Sunday, April 18, 2010
An open letter to a new GREEN card holder
Dear David Meir,
While Canada still has better universal health care and the Canadian dollar is giving the US dollar a few sucker punches in the corner, on behalf of the 300 million people living in the 50 states, I would like formally to welcome you to my great country.
Don't hand in your Canadian passport or anything rash like that. But here are some things that are great about this country that you should embrace:
1. American national holidays are now known almost exclusively by the main food of the day. It's really quite remarkable. See: Turkey on Thanksgiving, BBQ on July 4 (perhaps this in itself is a reason that Jews have thrived here more than anywhere else)
2. America was the set for Borat. We owe a debt of gratitude for that. Very nice!
3. We don't have a great national food, but that's okay, because other ethnicities have brought their scrumptiousness to us. The General (General Tsao's chicken, as you know it, perhaps) tastes much better than the Colonel, after all.
4. We have a collective ideal of achieving an "American dream" for each person. It's important to dream.
5. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will gain a new poignancy in your life now.
6. The American dollar has had better days, but the bill itself is the unit of currency on the streets of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Let's face it, that's pretty convenient. Can't say that about Canada.
7. We have George Washington on the dollar bill. Canada has a duck.
8. As entertaining as the Grey Cup may be, American sports have much more cache than Candian ones.
9. The ideals of American democracy seem to me to be the way that governments should be structured. Sometimes, I'd just like Jeb Bartlet of the West Wing to run the system.
10. Safam has a song written about the immigrant experience to America. Jewish groups don't sing about the immigrant experience to Canada. Your life is a Safam song right now (OK, not really) — relish in it.