America, we need to have a little chat. It’s pretty popular to dog the United States these days, but on Memorial Day, are you just going to sit back and let a bunch of Eurotrash talk shit on your country? Hell no.
In between celebrating the Fourth of July in that most American of ways, by getting drunk and eating grilled meats, take a moment to remember just what it is you’re celebrating: those who made America great. And you best believe your grandpa didn’t pistol whip Hitler just so you could sit around and apologize for being American. You owe it to him to celebrate these reasons why America is still number one and the goddamn best. Anything else would be unpatriotic. America! Fuck yeah!
Yeah, we’re bringing out the big guns early here. Quick question, rest of the world: is your country’s flag on the moon? Ours is.
Reigning World War Champs
2-0, baby. 3-0 if you count the Cold War, and hey, why not? To quote a great American hero, “When it comes crashing down and it hurts inside… I gotta be a man, I can’t let it slide,” and whenever it’s come crashing down we haven’t let that shit slide. I’m talking to you, Germany. You too, Hirohito. Sure, we might show up fashionably late, but that’s just what cool bros do. And then we get that party started, drop some bombs and leave with all your sexy scientists. We’ll even pay someone to clean up the mess. That’s how cool we are.
Sure, you might have ancient Roman ruins and priceless works of art, but do you have Hulk Hogan grappling in his underwear with Macho Man Randy Savage? Did your country give birth to Patrick Swayze? We invented movies and rock n’ roll, TV and titty mags. Sure, you have Stephen Hawking rolling around, but we’ve got Larry Flynt. You go ahead and you give the Palme d’Or at Cannes to some pretentious art-house flick. Michael Bay will just parachute out of an exploding helicopter and take that shit home to give to his favorite hooker.
From Sea to Shining Sea
How many countries span a whole damn giant continent? Pipe down, Australia. Well, I guess Canada does too, but they only have six people living in the whole country so they might as well be Antarctica. But thanks to Manifest Destiny and some, uh, artful negotiating and friendly gift-giving with the people who were there before, America managed to become a country that truly has it all. We’ve got mountains, deserts, lakes so awesome they’re literally called the Great Lakes, two oceans, paradise cities, both literal and figurative (I can’t believe I forgot to mention Axl Rose in the culture section!), grand canyons, and just about anything and everything you can think of. You can lay out on the beach in Miami and then take a private jet to the Rockies to go skiing, all without ever leaving the country. We can go Hollywood or we can go scary Appalachia. We’re versatile as hell.
We are a country of people descended from people who were so fucked up, so nuts, that they were kicked out of their own countries. Hell, a big chunk of Americans are only here because their ancestors were literally abducted. That’s going to create a country of people with wild hairs up their asses. The rest of the world thinks we’re all crazy cowboys with giant guns, and you know what? They’re right. We are crazy. But that’s also what makes us great. We’re willing to take wild risks and do shit like fly to the goddamn moon just because it’s there. We’re perpetually restless, never satisfied, and always looking for more. That makes things messy from time to time, and we tend to embarrass ourselves with our snooty cousins, but we’re the ones who always push forward, we’re the ones who will fight for what we believe in, and you do not want to fuck with us. Never forget, we’re fucking crazy.
We Pull Together
For all our issues, all our infighting, when shit gets real, we drop it all and become one terrifying force. We’re basically like one giant dysfunctional family. We’ve got redneck cousins, emotionally distant banker uncles, radical feminist sisters, absentee fathers, crackhead mothers, senile and racist old grandpas, nephews selling weed, and brothers who are convinced the NWO is something more than Hulk Hogan’s old wrestling group. We can’t stand each other, we fight all the time, and yet, whenever an outsider tries to get involved in our business or takes a shot at one of us, we press pause and start bringing religion to motherfuckers like Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Our issues are our issues, and we’ll deal with them. You don’t want us to deal with yours because we will, and we’ll do it together.
God, everyone hates us for this, but to hell with them. Yes, we go completely overboard (for an example, see every word of this article) but what you’ve got to understand is that for every absurd claim we make, we actually believe that shit. We really do think we could fight the whole world if we needed to. Fight them and win. It’s nuts, but that confidence is something that is instilled in us from birth. We’re Americans, goddammit, and that means something special. At least it does to us, and the crazy thing is, is that tends to end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. We do amazing things simply because we believe we can. It’s part of who we are. We actually do think we’re that special, and can you really blame us? I mean, let’s talk about that flag on the moon again…
You’re goddamn right. Look, we’ve got our issues, and we’re constantly fretting and bitching because our freedom is being taken away by the NSA or BushObama, but the truth is that we’re free because we say we’re free. That might sound naïve as hell, and on one level it is, but on another, it’s almost impossible to truly tame us because if there’s one thing that we all cherish despite our differences, it’s our freedom. It’s America’s whole reason for being. Sure, we let some shit slide from time to time, and we shamefully let our rights get a little bruised, but never outright destroyed. We’re still the only nation on Earth with anything approaching total freedom of speech. Other nations, even more “progressive” ones have clauses limiting what people can say. Not us, though, and it’s been that way for a long, long time.
We’re not perfect. We’re constantly struggling with the responsibility of freedom, with balancing what it means to be truly free with what it means to be safe, to not have to worry about some crazy idiot trying to blow us up. It’s a hard thing to have to figure out, and we collectively fuck up. A lot. But at least we try. And we try because freedom – both the reality and the idea – is incredibly important to us. It is our national religion. We do dumb things and great things in its name. We sometimes even forget what it actually means, but we never forget how important it is to us, or how much it has given us over the last 239 years.
You’ve heard the phrase “Freedom isn’t free,” right? Well, I’ve always thought that was kind of a nonsense phrase. After all, freedom is self-evident. It is something that just is. And yet, the more I think about it, the more I think it’s actually true. Not in the way you might think, but because freedom is something that we all have to work to safeguard, every day, in a thousand little ways. Sometimes it’s hard, but that’s what makes it important. On a deep, deep level, we all know this. We all fundamentally understand and believe this. It’s in our DNA. And that, more than anything, is why America is and always will be the best.
‘Murica image by Shutterstock