Saturday, September 29, 2007

The mythologization of the United States of America

As I previously stated in my last paper on the subject....

Here in the Philippines, there are a lot of things that annoy us Americans. People say yes when they mean no, people don't show up for things when they're supposed to (or don't show up at all), the pollution is out of control, people burn trash and the smoke fills our house, they yell at you in the street (in a friendly way at least), etc etc. The food sucks! There, I said it. It's easy to pick out these annoying things in your everyday life because they're different than what you're used to. It's always easier to pick out things based on differences than it is to pick out things based on similarities. This of course leads to a lot of bitching on all of our parts, and sometimes a little fun is poked. I think this is pretty much normal, because I remember being in Europe and thinking "who the hell charges for condiments at a fast food restaurant?" Answer: the Belgians, and maybe more! It was a constant battle in France to not have your meat served bloody, or your pizza un-burnt. The French were always out burning piles of crap in their yards, and there are strikes approximately every 3 days.

The problem with this is that sometimes you get so caught up in being pissed off about things that soon everything is annoying and everything is the US is awesome! What a glorious land of traffic laws and ethnic food! Sure, the US is a great place to live, I'm pretty happy I'm from there, but those of us living abroad sometimes fail to remember all the things we hate about the US. Here is a short list of things that I don't miss even a little bit about the US:

o Everyone having to be on time
o People getting mad because they had to wait in line for 4 minutes
o The Bush White House
o Republicans
o Fast food (except for maybe Jack-in-the-Box tacos late night)
o Celebrity worship
o Celebrity magazines
o America-centric news
o Having to hear about the latest "miners stuck in a well" story for 3 weeks straight without any regard to what's going on in the rest of the world
o The war in Iraq
o Drinks larger than 20oz
o SUVs
o Giant homes
o Teenagers driving luxury cars
o 6 freezer aisles in the grocery store
o An entire aisles devoted to soda
o Having to drive everywhere
o Walmart
o Obsession with gadgets
o Luxury goods of any sort, or even worse, having to hear about them
o Car commercials
o The cost of insurance/health care
o Having to hear about goddamn gas prices
o People saying they care about global warming, then doing absolutely nothing about it

You get the point, nowhere is perfect, even a country with baseball, good beer and great food.

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