Thursday, September 03, 2009
It is I am sure infuriating to others when Americans like them for who we assume them to be. It can seem condescending, like we believed in a Disney version of the world and fail to deal directly with people as individuals in the here and now.
People from the UK are annoyed by Americans, not only conservative Americans either, who affect a Tory nostalgia for a past that many in Europe are eager to repudiate. Even when aligning with egalitarian political ideals of the Left Americans tend to give credence to every cretin from the Old World, treating everyone from England as if the were a precious aristocrat to be fawned over. Real Conservative Americans harbor a deep respect for England as our elder brother and are aware that our Revolution was really for the protection of the colonists rights as Englishmen. On some level what we are, to go back to a subtopic of a thread that passed me by, is England in exile. America is a refuge established to keep a dream of liberty alive.
If we feel for England as for a parent or older sibling in a way that clouds our vision then we feel for Australia in a different way. When my ships visited Australia we stopped in Perth/Freemantle and the loveliest little town in Western Australia, a place called Albany. When people asked me what it was like visiting Australia I said it was like time travel, like what we believed America was like in '50s or in the '40s. It was like visiting Utah. While Australians may be aware of all the warts in their own historical record and the grievances of the aborigines, only 2+% of the population, maybe real, to an American it does seem like an Oz where we can glimpse what we should be if only we had been spared slavery and the Civil War.