Thursday, July 4, 2013

How to Be More American Than Your Friends

Be as American this bald eagle today. (Image)

It’s almost Independence Day.

And on Independence Day almost 240 years ago, our Founding Fathers scrawled their signatures onto a document and implored both current and future citizens of this great nation to embrace freedom and independence from a country that has never seen a piece of land it didn’t want to invade.  Over two centuries later, we celebrate this schism from the British on July 4th with all things that are quintessentially American.

Keeping with tradition, the holiday is typically celebrated with three things unfailingly characteristic of the country: grilling meat, American flags, and explosions.  However, in recent years, I’ve noticed people around me trying to take their patriotism to the next level.  They are the inevitable one guy or girl who didn’t think it was enough to wave a tiny flag or have some red, white, and blue in their clothing’s color scheme.  Instead, they show up wearing leather American flag leggings or duck tape two Budweiser’s to the side of their star-spangled Ray Bans in an effort to prove that your meager Holiday Patriotism isn’t fit to sniff their Holiday Patriotism’s farts.

However, acts of fickle patriotism such as these require no dedication and very little effort when it comes to honoring our country and all that makes it great.  If managing to grab a pair of red-and-white-striped cutoff jean shorts from your neighborhood Buffalo Exchange makes you the nationalistic juggernaut of your cookout, then you’re at a lame fucking cookout.

If you truly want to stuff all of your American pride into a 24-hour period, you’ll need to combine as many stereotypical things as possible into a grand 4th of July gesture that bleeds liberty and shits freedom, especially those things which don’t seem feasible—that makes them just that more American.  When done in their own right, things like face painting, sparklers, or cantankerously grumbling when the immigrant kids stray too close to your lawn are characteristic American past times.  However, when done in conjunction with each other, a symbiotic relationship occurs, and your patriotism will go from depressingly mundane to having those eight-year-old Mexicans from across the street shaking in their sombreros and having night terrors about aggressive, pyrotechnic American flags from now until their Green Cards expire.

As American as apple pie?  Fuck apple pie.  Be American as an F-16 made out of chicken wings that runs on Buffalo sauce and Cherokee tears.

As American as baseball?  Fuck baseball.  Be as American as beef jerky and Type 2 diabetes.

As American as Japanese internment camps in the 1940s?  Well, I mean, don’t be racist, but at this point it’s probably fair to acknowledge that the United States has been a recognizable player in the game of passionate, ethnic prejudices.

If you want to one-up every other poor sap who thinks a red, white, and blue Coors Light and chanting “USA, USA, USA” will get him a blow job from Lady Liberty, you need to think outside the box.  If you ask anyone from outside the United States, being American is about being better than everyone else.

So don’t just watch NASCAR.  Build your car an enormous cowboy hat made out of recently slaughtered cow hide and race it around your town only making left turns like you’re Dick Trickle, and then take pride in the fact that you live in a country where a man and a woman from Wisconsin actually named their kid Dick Trickle.

Don’t just play baseball.  Grab a camouflage Louisville Slugger and hit pistil fireworks off the top of the Lincoln Memorial while a dejected-looking man dressed as Osama Bin Laden farts the Star-Spangled Banner in your honor.

So get out there and show the world just how patriotic you can be today.  Dust off that ATV, polish your shotgun, wave your American-flag-made-out-of-bacon for the world to see, and light enough fireworks to bring down a Zeppelin.  This Independence Day, if you put your mind to it, you can be American as Tom Selleck’s mustache—or at the very least, as eye-catching as one of those People of Wal-Mart.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go strap a Patriot missile to a bald eagle and ride it off into the sunset.

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