While the rest of the world seems to know a great deal about America, it seems Americans know very little about the rest of the world. Sad, I suppose. I’m amazed/excited/confused everyday by things I learn about Australia and other countries and cultures. It’s eye-opening to see news broadcasts from Germany, South America, Eastern Europe (yeah, sometimes they do take rugby and football off the tele! haha!) Is it that most Americans don’t care about what’s going on around them? I don’t think so. Or, maybe it’s that they think ignorance is bliss. Maybe. Meanwhile, there seems to be little surprise about the way America and the American people think/operate. In Australia, they watch U.S. tv shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Big Love, Law & Order), listen to U.S. bands, follow U.S. trends (albeit, a season or two behind) and what’s more, they seem to know the same amount – if not more!- about U.S. politics compared to someone who actually lives in the U.S. I’m not sure what to make of this, but it makes me kind of sad. How can people go on all their life without thinking and learning about how the rest of the world works?

On another note, I admire the Australians pride in just being Australian – eating and buying and doing all things Australian. Their bananas, their wine, their cheese, their rugs, their coffee, their sports…all made in Australia. There’s a sense of doing things for the greater good of the country. When there is a story on the news about obesity, for example, the report explains how obesity is “costing the nation” X billion of dollars each year. They discuss ways cities, schools, etc… can help the situation. Usually, when I hear a similar report in the U.S., it’s reported as a problem that will cause “a person” early diabetes, high blood pressure – the problem affects YOU; there’s no mention of how it affects the entire society. In America, while there is also pride in being American, I think it’s overshadowed by ego at times. It’s me, me, me – I got mine, now you go get yours. But, to quote Eminem, “America, you know I love you.”

PS – I picked up the new Common album, Finding Forever. He rocks, er, raps, but rocks too! His lyrics are true hip-hop and poetry at the same time. “I wanna be like Akeelah, an achieva” “She was the type to watch Oprah and The Today Show/Be on the treadmill like OK Go” “Love is not a mystery, it’s everything
Go check it out for yourself here. Listen to track 4, Drivin’ Me Wild , which features Lily Allen.