Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country

What is the shared American experience?

I’ll be honest with you ¬†- I’m watching American Idol right now. Yes, right now. And I’m pondering all those scenes where teenagers are hanging out together talking about how they have a new family (while waiting in line), with all the “kids” singing together and, for a moment, sharing a common experience.

Thinking even bigger, me and millions of people (mainly 14 year-old-girls and me), watch this show every week rooting for certain singers, while, for no reason, hating others. For good or bad, it’s a common experience.

When I’m drinking my white wine and watching T.V., I like to think about these things. What do they do in Austria, to share the collective Austrian experience? In Kenya? But really it has nothing to do with nationality – a Liberian refugee was singing the other day, and I was rooting for him. Does that happen in Sweden? I don’t know. When I was there I just shopped at H&M. Some could argue, though, that was a common experience.

What are some collective American experiences, besides Downton Abbey and Facebook, that you notice we share? I hope it’s something we actually ¬†share – because as Fievel said, “we’re all under the same star,” or some nonsense like that. But in that movie theater, my heart breaking as the cat tried to catch our hero mouse, the audience and I gasped, and shared, for that moment, a beautiful common experience.


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