United States University (USU)
“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.” — Rev. Martin Luther King at Riverside Church, New York, 1967..
“…it is easy to see that the moral sense has been bred out of certain sections of the population, like the wings have been bred off certain chickens to produce more white meat on them. This is a generation of wingless chickens, which I suppose is what Nietzsche meant when he said God was dead.” — Flannery O’ Connor in a letter to Elizabeth Hester.
“…seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.” — Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.
“…he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do….” Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
“And for all this, nature is never spent;/There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” — Gerard Manley Hopkins’ lines from “God’s Grandeur”
“Big Sur is beautiful.” — Henry Miller, overlooking the Pacific Ocean
There is much bestiality and beauty to be found in the United States of America. USU is devoted to helping Europeans discover both on their visits to the U.S.A. We pride ourselves on going beyond what can be learned in books, and beyond what is usually communicated via missives, movies and misinformed/disinforming media.
What we offer:
a. Low cost. We can function virtually as a non-profit organization for you. We turn no one away for financial reasons alone. In some cases we can provide financial support.
b. Rare opportunities. We arrange visits to areas where tourists never go. We conduct invaluable, insightful discussions with citizens whose voices are misrepresented or misunderstood in most European educational settings. And we introduce clients to both unusual natural environments and singular homestay options.
c. Safety. America is a dangerous place, and getting more dangerous by the minute. Travel agents rarely underscore this frightening fact. With USU, however, you can count on being escorted safely, both in terms of criminal and environmental threats.
d. The usual treats. What America is famous for — what is most publicized — cannot be omitted entirely from any trip that’s going to be well-rounded. We provide that too, always honoring the blessed element of spontaneity. See www.useutravel.blogspot.com.
e. A literary point of view. Our point of departure for cultural, historical and political talks is American literature. Whether one’s interests lie in the realm of music, religion or government, we use the ( fictional ) written word as our foundation. USU believes that authors such as Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Pynchon, Flannery O’Connor, Nathaniel West, William Faulkner and the like* provide better insights into America than all the statistics in the world.
*A full list of our favorites is available upon request.
f. Ongoing contact. We have no competition in this realm. Anyone who joins us in the U.S. is invited to keep in touch with us… as long as they like. Upon request, we will provide up-to-date information about developments here long after you leave our shores. In addition, we assist with job searches, property investment and more… free of charge.
Special note: We do not use forms. All of our contact with clients is highly personal, truly attempting to customize experiences to fit individual interests/needs. We’re after a select crowd. We’re not interested in accommodating as many “numbers” as possible. One of the reasons we’re into USU for Europeans is that the vast majority of Americans are not interested in anything but mainstream notions about their country. Works like Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men” — here — are taken as “entertainment” or with less than full credibility/understanding, full of numb resignation. Although less than optimistic ourselves, we’re nonetheless very aware — yes — of the benefits to be derived from following Italo Calvino’s injunction in the quote above.
What do we have to offer? American Literature of value from a fresh perspective, the American Character delineated, and thoughts about the future of the U.S.A.
And what do you have to offer us? Among other things, and they are many, there will simply be the connection, and knowing that you’ll have something to do with that light from the “fire in the horn” (in the McCarthy quote above) not going out .
About Us: Old biographical profiles are available at www.parisgraves.com/about.html, www.frenchpaintbox.com, and www.ctravelc.blogspot.com. However, we recommend that interested parties contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about our latest activities, and to build confidence in the appropriateness of putting yourself in our hands.