Vices we love: Nationalism sucks rocks

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Nationalism sucks rocks

It's essay time again. But whereas my Polish students regaled me with tales of booze and extraterrestrial sex, my Slovakian pupils prefer to instruct me on what the Slovakian national meal is and why school is just too darn hard. I haven't the heart to post excerpts...perhaps this line will sum it up:

"School is hard for us, don't you think?"

Being a private Uni that the kids parents pay for (and pay LOTS), they have a certain vague notion that showing up is mighty gracious of them. But that's not the main problem- the main problem is that many essays read like "The Great Slovak Manifesto".

Slovakia only came into it's own about 15 years ago when they voted to secede from the Czech Republic (something the Czechs enthusiastically assented to, viewing their Slovak brethen pretty much the way San Diego views Tijuana) and like all new countries, especially ones who emerged from what they viewed as oppressors, Slovakia and many Slovakians are constantly telling me about how terrific Slovakia is. Now, the truth is, I like it here thus far, but this constant cheerleading reminds me of my former abode, the great state of Oklahoma, where license plates defiantly and minimalistly proclaimed that "Oklahoma is OK!" As slogans go this is somewhat akin to "Asiatown teacher only gets high on the weekends and hasn't impregnated a student at all today!" (Wordy?) Nice sentiments to be sure, but nothing to brag about. (Alabama's take on this sloganeering, "heart of Dixie" is even less ambitious- it's like proclaiming "Charles Manson puked here.")

I'm going to have to get used to all the mindless my-country-can-totally-kick-your-country-in-the-hiney nonsense though. As globalization (read- everyone must buy Coca-Cola or face being skinned alive in the Coca-Cola Stadium of Sham Democracy) goes further, people will try more and more to assert how frigging unique they are in the face of The McDonalds of Sameness. Since setting yourself apart through hard work and original ideas is just asking for too damn much, this uniqueness will be asserted through various my-country/God/race/hormonal imbalance-is-better-than-your-country/God/race/hormonal imbalance pissing matches. With tanks.

It's gonna be fun and profitable. But your Haliburton stocks now.


Anonymous Guy Courchesne said...

Hey, look on the bright side. Such chest-thumping nationalistic zeal makes great fodder for comedy class.

Or a chance to use a rare quote from Foucault's Pendulum...

"Ma gavte la nata"

Let them figure that one out...

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oui! I mean Si! Imperialist bastards!

2:33 PM  

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