I’m Convertid! (Not!)

Having been to the States recently, it’s difficult for me to be so blasé about the certain doom that I feel is facing the country. Having spent time with such wonderful people there, having seen their kids, having walked their streets unmolested and having been treated relatively nicely by most of the strangers I met (with the exception of one bar’s gatekeeper, and an old guy who shouldered me and then looked as if it was my fault in the airport), it’s hard to stay objective and say, look, your government’s gonna get you all in such deep trouble you’ll never get out of it, guys.

It’s not that I’ve changed my mind, of course, it’s just: well, Marvin said the least America could do is be a nice place to visit, and Austin was. But it’s not the kind of country I’d be putting my faith or trust in, at the moment. (Not that I have much trust in any government, but America’s right now downright scares me, in way that even the apparently censorious Korean government doesn’t.)

But when I got an email from an American friend who was critical of one aspect of the conservative bias on Fox (he was forwarding an article criticizing Bill O’Reilly, whoever that is), I just had to engage in a little affirmative sarcasm:

I responded to the criticisms in the article thus:

Fuck that shit brother. I’m back from America and I’m converted. Ooops, sorry, I mean convertid. I gotta improve my spelling error rate so everyman can relate to me.

That’s right, my countryman-to-be. I am gonna become an American. Texas got me; as I stood in the capital building, gazing into the eyes of the portrait of your fine President Bush, back in the days when the horror of war was barely a twinkle in his eye… er, I mean, in Osoma Bin Ladden’s eye, who I couldn’t see because I was looking at Bush, not Osoma, but you know what I mean, anyway. I decided I want to join up, sign up.

I am tired of being from a wimpy country that never fights for… well, for anything. Look at America! I mean, the country’s so powerful that you can start a war over, well, it’s obvious if you ask a hundred people that you’ll hear a hundred different answers. Meaning basically nobody knows what the war was about: but you all pulled it off anyway. It’s so humiliating to be a Canadian. The only controversial things we do anymore are things like, you know, legalizing gay marriage and letting people who’re dying of cancer puff on marijuana so they can keep their dinner down. Well, there was that violent treatment of protesters at the big trade conferences, but that wasn’t anything as exciting as a WAR!!! I mean, come on.

Yeah, man. I wanna be a part of where the action is. In citizenship, at least. So, where do I get the implants?

I’m going to think a little more about my impressions of America before I say more. I can hardly say I’ve been to the country: I’ve seen three airports, two peoples’ houses, a couple of neighborhoods, a downtown area in one city, and a few restaurants and live music venues. Hardly representative. I should have watched a little TV to see if my impressions square with what Michael Moore claims in Bowling for Columbine about how TV there is dumbed down—it seemed to be correct according to my memories of the major networks out of Detroit, compared with news on CBC and CTV that I watched when living in Canada.

But anyway, I’ll try to see what impressions come to me over the next week and write about that.

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