Finding America

Me and Tarah

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Dear Britain, I am writing to let you (and a certain number of your population) know that, contrary to popular belief, not all Americans are stupid.

I will grant you, there are several reality TV stars, actors, and members of congress who seem hell-bent on challenging this position, but America does have its fair share of intellectuals too.

For every Todd Akin, there is a Jon Stewart; for every Snooki, there is a Neil DeGrasse Tyson; and for every Lindsey Lohan there is an LA night club. And Hillary Clinton.

Now, I know how tempting it is to base an entire nation's IQ on, say, that of a certain 43rd president, but honestly, Britain, just stop what you're doing for a second and listen to Carl Sagan's The Pale Blue Dot, or peruse the academic writings of Professor Noam Chomsky.

And it's not just the rich and famous we're talking about here. As a British expat residing in the States, I have been fortunate enough to meet Americans from all corners of the university spectrum. There's John with a PHD in Molecular Biology; Julie with an MFA in European Literature; and Dirk, with an independent thesis on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: these people are all from the higher end of the IQ spectrum (Dirk also has an undergraduate degree in Marvel Entertainment Studies). What about everyday Americans I hear you say? The people we work with? The people we interact with on the street? Well like anywhere, you do get an admittedly mixed bag. There are people in the office who couldn't tell you the capital of their own state, while there is an equal abundance of people on the park bench who could tell you the entire history of said state.

The point is, while the United States may celebrate stupidity more than most developed countries, there would appear to be a certain level of ignorance on your part if you think that all Americans are dumb. Moreover, before you go accusing others of low intelligence, take a look at some of your own people. I'll remind you that Jodie Marsh once asked whether an egg was a vegetable.

I close my case.

A British expat.


  1. LOL! Thank you for putting my mind at ease, A British expat...I was worried for a second, especially when I visited Boston & had the misfortune to hear a Fox News presenter squint at her autoqueue and say
    "Iran, no Iraq...oh who cares? They're the same anyway."

  2. Well, it was a Fox News presenter. She probably thought she was making a clever point about Islam when, actually, she was merely saying an incredibly offensive thing about Islam. Which, for Fox News, sounds like par for the course.

  3. Good reason not to watch Fox.

  4. Yay! I started thread of Fox-bashing. My work here is done.

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  5. As a Brit I have to say that we do have our fair share of idiocy. I think you just don't get to hear it so much over the pond. My current favourite comes from an old government report on why stocks of cod are dwindling which said that: "Cod are not very good swimmers so they are easily overtaken by trawlers and nets."

  6. So that's why I prefer haddock over cod. That old swimming prowess thing.

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  7. Guess in the fish world haddock could be poking fun at cod for not being able to outrun a net :)

  8. Haha, thank you for that!

    I am an American expat living in Spain, but I found you through Expats Blog. I am from Indiana originally, but near Indianapolis (Crawfordsville). I went to school in Bloomington, the mecca of Indiana. If you want great ethnic food, culture, and things to see in Indiana, it's the place to go.

    I've actually never been to Fort Wayne ... I can't say it attracts me. How do you find it?

  9. Kaley, I've been to Bloomington many times and love it. My brother-in-law studies at IU.

    Fort Wayne is a marvelous little city. Sort of like a mini Indianapolis.

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