According to what you can hear about, to leave for America (from Italy) was becoming quite scary.
“They all have guns”, “there are a lot of serial killers”, “as soon as you say – I would like to visit the country – they begin to control you at every step”, then “there’s Trump that’s worse than Berlusconi”, “terrorist attacks everyday”, and, sure, “the imminent nuclear war”…!
So what? Is the American dream dead?
Actually if you start reading the news, yes, North America seems stuck on the “Far West” when “the bad” with more guns lived long and the others… who cares. What can you expect from a country that blesses itself in the name of God in every occasion and defines itself only “America” as it was the only existent? (Perhaps it was not a coincidence that a part of their anthem sounds just like the “Hosanna” song!)
It has been said, also, that North Americans are all so proud to be (just) americans, and to prove this “there is an overexposition of flags that I’ve never seen in other countries”, as an american teacher admits, “and I have traveled a lot”. Unless they’re dictatorships, sure. In facts there’re flags in front of almost every house. But if you see something similar in Italy you can start to worry because it would mean that fascism is back.
Also. We say that: “in America they’re all fat“, and in the same time, “they think only about their appearance”, but “in a totally wrong way”, “from plastic surgery to eating junk pseudo-healthy stuff”; “there’s no worst place where you can eat than America”, “they’re able to put sauces even on salads”; “everything is so fake, advertisment-like, and superficial”; “everything is big”; “they are puritan and hypocrit”.
The fact is always the same: living the place you are talking about only “by hearsay” is completely different.
Yeah, North America is full of big things, big brands and a lot of big brand shops. In the (few) news stands you can spot, just beside People and Rolling Stones, you can find 9 different kinds of magazines about guns. Not even the sport sector has the same number. It is objectively difficult to find the artisan shop or the mama’s kitchen, much less the shoemaker or the indipendent book shop. Difficult to find healthy (or simply lightest) stuff to eat rather than hamburgers, hot dogs, fries… But it isn’t because they don’t have it, but it seems like they tend to hide them. Hamburgers, hot dogs, fries are always so visible, and actually they are so tasty and seeing them you feel that you want them. Then (maybe you have paid) : “ah there were also pasta, salads…”
In any case people are more open and easy than you could imagine, after all this presentation.
And, if you have the chance to frequent a north american school, they teach you to show your personality, no matter what. Rather than try to hide it to be in accord with the general “line”, in the name of the authority. They teach you the importance to try and get wrong. They teach you that there are many styles of learning.
And, it’s true, compared with this, they may be puritans about absurd things, as putting dozens of little private areas inside the locker room at the gym, split partners from the same room because they aren’t married, prohibit young people from drinking (even if they are perfectly able to find other ways to do it). On the other hand they have a Sex Museum in almost every city and you can easily enter in a sex shop without being ashamed like a thief caught in the act.
Also. They accept figure as Hunter Thompson. Teaching him at school. In our country he would be the worst to avoid. Let alone follow. But for them he’s a legend. One that has destroyed the pillars of journalism because he thought that objectivity is impossible. The important is being inside the things that happen, having the honesty to talk about them as they happen. Thompson was always high and he has never reported the facts, but he’s considered a genius, the father of the new journalism. Fear and loathing in Las Vegas is a movie about him but I can bet that almost every italian knows that Johnny Depp was playing a fictional character.
So who is the puritan? Who tries to hide the natural nudity (even between people of the same sex) or who pretends that some people has never existed, in the attempt to maintain the past, avoiding the future? There isn’t an answer. Because it’s not a competition obviously. It’s only the “stereotypes game”. Win who doesn’t get scared, trying to remain always open to every possibility.