Monday, June 27, 2005
'Tis Of Thee
As an admitted liberal, I'll be the first one to tell you some of the crazier-sounding ideas about us floating around Red State America are true. We like hybrid cars, we wear sandals, we like Europeans and we only ever--ever--use ropes made of hemp. Even some of the more damning charges I'll admit are true, though maybe not for some of the reasons you might think. For instance, I think more people should be gay, but not because I'm all non-religious and permissive. It's just that I don't like standing in long lines at baseball games and auto parts stores.
The one thing I will argue with, though, is the idea that I as a liberal hate America. No sir, that is where I draw the line. No one can impugn my love for the country that made me, that allows me the freedom to vote, to protest and to sit on my ass all day and read blogs. My country has given me my voice, my social conscience and (indirectly) a screaming case of hemorrhoids. I'll admit, some I'm more grateful for than others.
I'll also admit that while I love America--and having just returned from seeing and experiencing distant parts of it--there are great wide swaths of it I just do not understand. My travels have left me somewhat confused and despairing for the future of my country. Some things that are simply beyond my comprehension:
-Sleeveless t-shirts. Not muscle-shirts, I mean used-to-be-sleeved t-shirts with the sleeves pulled off. Is that 4 inches of cloth really the only thing between you and total comfort?
-Fat guys with no shirts on. California gets a bad rap for being the home of really really shallow people, but maybe that's not so bad when the fatties know to keep it covered up.
-Humidity. I'm sorry, it's just not as charming as you think it is, rest-of-America. Only two of our days outside The CA were noticeably humid. Together, they more than justified the ridiculous amount I overpaid for my house.
-Eastern Daylight Time. Did you know that in certain parts of the country, things come on television at EXACTLY the same time they are advertised? While I appreciate not having to do all the math when ESPN says the Angels game comes on at 10 pm (out here, our state-issued Decoder Rings tell us that means 7 pm Pacific), who wants to watch a baseball game at 10 pm? I'm usually bombed out of my skull on alternating shooters of Old Granddad and absinthe by 9:00 EDT/6:00 PDT, latest. And I have to stay up until 1 am to finish watching the ball game? Man. You wouldn't believe the shakes.
-Snow. I didn't see any first hand, but just the thought of it is kind of absurd. Seems like a real hassle, too.
-Trees and lakes. These things are for strictly-regulated, tightly controlled environments with rangers and lifeguards and semi-annual brush fires to keep growth in check. There are places in this country where trees and lakes are allowed to breed and spawn willy-nilly, providing perfect hiding/jumping out spots for all manner of hockey-masked serial killers and amphibious water-breathing camper-eating monsters. It's like you people have never seen a Roger Corman movie.
-Smog-free air. If it doesn't fight back just a little bit when I try to suck it into my lungs, I don't want anything to do with it.
Nice as my vacation was and while I understand America is a big place, I think it's time we get it under control. One country, one culture. If I want to be confused by foreigners speaking English, I'll go to Canada.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.0