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Sunday, April 24, 2005

God Bless America

Advice from a random British girl that I met last night:

"Don't tell them you're American when you go to Vietnam. They'll treat you like crap."

Which I understand, but kind of resent. In honesty, I've always loved America, but am never more of a patriot than when I'm traveling. I mean, my distaste for Bush is just as strong as the next non-American, but just because he and the Congress and the Senate and the Cabinet and the Texas legislature and the state legislature of every state in the Midwest and the Vice President and most of our diplomats and well pretty much anyone who officially represents our country is an asshole means that I am, which a lot of people in foreign countries1 don't seem to understand.

Before I left for my travels in the South Pacific, some people asked me if I was going to put a Canadian patch on my backpack so people wouldn't hassle me about being an American.

"Fuck no," I said.

I don't think I should have to lie about where I'm from--just as I don't think that anyone from any country should have to lie about where they're from, nor should they be ashamed of it.2

Nationalism is pretty stupid, and in my opinion, the kind of thinking that it stems from is the same that inspires things like racism, sexism, and soccer riots.3 I really believe that one of the most important things we can learn as humans is to see the world through another person's eyes, to understand a point of view other than our own. Nationalism denies this goal, and the sooner we can defeat it, the closer we'll be to world peace.

Conclusion: I've decided to get a bald eagle clutching missiles taking a shit on Osama bin Laden's head with the caption "WE WILL NEVER FORGET" tattooed on my face.

1Just to cover my bases here, I fully admit that the people of Vietnam have about 3600% more validity in their dislike of my homeland than the people of fucking France or England, for example.

2Unless they're from Iraq, those filthy terrorists. They better lie about where they're from, because if I find out, it's curtains for them.

3But who doesn't enjoy a good racist, sexist, or soccer-riot joke every now and then?


Blogger Anne Porter said...

Good for you! I couldn't stand the Americans in London who would bitch about the US, as if that made them more British. Shitkicking where you come from is such a low class act, like making fun of your family in the school yard to seem cool. I also think it's a sign of an inability to acknowledge complexity. Without a medical excuse, that latter condition ought to be incompatible with life.

Also in the category of oversimplifying the truth to feel part of a group: just after 9/11 the Chronicle featured a picture of a guy getting "God Bless America" tattooed across his forehead. You could already see the glint of regret in his eyes.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I've always been all-for your getting a tattoo, CZ, but I think getting it on your forehead is a bad-idea.

You should get it on your lower back.

10:18 AM  

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