In an attempt to explain the preeminence of the SuperBowl in American culture (and thus justify our decision to stay up until it's commencement at 3:30AM), one of the other American students and I brainstormed a list of the most 'American' events (top 4: 1) SuperBowl, 2) World Series, 3) Thanksgiving, 4)Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade), and inadvertantly shocked our EU counterparts sitting across the room as we began to hash out just what exactly 'American' culture comprised.
In no particular order, here was what left their jaws on the floor:
-American's affinity for parades. Memorial Day, Independence Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and so on. Apparently in Germany, Gay Pride parades and Carnival are the only games in town. Ten points, Maineville, Ohio.
-Decaf coffee. The idea of drinking coffee for the sake of its flavor is apparently lost in translation. On a related note: Dear Jesus, can someone puh-lease send me some f-ing Starbucks VIA or something?? I am dying.
-'Pop'. 'Pop' is Midwestern for "soda". This may also be lost in translation for those of you who have never had the pleasure of living anywhere but the coasts in the US. Consider yourselves educated. You're welcome.
-Citizens United ruling. For the record, this is shocking to me as well. As my friend Mathieu so gently put it in his lovely French accent (which made it sound much more sauve): "OK. You are fucked." Yes, yes we are.
-Bill O'Reily. Again, me too.
-Frying vegetables in bacon or other related pork byproducts (Holla, Paula Dean).
American culture 101:
Shock and awe:
Three feet (ok, ok, about one meter- sheesh) and an entire world apart: