This place is very adversarious - rough social conditions (the rich men think - "we had it tough and we made it - now let's see you do it!"), wild and virgin nature, indians (their culture, wild and pure - not their physical resistance - it simply haunts this place). But on a deeper level, maybe the toughness springs from another root - perhaps in leaving everything, cutting off your roots, risking life and family, even abandoning your language - perhaps in doing all this (and that after all is what generations of men and women had to do) you place yourself in the wilderness, the place where you have no one to rely on but yourself.  It's the open sky above you, alright - if you start falling into that, it's bye-bye baby, you plummet onwards and upwards into the trackless waste of uncharted space.

The most basic thing about America:


... no matter how "vulgar", "uncultured", "intimate", "violent", "kind" etc this may be from the European point of view...

So: any voice, any sound, is potentially music (vs purist categories of European classical music (base, tenor, alto, soprano etc) - these have "perfect", "ideal" forms; while in rock / modern music, any form is free to develop its own ideal.

Very important in America - probably more so even than "you can make it if you try" - is the "stand up for your rights" way of thinking.  In books etc it's endemic - Adrift in New York, Dirty Dancing, the Lincoln myth.  What is important to see, I think, is that the arrogance one often associates with this (the gun laws, showing muscle in Panama (on the news today!) etc), is often better viewed as one of many possible symptoms of a deeper "stand tall", "don't let'm lick you" mentality. In the face of adversity, you need that piece of advice (why competetive sports are so important - this is what they teach).