America is How Old?

june 19, 2006

My wife is watching a show named "5 Takes" on the Travel Channel right now. It is a show that follows a bunch of American young people going on trips around the world. These are the type of young people from America that make Americans look bad in the eyes of the world. (You know, the kind of young people that you would expect to say something like, "They don't speak American in Taiwan?") So, in one segment, they go to the Dragon Boat races in Taipei. A chubby young American jumps into a boat with his friends. They yell and scream at the other boats in this "Friendship Race" to show his "competitiveness". It is very embarassing, but it gets worse. The race ends and the chubby young man proclaims that he comes from a country that is "500 years" old. Huh? Unless I'm mistaken, wasn't the United States of America founded when the Declaration of Independence was signed in...err...1776? I think that's 230 years, right? Not 500. A stain of embarassment for Americans.