Thursday, October 16, 2008

America the Smug

I'd not seen this poster before, so Brad's post about typefaces was the first time I'd encountered it.

And... wtf?

Let me first say that I want Obama to win the election, because he's a Democrat, and he's not McCain OR Sarah Palin OR George Bush, and because he seems to represent the change that the world, and america desperately needs right now because he's not George Bush, and because he isn't a Republican. Despite my belief that whoever's at the top isn't going to really have any tangible difference in anyone's day to day life and that all politicians are kind of inherently the same. But yeah, Obama ftw and all.

BUT. Wtf is that- America is the only country where his 'story' is possible? What story exactly? That he's black and is running for president? Mate, there are plenty of countries across the globe with black heads of state, which he ISN'T (yet, fingers crossed), and far more politicians and community leaders that are also black. There have been five women black heads of state! (thanks google!) in countries far less quasi-of-the-people-y than America.

So A: this isn't some america only thing,
and B: even if it was, other people have done it already anyway.

This isn't some screed against Obama though really. He honestly seems like a nice chap and everything. What irritates me so is this insistence America, and Americans have in believing that it somehow invented the concept of democracy, and are the only people to ever use it. Democracy was invented before America was even 'discovered' for fucks sake! It's a pretty common concept around the world, used in pretty much every single elected government in existence in the world. And furthermore! How can america STILL be so 'land of the freeeeeeeeeinyourface,world!' when the last two elections were so marred by blatant vote fudging and corruption?

So yeah. Stop acting like you came up with this great 'fair' system when you fucking didn't, Americaland.

(ps, can I also say that I do like americans and america and everything, its just the smuggery that bugs me. Please don't hate me, my US friends!)

(pps, I also am aware that this is the kind of thing people running for president have to say because they want people to vote for them who are all 'youu ess ay! youu ess ay!'...)

before anyone starts yacking on about the 'American Dream', can I please tell you to fuck the fuck off because it's bullshit. There is no American Dream. It was a lie sold to the people to keep everyone working hard and not complaining too loud.


disneykid1 said...

i really really really dont mean to get all defensive from this blog but its kind of hard not to, even though you tacked on the end that you love some americans.

it seems like youre telling us not to stereotype the world or think we're the only ones who have experienced something like this, yet youre stereotyping america, based on a poster.
and i know the stereotypes you have came from other places too, but youre going off right now bc of a poster.

i dont mean to sound like im downing you but its hard to say this without sounding that way, but its people with viewpoints like yours on america that make americans seem bad and help fuel the stereotype the world has. or at the least they dont help.

just be aware that when you say "american" you DO include all of us, whether or not youre meaning to. and not all of us are as uppity or whatever as you make us out to be. in fact, the majority of people here, if you know many people, are exactly the opposite of the people you actually see on tv or read about. and we really arent any happier about being portrayed this way by a few false representatives than you are about seeing us in this light.
i just didnt think tacking the thing on at the end helped. kind of like when people have to say "no offense" you know youre gonna get offended.

sorry, long comment.

rAm said...

Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple Pie, Chevrolet... TacoBell !

Jim B said...

I have to admit that I AM a registered Republican BUT I find myself increasingly alienated by the political process. I was a cynic before Bush was elected for his first term. Gore and Florida just fed that. I have now come to the conclusion that party politics is rival camps and we should examine our doubts about it. Both parties wage campaigns against each other. It atttracts haters and the campaigns take on a negative aspect which shifts attention away from qualifications. If we want change we have to find a better way for choosing our elected officials.

jadedconformist said...

Hey - Bryony - can you give sources. Not complaining, and I agree with you. It's just that I'd like to know where these heads of states are. I mean, if we're talking Zimbabwe - then yeah -they might be black.

NusaCat said...

Democracy is rule by omnipotent majority. Better hope you aren't a minority!

Republic is a constitutionally limited government of the representative type.

The USA has never been a true democracy, but a confederation of states forming a republic.

Hema said...

i agree, but taking into account what joe said, maybe we're just being british...? (in what we've made america out to be)

Nunya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hey Sweetheart. You are pretty and you have the coolest accent (for online viewing!).

I don't understand your rationale against America. F-word looks like it's your birthright! You gain negative attention if you use it a lot. Be nice, be sweet, love others and never hate anyone (if you want to , ignore them but for god sake don't hate and use the f BOMB!).

lILLY, pAPER, lILLY, pAPER Whatever.. Please don't steer away from being how you started off on youtube.

Vy said...

Hahaha, oh God, in Brasil we have a president that hasn't even been to college, lacks a finger and can't speak his own language properly sometimes! He came from a VERY poor family and raised to politics through the working class, from assembly lines and stuff. And I don't say it with pride, no no. I'm actually ashamed that the majority of people here praises someone who actually haven't struggled that much in life. After funding his party, he spent 20 years just trying to be president! Like, no study at all, no working whatsoever!

Anyway, I as going to start to babble about it, but point is, in our president made it here, in oh so poor south america, yeah, anyone can make it anywhere in this world...

Staticharge said...

The reason that many consider Obama, as a black man, to be such a big deal to be president, is because racial issues are still very prevalent in our society, despite how hard many people try to pretend otherwise. It was just within a lot of peoples' lifetimes here that black folks were still drinking out of separate water fountains, using separate bathrooms, going to separate schools, weren't allowed to vote, etc. Then you have the much deeper history of slavery and all that, which still impacts society for some folks in some roundabout way. To go just a mere few decades from those sort of things to a black man being president is quite a story. So when they say "only in America", I'd dare say they might not be far off base.

Plus, you also have to accept the fact that part of that is just general American pride to make a statement like that. You can't fault us for that really, because I've seen plenty of that from British stuff too. I regularly watch programs like your Top Gear (thanks to the internet!), where there is no shortage of America bashing and British smugness/arrogance. If you need an example, just watch the latest episode, where Jeremy Clarkson comments that America is among the less-developed countries. There were also some fat America jokes. I don't pay it much mind, no more than I'd hope you'd do the same for stuff from here. There's nothing wrong with thinking your own country is the best.

Jenna said...

I am an american, and I do believe in the concept of the american dream. If you work hard, you can do anything you want, and you can make a decent wage. And we have fought for worker's rights, and we have child labor laws and unions. Also, what makes America great in my opinion is the diversity. I think we're doing pretty damn good considering we're only like 230 something years old. You really should read the audacity of hope, maybe you wouldn't stereotype him in that way. America is a work in progress. We know that we're not perfect or better than other people. Most of our founding concepts are borrowed, so what? Most of us are working to make this a better country, we are always adding, changing, ect...

and that is why I am proud to be an american. Please quit with the stereotypes.