Saturday, August 25, 2012

A profound statement about what makes an "American"

In 1937 the anthropologist Ralph Linton published an article entitled "One-Hundred Percent American."  "There can be no question about the average American's Americanism or his desire to preserve his precious heritage at all costs," wrote Linton.  "Nevertheless, some insidious foreign ideas have already wormed their way into his civilization without his realizing what was going on."  These "insidious ideas" -- derived from the cultures of Asia, the Near East, Europe, Africa, and native America -- include pajamas, the toilet, soap, the toothbrush, the chair, shoes, the mirror, coffee, fermented and distilled drinks, the cigar, and even the newspaper.  On the train to work, Linton's "average American" reads the news of the day, imprinted in characters invented by the ancient Semites by a process invented in Germany on a material invented in China.  as he scans the latest editorial pointing out the dire results to our institutions of accepting foreign ideas, he thanks a Hebrew God in an Indo-European language that he is 100 percent (decimal system invented by the Greeks) american (from Americus Vespucci, Italian geographer).

--Larry Starr, Christopher Waterman
American Popular Music Second Edition 2007

Listening to:  Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors"
Learned:  The Japanese have a tradition where they make art out of food.  This technique is called Bento.  Google it.  It's like amped-up school lunch!
Blessings:  Cool roommates.  A sister.  A bank.
Things going on today:  Bought a wig.  Paid for Gas.  Didn't find a Charles Schwab bank.

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