Some people write bucket lists. Not me. I write love/hate lists. This is the positive......And it's in no particular order 1/ The Fast Food If there is one thing that Americans do better than anyone else, it's fast food. Other Western countries are not only amateurs at this, but would not know the meaning of variety, either. In the States, you can get every type of food imaginable in a fast mode. And most of it, the stuff that I tasted anyway, was superb to the palette before it was anything else. Who CARES if it was unhealthy, you aren't meant to live on the stuff. But, if you're going out, and want a quick bite, Americans can put on a meal that fills you to bursting, at a reasonable price, and tastes so damned good you want to do it again. Thats business in an abundance of style! 2/ Americans Lots of different peoples in countries outside of America love to tell you how much they hate/depise/can't stand/would'nt want to live with Americans. This is because they've only met American people outside of their own country. When you visit America, (and every Westerner should, at some stage in his life, if only to catch a glimpse of what will eventually come to pass in their own country), you quickly find that the critics of Americans are talking through their butt cheeks. Americans , inside their own country, even the poor crackheads in ghettos, are talkative, generous people, anxious to make a good impression to visitors. Most that I met could not stand the thought that outsiders didn't like them at all, and went overboard to proove the opposite. Mind you, piss them off and they can turn in an instant, but can't we all? 3/The American Civil War If there is another historical subject that more colourful, suprising, astounding, gut wrenching, still relevant to today, I'd like to know about it. Many battlefields still have direct decendants of the participants living on or near the sites, and hundreds of thousands of re-enactors keep the period fresh and alive. Battlefield museums are the best in the world, and its such a pity that collectors have scoured so many of them and dug up stuff that probably should have been either left there or recorded and studied before it was collected. Still, theres enough left to be getting on with, and nothing pleases an American more than a foreigner who is literate and knowledgable in this aspect of their history. A truly interesting subject matter that continues to be kept fresh and living for future generations to see as the participants saw it. 4/The American Armed Services Is their any other Armed services of all three types that have done more to keep the relative peace than the United States Military? Though not always well prepared, and with a mass of amateurs to boot, (The American soldier is an amateur, and always will be), no other country gets so much out of their military services for the money invested, which is quite substantial. So, the equipment isn't always the absolute best, but enough of it is to make all three services effective enough. And who makes combat aircraft better? Rather be with them than against them! 5/ Cinema In all genres, for all ages, Americans not only pioneered the moder cinematographic film, but have kept their lead, with a few hiccoughs along the way. Ask anybody on the globe where their favourite film or actor comes from, and the chances are, it will be from the United States. Now, I don't subscribe to the Hollywoodizing of the business, nor do I feel that getting carried away with movie memorabilia is a good thing, (this was beautifully lampooned by Jerry Seinfeld and Jason christopher, when Jason's character, George, supposedly purchased actor John Voights motor car. George spent the rest of the episode fantasizing about the various aspects of what possession of "John Voight's Car" could do for his ego and love life, before finding out that Mr. Voight was, in fact, a lawyer! Heady stuff). But overall, American cinema still beats the world for innovation, class, and hyperbole, all at the same time! 6/ Wargames Whether it's the boxed board game from companies now defunct, (like avalon Hill, or SPI), the booklet rules fantasy/sci fi, or the computer generated game of today, it seems that American producers have just about covered every topic/genre worth covering, and made it FUN, to boot, While I do pine for the straight wargame of the board variety, I do acknowledge that this form of hobby is a great way of keeping kids out of drugs/alchohol and intocerebral pursuits that expand their minds. By contrast, other western countries seem to be stuck with the H.G. Wells miniatures concept, an elitist pursuit that really only works with certain periods and scales. Hats off to the American producer for designing something you could purchace and play for 70 dollars. 7/Roads and Freeways Does any other country build and repairs roads and freeways faster or more efficiently? I don't think so. American roads are wide and easy to find your way around. Modern sat nav makes driving a breeze. I'm sure that inner city driving might not be so hot, but getting from state to state is incredably easy. No paranoia about invaders having an easy time going coast to coast, as the Russians have, or skimpy government budgets of European countries that make international travel a tiring and expensive proposition. To the Americans, roads and freeways mean better commerce, and they have taught the world this lesson several times over. Skimp on infrastructure, and your economy lags. Spend up big, and big things happen as a consequence. 8/Farm Machinery This is one of the sexiest aspects of the american countryside; all the great companies that have been around for donkey's years perfecting the machinery that has fed the world and enabled our society to be everything else that its capable of. My daughter's toy collection has a hefty dose of tractors, trucks, etc, so that I can show her exactly what makes our society possible and why. Believe it or not, the arrival of the council garbadge truck with it's automatic bin scooper is an event for the four year old in our house, and she can hear that truck long before she can see it, pressing her nose against the window and staying there for as long as it takes for this sacred piece of engineering to arrive and do it's duty! True MAGIC of the modern period. 9/ Canadians "What?" you say, "This is supposed to be whats best about Americans?" Well, Canada is, because of the simple fact that immitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It is said to be insulting to Canadians if you mistake their accent for mid western Americans, but the two peoples are more alike than they are different. And Canada and Canadians are so agreeable, (and that countryside of theirs is so picture perfect), that they just would not be all that they are today without the healthy rivalry thats gone on over the years. Truly, an example for every other neighbouring country to follow. Russia should look at their relationship and learn from what you can achieve in this fashion by being freindly and co-operative with your close buddies, rather than wishing to swallow them up at gunpoint ad nauseum. 10/ Jack Daniels Tennessee Bourbon Is their any other spirit drink that is more familiar to alcoholics? Is there any other merchandising of alcohol thats more familiar? Do people everywhere wish that they could work at the JD Distillery, rocking on the front porch whilethe liquor matures, with a buxom southern belle nestled on your lap, whispering that most sexy Tennessee drawl into your ear? Personally I don't drink the stuff myself, or any other alcoholic beverage for that matter, but the picture formed is so SWEET, so peaceful, so southern....so American, that it cannot be ignored. We are looking at probably the most famous advertising campaign in the history of modern advertising, with the exception of that other campaign for that certain fizzy soda pop in the red can with the white stripe. So there you have it. What turns you on about The Good Ol' United States of America? Drop me a post and let me know. And yes, I am an Amerophile, but I'm also an anglophile, and an admirer of New Zealand Maoris as well....I did marry one after all and our daughter is one sixteenth Maori....but thats another story for another post. Cheers, y'all!