A reader writes:
Now that's the sort of unselfconscious homoeroticism I wish we had in this repressed country, and one of the great things about England. Get the boys a few beers and they're all over each other. On this side of the pond, to have such fun you have to first join the gay cult, go through a great personal crisis, come out of the closet, tell your parents in a tear-filled late night heart-to-heart. Lots of hassle (although worth it in the end).
I don't think the Brits are that different from Americans, although British culture has loosened up these past couple of decades in ways I don't think anyone anticipated. Lady Thatcher must be unamused at the consequences of her economic liberalization. The key difference is that Brits are often simply, mindlessly, incapably drunk. Rugby the game unleashes in a controlled form the violent id of many adult or adolescent males. Beer does the rest. Well, beer does almost all of it.