Friday, April 19, 2013

Americans, fuck yeah!

In Europe, we have a pretty pisspoor image of America these days. We see the Westboro Butthead Church, asshole rednecks, gun nuts, and idiotic xenophobic warmongers who can't tell one foreigner from another and want to bomb everyone.  

But after living here for four years, I have to say that the best thing about America is Americans. Yeah, sure, there are assholes. But you know what? There are assholes everywhere, and the media love to talk about them. The Americans I know are some of the kindest, most generous people I've ever met. 

The last few months have been rough in more ways than I care to talk about. Financially, emotionally, every which way. And the support I've had from friends - including people I barely know - has been astonishing.  Financially, emotionally, every which way. 

In the UK, I would have had state assistance, for unemployment, for legal bills, and for medical bills. Over here, that hasn't been an option. Instead, friends and strangers have rallied round in a way that I've never experienced before. There's a sense of community that's all but disappeared back home. Yes, British people are helpful, but they know that when things get really bad, there's a safety net. Here, there's nothing. And that's when the community pulls together.

I've been reduced to tears several times in the last few months. Whether it's someone giving us a few hundred bucks for legal fees or medical bills, or a neighbor bringing us a meal because they've realized we're too tired to cook, I've been touched and humbled by the generosity of the Americans I know. Forget the bullshit media stereotypes. Forget the extremists, the fuckwits, and the nuts. They're a minority. Americans are good people, and I'm proud to live among them.

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