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On America

A quote from Pat Spacek (author of The Parking Lot is Full, and a Canadian living in Korea)

Immediately after 9/11, America began asking itself 'why do they hate us?' It's a question that's lingered since then, and America doesn't seem to be satisfied with any of the answers it's gotten. Allow me to enlighten you:

No matter what we tell you (or, indeed, ourselves), the rest of the world actually does want American leadership. Probably not in the way that you think, of course. We don't want you to lead us into bombing far-away brown people for your economic and political gain. We don't want to be a part of your coalition. But we do want your leadership. We want you to lead us all into a world that's forward-looking, economically viable and culturally dynamic. No matter what we've seen you do, time and again we wonder if maybe this time you're going to show us the way like some benevolent older brother. To a certain extent, I think, we've bought into your self-image. We've bought into the hype.

That's why it hurts so much every time you disappoint us. Every time you show us that other America, the scared, ignorant, violent and destructive America that's so at odds with the image you try to project.

And then the bombs start falling. And we hate you even more.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with him, but it's something to think about.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2004 06:24 am (UTC)
i think that sometimes, the benevolent America does show through
its just that the uglier side can be more noticeable, and it's easy to let it overshadow some of our better aspects
Nov. 4th, 2004 06:55 am (UTC)
I think the "older brother" image is kind of the problem sometimes. America is still a fairly young country that just hasn't tanked yet. When they're doing well people think of them as superior and well established, but there are so many moments when it rears it's ugly teenage head these days that the image is beginning to crack.
Nov. 4th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC)
I highly agree with this. We're more like a bipolar younger sibling, maybe even a little schitzophrenic, who occasionally throws a temper tantrum to get it's way.
Nov. 4th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
hmm... schizophrenic... i don't know if this country is really hearing voices or having other sorts of hallucinations *evil grin*

i can definitely see bipolar, though, and probably even some traits of obsessive compulsive personality disorder
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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