19 October 2006

Yeah, what he said.

I don’t know what ‘the west’ wants, but Americans are simple: we want the rest of the world to go away and stop bothering us.

Understand I’m not speaking for myself — I’d be on a plane somewhere 365 days a year if I could manage it. But Americans generally don’t like being forced to confront the outside world. We have quite a large country of our own and if we find it cramped there’s always Canada (America Lite.)

Americans want to spend their days working. We like working. We like coming up with crazy plans and turning them into billion dollar businesses. If we’re not working we want to hang out with family. We don’t like thinking about politics, we’re not the French. We don’t like having to learn the differences between Shia and Sunni because, quite frankly, we don’t give a damn. We just want to work and hang out.

From time to time Americans are forced to recognize the existence of some other piece of the world: Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq. We resent being forced to do so. We didn’t really know these places existed, didn’t care, and don’t wish to be irritated by them because we have work to do.

So we fall back on simple, direct solutions to ease the irritation: nuke ‘em all. Nuke ‘em all, and then get back to work. It’s not that we harbor particular malice toward one country or another, one religion or another. What we harbor is indifference. If you threaten our indifference by forcing us to pay attention to you and your intractable foreign problems we may have to blow something up just so you’ll go away. There is, after all, money to be made, and work to be done, and family to be hung out with.

We’re busy: don’t make us kill you.

I grant that in some cases it’s our own government’s actions that force us into the position of having to learn where Fallujah is (answer: who cares?) but that doesn’t alter our underlying sense that the whole world should just stop bothering us and let us get back to work.

Said by

M. Takhallus

Here, comment number six.


Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

Great little piece of writing you found, a bit of essay-llette; I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2006/10/re-were-busy-dont-make-us-kill-you.html

7:51 PM  
Anonymous cMAD said...

Yep. You Americans don't like thinking, you like doing things. Doesn't matter if they make sense or not.
Occasionally, you succeed spectacularly. More often, you make a mess. Then you do something else to fix the mess. Occasionally, you succeed. More often, you replace one mess with another mess that is worse. And so on.
(I'm describing work, not global politics, here).

You're a little odd in that respect, actually. You seem to like thinking about things. Maybe that's because they don't give you enough work to do. Or maybe you're a thinker. In that case someone will need to do something decisive about that Un-American activity :->

Anyway, to further this tendency of yours, here's a thought experiment:

Try to complete the sentence:
"I don't know what `the Muslim world' wants, but Iraqis are simple ..."

5:34 PM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

Yes, Americans are such notable non-thinkers, which is why so many Nobel prizes go to them.

I love the smell of European sanctimony in the morning.

7:20 PM  

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