Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Things that made me seethe last week #1

We spent a bit of time on trains between northern Italian towns last week and I amused myself intermittently by listening to various podcasts from Radio National, an arm of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio empire. One particular program featured, among other things, an interview with Cathy Day of the Australian National University, on her recently completed study of inbreeding in English rural villages. There is a report on it here if you feel compelled to learn more on this subject.

Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer (Richard Aedy) asked Day what the residents of Stourton and Kilmington, Wiltshire, thought about her coming to delve into their respective shady ancestral histories. Day responded that some of them were much more bemused by the fact that a colonial was conducting a research project in the first place. She went on to say that several people said they had not realised there were any universities in Australia as there are none on Neighbours. One gentleman likened the situation to "an ant coming to study the entomologist".

I'm struggling to craft a response to this which isn't guilty of similar offensive generalisations and ignorance about the British. Or one that has any sense of humour. Perhaps I'll just let the powers of deduction behind the Neighbours reference speak for the residents of Stourton and Kilmington.


Jannette said...

Not only do you love travel and books, but now you listen to Radio National. What amazing things genes are!

Lauren in London said...

Only really since I moved over here... they have the best range of podcasts.

marmitelover said...

I think they were taking the piss. It is quite funny but I can understand, as I am sure I would be, being offended if I were Australian.

Lauren in London said...

Hmmm, maybe it's just my colonial inferiority complex speaking.