There are some things that I absolutely love in the English. One of them is the existence of people like Stephen Fry. People who remain authentic, peculiar and unconventional and still loved by the nation. Fry is one of the leading forces in the British public eye when it comes to cherishing the English language. I highly recommend his autobiography Moab Is My Washpot, which functions as a verbal aerobics class without falling into the common trap of trying to be pretentious. The book is an extraordinary caption of the peculiarities of English public schools.
My admiration for the gentle giant Fry re-emerged yesterday evening when watching Stephen Fry in America, a wonderful BBC series where the actor/writer/presenter travels through 50 American states with a black English taxi. The journey takes him from mansions of East Coast and hippy groups of the deserts to Thanksgiving celebrations in Deep South. The programme is entertaining while respecting the people who take time to show him their daily life.
His approach is something I truly love, not laughing at the common man but really making the effort to understand what drives people. So less Borat-meets-Michael-Moore and more Sir-David-Frost-meets-Oscar-Wilde. He makes fun of phenomena, not of the people and really lives up to his promise: understanding the American soul. He finds new stories of America and with his trip writes a new narrative of the great nation with a Can Do attitude.
My next Fry project will be the podcasts of him reading short stories of, indeed, Oscar Wilde.
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