Friday, 28 August 2009

Hollywood, Moscow, Idaho

Did you know that there is a Moscow in Idaho, USA? It is in Latah county up there in the North West near Washington State and some distance north west of Salt Lake, Utah. The population of Moscow, Idaho as of July 2008 was 22,798. Moscow boasts among its educational establishments the University of Idaho and Mr Leon’s School of Hair Design. Tourist attractions include the Appaloosa Horse Club and Museum, an Historical Society and a couple of theme parks. Visitors can choose from a selection hotels including The Royal Motor Inn on 120 West 6th Street and Pantry on 1516 West Pullman Road. You can find out more here

There is another Moscow; it is in Russia. The population of Moscow as of March 2009 was 10,514,400. The city of Moscow is one of the world's great cities. Situated on the picturesque Moskva River, the Kremlin and Red Square mark the heart of Russia's capital city.  Gorgeous palaces, churches and historical buildings are among Moscow's many attractions.  For entertainment, one can enjoy a Russian ballet, a river boat cruise or a day excursion to the Trinity Monastery. You can find out more here

Now if I say “Moscow” you might be forgiven for asking which one I had in mind; Moscow Russia or Moscow Idaho. But if I mentioned Moscow in relation to the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi ballet would I really have to explain? Then why, when I watch American movies, do they feel the need to put up the caption “Moscow, Russia” over a shot of minarets, monasteries and the Moscow Metro?

Why, when I am looking at pictures of the Eifel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees do they feel it necessary to tell me that this is Paris, France and not Paris, Texas? or when I am looking at Big Ben, black cabs and Red Rover Double-Decker buses do I need to be reminded that this is London, England and not London, Ontario Canada?

What am I? American!

I don’t need these hints so beloved of the Homer Simpsons of this world. I don’t need laughter tracks to tell me when something is funny; I have my own sense of humour. I don’t need long, lingering camera shots of the clue in a detective drama; if I was that disinterested I wouldn’t watch the thing. I don’t need the good guys to wear white hats and the bad guys to wear black hats; I know that life is not as simple as that and the “good guys” do bad things while the “bad guys” can have good motives. But sometimes it is as simple as that, like the fact that Moscow, Idaho doesn’t boast minarets and the Eifel Tower is in Paris, France and always has been; maybe somebody ought to tell Americans? Maybe Americans ought to tell Hollywood?

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