23 September 2003
We all look alike
Somewhere in a comment last night, I made the following observation:
[T]he Europeans have long seen Americans as a mass of undifferentiated, uncultured louts.
Andrea Harris extends the notion and amplifies it, with the sarcasm control turned up to the max:
[W]hen Americans find out that they don't know enough about something out in the wide world (say, about Muslims and what they really think) they hit the bookstores and libraries like earnest students trying to make up for a failing grade. Foreigners, on the other hand, tend to show a marked disinterest in actually finding out what Americans are really like, preferring instead the notions they formed after watching American movies and teevee shows which as we all know are all documentaries.
But of course. It's right there on the screen; it must therefore be true. This is precisely how the late Osama bin Laden gets away with continuing to make videos.
This, however, is the money quote:
Europeans just hate it when it is pointed out to them that their viewpoint is just as parochial, if not more so, than that of the average housewife in Iowa.
I would say something here about "the average housewife in Iowa works more than 35 hours a week and has air conditioning," but that would be piling on, don't you think?