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Friday, March 10, 2006

What's America Like?

A Foreigner asked me: "So what is America really like these days?"

So I answered him. I said:

"As I see it ...

... these days ...

  • America is like a spoiled rich kid who commits many crimes, wrecks many lives, but never spends a day in jail because of family connections.
  • America is like a Soviet state except that people drive big cars and there are really good programs on tv.
  • America is like a guy afraid of losing it.
  • America is like someone who believes that they can become truly good and that others can become truly evil.
  • America is like an adherent of a fundamentalist sect, terrified of looking at the truth less his whole world view come crashing down forever.
  • America is like those penguins in "March of the Penguins" - isolated, determined, ridiculous, and programmed to repeat the same absurdity year after year. Some people find this not ridiculous, but very beautiful.
  • America is like Germany in 1934.
  • America is not like Germany; America is like Rome in A.D. 65.
  • America is like Cronus, certain he has swallowed all the children.
  • America is like a man who has cheated on his spouse and now watches her every move, certain that she is plotting an affair.
  • America is a cocaine addict in the middle stages of his disease - his drug is still working for him, he is productive, he is popular, he is unable to see the catastrophe two steps ahead.
  • America is like The Sims, but only a handful of people get to be players.
  • America is like an abused streetcat who has finally found a good home, and grows fatter and fatter and meaner and meaner and before long runs the whole house.
  • America is like the stomach of the world, distributing nourishment to all the other parts, but only if it is served first.
  • America is like a depressed graduate student in his last year who, burnt out and exhausted, stops caring whether he gets the degree or not.
  • America is like an attractive married woman who greets the neighbors with a smile when they tell her that they heard screams and should they call the police?
  • America is like Howard Hughes.
  • America is like Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Blvd."
  • America is like Enron, but only in the ways that it is exactly like Enron.
  • America is like Jesus in the desert - but refusing God's help.
  • America is like Oz's wizard.
  • America is like Mordor.
  • America is like a 13 year old who still pretends there is a Santa Claus, and whose parents keep pretending with him.
  • America is like a 35 year old supermodel.
  • America is like a man who doesn't believe he is able to quit.
  • America is like a man who still believes he is in the lifeboat years after he has been rescued.
  • America is precisely like the description it gives of its Enemies."

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