Voices of America…

...in which I attempt to replicate American values, language, and mores.

It was during my sixth tour that an IED blew up my Humvee, killing everyone but me. I lost both legs, my penis, both ears, my right arm, my right eye, and part of my brain. That’s what I gave to the war effort. What did Bush, Obama, Congress, Wall Street bankers, or the American people give? When I heard that Bush wouldn’t let military caskets be photographed because he said it would upset people, I thought to myself, “And that’s a problem how?”

Fat Imbeciles Spitting Profanity is the best reality TV show yet, but Super Model Autopsies isn’t bad neither.

“Who was Hirohito?” “A game programmer.” “What is Europe?” “A country in Canada.” “What is twelve times twelve?” “24, I think, but I’m not too good at math.”

Better to be spied on by my government than decapitated in my bed by a suicide bomber.

Americans place vital importance upon conserving energy and protecting the environment. Americans also place vital importance upon having all the energy they want, when they want it, for any reason they want it, at the lowest price they can get it. It is my job as your president to insure that you have all of these things, and I will endeavor to do so even if every mountain in West Virginia has to be leveled and every species but our own destroyed.

As for those who can’t afford health insurance, the simple truth is that they don’t deserve health insurance. America is the Land of Opportunity, and if you’re not rich here, you’re either stupid or lazy.

Have you seen my new 14-carat WWJD bracelet? I had trouble choosing between five carats of diamonds and 3.5 carats, so I asked Jesus what he would do, and he said he would buy the 3.5 and use the rest of the money to throw a pool-side barbecue for his church.

Like all patriotic Americans, I take great pride in the fact that not a day passes but what our boys and girls aren’t dying in one war or another.

Like, you know, I decided to go to her fucking bridal shower, but, like, I didn’t see nobody I knew, so I just sat over in the corner and, like, got fucking wasted with her four kids. First thing I knew, we were all bare-ass-naked in the fucking bedroom.

Once I realized that most people who join the military are poor and ignorant, I stopped feeling bad when they got blown-up. The whole point of evolution is eliminating the inferior.

What’s good for big business is good for Congress, and what’s good for Congress is good for the American people because big business makes it possible for the American people to afford the best Congress that money can buy.

For the best in service, come to the Freaks ‘r Us Piercing Parlor. This month’s special is for tit-and-twat dumbbells in your choice of two or four ounce weights.

Make no mistake, America. We can, and we will, bomb the entire world into peace, capitalism, and democracy. If you question our willingness or our ability, I would refer you to the success we have already enjoyed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the 14 major military operations in which we have participated since WWII.

Just because gunmakers design guns for the express purpose of killing people doesn’t mean they’re responsible when those guns are used to kill the wrong people. I mean, it’s not like they can install a mechanism to keep innocent people from getting shot.

If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t object to the government spying on you, and if you’re a real American, you won’t.

Jesus went to Israel the first time because the Jews were God’s chosen people, but now we are, so if he returned today, he would come here. Non-Americans can be Christians too, but it’s harder for them because God loves us more.

“He got so mad that he literally exploded.” “I know, but I can’t talk about it right now because I’m literally drowning in paperwork.”

Them Middle Eastern folks don’t think like we do. Maybe we should show them America at its best by taking them to a Crimson Tide game and seriously loosening ‘em up with a serious amount of Jack.

She said she doesn’t know who the father is, but she thinks he lives locally, although he might live out of state.

No hablo inglés, así que no me hago responsable por mi comportamiento irresponsable.

“I’m totally jealous of your green and yellow Mohawk.” “That ain’t nothing compared to how totally jealous I am of your hot-pink .38.”

I had rather see every man, woman, and child in the Middle East die than for gas to go up a nickel a gallon.

The National Safety Council says that the 52% of fatal car crashes that are attributed to cell phone use should be closer to 75%, but the truth is that people are more interesting when they’re talking over a cellphone. That’s why me and my friends spend most of our time together talking to people who are somewhere else.


God tells us in Proverbs 10:22 that, “The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” This is why I was able to earn enough money in three weeks through insider trading to buy a 20,000 square foot house with a tennis court, an Olympic-size pool, and a five-car garage. Of course, if my father hadn’t also served the Lord, I wouldn’t have inherited $850,000 with which to buy those stocks.
This will be her third baby to be taken by Child Welfare. She asked the doctor to tie her tubes after her last delivery, but he wouldn’t do it because she’s only 19. If she gave up meth and got some dentures, maybe she could get her kids back.

Join the Tattoo-a-Month Club at I Look Like I’m Covered with Dirty Motor Oil, and get ten years for the price of twelve.

At this point in time, we don’t have reason to think that the Middle East’s war-of-the-week will spread to Antarctica, but we might, at some future point in time, borrow money from China and bomb them anyway just to be on the safe side. After all, it is America’s job as Leader of the Free World to insure that all nations live peaceably.

The only way to reduce our high murder rate is to require that every American over the age of fourteen carry a gun and know how to use it. That way, the bad guys won’t dare start anything.

If you’re a good driver, it’s okay to text while driving. If you’re a really good driver, it’s okay to text, drink, smoke, change clothes, apply lipstick, and brush your hair while driving. I’m a really good driver

I want to order your two-pound Heart Attack Burger, a double order of Oil Spill Fries, a 64-ounce Coke, and 12-ounces of sugar-glazed hog lard with caramel sprinkles.

Some say that obesity is an epidemic, but we here at Charmin consider it a gift from God because the fatter people are, the more surface area they have to wipe and the more tissue they need to wipe it.

Mr. President, with every last man, woman, and child, in this great nation of ours in public debt to the tune of $53,000, we are rapidly approaching insolvency. I therefore propose that we lower taxes on the few rich people and corporations that still pay taxes in the hope that, if we’re nice to them, they will be nice to us.

When we outlawed school prayer, we threw God out of our schools and invited Satan in. That’s why we’re overrun with queers, shooters, tornadoes, heat waves, floods, hairycains, snowstorms, venereal diseases, and forest fires. It’s also why we can’t never seem to win no wars no more. Throw a thimbleful of dirt at God, and God will throw Mt. Everest back at you.

Photo source: WWJD Bracelet


Elephant's Child said...

Aaargh. And your first vignette reminded me of 'Johnny got his gun' by Dalton Trumbo. It was written in 1938, and not a lot has changed...

lotta joy said...

You've been watching FOX news, haven't you.

Snowbrush said...

"your first vignette reminded me of 'Johnny got his gun' by Dalton Trumbo."

Every war makes way for a new crop of anti-war literature. I've been reading Ambrose Bierce's writings about his service during the American Civil War (America's most expensive war in terms of loss of life). He wrote during the period when the old battlefields were being preserved and glistening white monuments being erected all over them (there are 1,325 monuments at Vicksburg alone, which was where I spent most of my time when studying the war). What Bierce objected to was that the purpose of such efforts is not so much to educate (except in an academic way) as to glorify so that succeeding generations will be ready when it's their turn to kill or be killed. Glorifying war is much like glorifying cancer.

"You've been watching FOX news, haven't you."

No. It symbolizes for me the complete lack of integrity upon which the Far Right nurses from birth to death (not to imply that the Far Left is any better--I've learned this through living in a Far Left part of the country). I listened to O'Reilly for a while (he would call me an "America-hater," and he would be right), but every time I tried to verify the seemingly fantastical content of his "reporting," I found that it was just that--fantasy. I also got tired of the endless character assassination without which his three hour a day program could be reduced to less than a half-hour.

Elephant's Child said...

I agree that each war makes way for a new crop of anti-war literature but from memory Johnny had lost both arms, both legs, was blind, deaf and unable to speak. Sensation was all that was left to him. And the scene where he felt something being pinned to his pyjamas (a medal) was obscene. Though it is a looong time since I have read it.

Snowbrush said...

"Johnny had lost..."

"A summary from Wikipedia:

"Joe Bonham, a young soldier serving in World War I, awakens in a hospital bed after being caught in the blast of an exploding artillery shell. He gradually realizes that he has lost his arms, legs, and all of his face (including his eyes, ears, teeth, and tongue), but that his mind functions perfectly, leaving him a prisoner in his own body.

"Joe attempts suicide by suffocation, but finds that he had been given a tracheotomy which he can neither remove nor control. At first Joe wishes to die, but later decides that he desires to be placed in a glass box and toured around the country in order to show others the true horrors of war. Joe successfully communicates these desires with military officials by banging his head on his pillow in Morse code. However, he realizes that neither desire will be granted, and it is implied that he will live the rest of his natural life in his condition.

"As Joe drifts between reality and fantasy, he remembers his old life with his family and girlfriend, and reflects upon the myths and realities of war."

kylie said...

i'm sorry to say it but you have pretty much nailed the overwhelming impression i get

Sissy said...

No one could have pointed it out better. You take the prize, Snowbrush. The greatest nation on earth, eh?

Snowbrush said...

What! Four people have commented, and I've yet to be accused of racism for the Fathshedra/Clandestinia exchange. Kylie, since you're in Australia, I was wondering if you would understand it. It's based upon two things. One is that it's popular among black Americans to make up names for their children, or to at least give them non-traditional Engish names. Secondly, it is very common among poorer black Americans (and most black Americans are poor) to speak loudly.

"The greatest nation on earth, eh?"

Our national identity myth is in the process of dropping (if not like a rock, at least like a dirt clod) as we fall further and further behind other nations in education and the various standard of living indexes. I think that part of the current push toward religiosity comes from this, the thought being that God is abandoning us because we have abandoned him by our growing acceptance of gay marriage and other liberal/secular values.

Myrna R. said...

Wow Snow. I couldn't help wonder how long it took you to write all this. It's ingenious, creative, critical and much of it seems funny if it wasn't so sad.

Carola Bartz said...

My first reaction was "God help us all", my second "perhaps better not".

I have to admit that I did not understand everything, but enough to see many of my thoughts reflected, thoughts that I have about this country where I live by choice. Living here as an immigrant sometimes can be a bitter pill, but still, I love this country - it's complicated. Very.

All Consuming said...

This is one of the best posts you have ever constructed. And you write superb posts my dear. You nailed it all concisely.
It is all quite tragic, but true.

kylie said...

snow, i didnt understand the fathsedra/ clandestinia part although i am very aware that black people tend to have their own naming conventions.
following a nasty argument i saw on facebook, which i have seen multiple versions of in the past let me say you forgot one bit:

"i am a woman who thinks circumcised men look better so i will subject my newborn infant to an unanaesthetised surgical procedure to remove a portion of his most sensitive area, his brain will be permanently sensitised to trauma and pain in the process, he will be unable to consent and it might endanger his life. then the wound can heal inside a diaper where it will be subjected to stinging ammonia and fecal bacteria. i will do this so he can look like his daddy, who he wont be able to see naked for fear it will cause perversion or something weird like that, i will do it so he can be spared the procedure as a consenting , pain managed adult (wtf) and i will do it on behalf of the sexual partners he will have who i probably wont even like. i will uphold my right to do all of this by screeching down anybody who dares disagree"

Tom Sightings said...

Oh man, Snowbrush, you're out-cynicing the cynic here. So I can't help but think the other way -- about the guy who rescued the girl off the subway tracks last week; the restaurant workers who were just commemorated for helping out victims during the Boston Marathon bombing; and the teenagers collecting money yesterday at the supermarket for women who are victims of violence.

We certainly have our share of selfish, boorish Americans (I know, I just got off the highway where I was bullied by several speeding SUVs). But we are not all bad.

Snowbrush said...

"I couldn't help wonder how long it took you to write all this."

I can only guess. I worked on it over three days (maybe four) for maybe five hours a day, and I gave it a lot of thought even when I was doing other things. It was a fun post to write because it wasn't tied together in the same way as a post that only has one subject, so I didn't have to struggle to make it into a harmonious whole. Also, I got to speak with other voices, as it were, and it's fun for me to try to word things in a way that other people might word them if they were speaking in the moment.

"Living here as an immigrant sometimes can be a bitter pill"

What I tried to do in this post was not so much to repeat things I hear, but to put words to behaviors that I witness--some of them in myself. For example, you just did a post about your pain regarding the war (almost) in Egypt. As an American, I see the situation---and I think many, if not most, Americans probably feel the same--as nothing more than another instance of a Moslem country doing what Moslem countries do best, which is to kill their fellow citizens across lines of religious division. I realize that it's not so simple as that, but because I really don't understand how one small part of the world can have so many wars, I'm angry, frustrated, mad at my country for maintaining a presence there, and even resentful of the fact that every time I turn on the news, a big chunk of the broadcast is about wars in Moslem lands rather than problems closer to home.

"This is one of the best posts you have ever constructed."

Coming from a fat, black, Republican, Jerry Springer fan, with a loud-mouth and a tattoo of Jesus on her forehead, that's a compliment indeed. Thank you. P.S. Who's that white kid in the picture?

"i will subject my newborn infant to an unanaesthetised surgical procedure..."

Circumcision is not so common here as it was during the Post-WWII years when I was born, an era when nearly all parents had their boys circumcised. I wasn't circumcised, and was embarrassed by the fact. When I was 21, I went to a doctor and told him I wanted it done, and he talked me out of it. Upwards of 20 years later, I had it done. It was a bitch (ha) because I was still at an age during which I got erections throughout the night, and every time I got one, I would instantly be in such pain that I would come out of bed like a cannon ball out of a cannon. It was a hell of way to get woke up, and it went on for weeks. I should add that Peggy neither wanted me to have the procedure, nor did she oppose it. My experience with other women was that it weirded some of them out that I wasn't circumcised. There are good reasons for not doing it, and I wouldn't have a child of mine circumcised, that is unless everyone else was doing it to their kids in which case I would see the social cost of not doing it as a significant consideration, whereas I would see the pain (and risk) caused by doing it as minor considerations. (If not for the damn erections, my own pain wouldn't have been that bad, but of course I was given a local for the surgery, something which infants don't get.) I think it's also true that stuff hits you harder the older you are. I had a tonsillectomy at 18 and a child had one at the same hospital right after I did. By mid-afternoon, he was playing and eating ice cream, whereas I was in so much pain that I couldn't even swallow spit until the next day.

Charles Gramlich said...

God will throw Mt. Everest back. Hum, he doesn't sound very much like a forgiving God there.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Fascinating and scary.... So where should we move to??

Snowbrush said...

"you're out-cynicing the cynic here."

Tom, you or I could no doubt write a lovely post about Americans saying and doing wonderful things, but this post wasn't about Americans saying and doing bad things per se, but about Americans saying and doing bad things that are characteristically American. For example, if you Google Heart-Attack Burger, you'll find a burger that is really sold under that name by waiters who are dressed as nurses in a mock hospital environment. You will also find a story in which their chief fan (he ate there everyday and, I think, appeared in their advertising) died of a heart-attack. Throughout America, huge burgers are sold under other names that mock the consequences of eating them, and I would hold that they're symbolic of an aspect of American life. If you or I wrote a parallel story about the good aspects of America, it would need to be similarly slanted. In other words, it couldn't simply be about people helping one another, it would need to be about helping one another in ways that define American culture. If you would take on such a post, I would love to read it. I don't think that "restaurant workers for helping out victims during the Boston Marathon bombing" would qualify because people in the Middle East also help bombing victims, only they do it everyday, year in and year out. Yet, when such things happen here, the people in the town take credit ("we're Boston strong") and America also takes credit for it, as if it were proof of our overwhelming goodness. I've not the least doubt that even Afghanistan is full of wonderfully kind people, but this doesn't change the fact that it's one sick culture, and that was the point I was trying to make in this post about America.

"he doesn't sound very much like a forgiving God there."

I noticed that too.

"Fascinating and scary.... So where should we move to??"

I would just like to live someplace where I didn't feel embarrassed by my country, and if I were young, who knows but what I might be out shopping for such a place because I have given it a lot of thought since 9/11. As it is, I'm 64 and will draw Medicare next year, and Medicare benefits only apply in-country (besides, what other countries would accept me, and would I really want to start learning another country's language--NO!) Then there's the need to remain near (at least within a day's distance of) my wife's family and our new grandchild (we have no children, so Sidney is an adopted grandchild). Truly, there are perks to being an American, and living here beats living in a lot of other places, yet the evidence is there kiddo that we're dropping from our once lofty position and that our values and our lifestyle are doing great damage to ourselves and the rest of the world and can't continue for those reasons even if we could continue to foot the bill for them. I can't even imagine that anyone could not have grave concerns--if not overwhelming pessimism--about what's going to happen to America over the next few decades. For instance, how do you bring down a national debt when one of your two political parties refuses to work with the other and is forever threatening to cause a government shutdown?

kj said...

i really can't comment. it is too depressing. i don't like the way the world and my country has changed for the way worse and my own recourse is to counteract all this by doing my best and making an effort.

i hope for a rebalancing of this mess. my friend marion says that is what is happening. i want her to be right.


Strayer said...

You are too funny! Make me laugh so hard this post.

Snowbrush said...

"i hope for a rebalancing of this mess. my friend marion says that is what is happening."

I've heard that since at least the mid-sixties. Back then, there was faith in the so-called "Age of Aquarius," and then came the "Hundredth Monkey," "A Course in Miracles," etc. I've heard many people say over the years that, "Well, things are bad, but there are signs that they're getting better, because people are finally waking up. " As I look at it, people are no better and no worse than ever, but there are a whole lot more of them to cause destruction, and they have a whole lot more capability to do it. In my humble opinion, we have horrendous times facing us, I just hope I die before it gets too bad. Of course, pessimism doesn't sell. Imagine someone running for office whose message was, "We're all screwed, but I'm going to do my best to mitigate the damage." No, however bad the situation, most people want it minimized.

"Make me laugh so hard this post."

Bad Strayer. This was a horribly, horribly sad post, and only a sicko like you would find it funny...well, you might add me to the list. I remember being offended by Hogan's Heroes because I thought it was terrible to laugh at a Nazi camp, but I finally realized that humor is where you find it, and it's wonderful if a person can find it everywhere, especially in places like Nazi camps.

Strayer said...

I know, sick and twisted, that's me, with what I find funny. What else you gonna do? Cry? People are strange, Snow, find reasons to justify or let fly, almost anything. We aren't noble or anything else. We're just animals, with the same instincts. I guess I have become an apologist for humans also. I have long been a cat apologist.

Strayer said...

Water seeks the path of least resistance in its flow, little streams that branch from the main flow seeking another route vanish into the dirt. Our species will flow to its own demise. That's how I see it. We deviate from the norm, in thinking and action and progress, only in tiny ways. Larger deviations, in appearance, function, behavior or thought, are squashed. So there is not much hope of significant progression unless deviations arise in isolation and result in accepted capacity to survive. Our minds are held captive to possibilities, crimped into cages built from history, religion and upbringing. That's my take on life. Enjoy what you can, is my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Have you watched the documentary "Thrive"... I'm not sure I agree with everything it suggests, but I do feel it is well worth a watch.
Your not alone in your opinions here.

Your posts are often thought provoking and a fascinating read.


Anonymous said...

Snowbrush.. I forgot to mention if you are interested in viewing "Thrive" it is available to watch for free via youtube.

angela said...

Unfortunately these people have representatives all over the world, you cannot cure ignorance. They have to want to be cured.

Snowbrush said...

From: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/australian-college-baseball-player-shot-oklahoma

"An Australian college baseball player out for a jog in an Oklahoma neighborhood was shot and killed by three "bored" teenagers who decided to kill someone for fun, police said."

This is America. This is what America is. It's all not that America is, but it's a big part of what America is. My disgust with America doesn't stem from the fact that America has scores of problems that are screaming to be fixed, but that America has no desire to fix them and even views many of them as virtues--easy access to guns, for example. Thoreau wrote, "The greater part of what my neighbors believe to be good, I believe to be bad." This is how I view America.

For those from other lands, I will mention that this killing happened in the Bible Belt. The Bible Belt lags behind every other part of America in every way that is good and exceeds it in every way that is bad, yet the fiction persists that morality and prosperity stem from religion, and that more religion (more Christianity, anyway) will fix our every problem.

If you're an American, what do you say to Australia? One of my commenters pointed to a perilous subway rescue and to the individual acts of compassion and courage following the killings in Boston as examples of the good that is to be found in America, but how many individual acts of goodness does it take to compensate for the fact that that the Law of the Land in America allowed this Australian to die for nothing? Australia is urging its citizens to stay away from my country, and I applaud them for their good sense. I am very, very ashamed, yet I know that many if not most Americans would hold that any number of such killings is irrelevant. They would say--as their bumper stickers often do--"Guns don't kill people. People kill people." It's the gun lovers' equivalent of "Shit happens," and constitutes a convincing argument for the easy accessibility of guns, if you're a moron who has no problem with spending your life in a sea of innocent blood.

Helen said...

Hi! From the other side of the mountain ~~

This post is one of the most hard-hitting, thought-provoking ever! I feel a sense of foreboding when I think about what the future holds for my grandchildren, your little Sidney, all of our children.

Too many people have collectively lost their minds here in the good ole u. s. of a.

Joe Todd said...

I say nuke Afghanistan and all will be well

possum said...

OH MY! This is one of the most heartbreaking posts I have ever read - because it is all true. I KNOW these people. I live with them as my neighbors, I have had them in school (or their kids)... It would be hilarious if it were not so true.
Bravo, Snow, for putting it together. Sometimes its a bitch looking in the mirror, but there we are.

possum said...

At the beginning of each school year, I used to publish a list of student names in my private blog, much to the amusement of my readers. It included a pronunciation guide since often the spelling was arbitrary. I am sure you would enjoy some of the names.
Likewise, in one of my first years of teaching, I had, in the same classroom, Cleopatra, Marcus Anthony, and Lafayette. I also had twin girls, Ragina and Vagina. I called then Gina 1 and Gina 2. It was pronounced Vah GEE na. I have often wondered what happened to that child.