Redondo Beach, Los Angeles

Say ‘I’m not doing this for the money,’ or ‘MySpace? Never heard of it,’ or ‘Britney who?’

(OK, so I’m kidding with the last one.)

This highlights a couple of interesting issues.

The first is that we are under the illusion that America and Britain share a common culture. We think we watch the same movies (mostly true), talk the same language (somewhat true) and share the same celebrities (more false than true).

For example, and no offence intended to my esteemed expedition patron, but few people here have heard of Sir Steve Redgrave. Likewise, when I met yesterday with a potential recruit to Team Pacific and we were discussing media possibilities, I hadn’t heard of most of the American athletes he mentioned.

As for MySpace, maybe I’ve been leading a sheltered life. It claims to have 95,000,000 users (95,000,001 since I signed up yesterday) but its existence had somehow passed me by. My excuse is that I’ve been off rowing oceans, and cyber-news failed to reach me in mid-Atlantic. I can see I’m going to have a steep learning curve to get to grips with American culture.

But of course politically we are in sweet harmony – see this very amusing video of our ‘special relationship‘.

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