No doubt the United States is the most influential nation in the world as a culture and as a power. Our style of music, our food, our clothe, everything's being followed and copied around the world.
But it seems to me that when it comes to awareness of one-another, America stands out as being particularly isolated. Take sports for example. Throughout the rest of the world, Cricket and Soccer are the most popular games for inter-national competition and championships. People become aware of other nations through these games, the way A New Yorker might become aware of other states via baseball. The US participates in Soccer, but we don't particularly care for it.
And that's just the most peripheral example. Dubai, Dhaka and Singapore alike rely on international news channels like BBC International and CNN International for global news. Most Americans have no access to such networks, but rather rely on the dumbed down local CNN that puts disproportionate emphasis on which psychotic pop Diva is shaving her head this week. Oh, their news 'services'. The music channels I used to watch in Bangladesh gave us samples of music from all over the world, from India to Italy, and of course the US.
This would not be a particularly important issue of America were indeed a somewhat isolationist country that kept to itself. But it isn't. It uses its money to influence political leaders in countries, uses its powers via the UN to punish nations that don't play by its rules (via sanctions), and occasionally busts out the fighter jets and bombs when others don't submit to American demands.
Case in point: Iran. Despite already fighting two wars, there are politicians and experts trying to ferment the kind of furies that would bring us towards declaring war against Iran. Given past occurances, the American people would probably go along with it, and then pretend they were duped 3 yrs down the line. Would Americans be less trigger-happy if they had some understanding that people in Iran aren't all little trolls running around plotting death to America? If Americans knew that Iranians do indeed publicly protest their political leaders and openly disagree with their government, would Americans still believe they need to 'free' Iran? Maybe if Americans watched more Iranian art movies, particularly those showing the every day concerns and frustrations of common Iranians, Americans would realize people from that country were not really much different from themselves.
I think it's time the blinders came off.