There was a time when the world observed the United States from a great distance. Fathers and grandfathers remembered old soldiers from the New World they had once fought with against the Germans and the Japanese in two world wars; sons and daughters watched great Hollywood epics, or imported US sitcoms and variety shows, that shaped their view of that continent far away across the sea.
Ask anyone about America, and they’d respond with phrases like, “Statue of Liberty”, “John Wayne”, “Rogers and Hammerstein”, “Maxwell House coffee”, or maybe the occasional, much loved, president such as, “John F Kennedy”, “Eisenhower”, or “Trueman”.
In those days America was known as the home of the brave, the land of the free. It was far away across a wide ocean, yet everyone knew it had a Dream, even though their only knowledge of its people came from those films and TV programs, or the occasional article in a newspaper.
Times have changed; those days are no more. Now, thanks to technological inventions like computers and the internet, America is no longer distant. No more is it separated by a vast expanse of water. The United States and its people are as close – as this:
How degrading; how vile; how utterly embarrassing. Is this how Americans behave towards each other? If this is how they feel about themselves, it’s little wonder they’ve been so cruel and heartless to the Iraqis and Afghans. Those images from Abu Ghraib suddenly begin to make sense.
America is on display, in a way it’s never been before. No more can it hide behind screens of Hollywood celluloid, the “Dick Van Dyke Show”, or the warm fuzziness of, “Little House on the Prairie.” The world is learning what America is really like. Or, at least, the part of it that seems to matter most: the ignorant, the rude, the obscene, the disgustingly arrogant.
I wonder how many old US soldiers are turning in their graves at the behavior of their sons and daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as they file into their various political rallies today?
Filed under: What happened?