The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Thursday, June 07, 2007

God Bless America

Just last night a group of men vying to be President of the United States stood onstage and faced the TV cameras. Some of these men, when asked, averred that they did not subscribe to the "theory" of evolution. To our enormous discredit as a society, these men were not immediately laughed off the podium or removed by means of a giant offstage hook a la The Muppet Show. (They were not asked for their position on gravity--after all, just a theory--or whether the earth is round, flat or hollow). Is someone who is so blindly obeisant to their interpretation of the dictates of their religion that they ignore simple scientific fact even qualified to be President? Why do we meekly accept this? What kind of idiots are we? How have we slipped so far that this type of question even gets asked at a presidential debate? Look, you can read any number of rants on the dumb-assification of America, so I'm not going to subject you to mine. But we should realize that to the rest of the world, the US is like the kid in the Twilight Zone episode who makes poor, capricious decisions yet wields such incredible power that everyone else is afraid to say anything about it.

Yet.
I love my dumb-ass country.
I miss my dumb-ass country.
So much so that instead of going off to Corsica or Italy or Spain for a summer vacation we're coming home for a visit, for 3 weeks starting June 18.
And I'll probably run down Franklin Street like Jimmy Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life: Hullo, Pepper's Pizza! Hullo, old Varsity Theater! Hah-ha! Hullo, you old Schoolkids Records!
You're welcome to join me, of course--send me an e-mail at mylastnameandfirstinitial at iarc point fr, and we'll get together.

The list of things I want to do while I'm home--and it is still home to me, something I don't think Lyon could be if I lived here 50 years--is pretty long, and V's list is long as well (though many items on her list begin with the word "Buy"). But it's very interesting that the things I'm looking forward to doing are the types of things I was tired of doing just a year and a half ago.

(By the way, while googling to see if I could use my European driver's license in the States, I ran across this piece by a German computer scientist who worked in SF for a while. Interesting perspective on living in the US. Also, if he thinks a US supermarket is inefficient he's obviously never been to a French one.)

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