June 30, 2003


Dinesh D'Souza, who emigrated from India to the US, lists ten great things about his adopted land, including this:

Newcomers to the United States are struck by the amenities enjoyed by "poor" people. This fact was dramatized in the 1980s when CBS television broadcast a documentary, "People Like Us," intended to show the miseries of the poor during an ongoing recession. The Soviet Union also broadcast the documentary, with a view to embarrassing the Reagan administration. But by the testimony of former Soviet leaders, it had the opposite effect. Ordinary people across the Soviet Union saw that the poorest Americans have TV sets, microwave ovens and cars. They arrived at the same perception that I witnessed in an acquaintance of mine from Bombay who has been unsuccessfully trying to move to the United States. I asked him, "Why are you so eager to come to America?" He replied, "I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat."

D'Souza’s points about anti-Americanism recall certain loser sectors of the Australian populace. Speaking of annoying the antis, WogBlog has dicovered a fine Italian site, about which the Wog observes: “Gotta have pallone of steel to call your blog I Love America while you are living in the Bel Paese.”

Posted by Tim Blair at June 30, 2003 01:20 PM

Hooray for Dinesh's comments! They could apply equally to Australia (Adele Horin, Margot Kingston and Lindra Mottram - the Sneer Sisters - please note).

Posted by: Fred at June 30, 2003 at 04:49 PM

"There were so many squirrels, and no one was trying to eat them." (Novelist Xeufei Jin, explaining why he initially thought all Americans must be rich--New York Times Magazine, Feb 6, 2000.)

Posted by: Michael S. at June 30, 2003 at 05:46 PM

You have to think that there are some other criteria that Americans would like to be applauded for rather than the number of fat people.

I mean, I understand the sentiment, but you can imagine the image consultants saying "Hmmm, other countries like our poor fat people. We have to start having our impending invasions announced by an obese hobo - it will go over much better."

Posted by: dan at June 30, 2003 at 06:25 PM

Dan, perhaps Michael Moore fulfilled that obligation the last go 'round? I mean, I know he was anti, but if ever a fat hobo screamed our intentions to the world, it was him.

Posted by: E.A. at June 30, 2003 at 11:25 PM

Well now, I have an old (from the sixties, not that old) "natural foods" cookbook that has a traditional recipe for something called "Brunswick Stew," apparently a North Carolina (one of our states) delicacy. The recipe starts: "Take three squirrels..."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 30, 2003 at 11:51 PM

Ever heard of "The Grapes of Wrath"? (Famous 1930s novel about Dust Bowl refugees becoming exploited migrant farm workers in California.) It was filmed (quite well) by Hollywood. The film was shown in the USSR, as an expose of the suffering of American peasantry under the capitalist yoke. Twice. Then the Party noticed that what Soviet audiences saw was miserably poor Americans who _owned_ _a_ _truck_. Oops.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom at July 2, 2003 at 06:15 AM