Monthly Archives: February 2009

Stephen Fowler: Brit behaving badly

British expat and “Wife Swap” participant Stephen Fowler claims he took up American citizenship because he wanted a voice in how this country is run, but here’s my theory: he’s living here in the US of A because the UK chased him out. I watched the offending episode of “Wife Swap” on YouTube this weekend, but since then all the clips have been pulled. You have to see this guy to believe him. Here’s a “best of” video that’s still posted. [ETA: Oops, it’s gone. And when you go to ABC’s “Wife Swap” page, it looks like they’ve gotten rid of the episode. too. Interesting!]

At first, I thought this nitwit was an actor, but no, he’s the real deal, a San Francisco-based eco-capitalist. I think he settled in the Bay Area because there’s no way Britain would tolerate an educated human being who 1. brags to the camera about his GRE scores and IQ, not only once, but twice in 44 minutes; 2. informs a person in a lower socioeconomic class that he makes more money in one week than she makes in one year; 3. reads a prepared statement to a camera belonging to a reality show production team and 4. wears a never-varying uniform of T-shirts printed with eco-creepy slogans.

I’ve been scanning blogs and bulletin boards all day, and folks are riled up about this “typical British snob.” I don’t agree with that assessment at all. In my mind, he’s a shining example of the prototypical ugly American, an ass without an opinion filter or sensitivity chip.

If any Brits reading this get to check out this guy: Where is this accent from? It sounds put on to me and I can’t quite place it.

Keep Calm and Carry On

keep calm and carry on poster

A couple years ago I was thumbing through a design magazine (or maybe I was surfing design blogs), saw this framed WWII poster hanging in the subject’s office, and decided immediately I must have one for my own office. Right now it sits framed, leaning against against a bookcase, waiting for me to finish cleaning up the mess in here, but everytime someone sees it, they ask, “Oooh, where can I get one?”  (You can order one here, along with the matching mug.)

When I was in London in December, I must have spotted a dozen of these framed posters hanging in shops and cafes, but have yet to see any hanging in stores stateside.

Anyway, last week the BBC published an interesting story about the poster and why it’s resonating with people 50+ years later.

Bafta Awards preview

This Sunday is the BAFTA Awards, BAFTA being an acronym for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts … sort of like our Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards Oscars. If you’re stateside, you can watch the BAFTAs on BBC America this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Telegraph has posted a preview of some of the British stars we’ll be seeing on the small screen this weekend. Enjoy!

More on the American Absolutely Fabulous

Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch blog has an interview with Kristen Johnston, who’s tapped to play Patsy in the American remake of Absolutely Fabulous, coming soon to a television set near you.

Here’s a quote from the article: “I think they captured the exact amount of sweetie-darling,” she says. “I mean, it’s a totally different element, it’s a totally different show. We don’t smoke, we are hungover all the time, we chew Nicorette, we’re trying to be more PC, but I think it really works. It’s one of those scripts that’s like my favorite kind because on paper you’re like, Oh, this is funny, but when you read it out loud with two actresses, it’s, like, the funniest s— ever.”

Turning Pats and Eddy into nonsmoking, Nicorette-chewing politically correct fashionistas sounds like the most unfunniest s— ever, but that’s me. What do you think? Will the American version of this show be a hit, or will it sink faster than a Dukes of Hazzard holiday special on French tv?

Dear Sir Richard Branson

Virgin Atlantic meal

Many of you may have read this already — the letter is making the rounds of the Internets — but in case you haven’t, read this hilarious complaint letter written by an peevish Virgin Atlantic customer to Sir Richard Branson about the horrendous meal he was served aboard a Virgin flight from Mumbai to Heathrow in December. The customer, who since has been identified as an advertising executive named Oliver Beale, received a call from Branson afterwards, who apologized for the disgusting slop and offered Beale the opportunity to choose meals and wine for future Virgin flights.

I love that the letter was accompanied by photos because that food does look abominable and I’m afraid the hyperbole alone wouldn’t have been as convincing. On that note, two of the best airline meals of my life were on British Airways flights to and from Heathrow and Mumbai. Maybe Virgin Atlantic should send some spies to check it out.