For some reason, "archaeological sites" and "Utah" just don't seem to go together
. I guess there's more to the place than the Osmonds.
Speaking of stereotypes, I haven't picked on Canadians in quite some time. It seems that some Canadians
are up in arms about the comments of some Torontonians
. I read the article, and it's hard to get too exercised over the whole thing. I mean, it sounds like they're just hamming it up for the reporter. They come across as - how to put this? - overwrought and underthought.
"You can't trust them [Americans]. I wish we had some other country as our neighbour, not those bullies. They're ignorant. They don't know anything about any other country. They'd just love to take us over if they could."
If that's what they REALLY think, then perhaps they might want to reconsider their later statements:
"Our soldiers," said Heather, "go into situations to keep the peace, not to shoot people. They have all the equipment they need, they don't need American-style weapons."
"We're not a warrior nation," said St. Clair. "Canadians don't want our military over-armed."
Please. "If they could." Maybe the Whelans might want to reconsider their views on the Canadian military, since all those troops being withdrawn from Germany and Korea could end up occupying Ontario. After all, the Canadians have had the good side of Niagara Falls for too long. Or are we waiting for Canada to go the way of New Zealand and disband its air force entirely first? I realize the Canadian fifth column in Hollywood might stir up some trouble, but we've been quietly replacing them with Australians for years. Still, how can anyone take the thought seriously? It's been a staple of comedy for years
, precisely because the odds of any real conflict happening are so remote.
I won't say that these people are a tiny minority in Canada. I've spoken with Canadians with similar attitudes, including one who proudly (and somewhat smugly I thought) told me about a friend who was protesting Iraq at one of the U.S. missions up north. The same attitude came out ("Why would terrorists want to do here what they did in the States?" asked Heather. "They have nothing against us. It's never going to happen."), essentially saying that Canada is just a bystander to world events. My reply was that it's all well and good to sit on the sidelines and complain, but that the United States could not evade a responsibility to take action in the world.
What's happening in that country? It's enough to make one sigh: Oh, Canada.
pretty much covers everything I think about politics today. I am totally sick of all of it, which is unfortunate, considering that I live in Washington in an election year, but there you are. The scorched earth tactics bother me the most. Rational adults can disagree on policies, so why does it seem that some insist on viewing their opponents as evil incarnate?
Case in point
Maybe it's just that the British - or more accurately, a certain class of them - don't understand us Americans as well as they think they do
It's apparently a matter of some concern in Britain
, much more so than flatulent coach trips, it seems.
Another corroborating source
- "worthy of a Detroit crack addict or San Francisco vagrant".
After reading this piece
, I had to wipe up the puddle of condescension that had dripped from the computer screen. Generalisations - "pat and trite and unhelpful" though they may be - are nevertheless good enough for a few paragraphs. And all based on a survey of questionable validity, since it didn't even mention the real preconception we Americans have of the British
. It was even in the Guardian
Good news from Afghanistan
. Refugees returning home, new businesses opening, a sense of hope and optimism among people. Typical NGO response at the end: it'll all go down the crapper if you don't send more money now.
The expatriate lifestyle begins to take root in Baghdad
. I just hope that in twenty years the Green Zone will be one of the nightlife areas of interest in the Lonely Planet's Guide to Iraq.
Two words: West Virginia
. I see a hollowed-out mountain somewhere in the Appalachians surrounded by affordable real estate. A guy can dream, right?
It's amazing how work expands to fill up all available time, as well as all available desk space. Things at work have been really busy for the past few weeks, but the worst part seems to be over, so there are some prospects of actually having free time every now and again over the summer. At long last it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it's not an oncoming train!