Saturday, February 6, 2010

An American In London And Beyond.

No, it's not me. It's American country music artist Phil Vassar.
Weren't expecting that, were you?

Phil Vassar is a Virginia native (Yay Virginia!) and an amazing singer, songwriter, and performer. Unfortunately, I did not know that he was coming to the UK until it was too late. We'd already booked return tickets to London for the day before he was there. Turns out he toured the city, so we might have passed on the street! How cool would it have been to take the family to see a Virginia musician in London and then taken them to see him in Virginia later? Oh well, it would've cost a fortune, so best not to dwell on that.

I was very pleased when I saw video footage on Phil's blog of him boarding the plane to come to England. Wearing a Virginia Tech t-shirt:

Go Hokies!
And then he got off the plane wearing this:

Boo UVA :(

While sightseeing in London, Phil is wearing this:

A Union Jack hat. So clearly, he has no fashion sense.
You'll see why below when I discuss the Union Jack.

I wanted to see more of Phil's time in Europe, and there were some entertaining videos of him touring the cities they visited and of his shows. But there was also a fair amount of poorly done research into the areas he was coming to.

This is a newsletter I got about the tour:

For those of you not familiar with UK Flags, let me explain what I see. On the header, there is the Union Jack, which is the flag of the United Kingdom. Next to that are the flags of the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Germany. It looks pretty enough, right? Only, on the countries Phil came to are:
London, England
Dublin, Ireland
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Glasgow, Scotland
Untermeitingen, Germany

That adds up to five countries, and should add up to five flags.

So, what looked like this:

Should have looked like this:

Easy, right?

England is not the United Kingdom. It is a country unto itself, a part of Great Britain, yes, but the identity of the English should not be diminished just because people associate the Union Jack with England. Nid is very much English, but don't call him British. I've heard the same about the Welsh, Scots, and Irish. They have identities of their own, and they should be respected for that.
[Note: Northern Ireland has not had a flag of their own since 1972, so the Union Jack is their current flag]

And then, while looking up the locations, I saw this on his tour page:
January 26 London, England The Borderline
January 28 Dublin, Ireland Whelans
January 29 Belfast, Ireland The Avenue
January 30 Glasgow, UK King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
February 01 Untermeitingen, Germany Four Corners

Glasgow, UK? Is Scotland not as much it's own country as England? And are the two Irelands not completely different countries, one of which isn't even part of the United Kingdom?

I continue to be amazed by the lack of thoroughness of people. If you are paid to do a job, why is it so hard to do the job properly? This goes a long way to explain my difficulty enjoying some of my work situations in the past. I have been (repeatedly) told by managers and bosses that I just "expect too much" of other people. I only expect as much of others as I give to a job I am assigned to do. I am far from perfect, and I do not expect others to be. But it's not hard to do so many of the things I see done wrong around me.

Nid went to Phil's facebook page to let them know about the flag of England not being the Union Jack, and they got back to him right away. They changed the image to this:

Definitely an improvement. As long as you aren't from Northern Ireland, and looking for representation.
Thank you Team Vassar for your prompt attention.


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