In the news today, another small victory for American consumer culture. The setting is the idyllic yet troubled island nation of Fiji. An insurrection there has resulted in a crisis involving a few dozen hostages, among them the prime minister, who are being held in the parliamentary compound. The rebels want the country's constitution rewritten, among other things. "The scene at the compound has an incongruous carnival air, even with the hostages held upstairs," writes Sam Howe Verhovek in today's New York Times.
Though some young men run around with machine guns, nearly all are polite and exceedingly friendly to foreign reporters.
"America? America?" one young man, dressed in a Baltimore Orioles T-shirt, said to a reporter today. "Have a Bud, man!" he proclaimed, then thrust out his hand with a thumbs-up gesture.
We can only hope that the reporter responded with a hearty "Wazzup!"