There Is in Europe …

There is in Europe another popular snobbery, about the parochialism of America, the unsophistication of its taste, the limit of its inquiry. This, we’re told, is proved by “how few Americans travel abroad.” Apparently, so we’re told, only 35 percent of Americans have passports. Whenever I hear this, I always think, My good golly gosh, really? That many? Why would you go anywhere else? There is so much of America to wonder at. So much that is the miracle of a newly minted civilization. And anyway, European kids only get passports because they all want to go to New York.

A. A. Gill, in To America with Love (pub. 2011)

As excerpted in this article in the July 2013 Vanity Fair.


4 thoughts on “There Is in Europe …

  1. Years ago, I was having dinner with a group of potential management trainees in London. These recent college graduates were from various European countries. I listened to tasteless jokes about the lack of culture in American all through dinner, and yet they were all dying to be a part of our program in the U.S. It amazed me that they could not figure out that I did not appreciate their humor. I still remember the lame comment, “There’s more culture in a cup of yogurt than in America.” Hmm..

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