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50 Reasons to Love America

(A Repost for Independence Day - and also because I'm sure there are some more reasons to be added.)

Iain Dale's Diary: 50 Reasons to Love & Hate the EU and other upstanding bloggers have been fisking the Indy's 50 reasons to love the EU - they have done it far better than I ever could.
But as a reply I did start noting down 50 reasons why we should love the USA, but I have lost the notes - please could you help out in the comments as I try and recreate the list from my poor and failing memory.

1) Making English the international language.
2) Computers for all
3) Dodge Charger
4) Daisy Duke
5) Defeating Communism
6) Saving us in World Wars (twice)
7) Cheese Burgers
9) NASA
10) Pissing off the French
11) Blogs
12) Skiing in Colorado
13) Rock and Roll
14) Jeans
15) Marilyn Monroe
16) John Moses Browning
17) Keeping the flame of Capitalism alive
18) ditto free Speech
19) Hollywood
20) Did I mention pissing off the French?
21) The Atomic Bomb
22) Pizza
23) Porn Stars who shave their armpits
24) Ronald Reagan

TBC


Comments

How about making the movie Amazing Grace high-lighting the achievments of our British cousins Wilberforce and Pitt the Younger.

Powered Flight
The hamburger
The tommy gun

Quibbles.

1) Making English the international language.

The Seven Years war (mid C18) was probably the most pivotal point here.

6) Saving us in World Wars (twice)
We wouldn't have lost either. Winning on the other hand... Also, chalk one up for the Channel

14) Jeans
Made from denim. De Nimes.

Otherwise.

Magnificent pancake laden breakfasts.
Phonographs.
Proper television as opposed to that Logie Baird rubbish.
Cars for the working man.
Electric guitars.
Musical theatre.
Putting a human on another space rock other than our own.

22) Pizza

Isn't that Neapolitan?

Taking British and French enlightenment concepts of Liberty and keeping them alive, even now they are now fading in Europe.
Hollywood
Jazz
Sarah Michelle Geller and Natalie Portman
PJ O'Rourke (for other reasons to the above, obv)
David Hasselhoff


Taking British and French enlightenment concepts of Liberty and keeping them alive, even now they are now fading in Europe.
Hollywood
Jazz
Sarah Michelle Geller and Natalie Portman
PJ O'Rourke (for other reasons to the above, obv)
David Hasselhoff


Townes van Zandt
Johnny Cash
The Rumble in the Jungle
George Plimpton
Proper showers
Milton Friedman

They distrust the UN.
They have a FOI Act that works.
An Electoral Recall system if politicans piss off the electorate.
The San Andeas fault guarantees that when the 'big one' hits, Hollywood's irritating lefties will vanish beneath the Pacific waves.

Jazz
George Gershwin
Mark Twain

Brie melts
Cole Porter
P J O'Rourke (again!)
Conservative talk radio
The US Military
Cold beer
California wines
Elvis
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Ella Fitzgerald
"We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal ..."
Manhattan
Texas

The Blues
A safe haven for Christianity and Judaism
The Aircraft Carrier
Nuclear Power
The Telephone

I must disagree with our host though, on his first item. As big an admirer of the United States as I am, I cannot agree that it was they who made English an international language. It was 300 years of the British Empire that did that. Everywhere we went, we took our wonderful, expressive language and insisted that the civil service (that we set up) learned it. The existence of the Anglosphere is due to us, not the Americans, although they have certainly influenced it hugely and introduced a lot of novelty into our shared language. We would certainly be the poorer without the many fine Americanisms we have incorporated, and the many that we enjoy for a few fleeting years and then disgard for something new.

Disagree on making English the international language. British empire did most of the work there, though America has certainly amplified the effect.

I'd agree that the USA did save us, but only through financial aid. American troops did nothing ot save Britain (though everything to save the rest of Europe).

I assume you've seen 18doughtystreet.com's A World Without America video? Good stuff.

I have to quibble with a few of the inventions mentioned here. The Brits invented the aircraft carrier and the hamburger was first created by a chef on a German Hamburg-Amerika liner; though one must admit the Americans have perfected the concepts.

On the plus side they have maintained a truly free-minded approach to firearms ownership and piss off lefties of all nationalities. For these two alone I think it is safe to say I like the septics. But just to reinforce the point I'll add:

Maintenance of the imperial system of measurement
John Ford westerns
The Interweb
Quality porn

Some additions, from this humble immigrant's perspective:

Coca-Cola
Ronald Reagan
Apollo 11
The V-8 engine
Fender Stratocaster guitar
Samuel Colt
Southern Comfort
Horace Smith & Daniel Wesson
Mark Twain
Thomas Edison
Playboy magazine


Re: the English language -- while it was undoubtedly spread by the British Empire, it was cemented as the international language of business by the computer and the Internet.

Wikipedia, he say:-
A full decade after Britain's 1904 Rolls-Royce Legalimit, Cadillac produced the first American V8 engine

I'm still hoping the English language will spread to London.

Oreo Cookies
Nylon Stockings
Marlboro Cigarettes

(I'm easily bought)

A place for people to go that no one else wanted

John Moses Browning

Pissing off the French is the number 1 reason !

Ooohh! An opportunity to air prejudices!


I'm with most of the comments here - world-wide English is not American, and Hollywood isto be depreciated rather than admired. The 'saved us in WW1 and 2' is strange - they did nothing to affect the result in WW1, and the Russians beat the Germans in WW2. You could argue that they saved us from the Russians?

The most egregious comment is 'powered flight'. That the American 'invented' this is a hoary chestnut of American Legend. The principles of heavier-than-air flight were laid down by Sir George Cayley in the early 1800s - so everyone knew how to do it - it was just a case of putting together a sufficiently light airframe and sufficiently powerful motor. Both of these technologies were available by 1900, so a race began amongst inventors to do it. The Wrights were first, by a short head, but any of several other inventors could equally well have been, and the development of aircraft would have been the same.

Actually, not quite the same for the Americans. Though Cayley had specified general control requirements, there was a lot of scope for invention in the practical creation of aerodynamic controls, and the Wrights designed a system of 'wing warping'. This worked, but was very difficult to operate, and was not scaleable. Hinged surfaces, as Santos Dumont used, were the way ahead. The Wrights, however, saw their control technique as the key to flight, patented it, and then tried to force any other aircraft developer in the US to pay them for a license, no matter what technique was actually used. This closed down American aircraft development entirely. European engineers, working off Santos Dumont's designs, perfected the biplane. When WW1 came, the Americans had to buy their fighter aircraft from the French, because the legal fighting had stopped any American aircraft industry emerging. And yet they still believe that without the Wrights, there would have been no aircraft.....

Well the Russians and their symps have always been quick to claim that they defeated the Germans all by themselves.

Some after WWII studies show that the Russians may have not have been able to hold off the Germans then push them back with out the Brit and US supply runs. Ya ever hear of the Murmansk Run? The Russians were also quick to take labels off of stuff like machine tools and trucks and claim it was manufactured in Russia.

Also the RAF and 8th Air Force sucked an awful lot of 88 mm guns and German aircraft away from the Russian front.
I guess that fighting in the Med, North Africa, Italy, was just an imaterial side show.

Then there was the fun and games of getting supplies across the North Atlantic.

Nah, all those bodies spread across the bottoms of the oceans, seas, or lost on impact with the ground had nothing to do with the defeat of the Germans. Those military graveyards in Italy, France, Belgium, insignificant. The whole Western Front thing was just a picnic. The war against the Japanese was imaterial.
Victory over the Axis Powers was all do to the hard work of Uncle Joe. Uhm when did the Russians go to war against the Germans? Was that before or After the invasion of Poland?

The Simpsons

(They of the "Cheese-eating Surrender Monkeys")

The right to arm bears?

If you visit Duxford, you might notice that somehow we lost 7,031 aircraft flying over here during the war...many with ten-man crews. Must have been something going on for that to happen. Do you think poor flight instructors at Kitty Hawk? (Oops! I shouldn't have said "we"...! I meant to say "they," meaning "the Yanks.") As to reasons why we Americans should love the Brits...because among them are people like the host of this blog. We had our origins from just that kind of spirit. We are in debt to you in a way. Although we do claim Lady Randolph as one of our own. And therefore we have some claim to her prodigy.

Come on! His holiness John Moses Browning, PBUH, should be number one.

Frasier
The Smithsonian
Patricia Arquette

Cynical Libertarian suggests the US gave us quality porn? He has to be kidding! US porn is utterly dire, cheesy, boring, and un-sexy as hell. Gimme French or Wop smut any day. OTOH I see no mention of the Colt 1911 .45ACP (I had one 'til our wunnerful government took it away) or Little Richard. Or ER. Or club sandwiches. Or varmint hunting. Or drag racing. Wot, me a redneck?

I hate to sound snarkie, but a lot of the things being named here were actually British or English innovations (aircraft carriers, the right to bear arms for self defence and pissing off the French to name just three). What we have to thank the Americans for (a lot) is maintaining those fine anglospherical traditions when the British government seems hell bent on ditching them all.

From across the pond, thanks for the post. We will have to return the favor come Guy Fawkes Day.

From across the pond, thanks for the post. We will have to return the favor come Guy Fawkes Day.

Return the favor? How about returning the colonies to the Crown?

You could ALL be Canadians then!

Sponge Bob
Starbucks
Hollywood
Elvis Presley
Sports Utility Vehicles
CNN
Hula Hoops


(in no particular order)

John Steinbeck

personal computers

Stanley Kubrick

sky-scrapers

Jazz

WW2 efforts and the Marshall Plan

T.S. Eliot

the assembly line and interchangeable parts

NASA

Elvis Presley

the American Civil Rights Movement

Arthur Miller

integrated circuits and microprocessors

Martin Scorsese

the Federalist Papers

Star Trek

Mark Twain

mobile phones

Band of Brothers

Milton Friedman

Bonfire of the Vanities

the internet

Bob Dylan

motion picture cameras

William Faulkner

the Simpsons

ipod/itunes

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Walt Whitman

Hip Hop

winning the Cold War

Frank Sinatra

Ray Bradbury

airplanes

Henry David Thoreau

youtube

Janis Joplin

Catch-22

transistors

fast food

Rock and Roll

William Penn

Southpark and Family Guy

microwave ovens

the 2nd Amendment

Johnny Cash

TiVo

cheerleaders

Hunter S. Thompson

geosynchronous satellites

Moby Dick

Marvel

Thomas Edison (practical lightbulbs!)

supermarkets

the Polio vaccine

Francis Ford Coppola

Techno and House Music

Westerns

F. Scott Fitzegerald

Silicone Valley

Army of Darkness

Chuck Berry

revolvers and machine guns

Al Pacino

kidney, liver, and lung transplants

Curtis LeMay

Vans, Coverse, and Nike

WW1 efforts

digital cameras

Benjamin Franklin

Citizen Kane

the Doors

they favor individualism over collectivism

lasers

Miami, LA, New York

A Boy and His Dog

youtube

chocolate chip cookies

their Constitution

Victoria's Secret

GPS

the Blues

Marilyn Monroe

ferris wheels

protecting South Korea

Orson Welles

carbon dating

the Virgin Suicides

Truman Capote

Disney

they reject the welfare state

MRI

electric stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers

the Velvet Underground

video games

Norman Mailer

chemical thermodynamics

they give large amounts of humanitarian aid which they often get shortchanged for cause it's mostly through private charities

James Dean

electric stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines

Ernest Hemingway

E-mail

Buddy Holly

genetic engineering

Coca Cola

R&B

Marlon Brando

the Catcher in the Rye

credit cards

the Manhattan Project

Robert Frost

DNA structure and computing

the Ramones

their competitive free market economy and the opportunity it offers

air conditioning

Samuel Colt

the Human Genome Project

industrial robotics

Flowers For Algernon

(in no particular order)

John Steinbeck

personal computers

Stanley Kubrick

sky-scrapers

Jazz

WW2 efforts and the Marshall Plan

T.S. Eliot

the assembly line and interchangeable parts

NASA

Elvis Presley

the American Civil Rights Movement

Arthur Miller

integrated circuits and microprocessors

Martin Scorsese

the Federalist Papers

Star Trek

Mark Twain

mobile phones

Band of Brothers

Milton Friedman

Bonfire of the Vanities

the internet

Bob Dylan

motion picture cameras

William Faulkner

the Simpsons

ipod/itunes

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Walt Whitman

Hip Hop

winning the Cold War

Frank Sinatra

Ray Bradbury

airplanes

Henry David Thoreau

youtube

Janis Joplin

Catch-22

transistors

fast food

Rock and Roll

William Penn

Southpark and Family Guy

microwave ovens

the 2nd Amendment

Johnny Cash

TiVo

cheerleaders

Hunter S. Thompson

geosynchronous satellites

Moby Dick

Marvel

Thomas Edison (practical lightbulbs!)

supermarkets

the Polio vaccine

Francis Ford Coppola

Techno and House Music

Westerns

F. Scott Fitzegerald

Silicone Valley

Army of Darkness

Chuck Berry

revolvers and machine guns

Al Pacino

kidney, liver, and lung transplants

Curtis LeMay

Vans, Coverse, and Nike

WW1 efforts

digital cameras

Benjamin Franklin

Citizen Kane

the Doors

they favor individualism over collectivism

lasers

Miami, LA, New York

A Boy and His Dog

youtube

chocolate chip cookies

their Constitution

Victoria's Secret

GPS

the Blues

Marilyn Monroe

ferris wheels

protecting South Korea

Orson Welles

carbon dating

the Virgin Suicides

Truman Capote

Disney

they reject the welfare state

MRI

electric stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers

the Velvet Underground

video games

Norman Mailer

chemical thermodynamics

they give large amounts of humanitarian aid which they often get shortchanged for cause it's mostly through private charities

James Dean

electric stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines

Ernest Hemingway

E-mail

Buddy Holly

genetic engineering

Coca Cola

R&B

Marlon Brando

the Catcher in the Rye

credit cards

the Manhattan Project

Robert Frost

DNA structure and computing

the Ramones

their competitive free market economy and the opportunity it offers

air conditioning

Samuel Colt

the Human Genome Project

industrial robotics

Flowers For Algernon

A few late additions:

Robert Heinlein
James Hendrix
Christina Hendricks
Firefly
Pissing off the French

Not to burst any balloons but the English Channel didn't save you in WW II. Hitler made a number of strategic mistakes and wasting time and a lot of lives and equipment on fighting in Russia was his biggest. Hitler could have concentrated on an invasion of England and undoubtedly would have succeeded. Not to take anything away from the courageous battle England brought to the Germans and the incredibly tough English people who withstood the Blitz. My fear is that greatest generation is truely gone and the next war will find us all wanting.

Yeah, well, we might not have invented everything, but we sure as hell made it all viable and available to the common man. E.g.
- Cars: we didn't invent them, but without Detroit and Ford, cars would still be the sole preserve of the wealthy.
- Gunpowder: the Chinese invented it, and made fireworks for three centuries; we grabbed it, and turned it into wondrous things like the Winchester lever-action rifle and the chain-gun.
- Hamburger: the Germans invented it; we gave the world McDonalds.
- English: the Brits spread English through the Empire; we cemented its longevity and universality by making it the official language of computing.
- Aircraft carriers: the Brits invented the aircraft carrier; a single U.S. carrier group could now defeat the military of most countries in the world.
- Free speech and all the other things that make an individual's life worth living: invented by the Enlightenment, but only in America are ALL those principles the foundation of government.

I think the trend is perfectly obvious.

We did, however, invent the blues, jazz and rock 'n roll. Oh, and the Internet. You're welcome.

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