CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2003 |
As the United States prosecutes war with Iraq, many supporters of the effort have invoked religious language to define the national purpose, making themselves part of a long stream in American history.
July 19, 2006
Re "First Kyoto, now the World Cup," Current, July 16 Michael Skube's defense of the "American exceptionalism" that so many Americans use to justify ignoring, or ridiculing, soccer neglects a couple of issues. Exceptional works both ways: We can be taking exception, which we seem to be with regard to soccer, or we can be exceptional at it, which might be more in keeping with our collective national ego. For Americans, winning the World Cup, or even doing well in it, is really the point.
March 26, 2011 |
Sarah Vowell is an intellectual melting pot. Her cleverness is gorgeously American: She collects facts and stores them like a nervous chipmunk, digesting them only for the sake of argument. Her curiosity is fueled by indignation. She insists, like a good empiricist, on seeing the people and places she writes about. She is the queen of that great American institution: the road trip. Pride, irritation and a kind of slightly sour laugh that is a common result of high irony are frequent responses to her work.
March 2, 2004 |
By the end of his career, the Pulitzer Prize-wining historian Daniel Boorstin, who died last weekend at 89, had come to be derided in some quarters as a conservative. In an age that viewed national myths with skepticism, Boorstin celebrated American exceptionalism and touted Western achievements.
September 17, 2013
Re "The end of U.S. exceptionalism," Opinion, Sept. 12 Apparently vexed by the "oddness" of President Obama's speech on Syria last week, Timothy Garton Ash's commentary is an odd piece itself. The term "exceptionalism" was used in the title but never again appeared or explained thereafter, hence leaving the reader guessing. "Exceptionalism" in this article could mean "isolationist" at times and "interventionist" at others, or both, depending on the zeitgeist. Parenthetically, for your "average" American reader, "exceptionalism" has often been thought of as American material and cultural superiority.
December 2, 2011 |
If you want a gauge of an America on the downward slope, you could look at the recent poll commissioned by the newspaper the Hill, in which a startling 69% of respondents said they considered the country to be in decline. Or you could just consider the soaring language of this season's presidential candidates. Mitt Romney, in a recent Republican debate on foreign policy, was typical, insisting that "this century must be an American century" in which "America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
October 24, 2010 |
So the options are these: You laugh with Kenny Powers, you laugh at Kenny Powers, you laugh at yourself for not laughing at Kenny Powers, you laugh at everyone else who does laugh at Kenny Powers. How about just not laughing? Now in the middle of its second season on HBO, "Eastbound & Down" remains one of the most perverse, confounding shows on television, a miasma of upturned middle fingers, offhand racism, casual drug use and profanity, all buoyed by a potent sense of American exceptionalism.
September 10, 2012 |
It can sometimes take a tragedy to reveal a truth. Who does not remember where they were on Sept. 11 when they heard that the towers had come down? But terrible times also can provide insight that might otherwise never come. In 2001, I was teaching in Chicago. My main break from work was frequent participation in a daily pickup soccer game that I stumbled onto soon after arriving in town. It was a virtual United Nations, with players from Argentina, Russia, Germany, Iran, Italy, Turkey, Georgia, Brazil, Poland, Korea, China and Mexico.
September 25, 2012 |
President Obama did an admirable job in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in explaining why the United States does not punish those who engage in offensive speech like the infamous video defaming the prophet Muhammad. He was more expansive in defending protection for unbridled free speech than was Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, though not to the extent of explicitly challenging calls by Muslim leaders -- including the prime minster of Turkey, a NATO ally -- for "international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2003 |
Activists gathered in Redondo Beach on Saturday for an Amnesty International conference concluded that they don't have to venture overseas to find human rights abuses. Instead, they said, there are plenty here at home. The group's annual western regional conference, which began Friday and ends today at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach hotel, discussed different faces of discrimination around the globe -- everything from violence against women and gays to the ravages of AIDS in Africa to U.S.