Monday, 4 July 2011

Happy 4th to my American friends

It's Independence Day! I have lots of American friends and family, and of course the cultural soup in which we all swim is largely American.

So for once, I'm not going to be snarky about all the awful things Americans have done to the world and each other. After all, I'm sitting in the UK, which has done lots and lots of terrible things to most of the planet. Whatever has happened since, and whatever the nuances and complications, the American War of Independence was a glorious moment and an inspiration to Ireland, France and lots of other oppressed nations - which is why the British defeat was greeted with street parties in most British cities.

Because I'm a lazy sod, I'm not going to write a full account of all the American things I love. Just a random list.

Tom Paine (not American, but a major influence on that nation's foundation). Henry David Thoreau. Helen Keller. Patti Smith. Emily Dickinson. The American ones from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Frasier. Cesar Chavez. Burr. The Yippies. Green Lantern. Superman. The Nation. Star Trek. Bob Roberts. Sitting Bull (who probably didn't celebrate July 4th). REM, despite everything. Wednesday Adams. Film noir. Woody Allen. The Violent Femmes. L. M. Alcott. The Tevatron. Kevin Smith. Raymond Chandler. Auster. Delillo. Sheri Tepper. John Adams. Philip Glass. Steve Reich. Conlon Nancarrow. George Crumb. Doonesbury. Joan Baez. South Park. The early years of The Simpsons. Frank Lloyd Wright. Laura Cantrell. Massive trains (largely RIP). Willa Cather. John Berryman. Robert Frost. Jonas Salk. Clueless. PZ Myers. Denis Kucinich. Bernie Sanders. Gil Scott-Heron. Bessies Smith and Jackson. Gore Vidal. Earth First!. The Hepburns. Bogart. Casablanca. Steinbeck. Studs Terkel. Grosse Pointe Blank. Bison. The Folger Library. The Abraham Lincoln Brigage. Hell, Abraham Lincoln. Vermont in autumn (fall, if you like - that's what Shakespeare called it). Huey Long. Tom Paxton. Bob Dylan. Pete Seeger. Phil Ochs. Angela Davis.

And that's just a tiny list. Last Friday was Canada Day, so here's a short list of great Canadian things.
Due South.

Only joking, there's loads more. Joni Mitchell. Neil Young. Stompin' Tom (I'm advised this morning). Anne of Green Gables. Van Vogt (author and SF magazine). Proper cold weather. Margaret Atwood. William Shatner. The record label Secretly Canadian. Pierre Trudeau. Marshall McLuhan. Leonard Cohen. Frank Gehry. Melissa Auf Der Maur. Denny Doherty. Negativland. Subvertising. James Gosling. The drummer and guitarist from Megadeth. Frederick Banting. James Randi. Tim Buck. Tecumseh (on territorial grounds, sadly). Northrop Frye. JK Galbraith. The Rockies. The trans-Canada railway. Nunavut. Prince Edward Island. Steven Pinker. John Charles Fields. Terrance and Philip. Ondaatje. Munro. Mistry. Saul Bellow. Coupland. William Gibson. Elizabeth Smart. Aboot. Ay. Poutine. Glenn Gould. Superman (Joe Shuster was Canadian).

Be proud, Canadians and Americans. Be proud


Tim said...

Good one; almost makes me wanna drink a cold bud to celebrate - but of course that would be a Czech beer - which is what America does best!

Ewarwoowar said...

Do you mind if I play along? This is off the top of my head so I'll miss a-plenty but none of you give a fuck either way so hey ho.

Cheers. Frasier. Seinfeld. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David. Ted Danson. Mad Men. Hollywood. Phil Mickelson. Kobe Bryant. Derek Fisher. Erin Andrews. Heidi Watney. Ken Tremendous. Philip Roth. John Updike. Bob Dylan. REM. Woody Allen. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street boys (RIP Clarence). Barack Obama (allegedly, ho ho). Anthony Joseph Reali. Mike Wilbon. Tony Kornheiser. Nomar Garciaparra. Minnie Riperton. Marvin Gaye. Sam Cooke. Johnny Cash. June Carter. Humphrey Bogart. James Dean. Steve McQueen. Will Smith. Clint motherfucking Eastwood. Vin Scully. George Foreman. Carl Yastrzemski. Tommy Lasorda. Jon Miller. Tony Bennett. Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Simpsons. King of the Hill. Boston. New England. New York. The Clam Shack at Kennebunkport. Mountain Dew. MAJOR LEAGUE FUCKIN' BASEBALL. The NFL. Walter Payton. Annie Hall. Manhattan (film and place). Central Park. Angelina Jolie. Scarlett Johansson. Jimi Hendrix. Jerry Remy's inane grin. The Marx Brothers. Shane McMahon. Fenway Park. Wrigley Field. Debbie Harry. The Eagles. Madonna. Michael Jacksons music. NEIL DIAMOND! Paul Simon. Good Old JR. Michael Johnson. Michael Jordan!!! Dennis Farina. Jerry Springer. Steve Wilkos. Reverend Shnorr. Dr Phil. THE HOFF. Michael Lewis. Jeffery Deaver. Bill Bryson. Garrison Keillor. Baseball Prospectus. Moneyball. George Hincapie. George Lucas before he started arsing about. Harrison Ford. The Sopranos. Pacino and De Niro. Louis Armstrong. Glenn Miller. Peter Gammons. Hell, if I'm listing my favourites, Jackie Pieterick deserves a place more than anyone.

I'll finish with possibly the two greatest men of all time - Elvis Aaron Presley. Cassius Marcellus Clay. Thankyou and good night.

(Who gives a shit about Canada?)

The Red Witch said...

To quote Eeyore: "thank you for noticing me."

The Plashing Vole said...

Wow, what a list Ewar. Despite the baseball and the naughty sideswipe at Canada.

Red Witch: it's a pleasure. I know and am related to several Canadians. I see it as equivalent to Wales: much more interesting and civilised than its noisy, rude neighbour.