Yesterday’s practice of being a stranger in a strange land at the Dallas Cowboy/Oakland Raider’s tailgate party was a failure. Not because it was bad (I had a great time), but because I didn’t feel like a stranger in a U.S. parking lot with Black and Latino Oakland Raider/Dallas Cowboy fans. I didn’t feel uncomfortable with people gawking at me hanging out with a group of mostly white people wearing blue sparkly lipstick, my tiny shorts, and tube top. In fact, I returned most awkward looks and catcalls with Dallas Cowboy kisses and flirtatious greetings. It’s definitely not difficult to see how I am strange in certain U.S. cites, however the American practice of tailgating in Oakland, California did not produce strangeness. I do have some questions about our exploration of Americana and Strangeness in the U.S.:
Is the act of tailgating an “American” practice, is it part of the Americana?
If Americana is a set of patriotic artifacts and ideas that were created in the interest of sharing a Eurocentric/ethnocentric idea of what the U.S. is in relation to other countries, how do those artifacts continue to shape U.S. daily life? Do they shape my life?
What constitutes Americana now?
Is there an Americana that relates to the history of immigrants in the U.S. and Native Americans?
What is the difference between “Americanness” and Americana? It is that Americana enacts a United States ideology of itself in relation to itself (instead of in relation to Asia, for example.)
How have I adopted U.S. cultural imaginaries or become Americanized? Compulsory Smiling, etc.
How do I negotiate strangehood with a group of mostly white people while trying to analyze/experience/explore strangerhood and Americana/ “Americanness”?
How have I adopted “strangeness” as part of my American identity?