Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Kiss Our Star-Spangled Ass
The world, it's been said, is a lot like high school. Okay, I don't know if that's actually been said, but I'll just go ahead and say it now so that I can continue with my analogy. So the world is a high school and, right now, the United States is pretty much that asshole football player who used to give you wedgies, vomit on people at parties, get girls pregnant and then try to talk 'em into paying for their own abortion. Whether or not you feel that way about the U.S., you have to admit that it's pretty much how the rest of the world sees us.
Now, any other country would maybe start taking steps to repair their international reputation. But not us. We've got leaders who just don't much give a shit what people think. And so, when our worldwide popularity has pretty much reached its nadir, we're basically pulling down our pants and waving our genitals around. Just this week, we've got eight servicemen going on trial for the premeditated murder of an Iraqi civilian. The abuses at Guantanamo Bay and other prisons continue to be revealed in print and on screen. Our movie stars are taking over entire countries for the birth of their children.
And worst of all, in my opinion, is how we've been handling the threat of a missile test by North Korea. Instead of sitting down and talking about things, what's the best solution we can come up with? We threaten to try to shoot their missile down with a defense system that doesn't work. There is no good that can come from this pathetically empty threat. The absolute best outcome is that we end up saying, "Whatever. We decided we didn't want to waste our missile defense on your stupid missile, so there." At worst, they shoot the missile, we try to shoot it down and fail utterly, making us look like the biggest limp-dick morons on the planet.
So I'm thinking, as long we seem to be trying to piss off the rest of the globe, why not go whole hog? Here, then, is my list of things we can do to make everyone hate us even more. Maybe you can add to what I've got.
Here's a contrasting viewpoint, courtesy of Dr. Sanity:
Repeatedly over the years (but especially more recently), the world has said to America, "We will give you the honor and privilege of fixing our problems for us; and in return, we get to spit in your face; denounce you as immoral; and generally denigrate your culture, your leaders, and your people."
When it comes to taking the risks and absorbing the costs--financial and human-- for almost any project, the United States is automatically expected to shoulder the financial responsibilities; stop the megalomaniacal madmen; and protect everyone else.
And what do they get in return? Public scorn and derision.
I think she's right.
Both viewpoints have some merit, but my philosophy is more along the lines of MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR.
If that fails, try isolationism.
I've said for a long time that America has grown up only to about the age of 14. We're still a young country. But 14 is a dangerous age, full of hormonal chaos that is typified by obsession with sex and violence and "Mine is bigger than yours!" We've become the bully on the block and we're holding the Earth as hostage.
A very apt Roundtable seeing as we just got kicked out of the World Cup two hours ago. I left America for many reasons, some of them are mentioned in this post. Yet as I am often forced to represent my entire country when asked questions about why we're such douche-bags, I occasionally spew out ideas like Dr. Sanity. For the most part though I just say, hey, you're preaching to the choir. And then I make fun of them for having never been to the States before yet feeling that they have every right to tell me how it is in the old US of A. And their crooked teeth and small bones. I make fun of that too.
A big part of the problem is our (collective) isolationist mentality which arose because we were able to function independently. This is not true anymore as the world is a much more global place.
I know your post is tongue-in-cheek, but I do believe the world does hate us now more than ever. The best way to stay safe is to have fewer enemies. Yet we keep making more enemies with our military "tentacles".
After just watching some more bad calls against the U.S. in their World Cup loss to Ghana, I'm convinced that dislike for the U.S. is a factor. More serious proof of this is the fact that the U.S. team is the only one that was bussed on an unmarked vehicle. All other teams were able to ride in vehicles that proudly displayed their countries' colors.
Nettl and I are becoming expats in Vienna in the summer of 2008, when the last chick is in college. I'll still vote for Joe Wack, however.
11. Have Mary Engelbreit redesign our national flag...
Don't abandon our great country. Things will only get worse. We need to pull together in 2006 and 2008 and turn things around.
Oh no, designer paper towels again!
I thought of one to add to your list...
Let's start a soccer tournament and call it the "World Series of Soccer" but just include U.S. and Canadian teams.
Oh, we're not abandoning America, we're just taking a little "vacation" until things open up a little. I'm 55. People perceive me and my wife as lesbians. I'd like to spend a few of my remaining years in a place where I don't have to be constantly looking over my shoulder for fear of a hate crime, or worrying about getting evicted because of whom I love. I spent the entire 70s, 80s and 90s fighting for equal rights, and I'm tired. There's a new batch of young people who can carry my placard around for a while.
I've always wanted to be an expatriot writer living the cafe life in Europe anyway. We're going to keep a homebase here, but also have an apartment in Vienna.
Let me just clarify something briefly: I agree that the U.S., as the sole remaining superpower, gets called on to do more than our share of the lifting during international crises and such. And, yeah, the fall-back position of many countries around the world is that we suck, no matter what we do.
But I truly don't think anyone could look at our international policy since Bush took the White House and say that we've done much of anything to change that. Bush has never acted like we were part of an international community. He's acted like everyone else was fucking well playing in our sandbox and we'd take our toys and go home if they didn't tow the line.
I don't think we're going to survive in an increasingly globalized society with that kind of approach.
Let's also start something called a "World Series" where only American and Canadian baseball teams are included...
My mother used to say 'Los monos nunca se miran los rabos' ("Monkeys never look at their tails.")
I think it's kind of funny and at the same time irritating that 'Americans' are that hated overseas. Me? I feel no actual pride over being American, since technically one cannot help where one comes out of the chute. It's no real accomplishment. Heh. Three months earlier and I'd have been a born Venezuelan and would have probably been, along with Chavez, hating Americans.
What chafes the rest of the world, as you've indicated, is our foreign policy. That sucks infinitesimal ass. That sucks the hair out of the ass. The sad thing is that there is so much shit going on that we don't know about... controlled by a minute segment of our populace. Their decisions dictate how we are seen by the rest of the world.
Whether or not we voted any of these bastards into office, we are left wallowing in the shitstorm they create. Most of us get sold into believing that we are in fact enjoying more 'freedoms' than in other locales and end up flying the flag to defend these 'freedoms'.
Sure, we lead a kick-ass life here. At least most of us do, but they do have soft toilet paper in Chile, they do have good porno stores in Belgium and you can get a great hot dog in Paris.
Hell, even a peasant in Poland can roll a fattie of some quality Warsaw weed if he wants to.
Culturally, we have a superiority complex. I think that's why other people like to see us take a proverbial shit.
"The concept of national boundaries, of NATIONS is of course the war formula. Dogmatic RIGHT and WRONG is the tool of psychological enslavement used by all establishments."
-- William S. Burroughs
I know what you mean about the World Series. That's what my joke was alluding to. I always found it ironic and then to add fuel to the fire, the U.S. lost the international World Baseball Tournament this spring.
I do agree with Dr. Sanity about the fact that the world tends to lose its long term gratefulness for all the USA has done, but I'm not sure when an appropriate time to stop getting credit is. Comversely, when should others stop holding certain historical events against us?
In response to the good Dr's comment. I think what really chaps my ass about the "expectancy" the rest of the world imposes on the U.S., is the fact that (at least I have never noticed) where is the "rest of the world" when we need help?
Don't get me wrong, I agree, the rest of the world see's "us" as an unplanned pregnancy, but at the same time, we get very little in the way of support from the very same people who continually expect to recieve it.
What proverb? The one about Hezekiah and the soiling the bed linen. I think it was something about 'thou shalt not...
12. Build the tallest structure in the world in the shape of a penis with a flag that says "suck it" flying on top.
I think sometimes we try too hard to get the rest of the world to like us. We should have invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq on September 12 but instead Bush wasted time building a coalition and what thanks does he get? Everyone keeps whining and crying about the US "going it alone".
Don't get me wrong... I'm not a fan of Bush. I just get so frustrated sometimes. Maybe sometime I'll work up the courage to post some of this crap on my own blog. But that would just lead to more frustration because of the reactions I would get.
How about we open a starbuck's inside of the pyramids and the great wall of china and then again on the great wall of china(ok, every five feet like in the city) and then in some buddhist temples...while we're at it--open a few hundred Mcdonalds' and Wal-Marts and don't pay people what they are worth.
I dunno...I'm kinda liking the sound of living in Vienna, or Canada...Not that I hate being a UStian, but these supposedly inferior places seem to have a better standard of living for all of its citizens overall.
In other news, Atul, I think the reason for the unmarked bus may have more to do with the US's lack of interest in football.
I have to say that the whole idea of america's poor referee calls in their game against Ghana as proof that the WORLD HATES AMERICA is just about the shitiest excuse I've ever heard from a country that could care less about futbol. France scored two goals in their second game against South Korea, yet despite the fact that the ball was clearly inside the goal line, the ref said it didn't count. NO one thought this was because the world hates the French. refs fuck up. often. and it's not an excuse for the fact that US are an inferior team at soccer nor is it an example of anti-americanism. What we Americans have a hard time understanding is that people don't like our government and that this sentiment has nothing to do with how they feel about us as individuals.
Goddamit you people, we gave the world Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and The GAP!
Jesus H. Christ you ungrateful bastards, what more can we DO?
america isn't perfect but it's pretty damn close. i'm sick of ass holes from other countries who come here to partake in american prosperity and would rather shit on an american than lend a helping hand to better our country by voting. this is still the best place in the world to live and raise a family. if you don't like it "LEAVE!"Post a Comment