I have one day a month that I dread the most and it is the day I receive instructions from a random member of the public or acquaintance. I have done the maths and it comes to an average of 12 per annum which statistically makes it once a month. Here are a few starting points for the instructions: What does the boy want? You can’t put your chair here. You might want to do this or that? You should not do this or that? What do you mean it is not my business?
Why is the British so ready to instruct? Don’t take it personally, it’s not about you. if you listen carefully you will hear the inside voice which actually says: I feel powerless - I have little control over my life - I feel clinically depressed - I am tired of frozen pizza, cheap bear and bad weather. It is this inside voice if you listen to that explains for the most part the popularity of football and its benign hooliganism as well as the pubs and male aggression.
Complaining is the national hobby. there is a pernicious relation with mutual impact between individual discourse on collective and nationally formed identity on individual. The media daily complaints about how nobody is fixing the climate or how disgusting it is that some dude spent £36k on alcohol in a private party. The individual submersed in this discourse mimics them and go around looking for it in the neighbourhood.
It is not a big deal and not particular to Britons, people around the world love to complain and more those destitute. There is one thing that makes this in particular and it’s the lack of humility. I blame pop culture, comfortable life, alcohol and television, in that particular order. It is not so much complaining that you should watch out for but arrogance mixed with it, which is really obtrusiveness.
This is the fallout of national socialism in a post industrial society. People want the state to fix things for them consequently the state takes control away from them which in turn frustrate them. Most issues now delegated to the state has traditionally been the domain of individual responsibility, such as looking after the neighbourhood, personal health and family welfare. One has to be careful not to over emphasize the role of the state, after all in democratic Britain there are different forces and counterbalances that will correct a misguided direction of the state.
Obtrusiveness is also the concomitant of a great British character, eccentricity. The English admire counter cultures, desire quirky approaches, accept the strange, cheer for the underdog and defy the mainstream. It is exactly these characters that give rise to some great British qualities such as tolerance. eccentricity brings you the surrealist, odd, unpretentious and quirky comedy of Milton Jones, Phil Jupiter, Miranda, Alan Davies and the one man institution of Stephen Fry. Ironically eccentricity is self repellent, it alters the mainstream and in the process creates idiosyncrasy. Creating ulterior motives that is revenging on common sense. This is not so funny and has brought to you rude heckling particular to the English and self-loathing.
The good news - you need one - 29 days 23 hours and 30 minutes is filled with the joy of dealing with intelligent and pleasant Britons. You just have to brace yourself for that 30 minutes.