Thus, if no Spaniard would voluntarily agree to a non-nSpanish toreador, no feeling of impropriety would ever crossnan American’s mind when hearing about a Bulgarian trapper.nWhich leads us back to the very core of wholeheartednAmerican acceptance of daily syncretism, so incompatiblenwith the Euro-Asian sense of an established order of nationalnvalues, peculiarities, vanities and stigmas. Everywhere innthe world there is a firm belief that no one with the namenRabinowitz could or should be a cowboy—it would be bothnunfeasible and unbecoming. Everywhere—except America.nThere’s no such inhibition for the American’s endemic logic,nwhich asserts that if a Rabinowitz wants to be and is capablenof being a cowboy—let him be a cowboy. If he’s good at it,nthat’s okay; if not, he’ll pay for his whim. No one sees anythingnimproper in a Leatherstocking figure with an Armeniannname. No one cares. However, in Europe, people care aboutnthings like that, sometimes a bit too passionately. Nationalnincongruence, to them, is antithetical to patriotism. A toreadornwith the name Rabinowitz would signify the end of thenSpanish culture, and not only in Spanish eyes. Every Europeannwould feel that chaos had taken over the natural ordernof things, and that allegiances to both symbols and reahtiesnmeant nothing. Which is precisely where patriotism andnchauvinism part.n3.nA. hose who came to America during the last half of then20th century had advance knowledge of her from her powerfulnliterature or, at least, from the movies. Both literaturenand movies have plenty in common with the reality they dealnwith, although literature reveals and movies only limnnSc man ties in American’Wciiils ilifft’ivni K :irriMi;!td IILIVI’ :I iliiliTiiit iiiiMuiii;!. :i]iilnmi-Jiiiiics ilifliTiTillv :HT2. – U)fj2)nA word haunts our president and his highest counsels.nThe secretary of state uses it constantly, and the pressnhas picked it up as the best way to describe somethingnwhich has nothing to do with either fact or truth,nalthough it pretends to be both. They all speak of Sovietn”adventurism,” which implies that the Soviets arendaring hotheads who actually do not know what theynare doing—that they are rowdies who should not benopposed, thwarted or combated, but just tamed.nWhat a clumsy inversion of the interrelationshipnbetween word and meaning. Someone will have to paynfor such an abuse—either our president or all of us.nLet’s hope it’s the former. Dnnnthrough reproduction. So anyone who comes here soon findsnout that even if the reality is different from its portraiture innbooks and films, one still learns a lot about America fromnits fictional representations. The most seductive elementsnfrom American fiction, of course, are not here, but there arenplenty of other nonfictional factors which are far more imposingnthan fables. Contrary to the official American statenof mind, everything is better here, not just the Constitutionnand showers, but also interhuman relations, daily existencenand common rapports between strangers. This essentialnbetterness may, after a while, look sort of canned, or prepackaged,nbut even so no one can deny its superiority. Even anplastic, mass-produced fairness and camaraderie for everydaynuse, or as a fixture of social ethics, is better than its absence.nNo one in a European, or Asian, public office asks the mannin the street: “What can we do for you.””—and that’s thenpropitious and cosmic difference.nTo some, this feature alone would be enough to stimulatena healthy functioning of the patriotic glands, but those whonfeel this way are perceived as simple, if not trivial, souls.nThe elite of America would eventually admit that the galacticnrichness of texture in American life may command some allegiance,nbut not much. Unfortunately, the patriotism ofnthe elite is quite a confusing issue in America.nAs a rule, elites are thankful for their good life, and theynproject, often mendaciously and cynically, the paradigmaticnpatriotic attachment to the country that gives them so muchnand treats them so well. In Europe and Asia, the elites arenpatriotic, some sincerely, some because of centuries-longnconventions and deeply ingrained fears. In America, thenelites have always stressed their independence from the restnof the society. Thus, it is not uncommon for much of thenAmerican elite to flaunt antipatriotism as the ultimate expressionnof intellectual refinement and moral sophistication.nThe unfathomable diversity of American everydayness—ncluttered with events, dilemmas, problems that require immediatenand zealous stand-taking—serves well as a playgroundnfor the games of conscience that the wealthy so enjoy.nThe inexhaustible American density of social issues becomesna dainty plaything, and patriotism is a nuisance one can opposenin full glory.nMoreover, during this century, it has become clear thatnantipatriotic feelings—stemming from cosmopolitan worldliness,ninternationalistic and pacifistic sentiments, or a purelynradical rejection of the American universe—are for some angold mine, a source of fame, money, career, success. AfternWorld War II, and especially after Senator McCarthy’s abusenof good sense, it became even clearer that a leftist of any huen—a Marxist, communist, or just a fellow-traveler—who wasnendowed with any creative talent in the realm of art or culturenwas doomed to wealth and celebrity. Film producers, directors,nmovie stars, authors, columnists and playwrights who hadncontinued on page 43nOnMay/June 1980n