Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gaping Holes

Some of the most disconnecting experiences that arise from not being at home occur when you go home. It is particularly noticeable when I go home at the end of the year, and we do those "what happened in 2009" quizzes that newspapers print around Christmas, and I have no idea what's going on. So I do try and connect with home - I listen to The News Quiz (my favourite podcast of the moment), I read bits and pieces from the Guardian, I follow British folks on Twitter, subscribe to The Spin and The Fiver, and occasionally do British crosswords, too. I listen to radio 1 and podcasts from home to make sure I'm down with the kids and what they're listening to.

But it's just not the same - I have no real idea who Jedward are, other than X-Factor contestants. I cannot share in that experience. I am not watching the transition from David Tennant to that young pup who is now going to be Doctor Who (and I've really not even tried to reserve judgment about what a letdown it's going to be without Tennant, btw). I wasn't at home for Nick Griffin on Question Time, or for the remarkable Ashes triumph.

Right now, everyone's running a "best of the decade" about this, that or the other. And I've probably spent 60% of the decade at home, 40% in the US, which really is affecting my polls. For example, none of the polls I've seen here for album of the decade put Original Pirate Material in the top 50, whereas I - SPOILER ALERT - would have it in my top 5. I cannot imagine my life without it - it was an essential part of being in London in the early 2000s. And people here sort of get it, but not really, I don't think. The best tv show lists feature The Office, but do not mention Peep Show - a ridiculous oversight - or State of Play, which I think are two of the best British TV programmes ever, let alone this decade. Or, indeed, the reborn Doctor Who.

It made me realise that I like being this mixture of British and American culture - I would never really have watched Arrested Development or How I Met Your Mother if I still lived at home, I don't think. But I'm acutely aware that however desperately I try to maintain my British cultural knowledge, the listen again function can't really keep me current with it.

Of course, this is also an announcement that December will see many best of lists from me, whether you like it or not. Ha!


subtleknot said...

I well feel your pain. On all fronts. Particularly on the loss-of-Tenant front; though they have apparently been doing the best they can to make sure he is an asshole before he goes out. Both a shame, and kind of awesome.

Lawd, I miss you guys! Sandra Lee just ain't the same without you. Neither, for that matter, is Joel McHale.

pumpkin said...

No one else seems to quite share our SL fascination, which seems just wrong. I miss having someone to talk to about it. Sigh.

BTW, did you hear the wicked rumour that Donna might make a special appearance this series?

pumpkin said...
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