Its always nice when the Internet tells you something you didn’t know. In this case, its told me that I’m a Quaker.
Now, this was a surprise. I’ve always been a Methodist, but the quiz at Beliefnet insists that I’m 100% Quaker, as per these results:
1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (97%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (85%)
4. Eastern Orthodox (85%)
5. Roman Catholic (85%)
I mean, I can understand 2-4; they make sense, I expected them. But Quaker? I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know a lot about them, beyond their stance on pacifism, and upon reading their entry on Wikipedia, I’m not entirely sure I’m with them theologically. However, the street just up the road from where I live used to be a Quaker burial ground, so at least they’ve got somewhere to put me when I die, cold and alone…
Anyway, enough about gonzo theology quizes on the Net, we’re talking about going to New York! Woo! I went back in 2002 with a friend, and its a truly fantastic place. Of course, when we got there we faced the third degree from customs, to the extent that I thought a big guy called Bubba was going to show up to do a cavity search, but once we actually got into the US, it was amazing. Thing is, while sights like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building are amazing, its the little things that really make America. Like being at a basketball game with Kevin Bacon (he had way better seats than us though), or watching a Hendrix-alike busker tuning his guitar just off Times Square. My friend spotting Yoko Ono. Coming across the art gallery from Ghostbusters 2 by accident. Signing our names on a West Bromich Albion flag hanging at Ground Zero.
And having to catch the last ferry back to Manhatten from Liberty Island, watching the NY skyline switch on its lights and turn itself into the backdrop for a thousand movies. People rant about American politics and use that to colour their perception of the country as a whole. But for me, America is everyone in Manhatten switching on their lights to create that skyline, and being dwarved by a giant French chick who once symbolised a way out of the prisons of the past, a gateway to a new life. That’s something worth celebrating.