About Me

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I'm an artist, an educator, Pastafarian and I write. I also will gamble on just about anything. And I like unusual juxtaposition, but I love my wife...and beer. This blog is observations from a funny old man who gets pissed off every once in a while. Oh, and I mispell alot.

Monday, September 17, 2012

THREE AND A HALF MINUTE FILM ABOUT AMERICA'S GREATNESS

I'm not much into histronics and cruelty, but there's a message or two to be gleaned...

3 comments:

Jambe said...

Yeah, the good points were weighed down by a maudlin delivery and the insipid piano backing didn't help. It would've been better if he'd been more matter-of-fact and direct as opposed to misty-eyed and sentimental (that just seemed cheap and patronizing).

I don't like the jingoistic undertones of "we should be leading the world in every metric of greatness". We really shouldn't and we never did. When our economy lead the world (in a positive direction) we treated a whole class of people like garbage while other nations moved towards freer societies.

We should prioritize; excel in some specific areas and strive to be above the middle of the pack in most other metrics (as opposed to at or near the bottom of the barrel). This "we should be the best" rhetoric is unrealistic and dangerous; it's easy to get the masses to do terrible things in pursuit of nationalistic excellence. International relations isn't a competitive sport...

Ralph Henry said...

I'm fascinated by what it means to be the "best", "greatest" etc nation in the world. I posted a long time ago a study of the collective happiness of nations and Scandinavia won hands down.
But, sadly, I guess some people are happy to control other nations.

Jambe said...

It's very interesting. I talk to a few Danes and Swedes, and their general impression is that our mentality is quite "us vs them" whereas theirs is more like "us vs our goals".

Western European culture (broadly) seems more community-oriented than our individualism-above-all-else American ethos. This is hard to communicate to Americans who've never been outside of the US but I think you know what I'm driving at having lived in Germany. My impression is that (again, broadly) modern western Euros tend to be less clannish, more open to welfare concepts, etc. It's interesting to see how this global recession has dredged up old enmities, though.

History plays a role — I mean, Germany has had massive nationwide welfare systems in place since the 19th century. They seem to expect it; it's part of their worldview. Over here, however, there's always been an inherent distrust of such things, and this distrust is ironically particularly strong in the lowest classes. Clashing ideologies...

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