What happened next involved shouting, shoving & airport security.
I think the only reason it didn’t involve blood was because the other American girl & I jumped in front our raging fellow American, and talked him down.
Well, that and the fact that he realized he was outnumbered by a group of actual bee-crushing Israelis. And airport security.
In hindsight, I think those Israelis were trying to communicate with us in a direct way which agitated our American play-nice sensibilities. We Americans rarely express anything that directly, so we were pissed off by the Israelis’ bluntness. We’re used to p.c. phrasing accompanied by smiles & all kinds of other make-niceties that many foreign cultures just don’t engage in.
So, we definitely do not see ourselves as “tyrants.”
When we look into our national mirror, we see the good guys. We see ourselves as the victim of tyrants. When we war, we’re only fighting back.
Our national mirror reflects back to our eyes a country based in civility. We see saviors & heroes, democracy & freedom – hell, we are an example of this to the whole world. We see integrity, morality, decency, honor. And, hel-looo, generosity.
In our national mirror, we see a reflection of exceptionalism.
From pre-school thru university, we are indoctrinated with this blameless image by way of happy-joy fairy tales, which we celebrate as truth.
Gone from our schools are the stories of our less shining historical moments from which we would learn lessons that would guide us toward the wholly virtuous image we imagine ourselves to be.
Our media helps embed this largely guiltless image into our American psyche. Gone from our news stories is the context from which we would learn the reverberating destructive force of our foreign policy. According to our news, it’s rarely our American fault, but always the fault of the foreign “Other.”
Our mercenary corporations leave us high and dry in favor of cheaper, more pliable foreign lands & labor. Our American corporate giants – with the aid of our media, which they own – hide from us the devastating impacts of their destructive practices on foreign bees who grow to hate us all.
And our government ‘protects’ us from an avalanche of dirty secrets that would jolt us awake, and shatter our carefully framed image into a billion bloody pieces.
But, even so, we Americans believe in our exceptionalist image. Because critical voices are slapped with a blinking neon ‘Traitor!‘ sign. Dissenting voices do not make it into our news unless they’re first diluted with effectively nullifying labels like ‘extremist,’ ‘conspiracy theorist,’ or ‘crackpot.’
Those among us who stray from a herd effectively sheep-ified by incessant bombardment of messages of fear, are presented in our media as either the village idiot, or as the charging bull to be verbally slain in a public arena financed by the very forces against which these dissenting voices dare to speak out.
And we all participate in their bloodbath…verbally or with our silence.
The thing is, most of us rarely venture outside of America. And when we do, we seek those foreign places that cater to our American sensibilities. We return home, convinced by tourist industry coddling & catering, that we are loved.
Foreign viewpoints with lips that don’t pucker in gratitude toward our perceived altruistic self-image are as quickly discounted as our travel packages.
Like Cuba, we are an island — insular, cloistered, willfully segregated from the world at large.
But unlike Cuba, we have a choice.
We have the choice to command our schools to fill in the mac truck-sized holes in our history.
We have the choice to demand that our news tell the whole story.
We have the freedom & the power to force our government and our corporations to halt their bee-crushing, to temper their greed, to check their outta-my-way disregard 4 foreign life if there’s honey to be had.
We have the power & the choice to stop our foreign policy from doing things that make foreigners want to kill us.
But instead, like Cuba, we drink the Kool-Aid. Not because we have to. We do it because we choose to.
Because we live in a democracy, and we have a choice.
I want to talk to Karli about all this, but she’s asleep now. Prbly best. Cuz I’m feeling all teary & turmoily, and would probably end up raging & bawling…
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“Diary of An American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land”