Ravings From The Bog

Imperialism For Personal Gain
August 2, 2008, 11:47 pm
Filed under: America, Politics & Current Affairs | Tags: , , ,

It was probably the glut of American TV shows that I watched in the 1970s like Chico and the Man, Starsky and Hutch, Ironside, etc, etc, but I’ve always had a fascination with all things American. The “movies” didn’t help either. The Way We Were, Jaws, Serpico, The Godfather and repeats of West Side Story; all of these and many, many more put British films to shame. Of course, there was the general anti-British feeling in West Belfast in the 1970s. And then there was the music… I was an early Springsteen fan due to my uncle’s influence – Saturday afternoons listening to  “The Wild, the Innocent and The E-Street Shuffle”, and “Greetings from Asbury Park” cemented America in my affections and imagination. Many years later, with my brother working (illegally) in Atlantic City, I had an excuse to visit the US four or five times. On one journey back from AC to New York, I was actually able to drive through the night with Born To Run blasting from the rental car’s tape deck whilst passing Asbury Park, NJ – surreal for a Springsteen fan from Ireland!

Back to my main point; basically I’m a sucker for a good story, easily lead, whatever you want to call it. I have fallen for the Hollywood version, and now with a Whitehouse full of bad guys, filling their boots with profits generated from their hiking of oil prices, it is clear that my father’s cynicism about America has some basis in fact. He told me once that I should look to see which side the US was backing in any conflict anywhere in the world and I would know which side was the “bad guys”.  This is and was true in Chile, El Salvador, Iraq (1980), and of course, the genocide of the Palestinian people by Israel, etc.

However, and I’m happy to say almost all of the Americans I have met in my experience, either in person, or on the internet, are generous, helpful, lovely people. I know from my reading that many, many Americans are concerned at the abuses of power being perpetrated in their names – it’s as though S.M.E.R.S.H. from the Bond films has taken over Washington.

Let’s hope that George Clooney, Matt Damon or some other Hollywood hero comes to the rescue soon.

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