Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pulp crucifiction - by Daddy J

Another snobby Euro thing I've been trying to resist - laughing at Americans for being so darn weird. But this was too good an opportunity to miss. Our route back to Orlando airport from Daytona Beach passed right by one of Florida's most exotic theme parks: the Holyland Experience. 

The park holds crucifictions twice daily (we caught the 12.45 showing) and we were able to snatch a few minutes with the Messiah himself after his resurrection.  Turns out he's a genial Canadian called Les who really does look a lot like Jesus. 

On the way there we were as full of quips and one-liners as you'd expect a couple of Brits raised on Monty Python to be, but as so frequently in America, the people we met were disarmingly charming and so passionate about their work (in the case of the actors) and their leisure (the devout tourists) that I started to feel a little sheepish. 

It's not just a Christian thing, on our travels we've met people with similarly strong convictions about Barack Obama, the right to carry a gun, or the inherent virtue of the free market. The point is that Americans just really believe in, well, stuff generally. It seems to me that, beyond the football terrace, the default British attitude is to smirk and take the piss so as not be caught failing after trying too hard. Americans irrespective of politics, religion or ethnicity seem to me to be quite different. Earnest, hard-working, and possessed of some whacky beliefs they are easy to lampoon, but the can-do spirit is not just some kind of national myth in my experience but something real and worthy of admiration.

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