My wife and I sit on the living room couch watching television while eating a simple lunch. She is an immigrant like me, born and reared in India. She is a woman of tremendous intelligence and of impressively bad taste. We are watching “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
One white, white-trash woman is having a mean argument with her friend, a black white-trash woman. Both are spilling out of the top of their blouses. The air appears to me to be filled with the smell of acrid estrogen. (I can’t be sure; this is taking place on-screen.) The topic of the argument is who of the two is the greatest ho. It seems to me it’s a matter of fine gradations but I am not expert. It’s all quite wonderful.
The thought strikes me: If I had stayed in France instead of emigrating, I would now be watching a replay of a visit of an obscure part of the the Louvre, about some obscure aspect of obscure Etruscan culture. The visit would be commented for French television by a retired lady professor at the Sorbonne, with very short hair plastered to her skull.
Another reason to love America!
And don’t go all supercilious on me, silly woman. I watch the History Channel too. I could give you a list of its mistakes that would make your hair stand on end. I have read all the books you have read and many you haven’t. I have read books the titles of which you can’t even pronounce. I have even published a couple of books and a number of articles myself. That’s not even counting my short stories. I make established scholars at prestigious universities tear up. You can’t even begin to diss me. American television is great!
Thank you America!