I was looking for an excuse to publicly declare my affection for The Kills, but I couldn’t find one. Granted, there’s a month-old story about their bus driver getting arrested for the hilarious crime of “sudden snatching” (huh?), but really there’s nothing.
Why am I thinking of this, all of a sudden? I spend most days with 5 other Spaniards in a small office with one set of speakers for the computers. Normally, the guy who’s been here the longest uses them, puts on some radio station that plays lounge remixes of “Like A Virgin” (or worse), and I just bow my head in silence (and giggle fits). Yesterday, though, in said elder’s absence, a new guy snatched them and proceeded to inundate my poor ears with a cavalcade of horrible Lite FM pop. It’s not that they have horrible taste in music; it’s that they like American music, but they don’t know what to listen to.
Today has been instructional, therefore. I got in early, “suddenly snatched” the speakers (book me, Dan-O), and have been schooling these poor bastards on what America is capable of, all the while reflecting that this music thang is indicative of our problem as ex-pats in general: The exported image of the U.S. is largely not as good as the reality.
We are not all fat, imperialist, willfully-ignorant, pop-star-loving blowhards. Yes, some of us are. But some of us are also perfectly nice, kind of bright, and not at all interested in whether or not J-Lo releases another album. And it is these people of whom I’m the most proud, and who tug at my Patria-loving heartstrings when they get pulled.
So no, it’s not apple pie that I miss; it’s knowing whether or not Beth Ditto is full of shit, what Charlie Kaufman’s latest movie is like, and whether or not I should invest in Junot Diaz. Yes, I know I can find out about all that through the miracle of the online community (as I said earlier), but I miss the camaraderie of the coffee shop, the brotherhood of the travel-hungry drunks.