Americans: Clueless About the World? So What?

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Early in his segment Hemon strikes a note that reverberates throughout the rest of the show – that he and many others have “an ambiguous relationship with America.” Dan particularizes this when he says that he senses in Hemon’s writing and interviews the idea that “Americans are somewhat innocently or naïvely blank about the rest of the world, even today.”

In the discussion about a writer’s putative role as an educator, Hemon says “I really have no educational interest [when I write] . . . it’s the Americans’ problem if they don’t know about other lands . . . I’ve never thought for a moment that somehow I’m the one that’s supposed to represent Bosnian culture to Americans, or to anyone . . . .”

Clearly, Hemon feels strongly about this from his point of view as a writer. But, from a broader point of view, is he correct? Is it just America’s problem if Americans don’t know about and understand other lands and cultures, or does it in fact become the world’s problem?