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Faking it propa

By Amanda Nowinski

WAKE UP AND smell the whiskey and the Marlboro Lights, my mad fronting American clubber friends. No matter how many times you rehearse saying, "Nice one, mate" and "That set was absolutely fucking blinding," you're still going to wake up the same old tired American you were before you passed out listening to 4 Heroe's latest and dullest. Not since the acid jazz and early rave days have American clubbers wanted to be English so bad. As if it weren't pathetic enough 10 years ago, today you can't walk around in a nightclub full of "serious headz" of some kind without overhearing drunkenly spewed phrases like " 'avin' it," "Are you sorted?," and "Wee dodgy cunt." I feel embarrassed for them all. The fake Brit trend in the U.S. dance scene erupted like an ass pimple in the early '90s when the miracle of rave was handed to us on a golden, E-dotted platter a platter I licked with greedy intensity. So I'll be the first to admit that I secretly hoped that if I read ID and the Face closely enough, I would wake up as Lisa Stansfield or all of the Young Disciples. But alas, I could never transcend my skanky USA-made skin. If you think being American sucks now, trust that it sucked equally back then. I believed life would be hipper with a Euro accent, and as I pranced around town in my nylon bomber jackets and baggy, skate-Betty jeans, I prayed that passersby would mistake me for a Brit. I mean, who didn't want to be the eternally depressed Massive Attack or the impossibly boho Galliano? (Note: Right Said Fred was never a motivational factor.) When drum 'n' bass broke into the scene in the mid '90s, Anglophilia intensified once again. Americans began to posture with unacceptable amounts of Brit slang, and again, all sound systems were "massive" and "propa," and "things" transformed into patois "tings." Now, thanks to the emergence of 2-step, broken beat, and any old genre with the prefix "nu," Brit mimicking is raging harder than ever within the dance music scene. To do my sad part in this newly exacerbated Brit idolatry, I've decided to practice my slang nightly, usually naked and in front of a mirror. I light a fag, make myself a pot of tea, and promptly launch into Euro fantasy land. "You daft cunt," I'll say. "I'm right knackered for snogging, but well, my arse is still essential and brilliant. I'm gagging to shag your bird, but I've been caning it since 1971, so I'm too pissed to finger your right bum, which is, you know, bollocks. But I'd feel well sorted if that wanker gave me some more of that crusty Charlie shite. That slag. Uhh. Give us a ring, aye?" Certainly, some nights it flows better than others. But back to cunt, if you will. A few weeks back two friends and I sat munching on stiff sausages at a Slower Haight Street take-out joint, and we began discussing the merits of the British definition of cunt, which magically refers equally to men and women. Without a doubt, this is the one British slang gem that I wholeheartedly advocate for American use. After all, American men have long cornered the market with "dick," "asshole," and "son of a bitch" and have allowed us females only the weakest of all possible links "bitch" and "cunt." Why can't a woman be an asshole too? It's not like we're missing one. You've got to hand it to British for their unending support of male cunts. I mean, fookin' hell.