It has recently come to my attention that I am not a typical American.
People have pointed out that my penchant for critical thought, my tendency toward caution, my atheism and my eclectic tastes in art, literature, film and music make me more of a stinking European elitist than a hardscrabble American pioneer.
Normally, I’d just accept the fact that I am probably a European trapped in an American’s body. I’d look for a surgeon who could outfit me with a mock turtleneck, a sharp brown blazer and some Italian shoes. I’d adopt a snide attitude and insist on taxing my own income at 38%.
But godammit, I want to be an American!
People all over the world would give their eye teeth to come to America. Some would even stab me for my passport if they could. With all this zeal for everything American, who am I to deny my own heritage? Who am I to spit in the eye of the nation that whelped me?
I owe America a lot. It educated me and gave me the opportunity to become truly great. Of course, I blew that opportunity, but that’s my fault – not America’s.
So, rather than make flippant hipster put-downs of this great nation, I have decided to join it.
Meet Citizen Ted: All-American!
To begin, I am hereby an unrepentant nationalist. Here in America, we call ourselves “patriots” because it sounds more American and less scary-fascist-nutball. As a patriot, I promise to forget everything I’ve learned about geography and world history. And American history.
Once I’m free of the shackles of knowledge that weigh down the shoulders of commie intellectuals I will be able to see the American tree, and not the forest of details that seeks to confuse me with its proofs and subtleties. EVIL DEMON FOREST I REBUKE YOU!
For me, not only is the USA #1, but I don’t even give a shit about who thinks they’re #2 and #3. Those guys are fucking losers. If they were any good they’d be knocking on my door. What do I hear? Nothing! That’s right, you pussies. Enjoy loserdom.
Now that America is #1 again, it’s time to pay some attention to the next song on the All-American hit parade: family.
I’m single and don’t have any kids. In America, this is the moral equivalent of squatting over the Constitution and letting loose a splatter of diarrhea. If you aren’t married with kids (and occasionally cheating on your wife), you may as well be teaching a cultural relativism class at Trotsky Community College.
Unfortunately, this dive into Americana is something I can’t do alone. If any of my ex-girlfriends or any desperate female strangers are reading this, please drop me a note. We need to get married and start popping out some over-indulged brats ASAP. We’ll have a nice Baptist wedding and a fabulous reception at the local Radisson hotel’s meeting room, then zip away for a honeymoon at Disneyworld. There, in the still night of the Disneyland hotel, we’ll conceive young Dakota Dylyn. We’ll make sure he has every distraction available. We’ll also make sure he isn’t poisoned by the public school system and MSNBC.
Of course, during the pregnancy we’ll become so entranced by our magical mysterious bay-bee (an occurrence which has never been matched in the history of mankind) that we’ll become die-hard pro-lifer’s. Your big belly will make a nifty resting spot for the “BABY KILLERS BURN IN HELL” protest sign.
Which brings us to…
78% of all Americans identify as Christians. The rest are all lying, hell-bound infidels or conniving, hate-filled secularists. If you think for one moment that any Real American™ could be a non-Christian, you are either tripping hard on nutmeg or you’re Satan. One of the two.
No, to be American is to be a Christian. Period. Thus, I plan to join the craziest, noisiest fundamentalist church I can find. I’ll “AMEN!” enthusiastically at the preacher as he exhorts me to deny evolution, vote Republican and devalue everyone outside the walls of the church.
We’ll all wave our arms around while a bunch of Christian rockers perform a set of agonizingly derivative rock ditties peppered artlessly with “Lord”, “my Savior”, and “Jesus”. I may have to choke back vomit at these gigs, but it’s worth it if I hope become a full-fledged American again.
Since I don’t watch TV, I will have to get a full cable TV package with 300 channels of the crappiest programming imaginable. This may prove to be the hardest trial of them all in my bid to become a Real American™. I really hate TV. But if I’m going to re-join the national dialog, it will have to be via Fox News, Law & Order and Dancing With the Stars.
Not only will I become more conversant about the critical issues of the day at the water cooler, but I’ll be able to fritter away innumerable hours that were previously lost to reading, writing, playing guitar and enjoying the outdoors. This is an American win/win.
Good-bye Subaru, hello GM! Sure, my Subaru is great on gas, nimble in the snow and totally reliable. But it’s Japanese, for God’s sake. It just won’t do. Real Americans™ buy Real American™ cars (built in Mexico). And that means General Motors. Ford is almost American. They have invested too much in quality and reliability and they will continue to suffer for it.
No, it’ll be GM for me. Since the Hummer is gone, I’m thinking the GMC Yukon XL.
Oh, what fun we’ll have driving 0.4 miles to and from the grocery store to pick up toilet paper or a quart of milk! We can intimidate those faggy bicyclists and blunder into the shopping mall like a Bulgarian freighter. I’ll put Old Glory on the rear window and a Chinese “Support the Troops” ribbon magnet on the rear. This will let everyone know that I have avoided any attempt at educating myself and rely fully on AM talk radio for my political insights – just like everybody else!
OK, I admit this won’t be a big stretch for me. I’m not a clothes hound. However, to be fully and truly American, I have to bring it down a few more notches. This means investing in white socks and white sneakers, two things I do not possess. I’m also partial to polypro and fleece, which will have to be sacrificed to make way for cotton T-shirts and idiotic short pants.
The way I see it, this hurdle won’t be too hard. Everything I need is under one roof at WalMart, and driving there in my new Yukon XL will let everyone know that I may be shopping WalMart but I’m not slumming. Which brings us to the final makeover in the Citizen Ted conversion plan:
Not just possession of it, but downright worship of it. Right now I’m just not motivated by money. I live humbly, I have no debt and I save money sensibly and cautiously. This is 100% wrong and will have to be reversed. Real Americans™ are obsessed with projecting an image of wealth. Not sophistication – just wealth. Enormous fiberboard McMansions, laughably awful leather furniture, heaps of overpriced gadgets, over-stuffed refrigerators and (of course) the 2010 GMC Yukon XL.
Since few Americans possess any real wealth, managing debt is the name of the game. One must purchase on credit only those items that make you appear better off. It’s OK to stretch this credit to ludicrous extremes, but you should never go bankrupt (that’s what LOSERS do). Your house should absorb about 70-80% of your income. Everything else is financed on revolving credit so the remaining 20-30% is swallowed up by credit card payments.
This is called “The American Way of Life” and it is a sacred honor and duty to abide these rules.
The way I see it, with these goals in mind I should become a Real American™ by Q2 2011. Check in with me then and we’ll see how well my transformation is coming along.