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The Expansionist
Saturday, January 30, 2010
 
Taking Out the Trash. How do Britscum like Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay get into this country? Do we have absolutely no standards in immigration anymore? Why are U.S. airwaves filled with British and Australian accents? Why do Brits sit in judgment of Americans in their own country? Deport all these noxious intruders. I would rather have 100 Mexicans, Guatemalans, Haitians, and Brazilians for each Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsey, Ozzie or Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan, and any of the other Brits who DARE to judge Americans on U.S. television. Deport them all!
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What good is a border if it can't keep out Slimon Cowell?
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Mind you, if Britain, Australia, or New Zealand were to join the Union as states, we'd have no choice in allowing their citizens, now our citizens, to move around the larger Nation. And then their accents would just become regional accents like Mississippi's or Boston's. But Brits and those others insist on their independence, which means they want a border between us. Fine. Live with the consequences of that border and STAY THE HELL OUT of this country!
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Let us also deport all those Brits doing voiceovers in commercials for American products. Force all those ads off the air, or compel them to be dubbed into proper American speech.
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In NYC, digital-TV channel 7-3 has a woman with a loathsome British accent doing U.S. weather forecasts. Why?
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Why is Daljit Dhaliwal, with her appallingly hideous accent, allowed to work for Worldfocus newsmagazine? Deport her. Worldfocus is a production of WNET, a Newark, NJ station stolen by New Yorkers and now apparently turned over to Brits. Tons of British trash are broadcast by WNET every week, because WNET's NY executives are slavishly enamored of our former colonial overlord. They are, indeed, latter-day colonials — Tories — convinced that the United States is inferior to Britain, their emotional home. Perhaps the executives of WNET are inferior; I'm not, and Americans in general are not.
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Why is a British or Australian accent one whit more acceptable on American TV than a Chinese or Mexican accent? If you come to the United States, learn American English. If you want to speak British, or Australian, or New Zealand English, STAY IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY, and stay OUT of mine.
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Anglophilia has reached toxic levels in the United States, and Americans have taken a supine, servile attitude toward our once-again self-asserted "betters". Our speech is being driven off the airwaves in favor of imported, often lower-class(!), British replacements. Breathe Right nasal strips, invented by an American, Bruce Johnson, are now advertised with a noxious British accent. Why? Mr. Johnson did a great job of introducing us to the product, but he has been thrown off commercials for his own invention. Disgusting.
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Victoria's Secret was formed in San Francisco, California, but it affects a British accent. Why? Whoever gave that company a British accent should be deported, along with the odious Brits whose atrocious speech irritates the ears of genuine Americans.
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The William Wrigley Jr. Company, founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1891, advertises its Orbit gum with a lower-class British accent. Why?
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I am not alone in deeply resenting the takeover of U.S. television and film by Brits, Australians, and New Zealanders, plus the odious Canadians who have been passing for Americans for decades. Here are some quotations from one website on this topic.

[By "Mr H2O"] Over the past few months, I've noticed an irritating trend in American advertising while watching various channels on cable television.

An ever increasing amount of TV ads feature an actor speaking with a British accent.

The other day at a drive up bank ATM machine in Warren, Michigan the voice on the ATM machine even featured a British accent from the damn machine.* * *

Why do American advertisers feel the need to add this new dimension to their advertising ? I consider the United Kingdom a foreign country and wouldn't want products pitched to me in the accents of the 193 other existing world countries !! [s/b 192 other countries]

[And his followup to some other commenters' remarks]

I happen to be born, live and work in the USA.

I would expect to see and hear things with American sounding voices.

My parents are immigrants, but they don't expect to see commercials with German accents !! When I visit Germany the last thing I expect is [to] hear a commercial with a Brazilian accent, or _________ ( insert name here).

I don't see an influx of Dutch Afrikaans actors or any other particular country that may happen to have a majority of "english" speaking people.

Would it be that they are difficult to understand for the common American in the USA?

Personally I find it annoying - an unpleasant mental state that is characterized by such effects as irritation and distraction from one's conscious thinking.

["Northern Lad" then points out something I had thought of immediately]

Regarding Dutch Afrikaans actors doing American films, there is one that now only speaks with an American Accent - Charlize Theron.

["Genrae" agrees with H2O]

I've noticed this too, and have wondered about it[;] don't know what to say with regards to the why. I love wonderful accents as much as many, but that doesn't mean I need to hear them on all of the commercials every time I turn on my television.

Some commenters remarked on the (bizarre) phenomenon that many Americans seem to adore British accents. I suppose very few of them have, as I do, an ancestor who fought to throw the British Empire and its accents OUT of what became the United States. I'm perfectly willing to part with all those Anglophilic Americans. Let them move to their beloved England and join Madonna in learning a phony British accent. Madonna seems to have done what Brits here do NOT do, try to fit in.
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(Aside: In looking on the Internet for serious commentary on this Britacc phenomenon, I found an unappreciated, pretty funny video on YouTube called "British Accent News of America".)
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From Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman's Jane Seymour to The Mentalist's Simon Baker to House's Hugh Laurie, and on and on and on, Americans are being replaced by foreigners. How do foreign actors even get into the United States? There's no actor shortage in this country. At any given time, perhaps 200,000 American actors and actresses are unemployed, but prime roles in film, TV, and stage productions are being given to foreigners. Deport them all!
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You can't even find an estimate of how many American actors are out of work, nor of foreign actors who are given jobs Americans want desperately. The Screen Actors Guild has almost 120,000 members, and it is only one actors' union. Actors' Equity represents over 48,000 actors, actresses (yes, I know that's a forbidden word — but not to me or any sensible person), and stage managers. How many of these unions' American members can't find work because foreign actors are hired in their stead? And how many Americans who want to act, who take acting classes in college or from individual coaches, can't find work because American entertainment is shot-thru with foreigners?
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In last year's Academy Awards, all but one of the major prizes went to foreigners. Plainly, this is not an American film industry at all. All those ridiculous Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films are made abroad, and inflict foreign accents upon American audiences. Craig Ferguson, a Scot who left the UK, ridicules the American convention of giving Brtitish accents to ancient Romans. There is still little love lost between Scots and the English. I can understand that, tho it's mainly the ruling class that are slime. Ordinary Brits are much like anybody else, and they can't help how they speak. But if they come here, they had darned well better speak as we do.
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I have a colleague who used to live in London but moved to northern England, where his friend Maria lived. They came to visit me in Newark (NJ, not -on-Trent, England), and Jeremy altered his speech somewhat, in the American direction. Maria upbraided him. It turns out that Maria is half-American, the dauter of a GI stationed in England. She has visited her (late) father's (Hispanic) family in Los Angeles. Is she still adamant about Jeremy's refusing American speech even when in the United States, her father's country? I don't know.
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The ties among the old-line English-speaking countries, called by some the "Anglosphere", are many. But if "English" (by whatever name) is one language, it should be spoken in one way. And given that 75% of all native speakers of "English" speak OUR way, it seems to me that ease of communication, and good sense, argue for others to conform to our standard. Just as smart Mississippians, Okies, and Bostonians give up regional peculiarities to make themselves understood in the wider community, so should Brits. Given that the UK's 60M people are fragmented among some 19 major dialects, it's not as tho we're really talking about anything like an equal number of speakers on each side of the trans-Atlantic divide. Americans rule the "English" language, and it is not for the great majority of educated speakers to conform to a tiny minority of not-necessarily-well-educated speakers of dialect. It is for the many small minorities to conform to US. If they stay in their own dialect area, they are entitled to hold onto their dialectal peculiarity. But if they move here, they damned well better learn and use our speech — or GO HOME.
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Many foreign actors who take parts here put on an American 'accent' (tho our speech is not an accent; standard American speech IS standard speech for the arguably-misnamed "English" language), but as soon as they leave the set, they resume their hideous foreign accent. And we're supposed to be alrite with that. These odious foreigners are allowed to live here for decades, take jobs away from Americans for decades, but never take U.S. citizenship. The Canadian, William Shatner, has been taking roles away from Americans in their own country since about 1957! But he has REFUSED to take U.S. citizenship. Deport the bastard.
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One assertion used to rationalize away objections to illegal immigration is that the millions of illegal aliens in this country take jobs that Americans don't want. That is assuredly and emphatically not true of acting jobs. But the U.S. Government permits thousands and thousands of foreign actors to enter the United States legally for the express purpose of taking jobs away from Americans in their own country. That same Government also smiles upon "runaway productions", mainly in Canada, where all the minor roles and some major are played by Canadians, and all the jobs given to support professionals (craft-service people; limo drivers; set designers, builders, and dressers; costumers; makeup artists; liting and sound technicians; etc., etc.) go to Canadians — or New Zealanders, or Brits. So not only do American actors and actresses lose work and income, but all kinds of American film professionals in many different crafts lose their livelihood to foreigners, abroad as at home.
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There is a quick fix for "runaway productions": simply make expenses incurred in foreign production of films or television shows that are set in the United States, non-tax-deductible. Once all such expenses have to come out of profits, the economic incentive to screw Americans out of jobs will be reduced or reversed, and tens or even hundreds of thousands of jobs in film and TV production will return to the United States. If some such jobs nonetheless do not return, the taxes their producers pay on profits can be used to fund unemployment benefits in the U.S. during this terrible recession. Any attempt by producers to hide their tax liability by "creative accounting" can be punished by years and years of imprisonment, which the guilty can be required to pay for out of their own pocket.
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The cure for hiring foreigners at home is equally simple. Forbid foreign actors to take jobs away from Americans within the United States. Just NEVER give so much as ONE employment visa to a single foreigner to act in the United States. I repeat: there is no actor shortage in the United States.
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As for quashing the odious trend to inflict British accents on Americans, restrictions CAN be put on accents, which are NOT protected by the Constitution. For one thing, commercial speech does not enjoy full protection under the Constitution, because the First Amendment was never intended to protect the right to make a profit by lying or otherwise misusing language. But second, it is the WORDS that matter in speech, not the accent. We can permit the words, but not the accent.
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Even if legislators should shy away from banning foreign accents — and let's face it, that would be a hugely popular measure, especially as it would be seen by many Americans to militate against Spanish accents — legislators and other political leaders, and especially the President, can use their prominence ("bully pulpit" in the case of the President) to denounce loudly and in no uncertain terms, the contempt that advertisers and producers plainly have for Americans and our speech, and urge broadcast networks to refuse to air commercials with foreign accents. If the leaders of both major parties were to ask aloud, "What's wrong with American speech?", and the President were to say, "I am deeply offended when I turn on American TV and hear British accents in commercials for American products", wouldn't that affect the behavior of advertisers?
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Do we have to mount mass demonstrations in the streets, or launch boycotts of Breathe Right, Wrigley, Victoria's Secret, and every other product and company that attacks us with British accents? If so, let me know where the nearest demonstration is.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,375 — for Israel.)



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