America as spoiled teenager

Does the world simply envy us, or is there something else going on as well?

Americans are the world's luckiest teenagers, with the best car, the fattest allowance and the biggest line of brag, yet like all teenagers we're secretly afraid that someone is laughing at us. Here's a news flash. They are. Our cowboy Puritanism dumbfounds the rest of the world. We execute teenagers, we impeach a president over a sex act, we want to ban pop from schools to protect children at the same time we practically sell guns in vending machines.


Instead, the United States practices Pops Americana, a soft-sell virtual empire of culture, burgers, movies, jeans and slang. Ronald Reagan genuinely believed that if the rest of the world was safe for big-screen TVs and gold MasterCards, everyone would be just like us, and thrilled to be so.


Pops Americana is one reason "they" hate us, in all those sinister and unpronounceable places on the world's map, and one reason why we now find ourselves on the crash-course terrorism tour of the world, learning about places like Kabul and Kandahar, and, like our other tours of places with names like Normandy and Saigon, we risk once again making the mistake of coming home from "over there" convinced that the great world is full not of intriguingly different places, but only perilous ones.

Im an american and i just want to say that you are very right.

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Published on June 21, 2002 12:23 PM.

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