October 21, 2009

It's Calling Out to Idiot America

Word up!

Last week, I wrote about Marilyn Chin. Just a quick update: Her reading was AMAZING. She was so lively and, in a way, eccentric. I'm happy that there was an author on campus that was from a diverse background. And, I'm using diverse in a two-fold type of way: ethnicity-wise and experience-wise. It was just awesome. It was also really cool seeing her and Reshmi interact.

Before the reading, I had dinner with (I believe) all of the professors from the English department, besides Ericksen, and a couple other professors and faculty. It was really nice. I really enjoy being around people who are older than me. I didn't have to worry about who someone was dating, or who was invited to this weekend's party, etc., etc. It was great.

Anyhoo, for this week's Word Up, I give you an excerpt from my favorite book, A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. The character, John Wheelwright, is going off on a rant after he reads that the U.S. gave the wrong date of a nuclear test to fool protesters, and disregarding the fact that there was to be a vote to cancel the test all together. Anyway, enough background, here's the passage:

"Don't you see how deliberately provocative this is? How arrogant! How unconcerned with any arms agreement--of any kind! Every American should be forced to live outside the United States for a year or two. Americans should be forced to see how ridiculous they appear to the rest of the world! They should listen to someone else's version of themselves--to anyone else's version! Every country knows more about America than Americans know about themselves! And Americans know absolutely nothing about any other country!"

It's been about 7 years since I first read this passage and it's always relevant. The first few sentences can be switched with some other issue, but once he gets to the part about Americans, I feel it's a pretty timeless.

Title Song: 'American Idiot' - Green Day

1 comment:

scribblesofdreams said...

I loved how you worked in Green Day's song with the passage from Owen Meany.

And it's very true, American's know jack shit. It's embarrassing. Which is why I don't really associate with being an "American" (said in a George Dubya voice).

Were there other students at the dinner too?