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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Literary Dose #19

"At American's outposts, with places like Chili's pumping out its exhaust in one area and Burger King belching its tallow-scented smoke down the street, the place certainly does smell like America. I was struck by how both men [at Camp Carroll in South Korea] referred to the idea of Westerners, as people, standing out, but were not too concerned about the bases standing out, as they do when someone flies over them or walks by them and peers in the chain link fence. When I mentioned this, [civilian Dean] Jackson said, 'But sometimes we build with a local influence.' Colonel [Wayne] Kennedy reacted strongly to this suggestion, stating forcefully, 'But it's absolutely just a fa├žade -- the inside is still American.' Here is a senior Army officer, trained as a logistician, who sees through the veneers of compatibility. Whether in Italy, Japan, or South Korea, planning that stops with sloped tile roofs and stucco walls does not make a place compatible. But the American style seems to be spreading to the local area. Jackson commented that he has noticed more Western-style housing going up: single-family homes with big yards and two-car garages. It seems local residents are learning from the planning patterns of the military."
- Mark L. Gillem, from America Town (2007).

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