Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tourism the American Way

Soccer moms: the ambassadors of our nation.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I was riding to a lecture today in Davis and talking with a friend about the swine flu, a topic which we fell on because either my lunch didn't agree with me or I am succoumbing to the piglet virus. Either way we were talking about how way over hyped the whole thing is which led to the observation that neither of us had noticed economic news lately. I know it's been getting reported on but in general it appears to be taking a back seat to the pig flu. In recent days as the swine flu hysteria has heated up I've sought out the BBC more and more as a respite from the non-stop flu mania on U.S. media. History has proven that we're a nation of folks who like to get worked up about things. Really, really worked up. When the ol' swine flu horse is finally good and dead I wonder what we'll all be freakin' out about next...


I mostly have good things to say about this country though...

the american way

Prescription drug use is the new American way of coping. There is so much to be stressed about; war, the environment, the economy. Anxiety is in the air. Americans like pills because they are easy to get, easy to take, and no one seems to feel guilty about the fact they are using drugs. Many of these pills are just synthesized versions of the drugs that our government is at war with. Heroin comes from the same source as vicodin, oxycontin, codiene and morphine. Amphetamines given to children in the form of Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderal, are basically just meth cooked by doctors. The effects and withdrawal symptoms are the same. Meanwhile, America's pharmaceutical companies are making billons of dollars every year. The long term effects of prescription drugs on the nervous system, brain, and body have yet to be fully understood by the pharmaceutical companies that create them.

Oxycontin sales were in excess of forty million dollars last year.

“Truth, justice, and the American Way”

My childish mind always wondered what that third thing was. By age 12 I had read both the Bible and “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and the concept of the American Way began to come into focus. Superman was a Marine, not the captain of the debate team.

(Before I jump into this, it should be stated that I am an American, and claim loyalty to no other nation. But regardless of which flag may or may not wave over my bed I am human and my primary loyalty is to the freedom and fun-loving members of my race.)

Americans tend toward a polemic state of mind and this condition is ingrained into our core with a very simple cliché’: “Two sides to every story”.
Cowboys vs. Indians.
Black and White.
Kill or be Killed.
Democrats and Republicans.
Good vs. Evil.
Main street Vs. Wall Street.

We re-enforce this static mindset to such an extent that it becomes difficult to act as though we lived on a spherical planet. We gloss over the fact that our race has invented thousands of languages, ostensibly to express the same basic, common, needs. But it seems that the beating heart of the American Way lies in the ability to hold two innately conflicting ideas at once, and act on both simultaneously:

We have warheads called peacekeepers.
We have amassed wealth beyond all comprehension, yet our leaders profess loyalty to a man who lived in poverty.
We claim to have landed people on the moon, but cannot land all our citizens in modest shelter on earth.
Spitting on someone will get you arrested, but torturing people will spark a national debate.

Our intrepid founders, freedom-loving, god-fearing Christians nearly one and all, had no problem waging biological warfare on their red siblings. They had no real issue kidnapping, enslaving and murdering their black siblings. Might makes right in America, and that is the true bottom line.

I think we still have the opportunity, in the sense of the word “way” as a path, a tiny door in our collective imagination, to act freely, to make the other half of our politicized brains take the reins and live up to the potential we have laid claim to rather than the boring history we keep repeating.

And in light of the recent and spectacular death of American Capitalism, the time to strike out on this new path has arrived. Whether it will be American or not remains to be seen, but I have the feeling we will claim victory no matter what.

Greetings from the 51st State

I choose to live in what I think is the greatest country in the world, which is committing horrendous terrorist acts and should stop - Noam Chomsky

America, I love your enthusiasm, I like the difference in habitat within your entire land. I like the way some of you speak and the general positive nature of your people. I also like your artists, with whom I share these posts. I have enjoyed visiting in the past and look forward to doing so again, in the near future.

America, you force upon us outsiders, values only you believe are good for us. I dislike your most popular traits of hypocrisy, arrogance and wilful ignorance. I have little hope of any change until the political and educational systems are altered first, in America as well as the most recently adopted state, from where I write to you from.

A revolution of our collective mindset is necessary, before we can begin one of any other kind.

Lets really change.

Michelle - American Way

I did this for a local magazine, the topic was sex and politics, but I think it fits this topic also. If only voting were this fun.... Hope you are all having a great week!

My American Way - graciela.

America for me is so full of paradoxes and tangled webs that for every Mickey Mouse, Hummer gas guzzler, and fear mongering, there exists Chuck Close and Richard Neutra's Kaufmann Desert House. That is the America that I live in and that is the America that I love.

The American Way: The Race Race - Genaro


What does the American Way have to say about race? Let's for a second, consider the tumultuous history of the United States' race relations and struggle as, well, a race. Where does it begin--and where's the finish line? Was it the enactment of the 15th amendment? Was it in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act? Of course not. Was it, contrary to what Tupac thought (see Changes), the first democratically elected ethnic minority President? What? Maybe?
The analogy, is silly, yes, but to bask in the glory of achievements of individuals or victories over repressive governments makes me feel that it is, in fact, some race that everybody involved can't fucking wait to finish. Moreover, every watching is so tired of it. "Ok, this next lap is it, let's call a winner already . . ." The rhetoric of the race is still pervasive . . . "yes, he won, and it's great, but we still have a long way to go . . ."
It is a very American tendency to assume status quo. Yeah, inequalities exist, tension exists, but we can all recongize and accept it and get on with our lives, right? Is it a uniquely American brand of arrogance that refuses to believe we're nothing but the best? Is it our perverse idolization of meritocracy? Or is it a bit of both that makes us relish in the acheivements that get us closer to this finish line? Consider an analogy of Parent and child, as the parents were praised for the child's birth (abolition?), were ecstatic during the first steps (suffrage?) and were congratulated their friends when the child graduated high school (civil rights act?) and college (Obama?). It may be easier to draw some parallels to a slave-master relationship in current times with this analogy.
Yes, it's pretty amazing that the citizens of the United States were able to smash preconcieved barriers to race relations, and a marginal decision it was not. But if there were an American Way I would like to see valued over anything else is a critical self awarness--that smashed Jim Crow Laws, that defeated the Topeka Board of Education, that took steps reconcile institutional abuse and inequality, that never for a moment rested to nostalgically contemplate how great this nation is.

The American Way

America, Our Home Sweet Home

Everyday I feel more and more disdain towards Americans:

* We spend more money on eating extreme amounts of food plus the cost of trying to lose it than we spend on feeding people that are actually hungry.

* We have a 50% divorce rate. People give up too easily.

* Speaking of giving up: Our forefathers set up our government system so that we could overturn it when shit hit the fan. What are we waiting for?

* Our hippie parents taught us to think for ourselves... turns out that also teaches us to be selfish human beings.

* The number one music artist in America doesn't even sing live. We spend over $50 per ticket to watch a specticle and listen to Britney say "My vagina is falling out." I am worried about the mind-state of the girls in America.

* Our girls are constantly being fed what people think is a lie: To be appreciated, you have to be skinny, sexy and put out.

* I wish it was a lie, but it's unfortunately true. Girls are having too much sex, there are too many abortions and too many dead beat dads.

* We are a generation that grew up without a father. The result: Boys don't have to be men and women are ball and chained to children and making a living.

* Pride has been so instilled into our values to the point that people don't even know what pride is anymore.

* Young people, the ones that are supposed to be making change (like our parents the hippies) are more interested in the fashion of change.

* We live in a country where it is legal to require people to work 5 days a week to make a life for themselves. Our lives became our work. What happened to family?

* We live in a country where we don't give men tips on how to juggle home and work life but women's "literature" is riddled with it.

* America tells our children that if you study hard, get good grades and go to college, you will be happy. These children become angry individuals stuck in a cubicle writing blogs about how America has failed.

That's the American Way.

Love, Olla


Tallinn, Estonia
ha. don't worry I don't eat the stuff.

The American Way (44/25)

Driving to school last night, I was thinking about today's topic.
It's a bit hard to be etic, living in America, and choosing one aspect of my life, or my experience to portray the "American way" seems like a strange exercise in cultural relativism.
Not that I'm any more or less American than anyone else it's just that there's 306,321,000 of us, and no one of us knows more than any other one what the emblematic American looks, sounds or feels like.

It was then that I noticed that I was doing 44mph in a 25mph zone.