June 22, 2004

No Actually As a Matter of Fact I Am NOT Done

He really annoyed me, that guy in the post below. At one point I had to break it down for him:

"See, for about the last 10 years or so, more in some cases, Americans have had access to this little thing called the internet. We're not as cloistered, nor as ignorant, as you think."

I know Americans kind of do this with other countries, or rather I'm at least guilty of it--where like the U.K. is still "England" and furthermore, it's Victorian England, even though the last Victorians have all been dead for about 100 years now. You get this stereotype of a nation and if you don't check yourself you tend to operate on those assumptions born out of your stereotype. So while intellectually I know Victorian England is no more, part of my unconscious is still drifting along doing this free-association game: U.K., let's see . . . Proper. Polite. Tea Drinkers. Secret Compartments. Drawing Rooms. Carriages. Street Urchins. Top Hats.

But memo to visitors and immigrants to these United States:

Welcome. We're happy to have you.

Now in between gorging on McDonald's, ravaging Wal-mart, shooting up our schools, auctioning our family members on Ebay (hey, Unca Bob's up to $3.50 already!), and zoning out on American Idol, we sometimes find a moment or two in which to pay attention to your crazy foreign asses.

So like when you tell me South Africa looks like Southern California in places and I reply yes, that's what I've heard (and read, like in this book for example), maybe you could not argue with me and insist that I really think it's more like the Australian Outback and that I'd probably be shocked to realize South Africans have television.

Copy and paste that paragraph and put it in your Fodor's.


Posted by Ilyka at June 22, 2004 10:41 PM in navel gazing

No top hats? The hell you say!

Posted by: Jim at June 23, 2004 01:33 PM

Televisions? I didn't think they had shoes....

Posted by: Dean Esmay at June 23, 2004 04:26 PM

Reminds me of the time I was stationed in South Carolina -- forced to attend a AF function -- and ran into some locals who (surprise) asked me where I was from. I explained that I was raised in Texas but was born in New Mexico.

"How difficult was it for you to get your Green Card?"

Um. . .what?

After my Incredulous Look I explained that NEW Mexico was part of the 48 contiguous. I'm sure they thought, as Texans, we rode our horses to school, fighting indigenous peoples the whole way there. Sorta like a Laura Ingalls -- WITH A VENGENCE.

So, maybe that guy in your comments ran into the same couple I did.

Hey. It could happen.

Posted by: Emma at June 23, 2004 06:21 PM