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Jane Walmsley

  • ... Americans think that death is optional. They may not admit it, and will probably laugh if it's suggested; but it's a state of mind — a kind of national leitmotiv if you like — that colors everything they do. There's a nagging suspicion that you can delay death (or — who knows? — avoid it altogether) if you really try. This explains the common preoccupation with health, aerobics, prune juice, plastic surgery, and education.

  • True Brits loathe newness, and display a profound fear of change. ... (Britain is the heartland of 'We've Always Done It This Way.') Conclusion: change nothing unless forced. Remember that God usually gets it right the first time.

  • If Eric is stuck with a big nose, crooked teeth, a dud personality, and trouble with long division, all-American parents will fix it. They are the only parents in the world with the inclination and the resources to reassemble their kids if they don't like them.

Jane Walmsley, U.S. writer