Hello, my name is Richard and I am ethnodeficient.
My condition of ethnodeficiency is probably the last remaining one which cannot be discussed in polite society, or even, for that matter, in the most disgusting and impolite society. It is, to be frank, completely ignored, even by such an adopter of obscure causes as NPR---when, for example was the last time you heard about ethnodeficiency on that afternoon news programme 'Almost All of the Things We Originally Considered We Had to Reject Because of Time Constraints' or whatever it's called.
Ethnodeficiency gets far less attention even than my other two serious and debilitating conditions of left-handedness and of being a Dead White European Male.
Now in view of all this presumably wilful ignorance on the part of the entire population of the world I suppose I should define ethnodeficiency: it is, to put it quite simply, the state of having no discernable national characteristics. It only afflicts the English and it seems to be incurable.
To give you an example, take the word "Brit". Brit is universaly used on several different sides of the Atlantic to refer (so it seems) almost exclusively to the English (as distinct from the word "British" which seems to be used everywhere for the Scots, Welsh and a small majority of the Northern Irish, as distinct from the English). Brit is, I think quite a recent word, at least I seem to remember a time (when I was young and the world seemed to have a future) when it didn't appear anywhere and then, a bit later, a time when it did appear almost everywhere, mainly in the plural and on walls almost always associated with the word "out". Yes even we English have come to refer to ourselves by a term that owes its origin to the fact that people who didn't want us to be in various locations around the world, and possibly would have been happier if we'd been kicked out of Britain too, were in so much of a hurry and valued paint so highly that they abbreviated us. And now this apparent term of rejection is used as the standard way of referring to us by, for example, Americans who would never dream of calling the Japanese 'Japs', or even the Germans 'Germs'. So why this obtuseness?? One simple little word---ethnodeficiency. We just get left out; we are overlooked; we don't count.
There are Oktoberfests and Chinese New Years and St Patricks' Days and festivals of just about any culture you care to name, apart from one---why, why even the French still have fries and snootiness with that and all we English have---our entire contribution to the American consiousness---as far as I can see are Thomas's English Muffins and I can assure you that they are about as English as hot dogs.
I remember, years ago, hearing a debate about the teaching of Western Culture in universities over here in which (I think it was) Carl Degler said, in a prepared speech in support of Western Culture, so it couldn't have been an accident, that "this country received Italians, Scots, Germans, Greeks, Irish, Poles, and Scandinavians within its borders".
Guess which major group of European immigrants is missing.
Ultimately I blame the English ourselves. I mean other nationalities are full of themselves, they rave on about their great heroes who beat this and that and were the first to do whatever, but just look at our heroes: people like Captain Scott of the Antarctic who strove, nobly, against overwhelming odds and persevered until they were finally overwhelmed by them. Of course at first glance our greatest hero, Admiral Lord Nelson, seems to buck this trend, but that's only if you fail to notice that every single time he beat the French they managed to blow yet another bit of him off and then when he finally beat them for good they finally killed him off altogether. And that's just what's been happening to our culture and even our name.
The way things are going I bet I'll just have to get used to being a Brit suffering from eth.
Cheerio for now,
It gets much worse...
with Diachronic Ethnodeficiency
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