Thursday, May 19, 2005

Today I Am an American. Absolutely. Don't Hate.

I feel so American today. Not that I really know what that means, because I might be too close to it to be a good judge, but that's never stopped me before. Besides, what's more American than that!

Oh, let me tell you what's more American than that!!!!

I arrived at work at 7:30 in the a-to-the-goddamn-m. Just to offset my European day off yesterday. I mean, shit. A brutha gots to redeem himself in the face of his paycheck writers. These bills ain’t gonna pay themselves! I need to whore my life-hours to pay for all this TV-fueled consumption! Hurray for properly motivated work ethic! Hurray!

I was arguing with myself the difference between ethics and morals, as it applies to foreign policy, on my way to work. I’ve been watching a really good documentary on Henry Kissinger: The Trials of Henry Kissinger (Trial? Trials? Whatever). It is a piece which continues what many others have posed: Henry Kissinger was a decidedly dubious character who was at the helm of US foreign policy as it was used to do some rather nasty things. Coups (Chile), covert attacks on sovereign nations involving large-scale carpet bombing (Cambodia), support of genocide (East Timor) and the like. When confronted with the idea that morality as it applies to an individual should be applied to nation-states, Kissinger wholly disagreed. His basis was that the nation-state, unlike the individual, was (is, will be) many times positioned to only choose between evils. As if we as individuals are never in such situations. I mean, everyone’s been in a situation where they were breaking into a car to steal something worth trading for crack, when they see a tranny hooker (who they once beat up for a free trick), getting hammered with a mallet by their newly found Uzbek pimp. We’ve all been there Kiss, we all know the difficulties of choosing between evils. And it is a question of moral fiber as to whether or not we a) break the window and get glass all over the seat we’ll be sitting on or b) take the extra time to pop the lock like a true professional. While we watch the tranny catch a good ol’ ex-KGB style beating.

Just like any nation-state out there.

Morals vs. ethics. Always an interesting debate. And we Americans will argue that shit to the dirt, to defend our right to ignore ourselves or each other. And everyone else, when it fits our fancy. Abortion, gun control, poor crop rotation in Kenya, identity theft, whatever is happening in Rwanda, coffee slaves in Viet Nam, prayer in schools, the human rights of homosexuals, the dancing rights of Texas cheerleaders… you name it. There’s nothing more American than feeding at the morals vs. ethics buffet, picking and choosing based on context, whatever fits our ideologue-driven moment.

I am going to eat three breakfast tacos for breakfast. Oh gluttony, my most American of traits, how I praise thee for your abilities to excite me and then immediately throw me into fits of despair. How you manage to make my country the land of excesses is beyond fascinating. An eventually morbid pursuit. The chase is on, and I will catch up to you and defeat you in but a Hollywood sense if nothing else. Then I will have a death-covered Krispy Kreem, a Parliament smoke, fingernail bump of Columbian Paradise, and a random lawsuit against someone with more wealth than me (with no basis beyond my sense of entitlement to everyone else’s money) to celebrate my reckless hypocrisy. It will be a thing of beauty.

I am wearing a plaid shirt. Like Paul Bunyan. I’m a lumber jack and I’m okay. We like our plaid, even though it really is kind of French Canadian (gasp!). We lay claim to it anyhow, because it’s the new “blue collar” style. I wear it to give off that “sure, I work in an air conditioned office during the day, but you bet your ass I can clean my own carburetor and flush the wife’s radiator in the evenin’ time” kind of look. Makes me feel… American male. All kinds of Abercrombie off in this piece. Word.

God I love this country. I am ecstatic that I was NOT born in to the lower castes of 19th century India. That would really blow. And I would have no breakfast tacos to feast upon while drinking my Vietnamese slave-coffee. Which would be most unsettling for me to live without.

My country, ‘tis of thee I sing (of bling, and clandestine imports which I will be pimped well in order to afford). God bless us all! SUHWEEEEEEEEET!

12 comments:

EcamirG said...

brillante.

Truecraig said...

You always say that, grimace. Most would start to doubt your level of sincerity. But I don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Hell, I don't even know any horses to begin with, let alone the 'gift' variety. So there's that.

Debbie said...

You know, India is largely a nation of Hindus. They believe in re-incarnation. With each birth - provided that you have lead a good life within the and adhering to the confinds of your caste - you will be re-incarnated one caste up. All the way to Brahmin where life is sweet.

There is also a school of thought that ALL people on this earth fall into the Hindu structures of caste and re-incarnation. Regardless of their earthly religion, location or personal beliefs.

So, TrueCraig, while you are not now an untouchable living in the Indian sub-continent in the 19th century, there is absolutely NO PROOF that you weren't once in that very position.

Truecraig said...

Is it anything like pygmy culture where the eating of something transfers power? Because I've definitely eaten my share of Brahmin (Brahman) in my day. Skirt steak and shit.

Or, by dining upon Hindu deities, am I removed from the running? Kicked down a caste? Back down to typhooned depths of Bangladesh or what?

Anonymous said...

Caste system huh? Well, gotta love this country. Still, caste....umm that would really suck.
Long live Mr. Brown coffee!!! yummy goodness.

brother nick.

Debbie said...

If the Pigmys are right, I wonder if eating my ex-boyfriend turned me into an asshole?

Sorry, that was un-called-for.

Truecraig said...

ZING!

Wait a minute, who's the perv around here?

Debbie is. That's who.

.

Bella_by_Barlight said...

I like this defiant you. To make your day complete though, speed through a yellow in front of some cops and when they pull you over and ask for you DL, say, "BUT I'M AN AMERICAN!"

Have a happy day!

Bella, also American but undercover in Canukistan.

Truecraig said...

Bella - Am I being defiant? Or AM I?

AM I?

Perhaps. That's the American in me. (Oh, and that whole hypocrisy thing too. That comes in handy.)

Girl With An Alibi said...

Wow. That was inspired. Truly patriotic. I haven't felt that moved since a classmate dared me to stick gum on the Liberty Bell during a field trip. (Unfortunately they don't let you get that close.)

Glitzy said...

Craig...you are truly international and versatile. I think you should celebrate :)

Truecraig said...

GWAA: I’m sure that many would agree that a wadded piece of bubble gum, stuck to the cracked Liberty Bell would be a fine metaphor for my version of patriotism. I take no issue with that. I celebrate my country in my own way. I love it like I would love a severely abused, older sibling who projected their torture down on to me. Fraternal love with a tear in my eye. Tempered support, if you will.

Glitzy: I try to celebrate. I really do! But I might not be International or versatile enough to pull it off…