Sunday, July 03, 2011

happy july 4th!

I don't really have much to say, in that, there is too much to say so I usually just end up not posting. Which explains my silence of late.

So. What's up.

Um...there's a July 4th celebration at Frogner park today. I'll probably go, as I do most years, but I never really like it. (I've never been a flag waving Amurcan patriot, to do it once a year feels false no matter where I do it.) (I do enjoy the part where me and some friends ignore the July 4th stuff, plunk down picnic blankets, and make occasional forays into the crowd to scare up a snack and then we all just laze around in the park and chat.) I don't mean to sound ungrateful or jaded, but it's like they created a party in 1990, said, 'Hey Americans will love this" and then roll out the exact same thing every year thereafter. And they have all sort of "American" stuff, but it's not really American, it's Norwegian American, and dangit, I'd kill for a really good breakfast taco or a plate of fajitas (hold the parsley, please, Norwegian chef, HOLD THE FRIGGING PARSLEY!) and not a plate of what a well meaning Norwegian/American THINKS I will like as an American. I know, I KNOW, that's awful, but I was never a huge fan of July 4th celebrations even back in the States, to be honest, so to go to the one here and suddenly be all 'Ra Ra' about American stuff and then have American stuff like Coke! and Hot Dogs! and Line Dancing! (no really, there's line dancing, and NO I don't know how to do it even though I am from Texas!) be put forward like it's all so great....meh.

Well, it is a nice excuse, like I said, to hang out in the park with some friends. But I don't wave flags. Not my style.

If I want to celebrate my American-ness and be what I consider patriotic, then that would be going to a dive bar in Austin (like Deep Eddy or the Mean Eyed Cat) or in Oslo (the Dub or F&B or the Rock In) wearing my boots, kicking back with a Lone Star and hearing some blues/country band warbling around while I sweat in the 90 degree heat (60 degrees in Oslo) and shoot the shit with my friends. That's my America. And it comes with me wherever I go.

Speaking of American-ness, next week I get to go to the American Embassy. I think we all know how much I enjoy that. I need to get a new passport, mine is running out of pages, even though I have had new ones added twice, and there is no more room for stamps or visas. I've got a year and some months left on it, but they won't add more pages, so I gotta get a new passport. I might have to take a prophelactic xanax, I get angry every time I go there.....I mean, they don't even let you bring in your PHONE or a book, and then all you have to entertain you are jingoistic propaganda videos of the US with happy shiny people and amber waves of grain. barf.

So strange, the other day I walked by the Venezuelan embassy, they were having a party, and people were just walking in the door, waving hello and then going to a courtyard out back for drinks and bbq. There were no guards, no walls, no showing of passports, no security cameras. Just people enjoying their fellow countrymen on a nice day. Contrast that to the US Embassy, where the security is so tight you can hardly walk by the joint without getting strip searched. If they DO have a party you have to register online, bring your passport and STILL get searched, once you get past the iron gates, guys with guns, security cameras, police and metal detectors.

No wonder people hate us.

**edit: A few hours after the original post, I must say, the food has improved over the years and I can say that there is some pretty good bbq happening there right now. And pecan pie! No parsley in sight....


  1. To be fair, our embassies are soft targets.  There's a reason why the people in Huseby didn't want it moved there.  And I think it would be naive to think there aren't those in east Oslo who would wish ill on America, the embassy, Americans and American interests in Norway.  So I think it's like the airport security situation--it ain't a whole lot of fun, but you begrudgingly put up with it.  I don't think it causes people to hate us, it's because there are people who hate us that it has to be that way. 

    I admit, I am no flag-waving patriot at home, but I am more so away in Norway.  I was in Trondheim during 9/11 and hung a flag outside my dorm room.  No, it's stupid to get pumped up in that way at home when that's all you see, but since you get plenty of America-bashing in Norway from all sorts of people, it's also important to show, over there, that yes, there are things to be proud of too about the U.S.


    I was in Japan once for the 4th... it was actually quite charming! For the street party I walked through, they did their best to go all USA with flags, Uncle Sam hats, American music and movie posters, and Santa Claus. You can't have a 4th of July party without Santa Claus, of course.

  3. karlakp11:44 AM

    I semi-agree with you. I think the security thing has become a chicken or egg equation....the security makes the US look like a war nation, which causes more people to try to attack us.I mean, the other embassies in town have no problems, even Isreali, so I think we are causing some of our own problems by being so over-secure.

    Also, I identify myself more as a Texan than an American. If you meet someone from Texas, I guaran-damn-tee you that when you ask where they are from, unlike other Americans, they usually say "Texas" first, then US second. I do (occasionally) wave the Texas flag, even though I htink my state is one of the more fucked up politically than most.

  4. karlakp11:45 AM

    There is no July 4th without Santa. So true....

  5. CaliGirlTrace5:19 PM

    Hmm I think most people answer by their state rather than saying "The U.S." in fact I have a lot of international friends who complain about that lol! I think generally speaking American's just assume if we name our state.. it's a given it's the U.S. It's not just a Texas thing.. 

  6. Jaymo8:36 AM

    Sorry we missed that celebration, hope the bbq was good Texas-style and you got your Lone Star after all.  And maybe a bacon/cheese stuffed jalapeno, squash casserole, six kinds of salads, etc, etc!  

  7. I like your point of view. When LBJ addressed the nation he would begin by saying,"Mah fella Mehrkins." I'm no flag waver, either. I don't even fly my Norwegian flag on May 17th. I also believe Austin is a bright spot on the map of Texas. If I go straight south for about 1500 miles I could be there.


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