Browsing Archives for April 2011

I Like Americans…

April 19th, 2011

On a recent Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert interviewed Caroline Kennedy about the recent collection of poetry she just edited entitled She Walks in Beauty.  At the end of the interview, they recited the following poem together and I found myself getting a little choked up.  Thought I’d share it with you…

I Like Americans by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I like Americans.

You may say what you will, they are the nicest people in the world.

They sleep with their windows open.

Their bathtubs are never dry.

They are not grown up yet.

They still believe in Santa Claus.

They are terribly in earnest. But they laugh at everything…

I like Americans.

They give the matches free…

I like Americans. They are the only men in the world, the sight of whom in their shirt-sleeves is not rumpled, embryonic and agonizing…

I like Americans. They carry such pretty umbrellas. The Avenue de l’Opera on a rainy day is just an avenue on a rainy day. But Fifth Avenue on a rainy day is an old-fashioned garden under a shower…

They are always rocking the boat.

I like Americans. They either shoot the whole nickel, or give up the bones.

You may say what you will, they are the nicest people in the world.

While I was searching for the poem online, I also found Hemingway’s version of  I Like Americans.


I Like Americans

by Ernest Hemingway

I like Americans.
They are so unlike Canadians.
They do not take their policemen seriously.
They come to Montreal to drink. Not to criticize.
They claim they won the war. But they know at heart that they didn’t.
They have such respect for Englishmen.
They like to live abroad.
They do not brag about how they take baths. But they take them.
Their teeth are so good. And they wear B.V.D.’s all the year round. I wish they didn’t brag about it.
They have the second best navy in the world. But they never mention it.
They would like to have Henry Ford for president. But they will not elect him.
They saw through Bill Bryan. They have gotten tired of Billy Sunday.
Their men have such funny hair cuts.
They are hard to suck in on Europe. They have been there once.
They produced Barney Google, Mutt and Jeff. And Jiggs.
They do not hang lady murderers. They put them in vaudeville.
They read the Saturday Evening Post And believe in Santa Claus.
When they make money They make a lot of money.
They are fine people.
originally signed “By a Foreigner” when published in the Toronto Star Weekly in 1923.

Calder Goes To Prom Again

April 17th, 2011

Prom in our little town is a big deal.

The kids all find a partner or a date or a couple of friends and they walk across the bridge.

Then they spend about an hour mingling with each other while their parents take hundreds of photos.

It’s a spectacle.

And I love a good spectacle.

On the years that prom falls on the same weekend as the Tulip Festival, it is even a bigger spectacle with crowds so dense it’s hard to get good candid shots.

So most of the photos I took this year are of people stacked up in lines.


Except for this one where I shouted to Calder to look back as he and Brook were walking away.

Were it not for the guy who is in the exact center of the shot, it would be my favorite photo of the event.

Dang it!

If I was God, the first thing I would do would be to prevent horrible things from happening to innocent people.  For instance, I wouldn’t let tsunamis and earthquakes kill anyone except for pedophiles, child abusers, rapists and blood thirsty tyrants who rule their people with violence and fear.

If I was God I wouldn’t ever allow a tornado to hit a trailer park.  Instead I would send tornadoes to exclusively hit the homes of rich CEO’s who exploit workers in developing countries and make millions off their backs in profits.

If I was God, I would flatten all the big box stores with a hail storm and bring back the mom and pop businesses.

If I was God – I would make all women naturally skinny (especially after giving birth).

If I was God – I would make every baby born healthy

If I was God – There would be a magic fertility switch that would only turn on when a person demonstrated complete competence in love, support, maturity, anger management, creativity, and intelligence over years and years of testing.

If I was God – I would regularly hurl bolts of lightning at male chauvinists so that they became debilitated by fear and dribbling urine.

If I was God – the first people to get uncreated would be fanatics who use their belief in me to diminish and harm other people.

If I was God – I’d make sure that nobody went hungry.

If I was God – All people would start out with the same amount of resources.

If I was God – I would love the people who didn’t believe in me the most – because they wouldn’t be brown nosing suck-ups.

If I was God – I would create people with an inborn sense of responsibility towards the planet and all it’s creatures.

If I was God – I wouldn’t give the tiniest shit who was sleeping with whom as long as they were consenting adults who were making their decisions freely (see my magic fertility clause).

But I am not God.  And what is interesting to me is how religion – especially Christianity gives God an ‘out’ for all of the crimes above.  Natural disasters are attributed to a fallen world.  Birth defects are attributed to the sins of one’s ancestors.  Male dominance is attributed to women being the weaker sex.  The bible can even be used to back up slavery and white supremacy.

So Christians who still read this blog… aren’t you a little weary of excusing your God for all the poor management He/She does of His/Her creation?  Isn’t it just a little too convenient how well trained you have become in giving your God an out?  You believe in an all powerful/ all knowing/all seeing deity that doesn’t appear to give a shit about His/Her creation nor it’s creatures (including people).

So then why do you keep letting him get away with it?  Do you really believe that suffering is that necessary?  Do you really believe that agony and pain makes people better?

Put it this way… would you sit back and allow your child to get AIDS from a rapist because it would teach your child to trust or love or be more humble?

NO!  Of course you wouldn’t!  Unless you are a sociopath!  The truth is that you would do everything you could – including sacrificing your own life to PREVENT any harm from coming to your child.  So then why does your God get off so easily?

The real question is this…

Are you a better person than your God?

Would you allow a natural disaster to strike a poverty stricken country?

Would you allow babies to be born with birth defects?

Would you allow tyrants to rule people with an iron fist and strip them of basic human rights?

Would you allow one of your priests to sexually abuse a child?

Would you allow one of your ministers to scream from the pulpit that the President is the Anti-Christ and that women are worthless?

The answer is – unless you are a sociopath – you would not.

So then why do you excuse your God for the exact same behaviors?

Admit it.

If you were God – you would do a far better job.

And if you would be a better God than the God you currently believe in…

isn’t it time to stop believing?