I have honestly been trying not to blog the American elections the way I did with the Spanish ones -remember? I even thought I'd skip the results, maybe a side comment on this or that and even maybe at Ok, ok, it's me! instead of here. But while I was having breakfast today, reading and glancing over bits of news, I really had my mind ticking fast -for a change! And you know once I get obsessive about something, that's it: a time/space warp!
So in fact, instead of ignoring this subject, i am actually blogging on both sides, both languages, but versions of my thought instead of complete translations. I have had a few messages from English speaking friends, asking how I'm managing to bottle up my thoughts on Bushy Boy these days... But I am simply trying not to get so involved, last February/March I got so hot'n'angry I
The main point is, in Europe and specially Spain, there has been a long dislike towards Bush and American Politics in general... that often lead to a simplistic desdain towards the whole of US!!! I am sick of saying -as many other pseudo-calm debaters-Bushy Boy does not represent the whole of America, but now, with such a huge amount of votes... this is no longer easy to say.
Right, I can drop a couple of acceptable names to remind people that America is not only the WASP red-necks -say Woody Allen, Tim Burton, Tarantino, Lenny Kravitz, and other European-Standards accepted Americans :P. We can discuss the Beat generation, technology, Silicon Valley -poof! haha! sorry!- and FX, personal friends and artists we truly admire... but it is getting really hard for self-proclaimed European Liberals not to look at America over our shoulders. It is not something I like to do, and it really pisses me off when people I know sum up American Culture with Macdonalds and Coke, and Teenage Movies... But please, do help us a bit to understand why???!!!
The Old, Wise Continent was leaning towards Kerry. In general. Not talking only of left-wing parties, but as a general feeling. Bush has been too much of a School Bully. Too obtuse. Too ignorant. Too much the representation of what we understand as The Ignorant American. Newspapers, radio and TV programs talked over and over about what would happen if...? but seemed to trust Kerry would win... or at least get really close! At the bars, regulars kept talking it in a higher or lower depth, but generally hoping for a change. Almost giving it for granted.
Machine to Drop your Shoulders in Despair
But no. It didn't happen. WHY? Probably because we can not apply European logics to the USA. Not saying that Americans aren't logical... but am talking about a different approach towards culture, politics, Foreign Affairs, news coverage... in general, by the man next door, not only proffesional analists. Americans seem to ignore an awful lot of what is going on abroad. They also seem to have a highly censored vision of their own domestic affairs, having the same kind of media as -almost?- in dictatorships, in fundamentalist countries... yet they proclaim themselves as The Land of The Free???!!!
We Europeans usually tend to imagine US is an enoooormous NY/L.A., with a few desertic areas in the middle. Inland doesn't really exist much in our vision, the rural America is only a place where teenagers camp and get their heads cut off... so it is really hard to extrapolate.
Europeans who spend some time at the US -studying, working... not just visiting- often use foreign news as a way to learn about what is really going on. Europe ignores a lot about African affairs too, for instance -yet I feel the general approach is slightly less self-centred. Or perhaps it isn't.
We do tend to think we're more and better informed than the US. It may just be the same old thing, reversed.
Another 4 years!
One last thing I really wanted to stress: the radically different effect Bin Laden's video has had on American votes, as opposed to the Madrid Bombing had on Spanish elections. This is really important: first, because we were discussing in Spain the possible 'Vote For Fear' that didn't seem to happen, whileas in the US it has been possibly behind quite a good deal of the new votes. Second, because in Spain it was the last straw: Aznar's government had been so wildly egocentric and so manipulative that even before the bombing there was a strong awareness among the youth, that this time they should really make the effort of getting up earlier on Sunday and vote. But the way they tried to lie to the whole world, UN included, and demanded help from any possible source to make it clear that Islamic Terrorism had nothing to do... That was the final act. Nowadays people read all sort of news from Internet, not always reliable for sure, but it is much easier to double-and treble-check news.
It is getting harder and harder to manipulate people who really want to be informed. If they want to be informed. There's millions who are sitting confortably in front of the telly, swallowing whatever they receive... but for those who are eager to learn, there are many other ways of information. I truly, honestly, hope the US has voted out of analysis, not purely as a side-effect to a video or what Father So-and-so says.
Wouldn't you like to be the President of the United States?
And... what the hell shall Junior do now????!!!