Best wishes, Europe. And try not to hate us.
Dear Europe: Hey, happy Europe Day! I confess I didn’t know there was any such thing. For an awful lot of the previous century, it didn’t seem possible that anyone would be able to find a place for it among the traditional European holidays such as Ethnic Strife Day, Invading Poland Day, and Bloodletting Along the Somme Day. Nevertheless, on this day in 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed to create a unified Europe. This is said to be the founding document of what is now the European Union and, thus, today is officially Europe Day. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years. First, there were all those Omen movies wherein the rise of just the Common Market was made out to be a sign of the rise of the Antichrist – which, unless the Antichrist was David Frost, I thought was overstating the case a bit. Then, more recently, people in this country kept using you as the resident bad example. Single-payer health care? That’s . . . so European! John Kerry? Doesn’t he look, well, French? (No, actually, he looks like an Ent from The Lord of the Rings.) For some of my fellow citizens, the worst thing that could happen is to be mistaken for Europeans. I wouldn’t much care, frankly, if someone thought I was a Dane or a Swede. They’re nice enough folks, and they ski very well. In any event, I wish you the happiness of the day, and that your official currency sounded less like a small foreign car.
Charles P. Pierce / firstname.lastname@example.org