Sunday, August 16, 2009

America: Representative of Humanity as a Whole

Trolling through the news feeds I monitor was an editorial by Justin Webb, former North American editor for the BBC. He makes this observation as he and his family departs for their home in south London:

"The immensity of America, the energy and the zest for life remind me sometimes of India. And as with India, where I spent some time for the BBC many moons ago, America shines a light on the entire human condition.

Few other nations really do. Italy reveals truths about Italians, Afghanistan about Afghans, Fiji about Fijians. But America speaks to the whole of humanity because the whole of humanity is represented here; our possibilities and our propensities.

Often what is revealed is unpleasing; truths that are not attractive or wholesome or hopeful.

On the last day we spent in our home in north-east Washington, they were holding a food-eating competition in a burger bar at the end of our street. The sight was nauseating: acne-ridden youths, several already obese, stuffing meat and buns into their mouths while local television reporters, the women in dinky pastel suits, rushed around getting the best shots.

You could argue that the sub-prime mortgage crisis - the Ground Zero of the world recession - was caused mainly by greed: a lack of proportion, a lack of proper respect for the natural way of things that persuaded companies to stuff mortgages into the mouths of folks whose credit rating was always likely to induce an eventual spray of vomit."

Source:
Webb, Justin. Checking out of 'Hotel America'. From Our Correspondent, BBC News, 1 August 2009 (Accessed 16 August 2009)


What do you think? Can that be said of Canada too or do we just represent ourselves to the world?