...

Oi, Ginga. Excellent, excellent taste in comedians, but he's a transvestite, not a drag queen. Gawd woman, don't you know nuffink? *leaves out emoticon wink 'cos she's British and feels it ruins the joke*

Joel said...

An "awesome" post (sorry). I also had no idea that this country (perhpas the state of Michigan specifically) traded Madonna for you. Quite sure we (USA)got the best of that deal.

neva said...

lord a-mighty girlfriend! i can watch eddie izzard all day long... (and well into the night!) thank you so much for another fabulous link! (i also adored the ricky gervais link, too, don't ya know?)

somehow, i manage to miss madonna every time she's on television (on purpose, i might add...) i will agree with your "young relative" in saying that madonna does manage to look great... and she deserves a helluva lot of points for that! still, madonna by any other name is still a poser.

and, joy, never fear, i, for one, am always entertained by you -- never more so than when you're being english! : D

sunshine scribe said...

Madonna with her fake accent is so irritating and pretentious.

I enjoy your "limey tart"-ness - I love how even when some one with a british accent swears it sounds kind of proper :)

Blog Antagonist said...

I can't stand Madonna, but I gotta cut her some slack on this one. My husband and I travelled to Europe for our honeymoon. We were only in London five days and we both found ourselves picking up the accent and the lingo. We must have sounded so ridiculous! But I couldn't help it. It's so fun to talk that way.

I didn't know you were from England. Cool.

Mommy off the Record said...

Well, this has really nothing to do with your post, but I thought I would tell you that I made a really tasty rhubarb compote for the first time yesterday. Cut up 4 sticks of rhubarb, add 2/4 cup of sugar, simmer over med heat until sugar melts, cover and simmer 7 minutes more until rhubarb is tender. Then chill two hours. It's pretty sugary so I mixed into plain yogurt for a really tasty treat.

Mommy off the Record said...

Shoot that should have said 3/4 cups of sugar. :)

Her Bad Mother said...

I must second Kristen's UGH. And capitalize it.

And? Flimsy is good. Flimsy is fun. Flimsy doesn't give people headaches. Not that you ever do, but I apparently did the other day, so I flimsied out today. But nary a mention of Madonna! Madonna-slags are the best flimsy posts of all!

MrsFortune said...

I. Love. Eddie.Izzard.

And if you don't start saying "rubbish bin" again, I think you will be deported.

I still hate rhubarb.

Elizabeth said...

Personally, I don't find it at all Flimsy of you to write about being English. I spent five fantastic weeks in London in 1990 and felt like I could have stayed forever.

I picked up a few phrases, found myself saying "soda" instead of "pop" (which is totally a Midwest thing anyway), and came home wishing Lansing had a "tube"

When Eddie Izzard's show "Dress to Kill" was on HBO, my husband and I watched it over and over and every time would laugh so hard we couldn't catch our breath.

Madonna-blech. She once said in a magazine interview that her children don't watch TV, aren't allowed any junk food, all they do is read books. What she didn't mention is that her daughter has her own personal shopper and her own credit line and clothing budget. That'll prepare her for living in the real world all right.

something blue said...

Madonna with her fake accent, leotards and pompous attitude can shove it.

My best friend's father is British and living on the Prairies. Growing up, I loved his slang and thought my best friend was even more super cool because her dad had such a lovely accent.

Mega Mom said...

You totally need to do some audio blogging.

ozma said...

I think I liked the idea that I could have done better had I applied myself and applying oneself was for suckers. However, I've recently started applying myself and it's a bitch. I strongly recommend to everyone to avoid applying themselves if at all possible.

Those Eddie Izzard clips are funny as hell. Thanks!

Finally, I wonder if you are assimilating to the midwest or transforming it with your fabulousness. I found the midwest a terrifying place so I have to believe you must be performing some magic upon it. The whole Madonna thing is too weird to think about.

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