Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday at the Lake and Patriotism

It's kind of messy and cloudy Down the Hill (what we call mountain-folk call the rest of southern california) but we're above the clouds, so I went to the lake today for the first time of the season. Our lake is only about a mile from the house, and our little small town in the summer is so Norman Rockwell, I could spit. Everyone comes to the lake, gets hot dogs from the 7-11 across the street, and it's just too much Americana and I eat it all up.

Which reminds me of the fact that my hubby is friends with someone who is currently going on about how America kind of sucks, and it makes me think about how I never appreciated America until I lived abroad. Yeah, there's parts of America that are really pretty bad, and it's easy to throw around statistics about how we suck at health care and education and yada yada (and I'm not saying we don't). BUT. It's easy for Sweden to be first in everything. They have like ten people and an area like the size of California. Just like it's easy to manage a supply chain that's smaller, it's much easier to manage a smaller country (for one reason, it's not as diverse. When you look at Olympic teams, how many countries have teams as diverse as the US??? Maybe the UK and some European places come close, but no one has all the nationalities represented that the US does). Just because a lot of our schools are miserable, doesn't mean that we also don't have some of the best schools in the world. The UK has Cambridge an Oxford (and the London School of Economics. How could I miss that?). We have Harvard and Yale and Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago and NYU and Columbia and tons more that are comparable to any schools in the rest of the world.

I guess the thing is that it's just not comparing apples to apples when you compare the statistics of the US against the rest of the world. Compare the US to other countries with its size (Russia, China, India?) and diversity (um...none) and it becomes a much more flattering picture.

And I'm not all into hugging America and stuff right now, but I think it's pretty cool that I live in a country that has given its citizens the right to pursue happiness. No other country has done that. We have codified the right to try to do what we want to do . Yeah, it sometimes creates a national identity of selfishness and survival of the fittest, but that's just taking the bad with the good, and I'm learning to overlook that.

And we elected Obama. So to me, there's got to be hope for this country. Not like I don't want to get back to the UK - lord knows I do - but when I do, I'll still be sticking up for America because like Bill Clinton said, there's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what is right with America.

And with that, the patriotic lecture is now officially over.

Homemade pizza date night tonight. Yippeeee! I love me some homemade pizza date nights.

And what about The Fashion Show (which I continue to watch even though I don't like it...I just miss Project Runway so much!). This week's episode was great. I was drooling over the shoes. But I'm bummed that the guy got kicked off - I didn't like his dress, but I thought the girls were way too b*tchy about him and I wanted him to stay just to spite them.

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