What To Do?

A poster outside Green Park, London UKWhile in London recently, I had a conversation with a Muslim guy working in a mini-mart. I was clearly a tourist, on a quest for camera batteries, so he asked me where I was from. He hadn’t heard of Portland, Oregon so I told him it was above California. “Oh, you’re American then!” was his response. As with everyone I talked with after that, this revelation immediately initiated a conversation about George W. Bush. While he was glad George couldn’t run in the next election, he was dismayed that he’s being allowed to “destroy the world in the meantime.” He was aware that the American people aren’t happy with him and he thought Hillary might do a better job. The fact that a London mini-mart cashier knew more about American politics than most Americans was mortifying.

Civilizations rise and then they fall. Sight-seeing in London brought home for me how young America is, but also how precarious our place in the world is. I suggested to a friend that we’re the bratty teenager of the world, arrogant and inconsiderate. They countered that we’re more like the bratty two year old. We’re certainly willful and on the whole, ignorant. That part, I understand. My struggle lately is what to do about it?

I have yet to come across a pundit or a politician with a sensible plan. I see plenty of smokescreens and sirens but no solutions. How much preaching to the choir can we do before it’s all meaningless? I’ve reached the point where I need to DO something, something meaningful.

I’ve been checking out the moveon.org site lately to sign petitions but I’d like to hear some other ideas…



  1. girl Said:

    Maybe the problem is that it’s us, you’re friends. We’re all about the smokescreens and sirens!

  2. girl Said:

    Ugh, we have baaaad grammar too.

  3. Jeff Said:

    When I travel abroad, I always claim to be a Canadian. Everyone loves Canadians…

  4. technogrrrl Said:

    I considered it. A few people assumed I was Canadian so I could have just gone with it. But hey, if all the cool Americans pretend to be Canadian, then only obnoxious Americans will represent us, thereby perpetuating the stereotype! Ummm, not that I’m claiming to be cool or anything. 😉

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