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?