Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Pretentious People Prefer Not to Be Associated with America
This is likely going to be a very short rant about a subject that is very important to pretentious people: nationality. Pretentious people (and really, specifically, pretentious "Americans") enjoy asking about and also listing all mutty components that make up their heritage. One of the typical conversations on a first date between hep, young cats usually goes a little something like this:
Person 1: "So, what are you?"
(NOTE: The fact that everyone knows how to answer this question and doesn't say, "female-male post-op," "human," "an astro-physicist," "an under-employed screenwriter" or "professional grifter" is proof of the American cultural crisis.)
Person 2: "Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Greek, Scottish and 2% Irish." (Everyone is always at least 1% Irish, which is particularly relevant on St. Patrick's Day so that person can justify joining in the revelry without guilt.)
Pretentious Americans love to be tourists in their own country. That way when we get dissatisfied with things happening here, we can threaten to expatriate and go back to Europe (or wherever else our ancestors came from that has a more socially-acceptable government, cooler clothes, or a nicer language than our own), and other pretentious people can think we are awesome for taking a stand ... by running away.
I have definitely been guilty of the "percent-what" game, but newsflash to us all -- we are all American. Yes, it's great that our country was built on immigrants, but that was centuries ago; we're in it for the long-haul now, like it or not. (Apologies to anyone reading this that was BFF with George Washington; you can ignore this.) If I went to Norway, for example, I would probably be beaten to death and left for dead on the fjords within the first 24 hours, particularly if I declared myself to be Norwegian in English.
Oh, and maybe if we're a little less apologetic about the fact that this is what some of us would call a "cultural activity" ...
... we wouldn't have to put those Canadian flags on our backpacks the next time we go to the Louvre.