Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ain't America Great!

The tendency among certain groups on the left is to act as though Europe is far more advanced than we are, and that our goal should be to catch up. I think this is essentially correct in some areas but wildly misguided on others. For example, I think that the casual multiculturalism of America is one of our most appealing and rightly cherished virtues. You hear about European countries banning burqas, but this never gets serious consideration here (outside of the wingnuttier circles). This is because we have two pretty awesome things going for us here:
  1. Toleration
  2. Freedom of expression

These are not exactly as popular in Europe, and I do think that the lack of a true "Americanist" ethnic identity is what is responsible for both of these truly positive attributes. Hell, even immigration restrictionists are generally careful to insure that they're perceived as only being against illegal immigration, though the extent to which it is true is debatable (and every once in a while there's a bona fide racist like Tom Tancredo who pops into the mix).

Anyway, I feel like I'm constantly talking about what I feel we can improve about America, so I always enjoy the opportunity to talk about something that is genuinely good about our country.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.