Sometimes it seems as if 90% of the world hates America – John Kerry ran his tedious political campaign based on that banal truth – but that is only the most superficial version of reality. More accurately, America is idolized everywhere, even and especially in France. They won’t admit it, of course, to themselves or to others, but those infants running around St. Germain and Trafalgar Square burning effigies of Uncle Sam and equating Bush with Hitler don’t believe what they are saying deep down. They are simply “acting out,” as the shrinks say.
Of course, that doesn’t stop them from being really and truly dangerous. People who “act out” can cause geniuine trouble, get people killed and so forth. But no matter. You’re probably still thinking that my first point is exaggereated anyway and that America is genuinely hated around the world.
Well then let me ask you this question: Why is it that this year… of all years… the worst Hollywood studio fare that failed miserably and justifiably in the domestic market (“Troy,” “King Arthur,” “The Terminal”) is doing gangbuster business abroad as never before, tripling, according to the WSJ, its US grosses in the very venues where our country is supposedly excoriated. In the immortal words of Sally Fields, they love us, they really love us. Or sort of.
Unless we’re black, of course. The only American turkey on the Wall Street Journal’s list that seems not to have been resurrected in Europe is Eddie Murphy’s “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.” No surprise there, considering what we know abut racial tolerance in the old country.
UPDATE: For those interested, the WSJ article (subscription) has been copied into the comments.