Originally posted July 4, 2012. Happy Fourth!
I post here a lot on what’s wrong with this country. After all, our nation needs to go into the shop for some long overdue maintenance. But if I didn’t love my country, I wouldn’t be calling out banks and the major parties and… Oh, I still got a list to get through.
However, today is the United States’ 236th (238th. This is a couple years old, after all.) birthday. This is a time to celebrate what’s right with America.
- We’re so tough, we kicked our own ass. And you better be happy the old school guys won. ‘Cuz then you’d have two of us to deal with, and tag team wrestling was popularized in the South. Just think what impact that would have had on the inevitable alliance.
- Forty-three years later, and we still are the only ones to have gone to the moon. Nine times, walking on it six times. We even brought home the crew of the one that blew up, and they still got to circle the moon. Sure, the Chinese will likely get there around 2020, over fifty years later.
- We invented the Les Paul and the Stratocaster. If you’re not playing Gibson or Fender, as our English cousins would say, you’re a wanker!
- Star Trek. Sure, Jean-Luc Picard is a French guy played by a British guy and sounds, well, British. You can only get away with that on an American television show. And Jean-Luc joins a pantheon of Americans who make James Bond look like a pansy (which, in fairness to our British cousins, is pretty hard to do.): James T. Kirk (Iowa), Hikaru Sulu (San Francisco), Benjamin Sisko (New Orleans), Kathryn Janeway (Indiana), and Jonathan Archer (Upstate New York).
- We have California. Europe has Greece. When California goes broke, people want to buy into California at bargain basement prices because even 164 years after the gold rush, everyone still wants to live in California (even people who hate it.) When Greece goes broke, the world goes into crisis. And all Europe says, “Well, no wonder. All the buildings are falling apart.”
- Nathan’s hot dogs, Chicago style pizza, Ben & Jerry’s, Texas chili, Cincinnati-style chili, Parmanti Brothers sandwiches, Katz Deli in Manhattan, fried chicken, cajun food, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam. So what if the beer’s watery? You’re just washing down all the great food and chasing the whiskey.
- Sure, American cars leave a lot to be desired, but we still build these…
Too bad we don’t build really great high-end sports cars. Oh, wait. We do.
We even build one that’s electric.
I not only can change the channel, but I don’t have to pay the government for the privilege. (Well, sales tax on the cable, but I’m awfully fond of paved roads and well-paid cops.)
In America, someone like Charlie Sheen can make something of himself. Because it takes more than tiger blood. It takes getting a forty-third chance. America is the land of forty-third chances.
New Orleans. Abandoned after Katrina destroyed it? Nope. Rebuilt it.
We are beset by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, drought, and political pundits. Do we fold? Nope. We just keep getting bigger.
Despite what other countries have accused us of (and a few wingnuts shriek to the contrary), it’s not a theocracy. Not even close. Which is good. Because I’d rather my fellow countrymen not blow themselves up in Seth McFarlane’s front yard over a Family Guy episode.
Speaking of which, Seth McFarlane. Deal with it.
In all seriousness, I love living here. For all our faults, it’s amazing what we’ve accomplished in 236 (238) years. Like any large republic with pretensions of greatness, we have our share of douchebags. Most of the time we can’t even agree on which ones are the douchebags. But if you look at the long line of history, the people who who win the day are those who look at that founding document, The Declaration of Independence, see that phrase “all men are created equal,” and hold the nation’s collective feet to the fire until we come a little more in line with that phrase. I didn’t have to wait until I owned property to vote. My wife can vote. I have several friends who don’t have to worry about being auctioned off as chattel or be forced to drink from a different water fountain. Maybe someday soon, a cousin of mine can get married. In the meantime, no one’s going to kill me for going to the wrong church, nor will they kill an atheist friend of mine for not going at all. Life’s not perfect, but then perfect does not exist, not even in fairy tales. (“Happily ever after” means “Sorry. I don’t do sequels.”)
And in all seriousness, I know most people elsewhere think more highly of where they are than they do of us. But this is our day. So slice off a piece of Canadian bacon, raise a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee… Oh, wait. That was Sunday (Tuesday).
Damn! And I didn’t even get Canada a card!
All right, America then! Grab thee some fireworks and blow off a finger or two in celebration!