Tuesday, October 17, 2006

300 Million Is Too Many Americans

At approximately 7:46 a.m. this morning, the 300 millionth American was born. We Americans, and the media, have treated this as some sort of accomplishment. It's not.

To prove it's not, I'll profile for you the 300,000,000 American who was born this morning just so you can get a taste of how gross American life can be if you're not careful with it.

We're going to name our new American Todd. Todd, who is born and raised in Orlando, Fla., will grow into an extremely obese child who guzzles soda and plows through bags of Doritos. Odds are, Todd will be a very ugly youngster who, at some point, will wear a T-shirt that says, "God don't make no trash."

By his teens, Todd will spend every waking hour playing XBox and will consider the season finale of "Laguna Beach" to be a defining moment of his high school years.

Todd will dream of playing professional sports. However, his high school offers a limited physical education program and will instead stuff him in a classroom for 8 hours a day where he is fed lies such as Christopher Columbus being an American hero, when, in fact, Columbus was nothing more than a smug, arrogant rapist and murderer.

As Todd goes through puberty, he will be over-exposure to thin busty female models in pop culture which will fill him with inflated expectations of what the average woman is supposed to look like.

Todd will attend a state university, will feel socially inadaquette because he's not as physically attractive as the people he has grown up watching on TV, will consider suicide until being "saved" by punk music. He will graduate and work at a local financial institution, sitting at a desk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Todd will marry the first girl to show interest in him, which is likely his first serious girlfriend from college. He will consider not marrying her, but will end up taking the plunge for fear of not finding anyone better in a society where people isolate themselves in large, sprawling subdivisions where cars are the lifeblood of the community.

Todd will claim to love his bride, whom we'll call Betty, when, in fact, he is not truley in love. But years of pop culture, including movies like John Cusack's "Say Anything," have given him a false sense of what love is.

Todd has also been trained to believe marriage is an essential rung on the human ladder, when, in fact, expressing your love for someone through a legally binding contract may be one of the most unromantic concepts ever created by humans.

But clearly, marriage is an essential part of the U.S. economy, and Todd and Bettty and diving in.

Betty, meanwhile, has had a similarly unspectacular youth. She has been plauged by insecurity issues throughout her teenage years because of her small breasts. She spent her youth learning from TV and movies that large breasts are more attractive. Her self esteem issues are also crippled by the fact she believes she is 10 pounds overweight, when, in fact, she is not.

In college, her insecurities will be exploited by men who will date her only for sex. This will lead her to wonder if there are any "good guys" out there. Betty now has an ocean full of self esteem issues, all of which can be traced back to years of watching "The OC" and reading "Cosmopolitan" magazine.

Betty's other character flaws are consistent with most American women. Her major priorities include amassing a major collection of material goods - a new SUV, a plasma TV, a big house, nice furniture, the latest cell phone, an abundant collection of useless kitchen utensils, etc.

She has been trained by American culture since birth to believe these items equal success and happiness, when, in fact, true happiness can not be bought on credit at Best Buy or delivered by a brand new cell phone ring tone.

Betty is drawn to Todd because of his outstanding potential for financial success and their entire relationship will revolve feeding the American economony machine. They will work weekdays and collecting material goods on the weekends.

Todd and Betty's life will quickly grow shallow, but the couple will fill this void by deciding to buy a new house in a suburban neighborhood with little character and no soul. The newer the neighborhood and more sterile the house the better. This will satisfy them for a short time, maybe a few years. Then they will grow unsatisfied again.

To fill this void, they decide to have kids. Once the babies start arriving, they suddenly have a new identy and a new reason to spend more money. Like a crack user who simply needs a few quick hits to regain his buzz, they are temporarily revitalized.

They think they are happy, but deep down their souls are hallow. They don't know why. Their entire lives are a routine of traffic jams, work, more traffic jams, and caring for their children. Sadly, though, their children are being raised by minimum wage workers at O2B Kids and other daycare institutions.

In an attempt to cover up this new sadness, Todd and Betty will go on shopping binges, buying large plasma TVs and new cars. Each swip of the credit card, each major purchase releases doses of saratonin in their brains, and like crack smokers, they are temporarily high again.

Once the monotomy and pressure of marriage begins to weigh on them, though, they may seek out other avenues of excitment and pleasure, like cheating on one another.

Meanwhile, an entire world of life is dancing before them, hidden from them by a culture of greed and materialism. It is world many people do embrace. A world where people pass on the long work hours, the big cash and fabulous prizes for a simple life. A happy life. A real life.

You see, Todd and Betty will never understand the healing power of sitting before the Colorado River as it surges through the Grand Canyon.

They will never stop and take in the calm of an evening sunset, because they are hurridly loading groceries into their car so they can get home in time for the season premiere of "Lost".

They will never know the true freedom of traveling to Costa Rica alone, having a smoke in a tree atop a cliff while gazing out over the deep blue of the Pacific, considering the magnitude of the earth and the insignificance of the industrialized world.

And even if they travel to these places, Betty and Todd will likely miss the true experience, instead spending these reflective moments fiddling with their new digital camera and wasting these vacation nights watching Roseanne re-runs in their hotel room.

300 million of us have fallen into at least part of this trap at some point. I guess my point of all this is best stated here: In a country of 300 million people, no one wants to grow up to be the next president, no one wants to grow up to be next Sylvia Plath or John Steinbach. No one wants to grow up to be the next Mother Teresa or Pat Tillman.

All 300 million people in this stupid fucking country want to be the next Jessica Simpson or Paris Hilton or any number of marginally talented, multi-million dollar Hollywood trash. We are obsessed with the size of our TVs and cars, straining our lives and bank accounts over this pettiness.

And now we're boasting about the size of our country. That makes me think of an old cliche: Those who brag about how big they are often have a small one. Yes, America's penis is small.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thought Of The Day, Vol. 1

You ever hang around these "Carpe Diem" people? The ones who claim to live their lives in the moment.

These people believe you should seize the moment because you are not guaranteed tomorrow.

My quesiton is: Why don't any of these people smoke cigarettes? Seems hypocritical.