“No need anymore to try to look Canadian”?

Garrison Keillor is an old American radio personality. As is often the case, he used to be a lot funnier than he is now. But once in a while he can still bring it:

The French junior minister for human rights said, “On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes.” When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment.

The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back…

I just can’t imagine anybody cooler. Look at a photo of the latest pooh-bah conference – the hausfrau Merkel, the big glum Scotsman, that goofball Berlusconi, Putin with his B-movie bad-boy scowl, and Sarkozy, who looks like a district manager for Avis – you put Barack in that bunch and he will shine…

Even if you worship in the church of Fox, everyone you meet overseas is going to ask you about Obama and you may as well say you voted for him because, my friends, he is your line of credit over there. No need anymore to try to look Canadian.

Okay, some gushing here. And I’m not sure the American backpacker should pick off that maple leaf patch just yet.

On the other hand, “district manager for Avis” — ouch.

In other news, it’s cold and grey in central Germany this evening. How are things where you are?

16 thoughts on ““No need anymore to try to look Canadian”?

  1. Leave it to Americans to ruin the moment through hubris. Has Garrison Keillor not seen Sarkozy’s wife?

  2. It’s been beautiful and warm here in Austin, Texas so far (no rain for months). We’re expecting a little cold front this weekend, hopefully it’ll bring some rain.

    LOL, I was feeling hubristic and didn’t even realize it! Must be a Texas thing.
    We all know what Carla Bruni looks like (well, probably not all of us sadly, but at least I and the people I know do). If she was standing on the stage with that cast of old washed-ups she would stand out as much as Obama would. In fact, one would be much more likely pair her with Obama than Sarko.

  3. In northern Germany? Even colder and greyer.

    On the bright side, Obama’s election means I can stop trying to explain American politics as they listen with growing horror…

  4. Has Garrison Keillor not seen Sarkozy’s wife?

    Has Sarkozy not seen Obama’s? This is a line of enquiry which will rapidly get the enquirer into trouble.

  5. >Sarkozy always reminds me of the one guy from Kids In The Hall.
    Uh, all of the Kids in the Hall are guys.
    They just like wearing dresses is all.

  6. In Kalamazoo, MI, it’s roughly the same. With a high of 46 and falling predicted for tommorrow.

    First time vistor, I followed the LGM link. This blog has a superior spam protection system.

  7. When two years ago PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) turned into cool phase, we have really nice weather here in Vancouver. Cooler and snowy winter (I hope it will hold into 2010 Olympics), and sunny summer and autumn.

    As for Americans with Canadian flag on backpacks, it is highly overrated. From my extensive travel experience in Europe, if you wear shirt (instead of T-shirt), full length jeans, and socks, keep quiet, smile, and say “Hi” in the language of the country, nobody ask you if you are American.

    If you mange to say in the language of the country “two hundred gram of this sausage, please”, you are about to get seriously preferential treatment, and surprisingly in English.

  8. As an American here in northern Germany, it’s turned seriously cold and gray. Not Chicago-style kick-in-the-cojones cold, but that regular neverending all-permeating German windy, rainy cold.

    I think AL is right, with one qualification. People here treat me fine because I can and do spit out the occasional bit of German, and they respect the fact that I’m American (even a Republican free-market economist) and confident about it, just as the French are happy to be French and the Canadians happy to be Canadian. And I think that the Germans need to find a way to be happy to be themselves, which is something that they haven’t really worked out yet.

    The women in particular, when they’re not attracted to me like bugs to a bug zapper, have this serious deeply-seated anti-Americanism that seems to stem from frustration. It’s the resentful “You guys consume too much; your stores are open on Sundays and that’s barbaric; When will Obama be assassinated because Americans are so racist?; I’m sure you treat gardeners and garbage men with contempt because that’s the capitalist way (?!); (but then criticize the fact that Americans are friendly as being phony and manipulative, to which I smile dismissively); etc”. And there are these little passive-aggressive power struggles on escalators and in line at the supermarket and with pedestrians in the bike lanes. They seem to act difficult because they see themselves as powerless. Brushing by them and smiling just burns them up.

    Now if you’re a 20 year old slob who doesn’t speak any of the local language, shows no appreciation for the local culture and traditions, and trash talks his own country, then you deserve to get treated rudely. That has nothing to do with a Canadian flag or Obama or Bush or Blair or Gordon Brown. It has to do with being an annoying ignorant tourist who doesn’t shut the hell up.

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  10. Weather reports? OK. Hazy 32°C with beginnings of Harmattan. Not too soon. It’s too hot too long.

    Here in Senegal, as in most of Africa, the US election was a shoo-in for Obama. I’m afraid there will be many disappointed in 2009 when the Blackhawks throwing out green cards over Dakar fail to appear.

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