rights / culture / American?

Bjorn Conrad Fry (bear@USNET.US.NET)
Fri, 30 Dec 1994 15:38:41 -0500

I appreciate your response. It does sadden me a bit however. I'm not a
"flag waver" as you call it. I'm not a blindly obedient nationalist ... on
the contrary. I don't even own an American flag. My intention originally,
with respect to my signature, was to make the point that I'm not a
"hyphenated American" because I have been moving (and cybernetting) in
academic circles that to no small degree can be characterized as a
collection of irrational relativistic Multiculturalists gone wild. I have
not bothered to change my automatic signature because I consider it
important also to give people some idea of my cultural background about
which, by the way, I am not ashamed. I know too much about other cultures
and nations, their ways and histories, to be ashamed of what Americans are
and what they have gone through. Add to that my loathing of anything
associated with the concept of political correctness, and I hope you begin
to see where I'm coming from. Squelching discourse by imposing new agenda
motivated linguistic taboos, is not the way to further knowledge,
understanding and productive exchange. Emotionally motivated sophistry
isn't either. As I see it, the world all too often is split into two camps:
Those who struggle without end to keep the greater population informed as
to what is really going on, and those who struggle to keep that very
information away from, those they call, the ignorant masses, so as to be
freer to pursue their own self-serving sociopolitical ends. We should all
be thankful that the latter forces have lost control in this information
revolution. Americans and their hybrid culture (much of the best from
multiple cultures) are the masters of the information age, as it stands
right now, and we have much to be happy and even proud about. This is not
to say that there are not many problems and dangers. After traveling to
over 40 countries and even living overseas for extended periods of time, my
trilingual perspective and appreciation for what America is and can
achieve, is quite holistically profound. There is simply no more dynamic,
free and pragmatic nation on earth. I for one, refuse to throw the baby out
with the bath water by forgetting what has been achieved and learned. Being
a citizen of the world is still step down, unfortunately.

Anyone who tunes out because of some misguided stereotypical label, (guilt
by association) is excessively closed minded anyway and would surely be
wasting their time otherwise. Look at the bright side, we will probably not
have to contend with as many superfluous emotional retorts.

Rob Quinlan wrote 12DEC94:

>Are you an American or are you affiliated w/ American University? I suspect
>some of the crap you are getting on the list is partially due to your signature
>line w/ "American" in it. It makes you sound like some kind of flag waver
>or something. If you are w/ A.U., then I suggest you spell that out then
>people won't think you are some kind of rabid patriot. If you are not w/
>A.U., then why do you feel the need to declare your nationality? I don't
>think it helps you make your case.

P.S. I'm an old George Washington University man myself. AU move over. ;-)

Let it be said, once again, that most of what is wrong, and of what
is most perfectable in this world, is located between our own ears.
If we don't first start living our own lives to the fullest, as
responsible individuals, in just fashion, and as empowered examples,
instead of languishing in the addictive maelstrom of blame, depen-
dency, and its powerlessness, there is little hope for us. - bcfry

Bjorn Conrad Fry - American

Bethesda, Maryland