Oh those pesky Americans
Imagine someone commenting on a philosophy blog, ‘Black people understand a good story and only get confused by the minutiae of history.’ Or for ‘black people’ substitute ‘Jews’ or ‘women’ or ‘foreigners.’ You’d blink, right? You’d be a little surprised, and a little repelled. But substitute ‘Americans’ – and apparently that’s no longer a gratuitous insult, it’s some kind of sophisticated bit of ‘irony.’
There’s this guy called Michael Reidy who comments regularly at Talking Philosophy, a blog run by the editors of The Philosophers’ Magazine; he seems very clever and well-informed, though often snide, but he also likes to amuse himself periodically with a random, magisterial announcement about the stupidity of Americans. That was the latest one – ‘Americans understand a good story and only get confused by the minutiae of history.’ It’s all the odder because it’s the last line of his comment and it has nothing to do with the rest.
What’s that about? Just the usual? I have American friends in the UK who are frequently driven to distraction by the breezy way people who would never disparage other groups will snicker at the stupidity, cluelessness, childishness and general hopelessness of ‘Americans.’ I suppose Michael Reidy is just one of those? It’s odd though – it just seems so…well, clueless and childish.