When we lived in China, there was a theme park near Hang Zhou that was called "Americaland." It was supposed to be a place you could visit to see what that strange place called America was like. No one would ever give us directions as to how to get there, probably embarrassed about what the stereotypes would reveal.

It's not only the Chinese who have these dreams:

Americaland is real place for British writers, it is built from thousands of fragments of American TV, films, music, comics and other cultural artefacts. It’s a place filled with 1950’s dinners and long desolate highways among other things. And its just as imaginary as a Britain filled with red telephone boxes and bowler hatted business men.
And Swedes! I somehow entirely missed this band called "the Rednex," whom I found tonight entirely by accident while searching for a traditional tune. They are nothing except a Swedish projection on American mythology, especially the mythology of the West.

(The underlying tune is "Orpheus in the Underworld," which was used in Can-can shows across the West.)

(Note the rifles and dog sleds!)

This is a little bit shocking, like discovering that you've been made into a god by superstitious islanders in the South Seas.

A fertility god, at that!


Isabella said...

I managed to get to Americaland - it was like cheap copy of disneyland, without the rides. The whole project had failed, and now its a boarding school for rich Chinese kids. There is a replica of the white house that serves as a dormitory. I sat in on an english class that was taught by something that sounded like a bad copy of a cbeebies recording.

Grim said...

Interesting. I remember the signs on the buses -- they had hula dancers on them. I always wanted to go see what they thought America was like.