Hi, The point (if there is a point) of this blog is to post liner notes and playlists of mix CDs originating from moi and hopefully fanning out into a chain of mix CDs. If you get a CD from me, make me and a friend one, and email me some liner notes and I'll post them. Then your friend should make you and someone else a mix CD etc etc. Maybe it will work PS If you want to be on my knit list, let me know what you want and I'll see what I can do!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

God's People

Well, we're coming up to the 4th July, which is making me ponder a superficial question. What makes an American look American? I only know that they stick out like a sore thumb in a crowd of other nationalities. My son does not look 'American' to me. yet he has lived all his life here.

Americans to me always seem a bit more confident, and simultaneously a bit more wholesome and naive than other nationalities. They talk a little louder and move a little faster. And seem a little more oblivious to nuance, though having lived here for a while, I think sometimes this is a conscious choice rather than cluelessness. These are not necessarily bad things - I grew up in an atmosphere where people were crippled by nuance, and not wanting to draw attention to themselves.

Then of course, there are superficial matters like clothing and hair and makeup. I pretty much refuse to wear athletic shoes as everyday shoes, and always will; I will not wear baggy clothing because I like my shape even though I'm fat and ought to feel ashamed of it; I think a little makeup is better than both none or the full works; I hate khakis; I take great care not to get tan. I think all of these things make me look un-American.

I think Americans prize looking casual, informal, active and approachable, no matter what their station in life is. I think they like to look like they have a lot of leisure time, which of course they don't, as they work harder than anyone else. I know this is a hugely broad stereotype, but it is kind of fun to paint with large strokes sometimes.

Not entirely off-topic, Susie Bright had a couple of totally brilliant posts lately: How to Ruin a Women's Sex Life in 30 days or less and The Straight Man's Guide to Lousy Sex. Not that I have anything to ruin, but I thought these posts were both hilarious and perceptive, and unfortunately, I have known both that woman and that man, and even more unfortunately, I have known that man in the biblical sense, which was as bad as you might imagine.


At 8:58 PM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

it was interesting to me, that when I went to england as a teen, the people in the small town where my group stayed did not immediately peg me as an american. They had very negative associations from the years and years of silly teenage kids who came over every summer.

sometimes I think I can tell an english person just by their bone structure. I often stare at my husband and wonder how odd it would be if he spoke with his "natural" born accent.

then he says - "what?!!!" and I stop staring :-)

At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Jerry said...

I did not know that Mr. Pinkerson was a Britisher. Next time I see him, I'll have to stare at him and wonder the same thing.

My feelings about khakis are complex, although mostly I resent that they're so difficult to spell. And I'm actively attempting to subvert the "Americans working hard" by being lazy and doing a half-assed job at everything.

Although I don't need Susie Bright's help to have lousy sex, it's too bad that you had to deal with that archetype, biblically. Next time, be more careful about who you choose to study scripture with.

At 8:07 AM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

"studying scripture" - now that's a new one.

and mr.p. is an undercover english person, for sure.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

My scripture is a little rusty these days. I think I need to find me a bona-fide bible thumper...

Mr. P definitely has a British vibe about him, especially his sense of humor. Or should it be humour.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger minty said...

Plus, he looks like John Lennon from certain angles. I could definitely imagine Mr. P speaking the Queen's English.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger christa said...

you know, i've been thinking about this a lot lately. with all of the ADF performances i've been attending i've been looking at a lot of foreign faces and bodies... troupes from all over the world. i can't put my finger on it, either, but europeans stick out of a crowd of americans, and asian people seem to move totally differently than americans.

ugh, i'm going to stop before i start sounding racist.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

Yep, I know it's kind of dangerous territory. Some of the difference is space; most other cultures live in smaller spaces than Americans, which makes you behave and move in different ways. It's also harder to avoid people en masse than it is here, and travelling everywhere by car depersonalizes everyone else on the road. In Scotland, there is a tangible sense of history everywhere (of course, I wasn't aware of it until I left and came back). All of those things change how you present yourself to the world.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

did you read about Sean Connery's proposed history of Scotland? I'm not sure if they're paying him in peat, though.


Post a Comment

<< Home