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Keep Calm and Blog On


Why is it that, for the last year or two, I keep seeing coffee mugs, t-shirts, and various other objects here in America with the British phrase “Keep Calm And Carry On” or alterations of it (Keep Calm And Shop On, Keep Calm and Drink Wine, etc.)? That phrase was coined during WWII when the Germans were constantly bombing London and, refusing to leave their city, Londoners refused to let it alter their daily lives. It’s a message of strength and resilience. And yet, America–a culture that goes absolutely berserk if UPS delivers their Christmas presents a day late–has decided, 65 years later, that it somehow applies to them.


One comment on “Keep Calm and Blog On

  1. I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath” and he wrote that “Keep Calm And Carry On” had less to do with Londoners resilience and more to do with a psychological state called “the phenomenon of the near miss.” (I think that’s what it’s called; I’m too lazy to get up and walk over to my bookshelf). The idea is that if a bomb goes off really close to you and you survive, you’ll be traumatized. But if a bomb goes off right next to you a second time, and you survive, you start to trick yourself into thinking that you’re indestructible rather than just lucky. Either way, Americans have no business “stealing” this phrase.

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