Like a dictatorship, but one done in that oh so English way that we do so nicely, right up until folks get sick of our shit, the wheels come off, and the knives come out.
“A lot of people don’t have much food on their tables. But they got a lot of forks and knives… and they gotta cut something!”
Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow?
Probably not, eh, but I was in Vermont in early 2016 and they were already flying outside the hotel. I asked if that was just to make us Canadians feel welcome, or if they were trying it out for looks in case Trump won the election…
Tony Blair and the U.K. entry into Iraq came up in conversation and it struck me that if that situation came up again I doubt that a substantial number of historical close U.S. partners would still follow us into a war
Yeah, we had figured that one out by then… Iraq was (more or less) a hard pass…
America the nation has been the bad guys for as long as I’ve been alive. I’ll shed no tears for its downfall.
America the country is still (~70%) full of really cool people with awesome crazy ideas, and much to recommend. I hate to see the country smothered under this regime.
Neal Stephenson termed those large unenlightened and backwards areas “Ameristan”. From this book review:
In this new world, America has split itself in half. In the rural parts of the country, there’s “Ameristan,” where the poor and uneducated live steeped in misinformation, hoarding ammunition for a war that will never come and crucifying those they deem to be heathens.
But the coasts and the cities are full of wealthy elites who pay to have professional editors weed out fake news from their digital feeds, and regard the rest of the country with a kind of disgusted anthropological fascination.
“Their fathers believed that the people in the cities actually gave a shit about them enough to want to come and take their guns and their property,” says one character of an Ameristan gun cult. “So they put money they didn’t really have into stockpiling trillions of rounds and hunkered down waiting for the elites to come confiscate their stuff.”
Empires sometimes fall apart this way, with the hinterlands being left to descend into squalour and chaos while the elites maintain their privileges by controlling who enters their enclaves (or, better yet, convinces the bumpkins that they don’t want to have nothin’ to do with them heathen city folk).
TBH, I got my first invitation for an upcoming conference today. For next April. Which I rather find daring, but at least the invitation just said to save the date and they would be watching the further development.
This has been a low-grade source of anxiety for me for a few weeks. I’m Canadian (but temporarily living abroad), and I can’t understand how it’s going to be possible for Canada to reopen the border.
And good or bad, Canada’s prosperity is tightly intertwined with that of the US.
In “spreading disaster” movies (like plagues, or zombies, or whatever), at some point there’s usually a graphic displayed by the scientist hero to some skeptical government officials that shows the spread of the disaster across the US.
And generally, the disaster (usually colored red, but sometimes green) fills up the continental US, but just stops at the Canadian and Mexican borders.
That might actually happen this time.
As of now, the Canada-US border is scheduled to stay closed until July 21. Not everyone is comfortable with that.
Very well put. It seems like a financial control at this point since most people who live in rural areas cannot afford to migrate to where us “city folk” live without re-tooling their skill set. If this virus thing stays around for another few years and city folk are permanently WFH I wonder what the demographical changes will be.
LOL, leave it to Americans to overestimate how the rest of the world sees their country as an obnoxious self obsessed bully since at least the Cold War. Bullies are always mixing respect with fear of their violence.
Seriously, the “dumb” gringo stereotype that used to be associated with 'Murica was very popular with my father’s generation brand of prejudiced humour dating back to the 50s from the 90s at least.
If anything, conservative Americans are just now getting more self aware about what people around the world have always criticized - and just because it somehow benefits their narrative.
It pisses me the F off that my kid can’t visit her grandparents, and that at this rate we won’t be able to enjoy the holidays with them.
All because grown ass adults can’t suck it up for a couple of months and self-quarantine effectively. No f-ing discipline, and we’re all suffering for it.
Oh noes! Your “freedumbs” are violated by having to wear a mask? How about everyone else’s freedom to not contract disease and die?
We’re a country that consists of at least 50% selfish toddler assholes (no insult intended to true toddlers, who I assume are just non-developed and not truly evil and spiteful), and we really deserve every bit of international scorn that we get.
“Around the world, it is beginning to sink in how profoundly rotten the United States is Unless America manages to turn things around, it will slide from the center of the international order to a peripheral, mistrusted basketcase, and it will deserve it.”
Speaking as an American…
Yeah, and without finding the love at the end.
Most of us didn’t at the time either.
I was disappointed that the Ameristan passage in Dodge was just a short interlude. I would have read a whole book of that storyline. Could have gotten rid of a few dozen or a hundred pages of Dodge grappling with consciousness in exchange.
Edit: speaking of: likewise, my favourite part of Seveneves was the vision of the future at the end. I would love an eventual sequel set in that world.
Which was pretty much the case at the time. A million - A FUCKING MILLION - people went out on the streets to protest about UK going to war in Iraq and Blair just ignored it. Backlash came a lot later - too late for Iraq. And it gave us over a decade of Tory fucking austerity.
But Brawndo’s got what plants crave!