How is America a wasteful society

American moments

In the United States, one is constantly amazed at how generous, lavish, and excessive this country is. Perhaps the key to being Americans is how they prepare a baked potato.

Columbus, OHIO

Perhaps the key to being Americans is how they prepare a baked potato. Literally every time I come to the United States, I am amazed anew by how generous, lavish, excessive this country is: in the way it treats space, money, one's own body, enthusiasm, strangers, with much of what life is all about. It's an effect that never wears off.

In a restaurant in Columbus, on one of those parkways that all look the same after 24 hours - a "Wal-Mart Super Center" here, a mega-cinema there - it is served with a steak. The credo seems to be: We have already packed sour cream and gratinated cheese, what harm can fried ham cubes do?

The "Texas Road House" is the kind of establishment where the steaks are in a showcase at the entrance, wrapped in cling film and in several weight classes: Rib-Eye - 280 grams, 340 grams, 450 grams. This is what it looks like on the plate, the abundance of consumption, which here is more natural than demonstrative.

It's just before three on a Saturday afternoon; In a good half an hour, the blonde waitress Tera informs me, the whole city will come to a standstill. Columbus, the Ohio capital, doesn't have a professional football team, so the kids at the local Ohio State University, one of the best public colleges in the country with a good 50,000 students, are the objects of excitement.

Today the "Buckeyes" play against the "Spartans" from Michigan State University. One takes that fairly seriously; But in a few weeks you will be playing against your archenemy, the University of Michigan - and then it will be SERIOUS.

Sitting next to me at the bar, as I will soon find out, are Christopher and Jennifer, both estimated to be in their late thirties, who work in a barber shop nearby - “a very traditional American barber shop,” as they will proudly explain. When I'm not sure what to order as a drink, Christopher leans over and gives me a tip: Coca-Cola with cherry syrup. (I don't recommend it: too cute.) This is how it starts. Christopher talks about his ten year old deaf son, and Jennifer seconded what a child prodigy he was.

What follows is a common experience as a reporter in the United States: You tell someone why you came, and people make the project their own.

A few years ago when I was in Midland, Texas, where George W. Bush grew up and later worked in the oil business for a long time without real success, I went to his former church to meet people who had known him before. In the end, one of the men from the community who used to go jogging with Bush spent hours doing the city guide for me; I spent dinner with another family who shared their memories with me. Even if I still don't quite understand them, the experience shattered my prejudice about America's evangelicals.

This time I came to the United States to ask around for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and FAZ.NET among voters in Ohio, where the polls see Barack Obama and John McCain more or less on par, but where both have to win, they want to Become president. In the steak house in Columbus, I'm actually out of service for a short time this afternoon. But then the three of us will talk about the choice.

“We get all kinds of people into our shop, a very good cross-section,” says Christopher: “From the police officer who comes by shortly before a presidential candidate visits because he has to drive next to the motorcade and wants to look good, to the university Professor. “Then there is also politicization. "You absolutely have to come over and listen to it."

Jennifer herself is still undecided who should own her voice. One of her customers is a black radio presenter, she says: “He's one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and they don't actually vote. But he's so excited that he wants to vote this time. "

Of course, how many whites will vote for Obama here in Ohio has not yet been decided. In the end, not everyone who is now claiming that to the pollsters? One does not like to be bigoted. For most pollsters, Ohio is still in the toss-up category: you might as well toss a coin.

Incidentally, the "Buckeyes" win this afternoon. 45 to 7. But this weekend it wasn't really serious anyway.

Tags: George W. Bush, Ohio, presidential election, United States
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Can it be a little too much?

By Bertram Eisenhauer

In the United States, one is constantly amazed at how generous, lavish, and excessive this country is. Perhaps the key to being Americans is how they prepare a baked potato.

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