Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I've enjoyed the whole little debate on America that was sparked by my Obama video, personally can I say that every American I have ever had the pleasure to hang out with has been extremely pleasant and good fun.

On my 4 trips to America, (I have been to New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Kansas City and Tulsa,) I have found Americans nothing but charming and helpful. Of course I have had one or two arguments, I upset a guy in his home by questioning Americans foreign policy but later found out his son was serving in Afghanistan which understandably made the whole subject slightly emotive. I have had one or two run ins at customs and nearly got in serious trouble at JFK in 98 when I questioned the slack security, but other than that I like America and Americans.

Although with it's vastness you probably will never ever get a feel for the whole of America, it's just so huge and so diverse.

I like the "idea" of America:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(I think Will Smith spoilt it some what in the Movie Pursuit of Happiness by linking happiness to financial gain!)

The inscription on the Statue of liberty reads:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."


The statue was a gift from France that America neither asked for or designed, I like it.

I'm not sure the "idea" is working although I don't know enough to give a decent answer.

Just read a great book this week written by Dave Gorman called America Unchained. He basically tries to drive across America in a 1970's Ford Torino estate, without using any chains or giving anything to "The Man", using unchained independent gas stations, hotels and restaurants. It's a fascinating, funny book and give's a succinct little insight into American life. Get the book at Dave Gorman.com I highly recommend it

Anyway because America is so big, loud and powerful it is easy to knock, yet in the words of the american peadophile Michael Jackson "I'm looking at the man in the mirror"

What about our own nations complacency or faults?

7 comments:

john heasley said...

The uk is becoming the biggest nanny state going, a country of apathy and people looking inwards, while Europe in general is trying to compete with the US on the bureaucratic front. You know you are gonna get some comments on the Jacko dig.

EilĂ­s said...

the jacko dig was hilarious.

thanks though brian. it seems to be rather the 'in thing' to knock america and ignore our european or UK issues. it's very rare to have someone commend anything good that america does as the only focus is on the bad. sadly, i know that the US government isn't helping this issue.

i'd also would like to hear what people have to say about europe/UK. perhaps the difference is that many american's would think it disrespectful to 'knock' another country, such as the UK, to a british person? but i'm sure that comment will bring flash-back responses of "oh i was talking to an american who...blah blah blah" *grin*

lol. don't worry, i knock NI plenty to fellow non-norn irishers.

kiwipaddy said...

well my own, irish/n-irish, nation has its fair share of faults and I am more than happy to hear the opinions of others as to what they might/might not be: sectarianism, bigotry, religiosity, secularism, child/domestic abuse, racism, narrow-mindedness ... we are all guilty of elements of complacency somewhere along the line. it isn't just america that has issues ... that's for sure. and come to think of it... with so much irish descent in america, maybe we (the irish) were to blame all along?!! as for the new zealand side of the equation ... they are seriously trying to redeem the remnants of the maori displacement and have returned significants amount of land to the native people ... whether that will be enough, I don't know. at least they have been trying.

dave wiggins said...

frigg me ... i was engrossed in this post until the peado comment at which i burst out loud!

lisa said...

So Brian, as long as your quoting historical documents that define the idea of the United States, read the Gettysburg Address. I don't even feel very American and yet when I read it through and explained each line to one of our sons who had to study it years ago, it made me cry. Who knew?

Hannah said...

The main issue I have with Americans is they will not see that they are nolonger governed by the rules of the constitution laid out by their founding fathers.

The US, along with Britain, is the least private country on earth and is heading towards a police state, as is Britain.

George Bush once said the constitution was 'just a piece of paper' and went on to sign away US independence in agreeing to the North American Axis which will, once sealed, render the consitution meaningless.

I just wish Americans opened their eyes to the rapidly developing New World Order. Mind you, I wish the British would too as the EU is no Never Land either!

Hannah said...

I meant North American Union and not Axis :)