By Alexander Taylor
Invade Their Space
There’s something bugging me in SCA.
And really, the writing is on the wall.
Invade Their Space.
I’m not sure if it was meant ironically.
If it was, then I suppose this post is in support.
If it wasn’t, then I suppose this post wants it scrubbed off.
But I’m all ears.
I was reading Watching the English by Kate Fox. It’s a great book.
She believes if you were ever to sum up the English culture in one word…
Who would have guessed that? I didn’t.
But I’ve been taking off my headphones recently.
Coffee shops, streets, food vendors.
But there’s nothing really to hear.
The Victoria line is a pack of wide-eyed wild animals hoping no-one meets their stare.
The morning commute is a crowd of dead-men slow-walking to the chair.
You would be mistaken for thinking the streets were lined with preachers.
But it’s just everyone else is so damn quiet.
It’s a British thing.
Fox knows this.
She says there’s two people the British don’t get along with.
One is the nosy parker.
The person who really ought to mind their own business.
And whilst gossip makes two-thirds of our conversation, it’s with the right people.
Information is highly valued. It ain’t given away for free.
Two is the far-too-friendly American.
The tourist with digital camera swinging round neck.
A beaming smile of a man who thinks the Union Jack is a fashion staple.
The psychopath lumping creamer into coffee with a shit-eating grin.
Hi I’m Bill from Iowa!
We hate that.
It’s just not English.
We don’t learn people’s names from the start.
We “sorry-I-didn’t-catch-your-name” from the end.
And, for god’s sake, we don’t outstretch a handshake to whomever we feel like meeting.
If we don’t drift into conversation, we keep to ourselves.
Wonder what the weather’s like on the weekend.
Treat ourselves to thinking about who’s secretly shagging who.
That’s why I hate the words on that wall.
Invade Their Space.
If we’re trying to intrude, we’re trying to be rude.
And that’s not cricket.
Our advertising needs to understand English people.
We need to think everyday about how, as a culture, we fetishise privacy.
It’s our number one commodity.
We love a good ad.
We love sharing.
We love a reason for a good chinwag.
So our business is to supply that.
Interesting stuff for interested people.
Which is a long way to say…
… Don’t be Bill from Iowa.
Just my two pence.