I [heart] America

There’s been a lot of hullabaloo this past couple of years because of the Cheeto-in-Chief of the good ol’ U S of A.

What with cosying up to dictators and alienating allies he certainly cuts a divisive figure. Unfortunately, this has had a backlash against America in general and its people.

So, to redress the balance, I wanted to write a positive post about some of the things I love about America. After all, one Mango-Mussolini shouldn’t taint the whole country.

In no particular order…

MUSIC

From Elvis Presley to Tom Waits to the Talking Heads. Who could argue that America has produced some of the greatest artists and genres the world has ever seen. Who are your favourites?

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Next up, MOVIES.

When we think of American movies we tend to think of Hollywood blockbusters. But there are so many unbelievable directors and actors. Here are some of my favourites, who are yours?

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As I have a penchant for the Arts, I’m going to pick out a few photographers who have inspired me over the years.

PHOTOGRAPHY

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Marilyn Monroe by Eve Arnold

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Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen

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Vivian Maier

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Ansel Adams

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Cindy Sherman

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Saul Leiter

Understandably, most people couldn’t give a rat’s ass about advertising. But I do, because I worked in it for 30 years. When Doyle, Dane, Bernbach set up shop in the 1960s they revolutionised advertising. They focussed on simple product truths. Their ethos/philosophy permeated continents and generations. Still does. I had the privilege of working for DDB Dublin.

ADVERTISING

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Leading on from advertising we have GRAPHIC DESIGN, and this iconic classic by Milton Glaser for the New York tourist board. which has been ‘parodied’ a trillion times. (Yes, including me.)

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Milton Glaser

Next up, ARTISTS. Again, a multitude to pick from. Here are a couple of my faves.

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Jean Michel Basquiat

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Edward Hopper

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Mary Cassatt

Moving on to something non art related – LANDSCAPE. America has such a diverse landscape, from snow-capped mountains to sun-scorched deserts.

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I’ve always loved CLASSIC CARS, Mercedes, Jaguar, Citroen, Volvo. But I also love American cars for their sheer ostentatiousness.

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I couldn’t write a post about America without including a few WRITERS. Too many to choose from. Here are a few of my heroes who have inspired me over the years. Recommendations anyone?

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What else do I love about America? I really like their ARCHITECTURE. Whether it be a monumental skyscaper or the traditional colonial white-picket-fence style complete with veranda.

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You won’t get very far in the States without some top-notch tucker. What is more quintessentially American than the humble DINER?

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Who says Americans don’t get irony? They make some fantastic COMEDY and have some wonderful comedians. Obviously, you’re not as funny as us Brits. But you’re getting the hang of it. (Benny Hill.)

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There you have it. Have I forgotten anything, anyone? What would you have included?

Obviously, there is one other thing I would like to give credit to. And that is the American people. (Well, only those that didn’t vote Trump.) You’re an innovative and inspiring bunch. Not only that, you saved our asses in two world wars! So, cheers for that.

My, (our), world would be a lot poorer without you.

 

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “I [heart] America

  1. Mmmh, so true… Tom Waits, Kill Bill, Basquiat. And so many more. Thank you for this reminder and quirky compilation.

    • You’re welcome, Sue. There is so much to admire about the US. I didn’t even mention innovation – the likes of Apple, Facebook, space travel, etc. We have our own problems with right-wing politics in the UK. Unfortunately, there has been a massive swing to the right all across the West since the financial crisis of 2008. But rather than take the culprits – bankers – to task, the people blamed it on immigrants and the poor. Classic nationalism/isolationism. The world needs fewer borders, not more.

      • Yes, that drift towards right wing ideas could be sensed in Germany as well. Financial crises threatens people on a personal base and the resulting defence isn’t very nice to watch. Although the real culprits were just those few people, the impact was immense and can still be felt.

  2. Off the top of my head – the accents, film noir, raymond chandler, the tenement museum, baseball, man vs food…..

  3. It can be hard for many of us Americans right now to focus on what’s good about our country in light of the current situation. Thank you for turning my thoughts in that direction today.

  4. Thank you so much for this. I’m a Napa, California native. I’m so so worried and upset about what is happening here and I am very aware it worries the world. I did not vote for him and don’t know anyone who did.

    When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s I managed a bistro in Petaluma and Tom Waits was one of our “regulars.” He and his wife and daughter would oftentimes close the place and they were an absolute pleasure. I believe they lived in Valley Ford at the time.

    I am having a hard time finding anything to feel happy about—my parents are baby boomers and watch the cable news channel whenever I see them—they’re so worried and I’m worried about their health ingesting this information constantly. I was literally just telling them today that I thought citizens of other countries must understand that we’re in a crisis over here—we need assistance—we have an insane group of people who have illegally gotten hold of the government and are running roughshod like it’s a video game.

    I don’t know what else to say but help!

    • I’m sorry for what you’re going through, Rachel. We have similar problems in the UK with a switch to the far-right. As do quite a few other European countries. We’ve had 8 years of ‘austerity’ measures whereby the poorest in our society are carrying the burden for the financial crisis of 2008. When it should be bankers and corporations that foot the bill. People over here blame the poor and the European Union rather than the real culprits. It polarises people and makes them even more extreme. It’s worrying times.

      It’s great that my post brought you a little solace. That makes me happy. And even greater that you got to meet Tom Waits! I love his music. He’s a poet.

  5. Great post. I too ❤ America. Americans tend to criticize their own country a lot. They actually do it even when no one asks or expects them to. It is sad. So, to compensate, I always say something good about America, but of course as far as the reason goes – British comedy is the best 🙂

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