America Without the Bullshit

Someone said, “If America did not exist, it would have to be invented.”

He was talking about the idea of America, and America really is very much an idea, more than other countries. Canada is a real place, but America is an issue, a controversy, proof and disproof, an ideal and a target and a scapegoat. No one talks about America, they talk about right and wrong, they talk about what they love and hate, they talk about the way the world should be and the way it shouldn’t be. Everyone has an agenda, even if they think they don’t, and America is always evidence in their argument.

“America without the Bullshit cuts through all that. It gets to the truth about America, the good and the bad, the left and the right, the average and the extraordinary. In some 30 chapters author E.T. Hansen examines prejudices for and against America and figures out what is true and what is not true and what it all means to us.

The series will appear on Vimeo about one chapter a month until it’s done, and ten the book will appear.

Chapter 1

Did America Invent Fast Food?

Nothing embodies the commercial, plastic, superficial, turbo-capitalist and downright unsophisticated influence America has on the world like fast food. McDonald’s isn’t just a symbol for unhealthiness, it’s a symbol for the soullessness of our times – thanks, America!

But wait – is fast food really an American invention? For most of my life I thought it was, but one day I heard talk once too many times, and it broke the camels back – I went out looking for the truth.

Watch the video – Chapter 1 – on Vimeo.

E.T. Hansen

Why Did I Write This Series?

My second book in German was an answer to a book written here full of cliches and prejudices about Americans – they were dumb, uncultured, primitive, fanatics, violent and brutal … you know the story. Since then, I wrote countless books, articles and columns on the twin subjects of “What is America really?” and “What is Germany really?” Ad I was shock dhow little anyone knew about either country – including myself.

Then along came Bush, Obama and Trump and the extremes were accompanied by huge amounts of false information used for rhetorical purposes – both on the left and on the right.I came to realize that it’s not just German who don’t know what America is – Americans don’t either.

So I applied the same principle to my home country – I took all the rhetorical nonsense I hear everyday online and in new outlets and I took a hard look at our own preconceptions and asked myself: “What is true, what is false?”

And especially in the wake of Trump, when all my leftist friends were sure that this was the end of democracy and the end of America in general – never was the conviction greater that America was on a downward slide – I asked myself that central question that Americans have asked themselves since the very beginning: “Is America in decline? Is America still the greatest country in the world (was it ever)?

That’s a controversial question to ask, because each side – the right and the left – use to for political purposes all the time. But it’;s a real question that there is a real answer too. That answer is the final chapter of this series, and I’m not sure weither the left or the right will like it.

I expect that a lot of people will not like what I have to say, because it often robs them of their rhetorical arguments – but it’s all true – if you want to hear the truth, listen to this series and welcome to “America without the Bullshit.”