>However ungraceful, it was a fitting response.

23 Nov

>This weekend The Pirate and I went to a concert put on by a local collective of musicians. Outside music is fun anywhere, weather dependant, but I especially enjoy music in warm weather, under the starry Guadeloupean night sky. There was an impressive sound system: sound engineer and everything. Pas mal, not bad at all.

It’s normal with this type of group that they’re doing it for the love of the music and the social aspect, but alas, there needs to be some money. Instruments and equipment don’t come cheap. There was food and beverage available, as well as t-shirts with the name of the collective. It was, in essence, a mini Guadapalooza, and I had a great time.
…until the end. I was searching for my bag that I left hanging on a chair someplace when…

“You forgot something?”
“Yeah, my bag, got it!…See you later…”
“Oh, are you English, or where are you from?”
“I’m American..California”
“Oh, we normally don’t like Americans here very much”

So, I flipped him off.
Graceful? Not really. Automatic stupid response to a stupid statement? Yes. Am I sorry for it? Not at all. I didn’t do anything to provoke the statement he made about Americans. I think that was unfair.

The Pirate and I differ on opinion on this one, and it was quite a point of contention for a day or two. He thinks I should have won the guy over by remaining calm and making him explain himself. Sure, that would have been cool, but in my mind a waste of my energy. He had already made up his mind, eh?

I don’t hate the guy. I just don’t feel it’s my job to make him like me or any other American. I don’t represent all Americans. There are certainly Americans I would refuse to represent, like for example a number of individuals who don’t agree with gay marriage, and hate a whole bunch of people based on their religion/race/outlook on God.

I’m thinking a lot after this little interaction. What will I do differently the next time? Honestly, I don’t know. The strange thing is, I can see things from that guys perspective if I try. Consider for a moment the number of people who have never set foot in the states, or have visited a limited piece of the states. What must the states look like to them? One big Starbucks/Hooters/McDonalds/GW Bush loving place? It’s possible! At the same time, I think, hey schmuck, ever been to San Francisco? Where people rally in the streets for the rights of people in different parts of the world? Where there are people working for new clean energy initiatives? Also, I’m fairly certain that more than half of my American friends speak a second language. Open your eyes to things outside the ‘news’ on tv, online, and on your social networking site of choice. That’s not a complete reality, and it’s not something to judge an entire people by.

I don’t think America is the ‘best nation in the world’. I don’t think any place is for that matter. I think it’s subjective, to a point.

Well, there you have it. A little rant, a little rationalization. When I bump into him again, which I’m certain I will here on this island, I’ll give it a better go. Maybe I’ll even try to explain myself in French. Aie aie aie…


I found a nice summary on expatriatism here:
I especially like this excerpt:
“I do not believe America is evil. I do not think other countries, with the exception of Iceland, are “better,” or at least not much better. And I regard the idea that America is the “greatest nation on earth” as the kind of Barnumesqe mildew that grows on the brains of gun lobbyists, NASCAR addicts and people from Alabama generally. Like a pretty good novel, America has a pretty good story to tell. But as the hearings for judge Sonja Sotomayor just demonstrated, it can sound ugly in the mouths of dumb southern lawyers who get elected to the United States Senate.”


3 Responses to “>However ungraceful, it was a fitting response.”

  1. steph August 3, 2011 at 18:55 #

    I don’t thing ‘the rest of the world’ differentiates. America is America, a whole bunch of united states. Except Texas is where some gun-slingin’ dyslexic cowboy called Pwezidint Bush comes from. But sometimes there is an acknowledgement that the bunch of monkeys stuck in the Whitehouse aren’t much related to those on the outside. And that is when the America that is despised is Washington, not an entire nation of individual independent people.

  2. the Crawdaddy December 17, 2009 at 12:37 #

    >If I were you I would have said you were from Massachusetts. The only area hated by the rest of the world more than Texas is California lol

  3. lesonbleu November 30, 2009 at 22:07 #

    >So sorry you had to be exposed to that.That was a very stupid thing to say.I probably would have reacted differently as I believe silent contempt is the way to go when faced with a display of ignorance such as this, of course, YMMV… and obviously did!

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