Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind’s elation
And little girls from Sweden dream of silver screen quotation
And if you want these kind of dreams its Californication

This was a favorite song of the cover band in Hat Yai. I hadn’t heard it much before my time in Thailand. I thought it was a neat song about California. It’s also a neat song about America, a land of dreams and controversey that occupies the minds of young people around the world: the Italian guy who thinks that he should be able to vote for America’s president, the Argentine gal who feels reluctant to bring up America’s meddling in Latin America, the good-natured Jordanians who love America all the more despite the boiling conflict between our civilizations.

It’s the edge of the world
And all of Western civilization
The sun may rise in the East
It least it’s settled in a fine location
It’s understood that Hollywood
sells Californication

I was flipping channels at Mom’s place, and we stayed a few minutes on a BBC news report from Ivory Coast, where in among the crowds of people who had showed up to rally for whatever cause they thought would do their country right, several were holding American flags, mostly simple paper ones colored by hand. Why are they waving our flags, we wondered? At least they’re not burning them. The French are involved with their former colony, not us!

Everyone in the world has an opinion, an impression they have of America and Americans. The world is watching us. Please, countrymen, try to set a good example: we’re not alone in our own wilderness these days.

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