Musical Interlude



The rampant anti-americanism of the last decade or so, I feel that this song is entirely apropos. Especially since the hate mostly comes from demagog soft-Leftist elements of social-democrat countries such as my own. Makes me want to puke sometimes. . .

I've now traveled to 38 different countries, so I consider that I've been around. And every time I hear the same old tirades, here and abroad, I always find it kind of hilarious that my interlocutor has almost always never set foot in the United States, nor do they know any Americans. So all they have to go by is the anti-USA propaganda going around.

The majority of the best friends I've made while traveling abroad are Americans. Most of them are intelligent, open-minded, fun-loving people. Yes, they like to drink and talk rather loudly when they're drunk. So what? It's the same with Aussies, Germans, Spanish, Italians, etc. To think that every single American citizen is a warmongering, ignorant, religious inbred fuckwit from the Bible Belt just shows how people know nothing about the USA.

Too many American travelers feel the need to make excuses about being American. That's bullshit! They should be proud of who they are. Though the USA aren't perfect in any shape or form, it's still a much better country than most.

And this song is a great example of that. I'm told they teach the lyrics in history classes. Wish we had something similar in Canada. . . Oh wait. . . That's true, we ain't got nothing that warrants a song.

That's a shitter. . . =(

34 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you but many citizens of foreign countries have a real reason to dislike the American government, and since America is a democracy the people of America bear a responsibility for the actions of their government.

Has the good the American government done outweigh the bad? The perspective on that will be different for everyone you meet.

For a sampling of reasons why people might not like the American government check out Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Really? This from the guy who mocks Goddkind so much?

Anonymous said...

Well said, Pat!

Anonymous said...

What has Goodkind got to do with this??? Americans should be proud of who they are. I know I am. That's not to say I agree with every decision my government makes. And that goes for both W. and Obama!

Amanda

Jamie Gibbs (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Once again, an excellent choice of song. Gotta love a bit of Billy.

Anonymous said...

yes....yes...and there are lots of people live in china or in middle east or afghanistan are nice and decent but western world marked these countries as something vile or undesired or whatnot because they have no real democracy, freedom of speech or terrible treatment to female population and on and on.

there is a big, big difference between individuals and a state.don't confuse with one another.

this the most stupid thing i read in your blog.intotal my reaction is ......*shrug*....meh.

Stephen said...

Anonymous, comparing anti-Americanism with the image people have of the Middle East and Afghanistan is a bit ludicrous.

When I rape victim gets stoned in the streets of Boston for having had intercourse with a man other than her husband, then maybe you'll be on to something. Till then...

I'm an American who must often travel around Western Europe on business and I'm often looked down upon for the reasons Pat included in his post. Yet I'm an educated Democrat, not religious other than on Christmas Eve and Easter. If I had the Texas accent, maybe I could understand. But the Boston drawl!!! Come on!

Terrific song by the way!:)

Paul D said...

I like this blog considerably more when it focuses on fantasy literature, and less so when it gets into politics.

Anonymous said...

As an American, and in order to make amends for all the evil my country has done the world, I'm visualizing World Peace for the next10 minutes. Will you join me? Aum...

Anonymous said...

Comment one is on the ball.

It is the American Government, their decisions, actions and arrogance that are hated. As America is a democratic nation (supposedly) this reflects on the people of America.

This being said, I don't think it is fair to hate on American Citizens indiscriminately (politicians are completely fair game), it's kind of racist. People should be judged by who they are not where they come from.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think the cavemen should be blamed for all the world's troubles. They discovered fire, and the world has known much mischief ever since.

Matthew David Surridge said...

I read this blog fairly often; I don't think I've left a comment before. Not that some of the political posts don't hit a few buttons. This one, though, actively angered me to the point where I feel as a Canadian I have to respond.

Your post said: "I'm told they teach the lyrics in history classes. Wish we had something similar in Canada. . . Oh wait. . . That's true, we ain't got nothing that warrants a song."

This is garbage. This is utter garbage.

First off, I don't really know what message you're taking out of the Billy Joel song. You seem to take it as something specifically about the United States. As far as I can see, it's actually a list of events or phrases from the early-to-late 20th century, not all of which have to do with the US -- "Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev"? (And not all of what *is* about the US is positive -- "Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz"?)

Secondly, and more importantly, to so blindly ignore the events, people, and colour of Canadian history, to say that Canada doesn't warrant a song, is appalling and indefensible. To hand-wave away (off the top of my head) Norman Bethune, Lester Pearson and the Suez Crisis and UN Peacekeepers, the discovery of how to use insulin to treat diabetes, Ernest Rutherford at McGill doing work for which he was given a Nobel Prize, the writing of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights? I can't understand that.

And that's only some of the 20th-century Canadian events of global importance. Given some of the things the Billy Joel song touches on, surely it'd be worth talking about specifically Canadian dramas -- the Winnipeg General Strike, the Richard Riot, the Persons Case, the October Crisis, the Patriation of the Constitution, two referenda, Newfoundland joining the country, Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, Henry Morgentaler fighting to establish legal abortion clinics, and the strange story of Grey Owl, among many others. Hell, if Billy Joel can refer to Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and so on, why couldn't we name-check Gretzky and Orr, Richard and Beliveau and Lafleur, Louis Rubenstein and Sam Etcheverry, Lennox Lewis and Steve Podborski and Gaetan Boucher, Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve, and for that matter James Naismith?

Joel talks about Buddy Holly, Hemmingway, and James Dean, among other artists. Okay, so what about Canadian artists from Leonard Cohen to Rush to Glenn Gould to Oscar Peterson to Gilles Vigneault, from Emily Carr to J.W. Morrice to the Group of Seven to the Automatistes, from A.M. Klein to Mordecai Richler to Margaret Laurence to Michel Tremblay, from Joe Shuster to Seth to Chester Brown to Jeff Lemire? Oh, and while I'm at it, how about Guy Gavriel Kay and Elizabeth Vonarburg and William Gibson? This country's got as much drama as any songwriter could want; which may be why people like Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers and (inevitably) the Tragically Hip have in fact written songs about it and its history -- just think of the Canadian Railroad Trilogy, or Northwest Passage, or Wheat Kings. I'd take them over Billy Joel any time.

Finally: I should point out that as it stands, what you wrote is dismissive not only of all that I've just pointed out, but also of the accomplishments of those who fell at Vimy Ridge and Dieppe, at Juno Beach and Sicily. When you look at those battles, do you really think they don't warrant a song?

Well, I hope you enjoy Billy Joel.

Anonymous said...

Like the first poster said, since the US are a democracy the people take responsibility for whom they vote. I know governments don't always do what they said before they were in power, but nonetheless...
I really like American people, but in some cases they are just extreme(ists), like religion (Mormons, Creationists), fastfood, patriotism (God's own country WTF!?!), politics (there would be revolution in my country, if there would be stuff going on like the (prolonged) tax benefits for the super rich).
Although, the good things still outweigh the bad there will be no excuse if the next president's name is Sarah Palin or some other Teaparty fuckwit.
There is still hope. America just has to accept that it is no longer the center of the world.

Dave said...

I love how people have to bash the US yet the US is the first country looked to in order to solve a crisis in the world. I get utterly tired of all the US bashing that goes on, its always full or ignorance and stereotypes. And as for the UN....The UN is useless. When China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are allowed onto the Council for Human Rights and when the UN doesn't enforce its own resolutions, the organization has lost all credibility.

Anonymous said...

"Damn you USA! Now, where's our disaster relief check?"

Bill Moon said...

i'm getting really sick of your political shit. where the hell did this last post even come from? nice job bashing canada at the end as well, sorry we're not living up to your lofty standards. maybe we should get rid of healthcare - would that make you feel more proud?

i consider myself socially liberal but pretty fiscally/politically conservative but you really sound like a jackass when you always harp on the 'soft left' as if being right wing is something to puff your chest out about. i prefer people who actually think for themselves rather than read off campaign slogans. anyways, this blog is clearly not for me as lately you just come across as a tool. or maybe i'm the tool for continuing to check out your site to see what's going on in the fantasy world. either way, this is goodbye.

p.s. great post Matt

Anonymous said...

We do have a democracy, but it's not like we get a vote on everything the government decides to get involved with. You can't imagine the disconnect between what the people want and what they actually get in a country this big.

Look at our health care system, how we still have soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan (and Germany for some reason) and look at how we're just NOW making it legal for the LBGT community to serve in the military. And these have been issues Congress has been fighting over for years and years.

I can understand the anti-American sentiment, but I hope that our friends overseas know that we don't collectively decide to invade and oppress countries. Most of us are just trying to keep our jobs. Big government, lobbied by corporate interests, fueled by the American "liberty" machine do most of the deciding.

Don't believe me? We just gave the richest people in America a tax cut...somehow. I didn't get a vote on that either! >.<

Anonymous said...

"Don't believe me? We just gave the richest people in America a tax cut...somehow. I didn't get a vote on that either!"
---------------------------

No we didn't. No one received a "cut". We just extended existing tax law.
Your duly elected representative voted for or against it. We are a representative democracy after all.

John said...

Why do you hate your own country so much ?
You won't get much respect from anyone with stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

"Damn you USA! Now, where's our disaster relief check?"

Yeah, becuase of course USA is the only one that provides aid...nevermind UK, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Cananda, Norway ect, and all the little countires that have nothing compared to what most of us are used to and still manage to give aid.

Rich countries help poor countries...or countries who have had a disaster, it is the decent thing to do. It doesn't negate the bad things.

Jebus said...

I'm not anti-American at all, all the Merkin's I've met have been lovely and wonderful people.

I'm anti the fact that the religious right holds so much power in the American government and judicial systems. My favourite TV show ever is The West Wing and I'm still often so gob smacked by some of the things that are such huge issues in American politics, or they at least made them out to be on that show. Things like abortion and gay marriage and sex on TV and gays in the military.

Anyway, it's a good song, Pat's a nutter and we'll all live happily ever after.

Dave said...

That "tax cut" has been in effect for years, they just renewed it. It doesnt just effect the richest people either so dont beleive all the liberal bs that dominates the news, it helps middle class familys too. What should "rich" people have to pay more than "regular" people anyways? Just because they have had the guts, determination and creativity to become "rich"?

Anonymous said...

I'm proud to be an American, and a But when I've traveled, England, Scotland and Norway, the people I encountered seem to be very pleasant and interested in the USA.

Steve Moss

Anonymous said...

Hello?? Justin Bieber anyone?

locusmortiis said...

Canada has plenty to be proud of, not the least of which are Rush, Helix, The Trailer Park Boys, Poutine, the word "eh" and a decent healthcare system.

Ludwig said...

People who are proud of the country they happen to live in are utterly ridiculous.

Alexandre Babeanu said...

First of, I found an "explained" version of this video, here:

http://www.teacheroz.com/fire.htm

Now, several things are quite irritating in your post.

I am French and Canadian (I grew up in Paris). So now what is a French guy/al supposed to think when s/he hears such B.S. as "Freedom Fries" ???????

And what is a Canadian supposed to think when s/he reads that there's nothing to sing about in their country. Heck, just tell that to any citizen from any country to their face! Quite an insult.

See that's exactly why Americans are hated in so many other countries:
- they are arrogant
- they are ignorant

And now please note I have have visited the US many times, I do actually work with Americans on a daily basis, highly educated ones at that, in the high-tech industry. And even within that elitist group, discussing subjects such as the death penalty or gun control have always sent shivers down my spine. Why is that? I do believe the education system in the US is in dire need of reforms. Sure the US have some of the best universities in the world, but most Americans don't reach it! They're too expensive anyway. What I'm talking about is schools. Ask any one in the street anywhere in the US what the capital of Canada is, just ask... (not to mention France or Argentina!)

Finally, about this song, it is indeed a snapshot of the history of the World in the 20th century, to think that it only talks about the US is, again, formulating a lot of arrogance and ignorance. The world doesn't revolve around the US, there are other people out there! Wake up!!

(ppffff... and thinking I was following a blog about Fantasy, what a drag...pfff...)

Anonymous said...

"People who are proud of the country they happen to live in are utterly ridiculous."

Amen to that, brother!

Anonymous said...

Ah dude... Pat is French-Canadian.;)

Joseph said...

I think it's funny that the more liberal readers of this blog, those who were so quick to impose their definition of free speech a few weeks ago, are always quick to bitch about this blog supposedly being a fantasy blog.

You'd all be happy if pat extolled Obama or someone like that. But no! The guy writes a posts saying Americans should be proud of who they are and their past and you all go nuts!

@locusmortiis: Was with you till you mentioned Helix!

As a Canuck who spent 6 years studying at American universities, I have to side with Pat on this debate. The USA might not be paradise on earth, but it's a much better country than most people make it out to be. Liberals are quick to point out its flaws but they ignore its strengths.

Alexandre Babeanu said...

Ah, but the debate wasn't about the US being a great place to live, rather about why Americans were so hated abroad. Different things. The fact that the US is a great place to live (which I don't think can be easily denied) doesn't explain why Americans are so hated in certain countries. (Anyway, that's what I was reacting to).

As to why another Canuck cannot find anything to sing about in his own country, that baffles me... just take a trip to the Rockies, the Plains or the Atlantic coast and look at the scenery, if nothing else, there's more than enough material just there...

Anonymous said...

"all the liberal bs that dominates the news"

Now that does belong in a Fantasy blog.

Will said...

I think Pat was joking about Canada, guys. Loosen up a little.

RedaR said...

Oh yeah I forgot..

Pat is Canadian! Then why in the heck he is bringing the American mentality in question to begin with?
I think he began describing the red-neck American mentality then tried to dilute the fact of how America is perceived a demoniac warmonger.
No matter how patriot we are ( Americans, not Canadians) there is the absolute undeniable objective fact, foreign perception about us has a lot of truth in it, sad but true.. the first commenter hit it right about the reasons why citizens of foreign countries hate US ( Canadians included )!