Same Procedure as EVERY Year

Just to let you know: I’m refraining from posting an end of year round-up.

This is partly because, since this blog only started in December 2009, nigh-on everything you will find in the archives listed on the right is from 2010. And since I already gave a potted round-up of my favourites in one of the just-post-move-to-OT posts, I won’t bore you with a repeat.

The other reason I will be eschewing a round-up  is that, though quite a lot happened in my world this year,  I am too knackered to recall much of it now. I attribute this to two small children, the tightening of the financial noose on British Universities and the associated fear and loathing for all their employees, and a generous dollop of general middle-aged gloom as my 50th birthday looms into sight. There was also the general election in May and its aftermath, which has not been, shall we say, to my political tastes.

Anyway, enough of that navel-gazing. New Year’s Eve is a time for traditions.  So here is one some readers may know, and others not. Partly to celebrate both sides of my childrens’ heritage (the English and the continental), I shall follow my blogging medical friend Dr Grumble (whose excellent blog I commend to you if you are interested in what is really going on in the British NHS)  and declare, for this New Year’s Eve:

The Same Procedure as Every Year

PS  For those unfamiliar with the clip, there is an explanation here.  There is also a colour version with an explanatory intro auf Deutsch here (pt 1) and here.

About Austin

Middle-aged grouchy white male. Hair greying but hasn't all fallen out yet. Spreading waistline ill-concealed by baggy jumper.Semi-extinguished physiology researcher turned teacher. Known for never shutting up. Father of two children (aged 6 and 2) who try to out-talk him. Some would call that Karmic Revenge.
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7 Responses to Same Procedure as EVERY Year

  1. pertsovich says:

    I like very much this joke 😀

    Happy New Year, Austin!
    It is Cat’s Year, by the way. Being Occam’s-Typewriter’s Cat, I congratulate you with Cat’s Year 🙂

  2. Stephen says:

    Admirable discipline, Austin!

    I know that sketch is an annual staple in Germany and elsewhere but I’m afraid I just don’t get it. Is it a tradition now in the Elliot household? 😉

  3. I had never seen it, Stephen, but The Boss had told me about it, and then last New Year’s Eve Dr Grumble posted up the Youtube link so I finally got to see it. It is mildly funny, though very old-fashioned (reflecting its 1930s music-hall origins), but like you I am a bit puzzled why it has become such a fixture.

    Dr Grumble and I were actually discussing this yesterday. One idea is that Europeans find the Brits and their (or I should say “our”) perceived ways very funny, and that the clip’s popularity exemplifies this. Of course, like all traditions (and oft-repeated comedy sketches) it will now have a life of its own.

    • Bob O'H says:

      You seem to be implying that The Parrot Sketch may not be very funny, either, Austin. Heresy!

      I’ve heard about this sketch many times, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen it. I guess the repetition within the sketch lends itself well to repeating between years.

      BTW, happy new year, everyone.

    • chall says:

      oohhhh…. LOVELY! It’s a staple in the Swedish place too. For New Years Eve, at 19.30 or 20 (silly me not remembering. And yes, same time every year!)

      as for the “Europeans find the Brits and their perceived ways very funny” – this one does! Maybe because it is envious “having stiff upper-lip while things fall apart”? The envy and longing to be able to have those types of manners? (if it isn’t obvious, I’m slightly ranting and just trying to explain to myself why I love so many British things…. 😉 )

  4. @Chall.

    I didn’t find out the sketch was popular in all the Scandinavian countries until I looked it up on Wikipedia while I was writing this.

    I think the stiff upper lip thing is sort of a myth, really – I find Germans to be much more stoical in general than the Brits – but it is certainly an enduring one, and to some extent it does reflect how the Brits like to see themselves. I did start writing something longer last week giving my ideas on why Europeans in particular find this view of the traditional Brit so comical. Perhaps I should dig it out.and have a go at bashing it into shape.

  5. chall says:

    Austin: I’m sure (or whatever one might say) that the stoic Brit might be more mythical than true… However, my experience would point to that I don’t know of any German comedian/show – and I am not sure it would rock during my upbringing due to certain historical references…. I tend to view Germans as wanting the Moose warning sign on Swedish roads and nice looking red cottages with white sides (that Swedes can’t always afford since Germans would be risher when they had the D-mark as currency).

    Not saying either of that is “true” though. Just that the Germans as a nationality has not inspired to be “comical”, rather (which would be hard to express) tradition or “similar to Scandinavian sort of”. I’m quite sure it is due to historical reasons though and not based on any “truth” though.

    To further make it deep (or just boring?complex?wrong?) I’d state that we are heavily influenced by Germany – just prior to 1914 – since I’ve read a lot of Goethe, Schiller and Grimm in school. It’s just not “funny” per se, rather “honest and nature” or “depressing” or what I should call it… maybe national romantisicm? (Not to mention the idea that Nature has a soul or what I should call it? Slightly confused? 😉 )

    And the main reason I think the “same procedure as last year” is popular in Sweden (Scandinavia) would be the same reason Swedes still are gathering around the telly at 15 on Christmas Eve to watch Disney “Donald Duck and friends wish merry Christmas” – it was on the telly (one of two channels) when I/we grew up in the late 70ies/80ies…. tradition and habit are strong influences…

    That said, I’d love to read what you have written on the subject of the views of Europeans of Brits 🙂

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