As a Canadian living in America for the past year, I’ve had several startling revelations about life here and the American way. Three of them have been quite prominent in the American media and public sphere this past week.
First, the basic idea of capitalism is to take advantage of situations that allow you to make the most profit. We should not be attacking Spielberg for opening up the wounds from the tragedy in New York City. If it was his intention to do so, as some critics claim, he is doing nothing wrong. He is using the system that has been developed for hundreds of years for his, the film’s cast and production team’s benefit. Instead, let’s put the blame where it is due: not on the man who is opening the wounds, but instead the men who caused and allowed the wounds to happen (bin Laden, George Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, George Bush, Jr.). It would be the just thing to do that than to attack a bystander merely holding up a sign.
Second, you are no more right than Spielberg when you call forth the wounds of 9/11. The tragedy of September 11th has been soiled by the constant reminders by people like yourself, other media outlets, and all sorts of politicians. When the young generation growing up through this period become adults, the phrase "9/11" or "September 11th" will have no emotional attachment to it except of boredom. There have been so many references to that day in so many different contexts that the pains we felt as a nation, and as a world people, have diminished dramatically. We should never have let this happen, but we did, and we all must battle back to regain our lost emotions.
So please, writers of Syracuse, let us remember that day the way we remember it happening. Do not bring it up in hopes of uniting us against a movement or using it as the focus of an article on a slow day. Reflecting back to that day belongs in the hearts of the people in solemn moments, not in constant daily reminders. And let us hope that we shall never have to endure a day like that again, ever.
And, finally, I am appalled at what advertisers keep calling "patriotic" or "The American Way." I overheard a car salesman ad on the radio today saying that buying a new car was "patriotic." A small part of me thought no big deal of it- if this is the way Americans would like to live their lives, consuming and separating the social classes even further, then so be it. But that moment passed by quickly when I realized that the dealership was selling Hyundais, a South Korean car. That’s absurd. Supporting an American company that brings in imported cars, while American car plants continue to be shut down? That’s not the patriotic way; that’s the idiotic way.
On this coming Independence Day, I hope the American people could look within themselves and see how hypocritical their country has become. Perhaps in 21 years when the United States celebtrates its 250th anniversary, we will have a clearer picture of what it means to be American; hopefully, it will be a better lifestyle than I have witnessed recently.