I moved to the United States for my wife, Meg. She'd been away from her family for too long, and needed to be back with them. Plus, she was legally obliged to return, due to some clause in her Visa. I think of Britain as my home, and will always feel uneasy here in America. And that has nothing to do with how I feel about the state of this nation. I'm just not at home here.
But there's something else. I'm not sure I like America. I can't properly convey what I mean because I'm not entirely clear on it myself. Today, I found this article, and realised that I'm not alone. This is by no means an exact copy of my circumstances, but there are recognisable similarities. America is a confusing place, because it is itself confused. There are so many social, political and cultural elements pulling at each other that you either dive for cover or risk, like a protagonist in an HP Lovecraft story, losing your sanity as you try to make sense of it all*.
What is often forgotten is that it is a young country. Europe is old, and safe, but also predictable and complacent. America has not formed its final shape yet. It is still going through growing pains. The problem for the rest of the world, of course, is that what they have on their hands is a mood-swinging teenager with obscene political, economic, social and military might.
I just hope that when it settles down, that the worst aspects have been expelled.
Watched The 13th Warrior today. I thought that it was a lot better than its reputation suggests, but then I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.
Blackadder is twenty years old this year. Or so the BBC says. I think that Blackadder, along with Father Ted, is one of the greatest sitcoms ever, an exercise in sheer comedic genius that really does make a mockery of things like Friends. I grew up with the show, and always loved it, even though I couldn't possibly be expected to understand most of it when it was first broadcast. Today, I still laugh out loud at jokes which I've heard hundreds of times before. Truly brilliant stuff. And now I'm here, far away from home, in a place where they're not going to show the next Great British Sitcom until a decade after it's first aired, if at all. I hope I don't miss it.
Incidentally, my favourite was Blackadder II. What's yours?
*Okay, that's a little extreme, but I'm being spontaneously poetic, so ease off!