Archives for posts with tag: america

Facebook is convinced I’m gay.  It’s true.  The targeted ads they have sent me flatter my fashion sense, try to set me up with other men, and on one occasion have attempted to enlist me in a study of gay Jews with AIDS.  The point here is 1) Facebook is terrible at directing ads at me, and 2) though I am a straight man, I am fervently in support of gay rights, just as I am fervently in support of women’s rights and bald people’s rights and left-handed people’s rights and North Dakotan’s rights and just all people’s right in general.  In fact, the only people whose rights I don’t particularly support are Pepsi enthusiast’s rights, because I’m not sure they’re really people at all.   But that’s a story for another time.

So naturally, all this hulabaloo about gay rights lately has gotten me pretty riled up.  I fire a Nerf gun at the TV every time someone comes on to complain that gays are going to topple their loving family, and I invented a drinking game where I take a shot every time someone uses the words “traditional marriage” that left me so inebriated one night that I nearly ended up in a traditional marriage of my own with a total stranger.  But the thing is, I’ve heard all of their arguments before.  People claiming that gays are against the founding principles of marriage, people claiming that gays are unfit to raise children, people claiming that God hates gays and is only making them out of some sort of confused divine boredom, etc.  But as these theories have all been rebutted and debunked, opponents of gay marriage have had to go to some really weird places for their defense.

I recently saw a New York Times article that quoted several of the Supreme Court justices as asking if it was the “right time for a decision on a fast-moving social issue.”  I have grown used to the more common arguments against gay marriage, but this one is brand new and confusing to me.  What exactly would constitute a “right time” to talk about this issue?  Would there need to be some sort of pressing issue that would require a more immediate decision on this issue without waiting for the infamously lethargic American public to make a louder demand?

If there were two massive gay mansteroids (a word here meaning “asteroids that are also gay men”) flying towards Earth and only by allowing them to get married could we prevent Armageddon, would that be reason enough for the justices to render a decision?

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“They’re headed straight for Washington, Mr. President! Think of all the traditional marriages they’ll destroy if we allow them to make impact!”

If the Ring of Power came back from the depths of Mt. Doom, was recovered by Lesbian Frodo, and the only way to end the ensuing war was to send her on an epic journey to find her lady lover Sam and allow her to “put a ring on it,” then would the timing be more convenient? I don’t know.  What I do know is this: if the timing right now, when literally all I hear anyone talking about on the news is this Supreme Court case and all I see as I scroll down my Facebook feed is people posting red equal signs in support of equal rights, if this timing isn’t good enough, then I don’t know what the right time will be.  So we’d better finish this discussion now, because I’ve already seen enough homosexual tension between Frodo and Sam to last me a lifetime.

I go to a school with a pretty hefty foreign population (actually the most internationally diverse college in the nation, but who’s counting?), so there comes a day every October when I get asked the question a lot: “Why do we get the second Monday in October off?” I explain about Columbus Day, and I’m generally met with anything from confusion to outright anger.  “Christopher Columbus, the man who discovered America and then promptly killed off everyone that lived there already?” they will say.  They will often be outraged, and rightly so.  It seems to reinforce every negative American stereotype out there that we get a day off every year to commemorate a man who spawned a more effective genocide than Hitler, and we use that day to sleep in and watch football.

Though in the spirit of cultural reparations, I always cheer for the Chiefs on Columbus Day

I can see why this would be almost unbelievably offensive to many.  But I think Columbus Day represents something so much more important than that.  Columbus was a man who was so wrong, so mean, and so abrasively arrogant that he became a hero.  People still remember who Columbus was over 500 years later.  I think it’s important to celebrate Columbus not so much because he sailed to America, but because he lived out a fantasy that so many of us have  – becoming rich and famous for doing little to no work.

Even these guys are more deserving of their fame. I don’t see Columbus coming up with any catchphrases

Let’s really take apart just how ineffective Columbus was at the things he supposedly did, so that we can better understand why it’s important to commemorate him.  The one thing that most people know about Christopher Columbus is that he discovered America.  But we really can’t even give him that much credit .  Let me go on a little tangent here to explain my point.

There was a very sad time in my life when I didn’t understand the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between Taco Bell and actual Mexican food.  Or Taco Bell and actual food, for that matter.  So one day, I passed a Taco Bell on the way to my friends house.  Later that night, everyone started really wanting some delicious Mexican food, and I knew it was my time to shine. “I just found a new place on the way over here, its really close!” I proclaimed, eager to share my discovery with everyone.  Ecstasy abounded, and people piled into my car to go to get some burritos.  However, upon discovering that the “new, really close Mexican place” was actually just a Taco Bell, the happy feeling went through all of us faster than a Crunchwrap Supreme, and soon my car was filled with a diarrhea of disappointment.  Not literally. God no, not literally.

Honestly though, how was I supposed to know that Doritos weren’t a traditional Mexican food?

Not only had I promised a Mexican food place and had instead discovered a Taco Bell, but it turns out that several people in the car had actually been to this Taco Bell before, and had opted to just not talk about it.  Probably to avoid the embarrassment of letting people know they ate Taco Bell.  I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that it was the all-time low point of my life.

I hope you see where this analogy is headed now.  Columbus may have landed at  America, but he didn’t ever think that he was in a new place.  He legitimately thought what he found was India.  India – a place where thousands of Europeans had been before, and therefore could have easily told him that he was wrong.  He then went and told everyone he found India, and even to this day the natives of America are referred to as Indians just because Columbus was about as good at telling races apart as he was at playing video games (presumably not very good, but I don’t actually have any evidence to support that claim).  Several other people tried to tell him that it wasn’t India, but Columbus literally died still believing that he had just found a sweet new shortcut to India and that all those people were trying to take that accomplishment away from him by saying that it was actually a new continent.

Further adding to Columbus’ lack of accomplishments, he wasn’t even the first person to discover America.  It’s not like he could’ve used the excuse that he was convinced it was India because there was no other place it could have possibly been.  Numerous Viking expeditions landed in North America hundreds of years prior, and not only did they beat Columbus to the punch there, but they also managed to avoid killing everyone.  Yes, the Vikings, a people famous solely because they used to slaughter English people for fun, were more skillful with indigenous relations than Columbus was.

Now, I think it should be abundantly clear at this point that Columbus was just an utter failure for an explorer as well as just a human being.  He got lost, found a land that had already been discovered, told everyone it was a completely different place, refused to accept that it was not that place, and then started governing the new land he refused to admit that he discovered so badly that he was arrested.  The guys from Almost Heroes were more successful explorers.

Meaning that Chris Farley Day would be a less ridiculous choice for a holiday than Columbus Day

But it takes a certain kind of man to look down at the fact that your life’s accomplishments are all either false, stolen or just downright evil, and then decide that there should be a holiday named after you.  This is why many think that Columbus Day is an outdated holiday, celebrating a man that is at odds with everything we believe in this modern age.

However, I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement.  I can’t think of a man to more accurately represent the modern American dream than this man.  We live in a world where we forgive Chris Brown for beating up his girlfriend and celebrate Donald Trump for making absurd boasts about himself, and the whole mentality of this sort of thought process can basically be traced back to Columbus’ brazen claims over Hispaniola.  We are very willing to celebrate people with mediocre accomplishments just because they feel they deserve them.

If this picture were taken today, these people would be waiting in line for MTV pilots

It’s an age of entitlement, where some people honestly feel like fame and attention are a birthright, and they will do whatever is necessary to achieve it.  It may not necessarily entail wiping out an indigenous population, but it could very well entail putting their child on Toddlers in Tiaras, which may actually be worse if you ask me. I’m honestly not sure we’ll ever find a more fitting symbol for the modern age than this great and innovative man, so we’d better keep celebrating Columbus Day or we’ve got some serious ‘splainin to do.

America and I have a complicated relationship.  Here is an example:

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I’m always down for a good birthday bash, so I emailed America back with an RSVP for this apparently awesome party that he’s throwing.

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Then America responded

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When I saw this, I was a little worried.  I guess I shouldn’t be terribly surprised that there were gonna be a lot of old people at a guy’s 236th birthday, but he really didn’t make a very strong case for why it was gonna be cool.  I don’t own any flag-print apparel, so I was a little concerned I’d stand out like an adult at a One Direction concert if I wore my typical party attire, and based on my experience that would not end very well at all.  Also, the cuisine seemed like it was planned by a masochistic plumber.  I can only imagine the gastric nightmare that was about to sweep across the guest list.  But I still had a shimmer of hope, so I dug a little deeper just to see if this party might still be worth attending.

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I was now starting to get really skeptical about this supposedly awesome party.  It seemed like it would be pretty hard to dance with girls to the hits of Sousa, and I also didn’t really understand the 12 hour gap in activities he planned in.  Maybe he has bowel issues and needs a supersized bathroom break.  For a man who plans a meal of 400 sliders, I wouldn’t be overly surprised.  But the explosions seemed like they could quite possibly save the whole experience, so I kept going.

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At that, I knew it was gonna be a horrible party.  I’m not quite sure what America was thinking for this one, but sitting around listening to marching bands and watching other people blow stuff up is not exactly the most exciting way to celebrate a birthday ever.  He should get some strippers.  And fire them into the air on rockets.  Now there’s a party I’d go to!