See Emily Play
June 24, 2012, 10:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

British ugly-cute actress Emily Mortimer has some thoughts about Americans she has graciously decided to share:

I do think that there’s a difference in America to where I’m from. There’s so much wrong with England, but I think people are informed in general. I’m going to make a huge sweeping statement, but you just get the news much more [in England]. Listening to radio stations that play pop music all day and all night, the news will come on every two hours, foreign news too. It’s part of your daily routine, being informed about what’s going on in the world. Whether you like it or not, you can’t really escape it. I don’t think the same is true here, and television broadcast news especially seems to me to be a pretty dicey area. You can’t rely on getting the facts, or getting them presented in a way that is actually objective and makes sense and puts people in a position where they can make informed decisions about who to vote for.

I must confess I was unsure who Emily Mortimer was when I first encountered this article. To be precise, I was unsure which bird-beaked ugly-cute dough-faced plainjane brunette British actress she was. Was she the chick who played the crazy British chick that Ross temporarily married on Friends when Rachel didn’t get on the plane in time? Was she the Lois Lane to Adam Sandler’s Superman in Punch Drunk Love? Or was she the plain-looking and naive rich chick who Jonathan Rhys Myers wooed for her money while lusting after Scarlett Johansson in Match Point?

Little-known trivia fact: she is the latter.

It goes without saying then, and I need hardly hasten to add, that in times of need we turn primarily to Emily Mortimer for insights into American politics. So if I may take the liberty of interpreting the above passage, what she appears to be saying is that in England the news is far more lovingly and carefully prepackaged into digestible and state-approved propaganda, and is so much more ubiquitous (even played on pop music stations, etc.), that everyone dutifully knows exactly what to think.

I have no particular quarrel with this observation.

It is distressing, however, that in the course of accusing Americans of being insufficiently ‘informed’, i.e. instructed by state-approved news, she reveals a worrying inattention to paying attention to partaking of her daily news catechism herself:

So you are a person who follows the news, who is up on the news?

I have moments. I stopped being up on the news entirely when I was doing this job. I didn’t read a paper or watch the television news for many months.

Emily, Emily. If you don’t read a paper or watch the television news how can you call yourself properly informed? Everyone knows newspapers and the television news are the best source of proper information. You are becoming too Americanized Ms. Mortimer. Next you’ll be saying you’ve stopped eating “digestive biscuits”.

But it gets worse:

And now it’s been quite hard to get back into it. It’s so loaded now because of this job that I’m doing. Even picking up the New York Times feels kind of loaded with meaning; I feel berated every time I look at it, like”‘Oh God, all these people know what they’re doing and I was just pretending.”

Oh boy. There are too many problems here to go into. What does a person like me do with ‘picking up the New York Times’ being ‘kind of loaded with meaning’. It’s just too much. But you know where I would start?

I would start with the word “was” in that final sentence. The tense is incorrect, dear Emily.

15 Comments so far
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First of all, when she says she can’t help but get the news when she listens to the radio playing pop music all day, because the news comes on every two hours, whether she likes it or not ….

that statement indicates the only news she has ever gotten was the BBC.

The BBC is hardly the standard for truth.

Comment by Pastorius

… which reminds me, I’ve got to call my Father, over in England, and get lectured on how ignorant all of us Americans are with our Fox News, etc.

Comment by Pastorius

[…] tip to Sonic Charmer, who backwards-compliments her again and again, until she’s nothing more than rubble and […]

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Hehe, I was living in england back in the early Bush years, listening to the bbc talk about how bush won’t go along with kyoto and what I was thinking is that that president is a: rogue and b: a chimp.
It’s something in the air there in britain. A certainty that you know what’s going on in the world and that you know what to make of everything. That way of thinking can withstand assault after assault by reality.

Comment by Anon.

Yeah, that’s exactly how my father thinks, Anon. He was very angry about America not sucking on the Kyoto Protocock. Don’t you know, we want to destroy the whole world.

Comment by Pastorius

But from the british point of view, america’s reaction to kyoto did suck!

Comment by Anon.

You guys are making me nostalgic. Thinking back on all those well-meaning people who used to voice all this outrage about “Kyoto” now warms my heart for some reason.

Did they ever finish the “Protocol” BTW? Is it a document I could read up on Scribd or something? Did any countries “sign” it? Actually who signed it for a given country and where? Was there a long sequence of dotted lines at the end? Did Mr. Qaddafi sign it on behalf of Libya and are they compliant? Is *anyone* compliant and if not has the world ended?

So many questions. I should probably go ask those people who used to argue passionately with me about “Kyoto” on their livejournals and whatnot. Because surely they have all kept informed on the subject. On account of how much they always cared in a genuinely informed way.

Comment by Sonic Charmer

:) hehe
What I do recall is that a few years later, none of its signatories had lived up to its demands whereas america either did or came closest to it but that somebody explained it makes no difference since at least the other states had sent out the right message whereas america didn’t.
I think libya chaired the human rights thing at the u.n at the time and was too busy to handle things like global warming. I might be wrong; it may have been Syria.

Comment by Anon.

I don’t think the US met targets but I’m pretty sure most of the signatories didn’t either. They still get green stamps of approval though, and Bush is still an evil chimp who hates the earth. Everyone knows this, at least if they’re properly informed.

Comment by Sonic Charmer

Yeah, sometimes I get nostalgic thinking about all the times grownups have told children that the world is going to come to an end because Conservatives are evil haters. I think about all the kids whose innocence was stolen from them, depriving them of a natural sense of childhood hope and wonder about the world they live in and the future they will inhabit. I get nostalgic thinking of all the times that adults have robbed children blind of the idea that they will have a world worth growing up and raising families in, all the children who grow into adolescence with their ability to anticipate good absolutely decimated, adolescents for whom goal-setting is merely a bitter irony, adolescents who look out at a future of perpetual holocaust, famine, and apocalypse.

I am a nostalgic guy, and these sentiments certainly bring tears to my eyes.

Comment by Pastorius

Pastorius had some extra cold water lying around, so decided to dump it in this thread ;)

Comment by Sonic Charmer

[…] tip to Sonic Charmer, who backwards-compliments her again and again, until she’s nothing more than rubble and […]

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Sorry. That’s just what I think about. I seem to be the only person I know who will admit to be truly angry at having been lied to about impending apocalypse as I was growing up.

Comment by Pastorius

But then, I am stuck on permanent outrage.

Comment by Pastorius

[…] tip to Sonic Charmer, who backwards-compliments her again and again, until she’s nothing more than rubble and […]

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