Hmmmm. Not a bad idea: Not a bad idea at all.
Maybe the 2004 Dem convention won’t be a bust.
‘Nous Sommes Tous Américains’:
Personally, I subscribe to Christopher Hitchens’
view on today’s made-for-TV communal commemorations of 9/11. Chris:
“Unless I have badly mistaken the mood of everyone I know and almost everyone I meet, practically nobody has any particular use for the second anniversary that will soon be upon us. But it is vaguely felt in many quarters that something ought to be done by way of an observance. The first mentality is in my opinion the right one, even if people feel bad about harboring it, and
the second one is defensible but somewhat sickly and likely to suffer increasingly from diminishing returns.” (Via Reader BK.)
... The New York Times
commemorates the day with a long snooze piece on anti-Americanism. The article is one of those ordered-in-advance pseudo-Big Think pieces journalists feel compelled to present on solemn occasions. The result: dull conventional wisdom. It occasionally refers to pre-Sept. 11 anti-Americanism, but can’t be sidetracked from its unrelenting aim of tying anti-Americanism to today. It says so much, but tells so little.
... A somewhat better look at anti-Americanism comes from Foreign Policy.
A little too gung-ho America in the opposite sense. But it comes closer to answering my pre-Sept. 11 question while traveling through Europe and Francophone Africa in late 2000 and early 2001: Why do so many Europeans care about our ‘World Series’? This had to be the No. 1 annoyance of my trip -- fending off indignant questions about how we self-centered Americans dared to call our baseball championship the ‘World Series.’ Almost every conversation I had with Europeans eventually turned into an anti-American lecture, capped with what they thought was the devastating knock-out punch of: “So why do you call your baseball championship the ‘World Series’ when only America plays baseball? Ha!’ ” This was supposed to show, conclusively, our arrogance. How did they all come up with the exact same line? Could it be -- gulp -- their media? I know Fox
News is biased, blah, blah, blah. But you haven’t felt the brunt of mind-numbing bias until you’ve been subjected to the ‘World Series’ question a couple dozen times. ... FYI: I finally came up with an adequate response to the ‘World Series’ question: “Have you ever heard of P.T. Barnum and the World’s Greatest Circus? That’s how they came up with the World Series. A fat
guy with a cigar probably shouted during a marketing brainstorming session, ‘Yeah! We’ll call it the ‘World Series!’ ... Now move on.” ....
The famous post-Sept. 11 headline in LeMonde was: ‘Nous Sommes Tous Américains’ (“We are all Americans”). My favorite pre-Sept. 11 headline in LeMonde was (translated): “Does Europe have an inferiority complex?” My French-Canadian brother-in-law helped me translate most of the article and later asked me what I thought. My answer: “Well, if they had to ask the question ...” He nodded knowingly.
... Here’s the best look at anti-Americanism and anti-anti-Americanism
from the New Yorker (which Hub Blog highlighted
a few weeks ago). Please note the justified swats at President Bush before it starts swinging away at fashionable anti-Americanism. From author Adam Gopnick: “Even the most resolutely anti-anti-Americans in Paris don’t know what to do about George W. Bush — no one since Joseph McCarthy has been such a gift to anti-Americanism in Europe, and particularly in France.”