What is America?

In certain parts of the world, saying “America” when referring to the single country mostly situated in the middle is often seen as vain. The actual words they use tend towards “ignorant” as a theme, but it doesn’t take a psychologist to see past the vocal complaints. For one, people like to think that the way they learned things in school is completely universal, and resent being reminded that it isn’t. For another, Americans have a lot of things other countries want. One of those things is space.

People in America generally fail to travel outside the grand country. Through very little to no fault of their own. The place is so vast that travelling from one state to another can be a major undertaking. California to New York is roughly 4000 kilometres. And even that involves a lot of fudging details, as California covers most of the western length of the country.

Of course, Americans have a lot of other things that no one wants. Politics are a mess, television is so unpalatable that people either obsess over one or two shows or give up to just watch Netflix. The food is pretty crap. There are too many people, even in all the space. The old aphorism, “A person is smart, people is dumb,” seems truest when there is a dense population.

Local prejudices tend to cover a wide area. I’ve run into the same views regarding Canadians and Mexicans across several states, even some of the ones which border those countries. Many of these views are not favourable. Canadians dislike the Spanish term Norteamericano, as they assume it means American. Which they also assume they are not, despite other countries’ insistence that America is a continent, which would make them Americans.

I’m not really sure where I was going with this. I was just thinking about stuff.

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