A man is not expected to love his country, lest he make an ass of himself. Yet our country, seen through the mists of smog, is curiously lovable, in somewhat the way an individual who has got himself into an unconscionable scrape seems lovable — or at least deserving of support.
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.
A trait no other nation seems to possess in quite the same degree that we do — namely, a feeling of almost childish injury and resentment unless the world as a whole recognizes how innocent we are of anything but the most generous and harmless intentions.
Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and such like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world besides the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment?
America — rather, the United States — seems to me to be the Jew among the nations. It is resourceful, adaptable, maligned, envied, feared, imposed upon. It is warm-hearted, over-friendly; quick-witted, lavish, colorful; given to extravagant speech and gestures; its people are travelers and wanderers by nature, moving, shifting, restless; swarming in Fords, in ocean liners; craving entertainment; volatile. The chuckle among the nations of the world.
America and its demons, Europe and its ghost.
America does not concern itself now with Impressionism. We own no involved philosophy. The psyche of the land is to be found in its movement. It is to be felt as a dramatic force of energy and vitality. We move; we do not stand still. We have not yet arrived at the stock-taking stage.
America does to me what I knew it would do: it just bumps me. The people charge at you like trucks coming down on you — no awareness. But one tries to dodge aside in time. Bump! bump! go the trucks. And that is human contact.
America fears the unshaven legs, the unshaven men's cheeks, the aroma of perspiration, and the limp prick. Above all it fears the limp prick.
America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.
America has run the world for at least the past 50 years, and when you're at the top that long, you forget what it's like in the valley. There are 5+ billion people out there now who are willing to study harder, work harder for less money and be more industrious than we are. And we're linked to them by technology. With telecommunications, you can have your bookkeeping done in Madra, India, for less than it costs here. Today technology can replace whole new industries, so you have to stay flexible. To survive today, you have to be able to walk on quicksand and dance with electrons.
America is a great country, but you can't live in it for nothing.
America is a land where men govern, but women rule.
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
America is a model of force and freedom and moderation — with all the coarseness and rudeness of its people.
America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
America is a willingness of the heart.
America is a young country with an old mentality.
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.