I haven't traveled in Africa nearly as much as I'd like to. I've been there a few times, and I'd like to learn more about the various cultures in Africa. But that's the basis point of where all of the music that I love is based upon, from Africa to Cuba to Puerto Rico to South America.
We, as Americans, at least - I mean, I love my country - but we're so self-righteous sometimes, in terms of, like, our nationality, our country. But we're people from somewhere else; the true 'Americans' are the original peoples. It's funny, but we're a very territorial species.
When President George W. Bush attempted to reform Social Security, that proposal was more unpopular with Americans than the Iraq war. People love their entitlements.
My love for American music and American movies is from an early age. I was 10 or 11 when I heard Fats Domino and Little Richard and Buddy Holly. And the movies, my dad used to take my brother and I to the movies every Friday. It was incredible: we got to see just about every movie that came out for a period of years.
When I was seven years old, I fell in love with a series published by Bobbs-Merrill called 'The Childhood of Famous Americans.' In it, historical figures like Clara Barton, Nancy Hanks, Elias Howe, Patrick Henry, and dozens more came to life for me as children.
I remember when we first bought Teleflora, I made a very expensive mistake when I produced a brochure with the slogan, 'The way America sends love.' The bouquets and prices I pictured could not be duplicated by the florist - they were too expensive. I had relied on people I thought were in touch with the marketplace.
I have become an American citizen, and I love this country. I think that this country has incredible potential for goodness, an incredible possibility for doing the wrong thing, too.
I love the 'Housewives.' I don't watch 'American Idol' or 'X Factor.' I guess I don't like network reality: I like my Bravo; I like documentary programming - I love 'Intervention' and some things on TLC more than others - but the 'Real Housewives' to me are really revolutionary, in terms of giving camera time to women of a certain age.
You know, American citizens, I don't think, ever thought that the right to the pursuit of happiness did not include the right to marry the person you love. But for a whole number of Americans, gay Americans, that happens to be true.
America's critics can be heard everywhere. It is too much in love with money - worshipping the god of the marketplace, the golden calf. It has too much money, seven of the top 10 banks, eight of the top 10 companies etc. It is too stingy, giving away less of its wealth than other countries. It is vulgar, a rich barbarian.
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