Friday, February 24, 2006

Failing all else, one can serve as a bad example


Dust my Broom has a post quoting Margaret Drabble - excerpted from Hating America: A History. I'll note that I am unfamiliar with Ms. Drabble and it may be that her tongue is partially in cheek, nonetheless I left the following comment based on the Drabble excerpts at DmB:
I detest Disneyfication, I detest Coca-Cola, I detest burgers, I detest sentimental and violent Hollywood movies that tell lies about history. I detest American imperialism, American infantilism, and American triumphalism about victories it didn’t even win.
Me too. But lying, venal, capitalist running-dogs should represent an object of pity, not hatred, for persons of superior intellect and moral refinement. What I really resent is the effect of this on others whose thinking is not so pristine as my own. It isn't just Americans, either. Canadians have this idea that they are all cloned from Lester Pearson and Mother Theresa and combined with Greenpeace in some androgynous super-PC-hero.

As Darcey points out:
Blaming America helps to rationalize one’s own situation and prevents you from having to look yourself in the mirror. I’ve been guilty of it myself in probably many ways, laughing at the bubblegum chewing valley girl for example and applying that view to thousands of unfortunate Californians…. In retrospect, I did it because I thought I was better.
Independent of the fact that he's probably correct, the point is made.

Back to Ms. Drabble:
The United States must be behaving as it did because it was the land of irresponsible cowboys, ignorant religious fanatics, greed-obsessed capitalists, uncultured fools, intolerant buffoons, and so on.
Indeed. That's why America has had to stuff its philistine culture down people's throats at the end of a gun barrel. World Wars I and II are obvious examples, as is the modern Hollywood anti-American propaganda machine. I don't watch those movies, but the people who do must be stopped!

Give me a break from this collectivist need to rule on whether I like my burger rare instead of having to eat it well done. Nobody's making YOU eat one AT ALL.

Disney, and for that matter burgers and Coca-Cola, only succeed where people buy them. This formulaic anti-Americanism is purely anti-freedom: "If I don't like it, nobody else should be able to have it."

So, America isn't perfect - sometimes you get an overdone burger. America can be ridiculed without great effort, partly because there's been so much practice at it. But hating America because it enabled Walt Disney to create the possibility of the word "Disneyfication" - and the billions of dollars of wealth and tens of thousands of jobs that go with it - is ludicrous. That isn't about America; it's about freedom of opportunity. If you don't like the results, suspending freedom isn't the answer. Avoid Orlando or move to North Korea where you will definitely not be bothered by Disney, meat in any form, or even clean water - much less Coca-Cola. The DPRK are no
dilettantes at anti-Americanism. I'm sure it will hit the spot.

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