So I've been thinking lately, since I work near (on?) the site of the 1893 World's Fair (made recently famous in the "Devil in the White City" book) ... what ever happened to world fairs? What ever happened to the expos that revealed great treats that subsequently became famous and some of the world's most well known delicious goods. Ice cream cones and cotton candy. Where did those classic events that brought out thousands and people from around the world go?
After a bit of looking, it turns out there still are world expos. In fact, there's an organization that organizes these events the world over. It's the BIE, and it looks like our No. 1 country -- our very own U.S. of A is not a member. The 2008 event is in Zaragoza (the capital of the region in Spain formerly known as the Kingdom of Aragon). But the U.S. isn't among the nations participating. There's a 2010 event in Shanghai, but the U.S. isn't participating in that either.
It's shocking, considering that 15 of the 46 expos around the world since 1851 were in the U.S., with the last one being in New Orleans in 1984.
So what's up U.S.? Why no love for the World's Fair? We fight like hell to be an Olympics city, but why the hell not for a world expo? Why not tout our glory and fancy products and lifestyle to the world at a gigantic expo? Is our isolationism getting the best of us?
It's sad and disappointing to me. But really, give the expo some love. Let's show off our Italian beefs and applie pies and ... other stuff that we sort of invented. Hell, we could give those kids who hacked the iPhone their own tent!
And that is what I have to say about that.