I have found one of the most intelligent and genuinely funny group of women with whom to hang. They never cease to be able to make me laugh out loud or provoke my admiration for deeply profound thought expressed elegantly in words. They also refuse to take themselves seriously, mostly, which endears them to me in a way I would never have believed possible. This is for two reasons.
1. They are people I have met online
2. They are American
For now, let's dicuss the second one which is also my own personal shame. The one where I thought all Americans were ignorant rednecks.
Now I know I was wrong about Americans. And rednecks.
It's true we share a continent and the longest undefended border in the world. We speak English, myself with no accent whatsoever. *stares defiantly* Because of satellites and cable we share the same TV listings. Even culturally, we are mostly similar. Here in Canada we are the colder, less populated baby sister who gazes out from under the US's shadow. All the while we are doing this, the US doesn't even think about our existence. In fact as a result of the maps supplied to schools many, too many, don't even know where we are located on the planet. This is a reason why:
Can you really fault the country for its ignorance about us when this is what kids get in school?
PS: Notice where Alaska and Hawaii are? They are being portrayed as islands in the middle of Mexico!
I play online games. Sometimes a conversation will come up where people will say where in the world they are from. Often an American kid will say "America". So, I and the other players from any number of countries around the world will say, North or South America. They say "Just America". Seriously? We all laugh and they don't get what's funny. It's kind of sad. America, don't make laughing stocks out of your online gaming children.
American ignorance is a benign sort of ignorance on their part. In a sense, Americans don't know that they don't know and so they don't expend one iota of brain power over it. While up here we tend to look upon this benign ignorance with emotions ranging from mild amusement to anger. Mostly amusement. We know you don't know you don't know and it amuses us. This is so prevalent in Canada that a Molson Canadian beer ad a few years ago went like this:
You know the attitude is viral if advertisers are exploiting it. Oh and Canada is huge, so we don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzie from Canada, but my cousin punched Shania Twain's brother in the nose and knocked him out. She doesn't regret it, either.
So, I'm happy to say I have a much better more balanced opinion of Americans because of my friends...and all the other Americans won't have noticed in the slightest that I have changed toward them for the better. That's sad because right now Americans could use a little boost in the arm however small it might be.
PS: It's Zed, not Zee.