January 7, 2013
A MIRROR IMAGE BUT WITH BETTER TEETH:
The British and their bizarre view of Americans : We lap up their culture, adopt their economics and are obsessed with the "special relationship". So why do British people have such a confused - even negative - view of Americans (Will Self, 1/07/13, BBC Magazine)
I think, at root, the problem is one of mirroring.They say "aluminum", we say "aluminium", but both can be shiny and reflective surfaces. So, no matter how intently we examine the US, we cannot help but see our own features staring back at us. This phenomenon simply doesn't occur when we look at the French, the Vietnamese or the South Africans - all remain properly other.Only America and the Americans have this ability to derange us with their capacity to reflect our own image. Not that they do this intentionally, really, it's something we do to ourselves. And it follows that what we also do to ourselves is to relentlessly equate America with Americans, and the US government with its electorate - conflations we wouldn't dream of making in the case of the German or Greek peoples.
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2013 5:10 PM