Tag Archives: pride

Disclaimer

This blog, article, whatever you call it has been on the back of my mind longer than any other I’ve written. A blog about how in modern society we have to give a god damn disclaimer before doing or saying anything. Most people will probably read this article and doze off three lines in so how do you start such a blog without first giving a disclaimer? Seems almost ironic that I would need a disclaimer to write a blog throwing jabs at disclaimers.

Basically, the gist of my angst here is that you can’t just be honest any more. You can’t just say what you think any more. You can’t just say the obvious any more. No matter how blatantly fucking obvious, or benign, or trivial something is these days, we all have to give disclaimers beforehand for fear of being shamed out of town, because we’ve fostered this atmosphere of wussiness.

I mean ordinarily, I would have been inclined to say at the beginning of this blog “Warning, this blog is about to use foul language. For those of you with children eyes, turn on the Disney Channel instead”.

People have to give disclaimers for practically everything they do. Here are some common examples you’re exposed to every day, whether at work, at home, during the holidays, or out in public.

  • What you say: “I can see your point of view, however it’s my opinion that…”
  • What you mean: “I heard you. I’m about to talk, please don’t hate me.”

 

  • What you say: “Before I begin, I want to clarify that I didn’t vote for Bush…”
  • What you mean: “Don’t hate me, I’m not Republican.”

 

  • What you say: “….oh and by the way, I’m Mexican.”
  • What you mean: “Don’t hate me, I’m not racist.”

 

  • What you say: “No offense, but…”
  • What you mean: “You won’t like what I’m about to say, please don’t hate me.”

 

  • What you say: “Excuse me, can you please lower your voice. I can’t hear the movie.”
  • What you mean: “I paid $12 for this ticket! Shut the fuck up before I shove my foot up your ass!”

 

 

You might argue these are niceties. But I think it’s really just pussy footing. Sometimes I wanna just blurt out “Offense intended. That’s a stupid idea.” There’s being flat out rude, and then there’s being flat out ridiculous, and I feel like the pendulum has swung very far in that direction. Even when something isn’t rude we’re afraid of coming off as rude because as a society we’ve slowly but surely been getting thinner skinned. So many people have such delicate sensibilities, and it seems like every issue is a hot topic of controversy for someone.

I’ve been told not to talk about politics even when I am with like-minded people in public, because some random person I’ll never see again might overhear and get offended. Gasp!

But exactly that’s the root of it. People being offended. Us being offended. Have we all always been so easily offended? Did we always use to cower when something of controversy was said amidst a mixed crowd at a dinner party? Do we dare not raise out glass in agreement with the stranger across the room for fear of earning some random bloke’s enmity? What happened?

Whatever fucking happened to straight shooters? Whatever happened to people who know what they want and say it. They just fucking say it for the sake of saying it? Whatever happened to Eminem? Clint Eastwood, Winston Churchill and George W. Bush? What happened to not giving a fuck?

To quote the great Marshall Mathers, “Whatever happened to wildin out and being violent? Whatever happened to catchin a good old-fashioned passionate ass whoopin’ and getting your shoes, coat, and your hat tooken

We give disclaimers for almost everything. It’s expected that you do, and rude if you don’t. If you just go off and say what you want to say, without first lubing up the sensibilities of the people around you, you’re bound to create some friction, and some enemies.

Because of this, a void in communication has been created. There are certain opinions, certain ideas, certain offensive truths that dare not be spoken for fear of offending someone and permanently landing yourself on their shit list. No more getting invited to couples charades. What has filled this void, is lies, false pleasantries, groupthink, blind obedience to, and agreement with those whose sensibilities might be offended. We’ve catered our thoughts and speech to the lowest common denominator of the emotionally volatile.

Starbucks caught a lot of flak for starting up a dialogue about race. That’s all, let’s just talk about race. Howard Schultz never told his employees to don a white hood and start setting crosses on fire, but that’s how people reacted to it.

When you baby a kid, he turns into a baby. So let’s stop treating everyone like babies. Let’s toughen up. Let’s be bold and speak what’s on our minds. I’m not saying go out and be rude, but let’s stop acting like the simple act of disagreeing is rude. Let’s stop acting like being individuals, and thus have individual thought, is an offence. Am I asking you to stop using disclaimers? Well…

Advertisements

Why the World Cares About America

You read the title and I already know what you’re thinking. “Oh please! The world doesn’t care about America! How self-important! You’re so Americanly vain for even thinking that!” But hear me out for a second.

How many times have you heard people complain about the following:

“Why doesn’t America use the metric system like everyone else?”

“Why don’t Americans like football (soccer) like everyone else?”

“Why don’t more Americans listen to EDM like everyone else?”

“Why don’t American men wear capris like everyone else?”

American Fans

 

Yes, the world does care about America.

You especially hear this from Europeans. For a group of people that seemingly don’t like America, they sure spend a hell of a lot of time talking about everything American. They talk about how we don’t play the right sports, don’t eat the right foods, don’t listen to the right music, don’t wear the right clothes, don’t use the right rulers, or drink the right beer.

You’re probably nodding your head in understanding. As an American, or anyone, you’ve no doubt heard these common complaints about the US.

For you nay-sayers out there thinking “That doesn’t mean the rest of the world cares about America. We just think what they do is stupid.”…. Really? Really?

Remember that one kid in grade school you never talked to and didn’t care about? Remember you cared so little about what he did that you questioned and griped about his hobbies and interests? No? Me neither.

The truth is that people don’t talk about things they don’t care about. We don’t complain about things we don’t care about. We don’t try to convince someone that they enjoy the wrong sport, if we aren’t at least remotely concerned about their opinion.

The world does care. In fact, everyone else seems to care a lot about what Americans do and don’t do, what Americans like and don’t like.

American Football

But Americans on the other hand, don’t care what the world does.

Now think about how often you hear Americans complain that the rest of the world does like soccer? Close to never? Maybe I’m alone here, but in my 27 years of life as an American, with all my American friends, American TV shows, American news channels, and American movies, I’ve never once heard an American question or complain about why the world loves soccer. Why should we? We love football, they love soccer. Who cares if Germany or Brazil loves soccer? Good for them I guess. They found something they like, and we found something we like. All is well in the universe.

For the most part, Americans legitimately don’t give a crap what the rest of the world does or doesn’t do, likes or doesn’t like. We don’t care what you eat, where you live, what your rules are, that you don’t like guns, that your gas is so expensive, or that your cars are so small. We really don’t care.

It used to perplex me why everyone else cares so much, but I think I figured it out.

Barn with US flag

The world cares the America doesn’t care.

There seems to be a huge emphasis on the notion that Americans ought to be more like everyone else. Since we’re not like everyone else, were often viewed as being isolationists.

And that is the next big epiphany I had. The rest of the world cares that we don’t care. The world cares that Americans don’t mind not being like everyone else. The world cares that Americans march to the beat of their own drum. The rest of the world gets upset when we don’t show up to their party, because we’re having so much damn fun at our own party.

Americans don’t mind being different. Americans don’t mind foregoing otherwise unanimously celebrated events. Americans espouse “American Exceptionalism”. The world calls the United States isolationists because of this, despite our huge global presence. We don’t care, and we’re fine with that, and it bugs the shit out of everyone else. We make music that goes platinum, movies that are block busters, awesome TV shows, businesses that churn profit, Olympians that bring home the gold, and astronauts that land on the moon.

In conclusion….

This leads me to my final realization. The rest of the world wishes they were as culturally independent as we are. They hate that they drive American cars, watch American movies, listen to American music on American technology, eat at American food establishments, and speak the American language. They hate that our presence is so prevalent in their country, when their presence is so muted in ours.

When people around the world gripe about America’s preferences and culture, their complaints are not really that they that wish we were more like them. It’s that they wish they were more like us.

America Fuck Yeah!