A Melting Pot of Copyright Issues

13 Jan

In America, we’re pretty proud of our reputation for being the melting pot of the world. We’re diverse. We’re independent. We respect everyone for who they are.

But when it really comes down to it, the rest of the world just has better scenery. Sure, we’ve got the Grand Canyon (can’t exactly take credit for that one) and the Statue of Liberty (thanks, France!) but there isn’t any obvious sign something, like a movie, takes place in America other than a preponderance of cars and hot-dog-eating contests.

We’re a little jealous of Mexico, with it’s spicy food and stucco, and Australia with it’s kangaroos and the outback, and even Canada with it’s funny little accent.

Mostly, though, we’re jealous of Europe. See a shot of a skinny dark-haired woman eating a croissant and you instantly know you’re in France. Snow-covered mountain chalet? Switzerland. Flamenco dancer? Spain. Blonde with mod yet unremarkable furniture? Sweden.

So in some little corners of America, we try to steal that. We figure that by copying the regional cuisine and architecture of another country, we can copy some of their charm.

Here in Washington, we have Leavenworth. A “Bavarian” town full of brats and beer, where every sign is written in “Old English” (the font, not the spelling). Even the Starbucks sign, and we all know how they feel about their brand. It’s a little disconcerting, to be honest. This mountain town, with just enough signs written in German to be putting on a show but not enough to pretend anyone actually speaks German, and an economy built entirely on tourism from locals who can’t actually afford to go to Europe.

There isn’t a store on the whole main road that’s actually useful. It’s all Christmas decorations and pillows and fancy kitchen gadgets. The town isn’t … real. It exists solely for the people who come and stay just a few days, the locals reminiscent of those actors at Plymouth. The shop owners don’t wear lederhosen, but that’s about where the line is drawn. It’s just uncanny.

Yes, I’m here for a few days. Yes, it’s great.

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