Posted at 11:20 AM on February 14, 2008
by Sanden Totten
These days, it's hard not to notice that America's image abroad ain't what it use to be. But could it really be all bad?
A friend of mine is currently living in Romania teaching English to 9th graders. Right now they are focusing on "American Culture and Civilization" and to get started she had her children break into groups. Each group put together a list of words to answer the question "What Does It Mean to Be An American?" Here is what they said:
Group 1: money, crashing planes, big buildings, hot dogs, black people, NATO, party animals, wars, Independence Day, rebellious
Group 2: "dude", FBI, free, fighter, smart, stupid, NASA, justice, Hooters
Group 4: Spongebob, Skittles, inventive, rock music, Robert Deniro, fast food
* * *
I think the back to back pairing of "smart" and "stupid" says a lot. Mostly, that our image isn't all bad, just . . . mixed. Also, I'm sure Robert Deniro would be pleased to know that he is now as internationally recognized as Spongebob. Can Al Pacino say as much?