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Cultural Critique

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  • October 28, 2010
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You here talk about the American Spirit all the time, but what is this “Spirit” we always talk about? Is it some ghost that follows us around, or is it an animal spirit that guides Americans like many Native American tribes believe in? I will be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of what the United States has turned into over the years, but once I came across the articles “Is America Falling Apart,” by Anthony Burgess, and “9.11.01: The Skyscraper and the Airplane” by Adam Goodheart I started to really think about it. Is America really just a big country that thinks so highly of itself or is it a country devoted to trying to improve not only it’s self but others as well. I believe that the American Spirit can be found by looking at these kinds of questions.

In Burgess’ essay, “Is America Falling Apart,” he examines the differences between the “spirits” of both Americans and Europeans. He explores different aspects and actions of both individuals and the governments in the two separate continents. Burgess hails from Britain and while writing his essay he resides in Italy giving him a very European look on the matter, Europeans are usually more laid back and easier going than American’s seem to be now-a-days. He explains that Americans seem to have a younger attitude, which he calls the “Pre-War” attitude. This “Pre-war” attitude he suggests is a more optimistic outlook on life. For the most part American’s view there day as good, if one thing goes wrong however it sometimes or more likely ruins the whole thing for them. Europeans on the other hand have what Burgess describes as a “Post-war” attitude. A “post-war” attitude is a more pessimistic outlook on life, they view there days as dark and drudging, but if one thing goes right they seem to cheer up for the rest of the day. When I first read this I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about, then I looked at my day. I for the most part had a good day but then I got one...