By Tom Kando
Living in the US, I often have to put up with Anglo-Saxon chauvinism. During the Tour de France, some newspaper columnists, thinking that they were funny, wrote that the Tour de France sets a bad example by showing men dressed in skintight colorful clothes, who shave their legs. Over the past ten years, we heard about “freedom fries.” Comedians such as Jay Leno and Dennis Miller often have a great time ridiculing the French for their alleged cowardice and failure to wash themselves. Italians, too, are often ridiculed and seen as corrupt, lazy, cowardly and overall inferior to the Americans and the Brits (although Leno doesn’t go there, because he is of Italian descent).
But chauvinism goes both ways. Let me ask you, what is it exactly that the Anglo-Saxons feel so superior about? Their food and their cooking? Even my grandmother joked that for many centuries fewer countries’ food tasted worse than Britain’s, and that this was why so many Brits emigrated and created an empire.
Then again, maybe corn dogs and other American junk food has remedied this problem?
Or is it our public health, the obesity epidemic on this side of the Atlantic, and the quality of British dental care (which, in all fairness, Jay Leno also picks on), which makes us so superior? Maybe it’s the beauty of Anglo-Saxon inner cities and neighborhoods, places like Newcastle, Detroit, Birmingham and Cleveland?
How about Anglo-Saxon culture? Only in literature are the Anglos world-class. They have a fellow named Shakespeare. But as far as music, art, architecture and sculpture are concerned, the Anglo-Saxon world doesn’t even come close to France, Italy, Germany-Austria.
Are our tastes and our appearance better and more attractive? Only if you like tattoos a lot, if you like pick-up trucks better than Ferraris, dirt biking better than the Tour de France. So why so much Anglo bragging, guys? Why do you feel so superior?
You might ask, why am I even bothering to deal with such ugly, superficial and meaningless comparisons? Well, because sometimes I get fed up with the chauvinism that surrounds me. This is the European-American blog. That’s my brand. One of my main purposes is to take the hot air out of what some people say - whoever they are.
Next time, I’ll get back to one of my favorite pastimes: combating the vicious disease of anti-Americanism. leave comment here
Saturday, August 13, 2011
By Tom Kando