Sunday, May 13, 2007

"The Excited States of America"

I heard this phrase on a tape of an eye conference. The meeting was held in Canada and the speaker said something like, "Well, up here, we'd watch this growth, but they'd biopsy it in a second down there in the Excited States of America." The audience chuckled knowingly.

One of the greatest things about living on a far away Pacific island like Saipan is that you can be as "out of the loop" as you want to be (like a Nova Scotian), and not be considered weird (unlike a Montanan).

I was back in mainland America this past December for the first time in seven years. The thing that struck me the most was the level of hype that permeated the air. You couldn't help breath it in. There was no escaping the gases of insignificant events being made grand to excite the state of the nation.

There, you can't get away from it. Here, you have to work to find it.

I just came across a list of the most searched names on the internet, and I've never heard of any of them! They are at this very instant (but probably not for much longer) pumping up the adrenaline of much of the Western world. It's not like I'm living under a rock. My homepage is set to CNN International. I know the broad trends of society and civilization, the important stuff.

Here's the list: Ron Paul. Never heard of him. Galilea Montijo. Who? Michael Buble? (Is there an uncensored video or photos involved? I dunno.) Eurovision? (Presumably a band of some sort.) Joost? (Good name for a drink). Ubuntu? (I'll go with tribe in Africa). Paris Hilton? (Okay, I've heard of her, but why is she still on anyone's radar screen?) Mario Lopez? Bebo? Sorry guys, you haven't yet reached these sandy palm-lined shores.

Can anyone tell me in two sentences why any of these names are significant beyond a week? They may be. I just don't know. And send me their links so I can enhance this post and enlighten others.

I'm thankful to be unplugged from the ephemeral details that lead to those artificially excited states. The important will endure a week or more and make it to my attention. All the rest, I'm really thankful to not know about.

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