Happy Fourth of July everybody. And by everybody, I’m talking about Americans, of course. Real Americans. What’s a real American? Well, I’m not going to get into a political diatribe. Anybody who knows me understands that I never insert myself into political controversies. No, I like to stay above the fray, out of the spotlight. OK, yeah, I’m known to make the occasional passive-aggressive comment on my relatives’ Facebook posts. Whatever, maybe sometimes it’s something bordering more on aggressive-aggressive, I’m only human.
But I’m a human American. And as an American, I can say that the Fourth of July is the one day out of the year when Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can lay aside their differences and focus on what makes us different from everybody else. Call it American exceptionalism, you know, that feeling you get when a big group of people start chanting “USA! USA!” and then you start chanting it too, and you’re all really pumped up, almost daring a different group of people to start chanting something else.
Can you imagine what it would be like if an equal sized group started chanting something ridiculous? Like, “Germany! Germany!” or, they’d be saying it in German, I’m not going to bother writing out the German word for Germany, seeing as how it’s the Fourth of July and everything, but in that scenario, things would get ugly pretty fast.
Luckily, all we have to do is look back at history to imagine how that one would play out. We’d probably lose a bunch of really great chanters, but they’d be the greatest chanting generation ever, and it would be worth it, because this is the greatest country in the world. Sorry Canada. Sorry every other country in the world.
Sorry Puerto Rico, and look, I get it, it’s kind of nice to be wanted, but you think we’re going to keep up this courtship forever? One of these days it’s going to be like, all right, are you with us or against us? And you might be like, “Well, it’s complicated, we have to have a series of referendums. Ask us again in another twenty years,” and that’s when we’re going to pull the rug right out from underneath your feet. And maybe we’ll give statehood to some other country, people who really want it. Denmark? Chad? I could just keep listing random countries all day.
But why would I want to talk about any other country besides America? Especially on the Fourth of July. Forget all about that Canada and Denmark and Chad stuff I was talking about earlier. Let’s focus only on America, for real. I went to the arts and crafts store the other day with the idea of making my own custom globe, one with only America, like it would be the earth’s only giant country. That’s a globe I figure that all Americans might be able to rally behind. Obviously there’d have to be water, but that’s OK, it would just be one giant ocean, and I’d call it the American Ocean, and it wouldn’t really be as big as giant America anyway.
But walking into an arts and crafts store with an idea for a project is a lot different than actually figuring out what you’d have to do to make that project a reality. I started talking to some sales clerk about my idea, and she just kept giving me the craziest faces. Again, I don’t want to get political, but she was clearly one of those unreal Americans I was talking about earlier. Maybe she wasn’t even American at all. Jesus, I can’t believe I almost bought something from a potential non-American, and this close to the Fourth of July.
But it’s OK, because I didn’t buy anything. It would have been a lot of work, involving stuff like paper mache and mod-podge and … well, it doesn’t matter, I’m not really a crafts guy I guess, and so, who knows, maybe when I strike it big some day I’ll be able to hire a real globe maker to make my dream globe a reality. But for right now I’ll have to settle with this regular globe that I bought and covered up with blue paint. You know, all of the non-American parts. But it’s not the same, it’s like, regular America, just by itself, it’s too small surrounded by such a large ocean.
Anyway, I don’t want to keep anybody too far away from their barbeques and celebrations today. Go out there and eat a bunch of hot dogs, and make sure your flag lapel pin isn’t on crooked, and if you see anybody chanting anything else, just pretend like you’re one of them, like you’re chanting whatever it is that they’re chanting, but slowly start to alter the trajectory of the chant in a way that, after a few minutes, nobody will realize that they’re all actually chanting “USA! USA!” I’ve seen if happen before. It’s difficult, but it’s totally doable. Happy Fourth everybody.