Tag Archives: americans

First Thanksgiving: Smoke Gets In Your What What?

The wrong kind of Bellows although, in a pinch, he could probably still get the job done.

The wrong kind of Bellows although, in a pinch, he could probably still get the job done.

Remember learning about history in K-12? I don’t remember much but when it comes to the first Thanksgiving a few images do come to mind. The following paragraph is pieced together relying solely on my recollections.

The Pilgrims and the Native Americans came together for a feast. The Pilgrims wore funny brown hats topped with a column adorned with a belt buckle. There was maize. There was jellied cranberry sauce featuring distinctive rings from an aluminum can. There was even pumpkin pie. There was a horn of plenty that provided a veritable cornucopia of magical fresh fruits and vegetables. And, of course, last but not least, there was turkey aplenty that looked a lot like simple outline drawings of my hand.

Have you ever experienced that moment when you realized history class left a lot of things out? It was decidedly not the place to go if you wanted the big picture. Or an unvarnished viewpoint free of bias that didn’t accentuate a certain narrative. No doubt there were time constraints or contractual obligations?

My exhaustive (you’ll get this pun after the jump) research turned up something else that was given to the Pilgrims. It wasn’t on the dinner table, perhaps, but I’m sure it was still something to be very thankful for.
Continue reading →

Sweetie, I Wish I Knew How To Quit You

On this pie chart I wasn’t merely the graphic designer. I did all of the calculations, too!

I just heard yesterday that “sugary drinks” are now the #1 source of calories in the American diet.

Yeah, baby! We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1!

Something I can graph? Excuse me while I sprint to the spreadsheets. I get to graph something!

Lately I’ve been a wagon-follow-offerer. Vegetarian? Check! Granulated sugar? Check! Coke and/or Pepsi? Check! Alcohol? Now wait just a damn minute. I never went on that wagon. Ah. I see what you did there. Well played.

For some damn strange reason I seem to get off on attempting to test my willpower. This is invariably followed by a period of extreme humiliation. Try it! It’s good fun.

I blame my mother for my lifelong love affair with sugar. Some of my earliest memories of life involve the morning bowl of breakfast cereal. Like Cheerios. And it just wasn’t a bowl of soggies unless there was a gooey thick mess of partially disolved granulated sugar remaining in the bottom of the bowl.

To this day I wonder why she deliberately went out of her way to teach me that. I mean, I was only a child. I wouldn’t have known the difference if I was served Cheerios in the raw, right? Continue reading →

Are you a real American?

Westboro Baptist Church

Some so-called "real" Americans from the Westboro Baptist Church

Are you a “real” American? Or, perchance, are you the fake kind, like me?

I received a piece of shit snotty email from a customer of mine. For some strange fucked-up reason, I often get inside of customer’s email address books. They then send me all sorts of crap. This one said a bunch of horrible stuff about Obama and then posed the brilliant question of the day:  “How many real Americans will you send this on to?” (My emphasis added.)

There sure are some warped motherfuckers out there. And it is a little awkward when they are your customer. Should I reply and tell this douchebag where to go?

The point isn’t so much that what he forwarded me was super-crappy. The point is that he doesn’t know me or my beliefs from a hill of beans so I don’t want him sending me his mental masturbations.

How often do you write (or forward) highly inflammatory stuff to people you don’t really know? Doesn’t matter who, right? More names on the list is better than less. The bigger the better. Now gimme my super-sized biggie drink with the double Quarter Pounder and the super-sized fries.

By the way, some kind soul wrote back to the motherfucker like this and graciously included everyone on the original distribution list:

Mr. XYZ: I write you this e-mail from Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Please take me off your mailing list ASAP. I find your political commentary offensive. If you didn’t have health care or if you were struggling to afford it, you might have a different opinion. I am one of the millions of Americans that has seen his health care premiums increase three-fold in the last eight years, and no, tort reform has not worked in Colorado or any of the other states in which it has been tried. The new law is good for America; the status quo was not. Obama was giving you the finger. And I am giving you the finger.


Please find below the musical pairing that has been selected for this post.

The Bush Effect

This will not be a meaty post. It will be short and sweet. I personally don’t think it requires a lot of explanation because it should be self-evident.

At the end of a year media bombards us with “let’s look back” type of stuff. You know, the “year in review” and all that jazz. At the end of a decade we get that times ten.

Out of all that blitz something caught my eye. I’m going to call it The Bush Effect.

As we all know, George. W. Bush was President of the United States for eight whopping years out of the last decade that some are calling The Oughts. Fitting. So I submit that when Americans are asked their opinions regarding The Oughts what they are mostly doing is passing judgment on the Bush years.

We’ve all heard the news stories about “historians” (whoever the hell they are) arguing over how history will view the Bush years. They usually make the point that although it seems grim now, history make be more kind, and that we’ll just have to wait and see. I submit that we’ve already got our answer.

So what does the data show? A new poll from the Pew Research Center, under the headline “Current Decade Rates as Worst in 50 Years,” provides some answers. When asked about The Oughts, 50 percent of Americans responded that they had a “negative” impression. 27 percent were “positive” and 21 percent said “neither” and two percent said they “didn’t know.”

Wow. That seems to be quite damning. Let’s try to put that in historical perspective by comparing the “positive” results from the last five decades:

“Positive” responses by decade:
1960s: 34%
1970s: 40%
1980s: 56%
1990s: 57%
2000s: 27%

Wow. Was Bush a wrecking ball or what? That is quite the reversal of a trend.

Meanwhile, after one year with Barack Obama at the helm, the results regarding the future are markedly different. 59 percent said the next decade will be better. 32 percent said the 2010s would be “worse,” with 4 percent responding about the “same” and two percent saying they “don’t know.”

That’s my take on providing some context to one slice of how American’s feel as we leave one decade behind and embark on another.