Londoners: Obsessed with Lady Di and blunted by gin
The willy-waving race between New York and London to the title of global centre of obscene wealth appears to have lead to a war of snark after both cities hit a hurdle and stacked it spectacularly. The venerable New York Times has published a special London edition of its magazine. It includes an "Explaining Londoners" Q&A. Question one: "Does everyone drink like Winston Churchill?"
If the guide can be used to construct an avatar of the modern Londoner he is... drunk. And xenophobic, and anti-fun. He's money-grabbing, stupidly apologetic, and, depending on his newspaper of choice, a Bikram-practicing, gypsy-hating, depressed, cricket-playing Lady Diana obsessive whose "constant fear of terrorist attack is blunted by gin and reality TV."
The NYT goes on to wonder why Londoners never say what they mean and disses the city's mayoral candidates (okay, fair enough). In a separate, 4,000-word article on "Apocalyptic London", the paper really goes to town with a scathing attack on the "drama queen" city that hates the Olympics and its young people and is beset by feral foxes and "bread like bleached plastic, cheese like soap".
Britain's special relationship with the US, more accurately described as a poodle complex, is at its most strained when its boldest cities start yapping at each other. They will always be fast-talking, no prisoner-taking, glossy-haired stress-heads, while Londoners are either toothless cockney sparrows or cider-swigging, dope smoking teenagers from Skins.
Whatever, we spend enough time in each other's cities so neither stereotype deserves a defence. But it's instructive to note the author of the NYT's most spiky "Apocalypse" rant. His name is China Miéville and it turns out that not even a New Yorker hates a Londoner more than a Norwich-born author of fantasy fiction and member of the Socialist Workers' Party. As you were, New York – mine's a pint of London Pride.
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...