The Supremacy of America

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. It is a sort of harvest festival which has become rather more important in America than its equivalent is in Britain. I am told that it starts something called the “holiday season”, which means, I think, that Christmas gets going on Thanksgiving Day (the period of fasting in preparation for Christmas known as Advent – which begins on Sunday – has effectively been abolished in the entire western world).

Why should we, in Britain, celebrate American harvests? Well, to be fair, most of us don’t. But, every year, more and more Britons do. Only today I met a charming young woman (as English as you could imagine) who told me she and her family would be celebrating Thanksgiving a couple of days late, on Saturday. I didn’t interrogate her on her strange announcement: she might have thought me rude to do so. But I was bemused.

And then there is something called “Black Friday”. That, too, is an American institution. It happens on the day after Thanksgiving (although I suspect it is of rather more recent origin than Thanksgiving itself). It is a day on which American shops get rid of all the items which no one wants to buy by offering them at knock-down prices.

Black Friday has now come to the UK. My email box is full of messages from British shops telling me about their wonderful Black Friday offers.

Are we all now American? I fear we are. The young are all convinced that everything American (except her new President) is perfect.

But, speaking for myself, I don’t really fancy the idea of over-eating turkey just a month before I have to do it again on Christmas day. I hope I won’t be thought a spoil-sport when I say that I would prefer to celebrate our own harvest festival rather earlier than late November.

Charles

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9 thoughts on “The Supremacy of America

  1. The Americans are masters of marketing and self-promotion. That the country is generally dull, underwhelming, stale and increasingly balkanised is irrelevant. Americans simply grow adepter and adepter and marketing as the US becomes more and more stagnant and uninspiring. Younger people have long been enamoured of things American since at least the late 1940s. American television series and films have become a staple of entertainment around the world. As people rather enjoy imitating art, they copy what they see and the world grows ever more Americanised. The French have, and continue to, valiantly protect and project their image in the world against all odds. I fear that others have been less keen.

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  2. Well, most of your daily bread is grown in North America, so you might thank us for that – plus tomatoes, potatoes, chili peppers, cane sugar, rum, rubber, tobacco, chocolate, bananas, and beans – saving you from your wretched bland diet of peas pudding and cabbage – all came from the Americas. But Europeans are notorious ingrates regarding the blessings heaped upon them by their adventurous and industrious cousins.

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  3. America takes its Constitution a lot more seriously than effete Britons do. They are also very old fashioned when it comes to pride in their country and support for their rough men that do violence that those effetes may sleep well in their beds,

    Without America Europe would be listening to balalaika music and reading Dostoyevski in the original. We would be denied the pleasures of Elvis and R & R, Jazz, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mark Rothco, de Kooning, Hopper, Steinbeck and William Carlos Williams, cheap air travel, the model 1911, High Noon and Citizen Cane, nylon and teflon, moon dust and Hubble, and freedom of speech.

    I could go on…

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