As promised, here’s my special “written in advance” post. I know I said that I didn’t really know what to write on 9/11 but I did just want to comment a little about this fascinating PBS special. I am one of those freak documentary lovers who doesn’t shy away from using the words “fascinating” and “PBS” in the same sentence. And especially when I’m about to jet off to Europe in less than two weeks (with absolutely no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing, God help me) I thought this’d be a fun topic.
Hey, remember this? It felt good to be loved. America loved New York, Europe loved America, kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya.
Well, according to this program, it isn’t really like this anymore. Who knew? It was called “The Anti-Americans (a love/hate relationship)” and canvassed the people of three representative European nations to see how they think of us these days. I imagine you just have no idea how it went. Let’s see!
Here’s a lady in France. She’s OK with New York.
Not so much on the rest of the US. Wow, it’s exciting to hear that there’s no racism in New York… or France!
Here’s a drawing a French child did when asked what came to mind when he thought of the US. He was wearing a Gap sweatshirt.
Moving right along! How was your trip to the States, nice Polish woman?
(as an aside, aren’t most people in Chicago Polish?)
This didn’t get a subtitle, because we’re in England now, and we’re supposed to be able to understand. This is a sophisticated dinner party where the gentleman on the right bemoans Americans’ self-involvement and his quote as to our imagined headline is, “International news: American man run over in Frankfurt.” Great peals of laughter from all the other guests follow.
But I don’t want to leave you with the impression that no one likes us. In fact, the Poles all seemed to like us a lot, no matter how fat we are, and the thing the program would have us believe concerns the Poles the most about Americans is that we require them to have a visa to enter the US. I am going to transcribe the text to the following video, but I highly encourage you to watch it because this guy is a natural-born comedian and the way he phrases everything was worth the price of admission. Which is nothing, because I forgot to contribute to the PBS pledge drive this year.
Those French dicks, that hate you, they go to America whenever they please. They don’t have to show no visa, they don’t have to pay for the visa, they just show their French passport – that hates you, the passport hates you! – and they enter. And they can stay 90 days, 60 days. I have to apply for the visa. I have to queue. I have to pay like hundred dollars. To get it, or to lose my hundred dollars, because some red tape and they tell me no. So French don’t fight with you in Iraq, they don’t give you their hearts, but they get the visas, free access to America. We give you everything (sniffs) and we not getting anything in return. We like a woman who you beat.
Hey, I’d sponsor this guy. He needs a place on TV, if only for that shirt. But it did make me wish I was vacationing in Poland. I’m sure it’s just as pretty as Greece. Right? Right? But here’s the truth, Zybigniew. You’re going about this all wrong. See, the more you hate us, the more we like and admire you and want to be your friend. We like a puppy who you beat.