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Hemingway comments on Americans

Ernest Hemingway was known as a great novelist and not a great poet for good reason. His novels are wonderful; his poetry is not. It is like e.e. cummings without the punctuation.

I like to imagine the following poem is fairly tongue and cheek, but one can never be sure with Hemingway. Regardless, it is amusing and worth a read. I am surprised this hasn’t been picked up in some jingoistic Ford truck commercial, presented in a way that totally negates the humor. It provides a nice contrast to David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans,” although there is an outside chance they are alluding to the same traits of Americans.

I Like Americans

I like Americans.

They are so unlike Canadians.

They do not take their policemen seriously.

They come to Montreal to drink.

Not to criticize.

They claim they won the war.

But they know at heart that they didn’t.

They have such respect for Englishmen.

They like to live abroad.

They do not brag about how they take baths.

But they take them.

Their teeth are so good.

And they wear B.V.D.’s all the year round.

I wish they didn’t brag about it.

They have the second best navy in the world.

But they never mention it.

They would like to have Henry Ford for president.

But they will not elect him.

They saw through Bill Bryan.

They have gotten tired of Billy Sunday.

Their men have such funny hair cuts.

They are hard to suck in on Europe.

They have been there once.

They produced Barney Google, Mutt and Jeff.

And Jiggs.

They do not hang lady murderers.

They put them in vaudeville.

They read the Saturday Evening Post

And believe in Santa Claus.

When they make money

They make a lot of money.

They are fine people.
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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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