The Rose-Colored Spectacles Fell Off

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?

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8 Replies to “The Rose-Colored Spectacles Fell Off”

  1. This video makes my blood run cold RJ!
    Yes it’s here! Of course it is, and it’ll come as a shock to many abroad who’ve had their head in the warm fuzzies for too long – as you’ve said.

    But it’s not the whole picture – and you know it! For every ignoramus shown in the video there’s another American heart filled with hope for change. Change WILL come, now I’m sure of it. More sure with each passing day. These people will still be here though, there will be no let-up when President Obama arrives. It’ll be up to all of us who support his aims to do whatever we can – possibly not much, but ever word helps.

    It’s as well to be aware of the dark side.
    I see it around here too. But the other side is here. The positive force for good.
    We need to support and publish that side.

  2. Hello R.J,
    I tracked you here from a comment you left on WWW’s. Hierophant. 🙂
    I am glad to be here, I will be back to do some more reading.

  3. And oh the ignorance of people in the video is deafening, blinding, frightnening. If I were to find myself in that crowd and spoke my mind, they’d lynch me.

  4. TOB – well, ‘bliss’ is one word to call it.

    Twilight – I shall be happier when “President Obama” is official. Yes, there are good people, but American extremism, in all its various ugly forms, permeates a far greater proportion of the populace than in those nations we are more familiar with.
    McCain and crew may still twist this election their way. Obama is by no means home and dry. I will be more optimistic if the day arrives when he is, for it will mean that less than half the population of this country are ignorant morons.

    Gaye – welcome to Sparrow Chat. Anyone is welcome here, but especially friends of ‘WWW”.

  5. Can’t see the video, I’m out here in dial-up dementia but I catch the drift, RJA, and I’m quite optimistic that BO will ‘make it’. If he doesn’t there will be a civil war I would venture. Or anarchy.
    But hate is present everywhere and like Twilight says, there are good people who counterbalance this ugliness.
    I’ve met so many good Americans this summer and also in Toronto, some on the waiting list to come here. And of course I met very many during the Vietnam era who are now here to stay, one is a very close friend who is so ashamed of what the US has become.
    Fingers crossed for Tuesday from way up here in the Great White North where climate change has brought a second summer to Newfoundland, complete with black flies.

  6. WWW – I, too, am ‘hopeful’ Obama will make it. The alternative doesn’t bear consideration. Though I doubt there’ll be any great backlash if he doesn’t. People can be so apathetic. Of course, there are millions of Americans desperate for change, and Twilight was quite right when she pointed out I was aware of that, but the sheer numbers of ‘the other type’ are mind-blowing.
    Pleased to hear you’re having an Indian summer. Those pesky blackflies can bite, though. In Illinois we’re presently besieged by Ladybugs. And no, I won’t swap bugs with you!

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