Famous British Things

David Beckham is famous for a hooking drive of a football, arcing almost gracefully from foot to singing twine. However, to football fans all over the world, Beckham is the player who lifts an entire team to a marvellous level of skill and strategy. To non-football fans, perhaps music fans, Beckham’s famous wife is the charm. In some ways, she was part of a female equivalent to The Beatles; the Spice Girls became an article of British culture. Books, magazines, movies, children’s program, all were part of the tidal wave effect of the group, and Posh Spice.

To tourists and travel media, nothing is more typical of London than Big Ben, black cabs, double-deck red buses, and fish and chips. They might all be part of a long dreamed-of day in Old London. One can add Wren Churches, the fabulous Tate museums, and some strong tea to fight off the rain or chill.

Robin Hood was a real person, but the legend is larger than life. It is part hope, and part dream, that in the depths of tyranny, the human spirit rises to bring freedom. The belief in that spirit carried over to the era of the Second World War when tyranny threatened to swallow all of Europe. Winston Churchill became the greatest hero of a nation with an extraordinary history of heroic men and women. Perhaps because it was an exercise in sheer will and courage, or that it was a most desperate hour for the Western World, Churchill’s leadership against Nazi Germany stands a test of ages.

Houses of Parliament are famous for the wordy interplay, a drama of a sudden rise and fall. One notes the distinct styles of Commons and Lords, the steeped traditions of the Queen and Royal Family. Parliament is a monument to an enduring sense of freedom, which has helped make the political world, as one knows it today.

Wimbledon is more famous than it should be, the by-product of sports coverage, although even to a casual eye, the athletes seem to know the world is watching; the attention brings out exceptional intensity. The noteworthy level of effort is a source of humour; one imagines some female players are actually competing for the loudest ball-strike grunt!

Harry Potter has held many young and old spellbound with its depths of magic, good, and evil. So many adversaries, so many efforts to defeat him, yet Young Potter gathered strength, friendship, and ever-greater powers for good. Of all thing’s British, this character might be the preferred representation of the British Character; it reflects a profound sense of self- belief that goodness is its own reward.

image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/azugaldia/

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