Monday, July 03, 2006

Back in the good old U.S.A.?

Happy Fourth of July, America! And while you are feeling oh so good about yourselves, think about this.
Name something that this country is still GOOD at doing.
Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute to make a list.
Hmmmmm. Not THAT easy, is it? You might be fudging a little about certain topics, but let’s face it. The U. S. of A. isn’t what it was once compared to the rest of the world.
We were once to titans of sports, but now we can’t find a tennis player who can win a match at Wimbledon or a soccer match in the World Cup or a sailing race in what is called the “America’s Cup.” We haven’t seen that piece of hardware in years.
We lost the World Basketball Championships and Olympic gold medal in a sport we invented and wasn’t it an embarrassment to finish out of the money in the World Baseball Classic last winter? Japan won the damn thing, for Chrissakes! And don’t even speak about Little League.
The best female golfer is from Sweden and an Australian won the U.S. Open and received the trophy from last year’s winner from … New Zealand!
We used to be the best automakers in the world but Chrysler is owned by a German company, Toyota sells more cars than anyone and there is major talk that Nissan and Renault should buy out General (freaking) Motors. Really? Does it still hold true that “so goes General Motors, so goes America?”
French-based AirBus goes toe-to-toe with Boeing for making airplanes. Every well-known American candy bar (except for Hershey’s) falls under the umbrella of either Swiss-based Nestles or England’s Cadbury.
Half our white collar jobs are now residing in India and Lord knows how many manufacturing jobs are emigrated south of the Rio Grande.
Even our armed forces – the pride of Americana – fail to make nations tremble in their booths. If they did, we wouldn’t be the targets of so many upstarts. If North Korea or Iran is afraid of American might, when will they start acting like it?
Even Superman, my Gosh, the Man of Steel himself, stands for truth and justice but not necessarily the American way. Apparently, according to new lore, he’s fathered a child out of wedlock and he took off without so much as providing child support.
Wow! I would hope that’s not the American way.
So as the day approaches, as thousands of hamburgers go needlessly burned because too many man laws will get violated, some of us will celebrate by doing the all-American thing – watching Germany play France in silly little World Cup soccer (sorry, futbol).
Or asking where in the hell Star Jones vanished to? Isn’t that a NASCAR driver in the new Ricky Bobby movie?
Happy 231st birthday, America! You don‘t look a day over 229.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Thanks Chuck, thoughtful and well written as always. There is one thing I can think of that America is still good at doing. She is good at righting herself, standing up for democracy and throwing the bums out of office when things are at their darkest. Perhaps Americans have not gotten off their butts and done this yet because a majority does not yet think things are bad enough. Perhaps we have to have an official declaration of dictatorship or theocracy for people to realize that we're heading toward both of those. Perhaps it will take $5 per gallon gasoline and two more years of deaths in Iraq. Perhaps it will take more industries and more jobs being shipped overseas. But I am hopeful that Americans will stand up and do what they still do well, before it is too late.