Skip to comments.Kevin Connolly's guide to American culture
Posted on 12/19/2010 3:44:51 PM PST by decimon
After three years of eating steaks the size of elephants' ears, Kevin bids farewell
The BBC's America correspondent Kevin Connolly is packing his bags for a new post in the Middle East. During his three years in the US he has visited 46 out of 50 states and covered the country's election of its first black president.
Sometime around the spring of 1835, a young Frenchman called Alexis de Tocqueville travelled to the United States on a mission guaranteed to make Americans bristle with irritation. He was going to understand them, and explain them.
De Tocqueville was smart, Gallic and aristocratic - a 19th Century version of the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" that 21st Century Americans find so vexing.
But there is, nevertheless, a deep-seated European instinct that says the United States might be all right if it would only tweak its attitude towards healthcare, or gun control or the death penalty.
But, of course, it would not exactly be all right - it would just be Britain with bigger portions and better weather.
This is after all, the land that gave us prohibition and then invented organised crime to get around it.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
“But there is, nevertheless, a deep-seated European instinct that says the United States might be all right if it would only tweak its attitude towards healthcare, or gun control or the death penalty.”
Yup, met a bunch of these Europeans that come over here and bitch about America and lack of socialism. They hate Europe and come here to what? Turn us into Europe. And they are succeeding.
Endless sub-clauses roam across prairies of newsprint in search of the point, like homesteader wagons on the Oregon trail circling around a knackered old buffalo.
This passage touched me and made me proud to be an American (bolding added):
There were no taxis and my fellow passenger insisted, without checking with him, that her husband would happily drive me to my hotel.
It was a round trip for him in the Arctic midnight of a public holiday of perhaps two or three hours.
I expected to detect at least a flicker of surprise on his face when this was first put to him, but there was none.
"This is America son," he told me, "We help each other out."
All in all, a very fair assessment from foreign eyes.
I thought it quite positive towards the US but with some humorous twists.
Yes, it was a good article.
But there are, of course, irritations to living anywhere, and it is the job of the irritable to find them.
He's got me pegged ;-)
They used to hide it but now rub our noses in it.
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This wasn’t for any of your categories but just, I think, a pleasant read.
Wow, BBC!!! I’m floured!
It actually brought tears to my eyes, especially knowing the source.
You're not a veal cutlet, are you? Some egg batter, some flour...
:’) Thanks again.
Europe might be alright if they just cast off their notions of royalty, birthright heritage, guilds, socialism, and self-loathing for Western excellence.
The United States pulled Europe’s fat out of the fire (and their head out of their collective arse) 3 times in the 20st Century (WWI, WWII, and the Cold War).
A point the author makes in his article.
America has enormous debts but it still spends as much money on defence as all the rest of the world put together.
And if that makes you uncomfortable, it is worth remembering that wherever you are, there is a good chance that if your country is ever invaded, your leader's first phone call will be to the White House in Washington.