Happppppppy 4th of July America!
Now, I know it’s quite fashionable to be anti-American.
You lot keep bombing countries.
You lot pollute way too much.
You lot are fat. Lazy. Stupid. Etc. Etc.
And a lot of the time, y’all have to put up with a lot of anti-American sentiments at this university. I’m sure you can remember the time you awkwardly sat at your best friend’s academic sister’s cousin’s friend, whose pot-luck somewhere on Kilrymont Road drifts off into a long-winded rant about why US imperialism is all about protecting “Big Tobacco’s investments” or how every single one of the 300 million Americans are total imbeciles for not wanting an outright ban on guns.
And I’m sure you’ve been made to feel a tiny bit guilty for American action in the Middle East (not without some foundation, of course). Or what about the steady stream of posts that appear on your Facebook that shames you for having a white Dad with nicely starched beige chinos (wrapped a bit too tightly around the waist), and a navy blue polo to match: you know the image.
But when the chips are down, such as in the Arab Spring – or the rise of ISIS, who is it that people look to as their saviour?
Yeah, ok, you’ve got things in the past that you are ashamed of. Such as racism. But what’s that country that fought one of the bloodiest civil wars in history to eradicate slavery?
‘Merica. That’s who.
And before criticising America, take a long walk through the bloody trail of human history and do a bit of research on how other powerful nations have behaved. America is a cute kitten compared to German atrocities, or the ruthlessness of Napoleon, or the Japanese treatment of Chinese POWs in WW2. Now that’s not to be an apologist for American wrongdoing – far from it. But at least it gets exposed. Can you really name another nation whose President would resign for a tiny-weeny bit of party political spying?
Anyway, this piece is in serious danger into becoming a poorly researched IR lecture so let’s focus on St Andrews.
Let me be direct: St Andrews would be a lesser place if it wasn’t for the hordes of backward-cap-wearing, Northface-jacket-sporting, cheap-beer-chugging Yanks. Whether it’s being part of the creative talent in fashion shows, providing their sporting prowess for our teams, or participating in student democracy, Americans make St Andrews.
They may be behind the curtain in numerous theatre productions, and they are certainly proudly at the front of LGBT and other campaigns in town: rest assured whatever the event or society may be, Americans are active.
And thank God they make university a decent place for those who don’t subscribe to left-wing socialist policies: that a 99% tax rate on the ‘rich’ is a good thing, that profit is ‘evil’ and freedom of speech should be curtailed to protect ‘feelings’. Generally, growing up in the land of opportunity (the free world, etc.) has made them less left-wing (and therefore less moronic) than your average British student.
Finally, their sense of humour is unparalleled. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made a joke at the expense of America in front of Americans and they’ve taken it how it’s intended: in good nature. Try mocking other countries and see the reaction you get.
So whether it is the American technology that powers our phones, the American music that flows into our ears, heck – even the KFC that is so finger lickin’ good, there is a reason that American cultural outputs dominate the world: it’s damn good.
Sure, there are serious problems and debates to be had. To name just a short few: civil rights, gun-control, inequality, terrorism and Ted Cruz. But today, we should all take a moment to celebrate American Exceptionalism.
And let’s sure as hell celebrate the fact that you can buy a brand new V6 Mustang for the price of a Nissan Micra! F*** yeah!
God bless America!
Good luck to the American women soccer team against Japan on Sunday in the final of the World Cup!
(And for that little b******** who makes a sly comment about Microsoft being shite, or whether Kanye West is really the greatest rock star in the world, or that the Colonel’s secret ingredient is rat poison; then why is it so popular? Money doesn’t translate to popularity, as Donald Trump will tell you).
(the author of this article is Dutch)