Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Us and Them

I used to live in Europe, 1970-72. It was a mark of honor to be a Yank. Things have changed since then. It appears to me that the honeymoon is long since over. Yes, I have been back. But not since we became the new theocratic State. For crying out loud, even the Italians don't carry religion to the extremes that the current dispensation in D.C. does. But I digress.

You would think after all this time and all the hoopala about American culture taking over the World there would be more of it on display in Vienna. Yes, there is an occaionsal McDonald's and one Burger King. And, there's a Starbuck's across from the Sacher (as in Tort) Hotel (the gods of Culinary are frothing at the mouth). But there are no American cars (wasn't this what Havana was known for?) There were no American electronics in the shop. While the styles for teenagers are the same (all that midriff skin), I don't see the American logos that I expected (of course American clothes are made in China, so there.) It is almost as if we didn't exist. What's a few McDonald's? Certainly not a Cultural Revolution. In a contest between Snoopy Dog (whatever) and Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler and Shubert, its hard to imagine a rapper victory.

We had better wake up. The World is moving forward without us (Romania and Bulgaria have been admitted to the EU and the euro is surging). European cars get many kilometers to the liter whereas we continue to support SUV's. This is food for thought. American Civilization. Where is it on its trajectory?


EG said...

Hey, Dr. C!

Enjoying the vacation, I hope. I visited Germany and France in the late 1980s and they loved American fashions then. I wanted to go back recently but decided the anti-American feelings I read might have some validity. From your post, it sounds like it does.

I also visited Holland when Reagan bombed Libya. I kept telling everyone that I was Canadian because of the backlash there. If you run into any problems, remember that escape route.

Dr. C said...

Ironies of ironies, EG. I was in Holland also (at the Reichsmuseum) when Reagan bombed Libya! My sister-in-law is from there. Don't worry about the anti-American feelings, it is more against the policies than the people though that might change.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. C,
I'm Keith Kincaid, and I work for Doug Duncan. Don't know if your back from your vacation yet, but we were wondering since you are in MD and follow politics on your blog if you'd like to be on our mailing list to keep up with what's going on? Just wondering.
Sorry to post this annoying, random thing here, but I couldn't find an email for you.
Let me know at