This Independence Day, let’s remember that America was always great

america

“From sea to shining sea.”

Today is American Independence Day, and once again, I’m compelled to remind us of the importance of patriotism in a world that is slowly but surely rejecting it as I write this. Exactly last year I wrote about the importance of national identity, and in that same spirit, I now write about why America deserves its place as the greatest nation on Earth.

Every Independence Day, or rather every year close to that time, you’re bound to get some sour grapes leftist and cultural Marxists whinging about how “America was never great”, or they’ll use the day as yet another stick with which to beat the President with. You get leftists demonising patriotism on the time of the year when people want to celebrate it. Of course we know why they constantly denigrate the American patriotic spirit, and that’s because they despise America. They despise everything America stands for because America isn’t like socialist Europe, and most Americans don’t want the country to be like socialist Europe.

This miss everything about what makes America great in the first place. What makes America great is not just the primacy of liberty in American culture, but also the opportunity for ordinary people to make something of themselves. America has a proud history of hardworking people (Henry Ford for example) busting their backs and using their free time to put their ideas into practice and make something of themselves. Many of America’s industries were born from hardworking people who were given the freedom to try out their ideas in the marketplace, and their success created jobs and wealth to an extent not seen before in the other powerful nations.

The greatness of America is also proven by the character of the American people. John F. Kennedy once said of Americans:

“The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.”

I know from experience that Americans are generally optimistic. Not all of them of course, but I have noticed that Americans tend to be more optimistic that us pessimistic Brits. Despite what Hollywood and the left-wing media might tell you about Americans (including the amount of times people lump everyone in with the South), most Americans are decent, hard-working people just like us. In a way, the American people make America great, despite what the left will tell you.

The left has spent much of its energies downplaying and demonising American exceptionalism, because they cannot accept the reality that America really is the best country on Earth. For them to accept it means also accepting that their ideology will only harm the people they are trying to help, and they would be forced to abandon it, which they won’t do even if the facts are in their favour. Besides, American exceptionalism didn’t come out of the air. It came on the back of America’s many achievements.

  • They created the first society with liberty as one of its founding principles, and one that enshrined freedom of speech and expression.
  • They brought us much of the technology we take for granted, such as cell phones, personal computers, and the Internet.
  • They led the ideological battle against communism during the Cold War, and together with Britain and West Germany, they won.
  • America has done more to liberate the world than any other country.
  • America has created a society more welcoming of people of all different backgrounds than any other in the world, and most of the immigrants who come there want to be part of the culture.

Of course there’s a whole laundry list of achievements you could attribute to America, but you wouldn’t necessarily need it. The truth of American exceptionalism is self-evident. Why else would people like myself want to emigrate to America? If America was a horrible place to live in, why would anyone want to live there?

I’m personally sick of the idea that “America was never great”, and idea usually spouted by entitled leftist hipsters who are pissed off that the government is no longer interested in giving them free stuff to compensate for the fact that their liberal arts degrees won’t give them a paying job. These Starbucks Marxists in places like HuffPost or Vox are so bitter that they want all of us to be as bitter as they are, and they don’t care how good they have it in America. But this year, even as leftists continue to paint America as a nation in disarray (which, to be honest, is pure propaganda), remember that it’s all just agitprop, because America was always great, and I have faith that it will continue being a great nation in the future, unless of course the government screws it up again.

Homer’s Enemy: The ballad of Frank Grimes

homer's enemy

One of my favourite episodes of The Simpsons is “Homer’s Enemy” (season 8, episode 23), in which Homer attempts to befriend Frank Grimes (or “Grimey” as he liked to be called), who quickly becomes angered by the fact that Homer gets to lead a comfortable life despite being lazy, stupid, and dangerously incompetent.

Let’s compare the two together. Frank Grimes was a man who struggled for everything he had, has a strong work ethic, and yet has nothing to show for it, and is mistreated by his employer. Homer Simpson, meanwhile, is ignorant and lazy, and yet he lives in a comfy house in the suburbs.

For me, Grimes was brilliant. He represented the harsh reality of the world, that if you want to get ahead in life, you have to work for it. He cast a harsh light on Springfield, pointing out the flaws of a world where even an incompetent moron can have lobster for dinner. Meanwhile, he’s treated harshly by Mr. Burns for accidentally spilling a beaker of sulphuric acid, in an incident which started when Homer unknowingly picked the beaker up as though it were a drink. It should be noted that before that, we see Frank Grimes ranting about how baffling it is that Homer is the plant’s safety inspector, even though, as shown in previous and later episodes, he’s caused more accidents and disasters than he’s prevented.

Later, after Grimes declared to Homer that they are now enemies, Homer tries in vain to befriend Grimes, by inviting him to dinner, but that only made it worse. Grimes only stayed long enough to get to know Homer’s family, but becomes enraged at the fact that Homer’s sloth and ignorance is rewarded with everything Homer has now (though it’s likely that Homer got all of this through circumstance alone).

In this defining moment, Grimes declares Homer to be “what’s wrong with America”, and I can’t help but agree with him. Homer’s slobbish kind feeds off the scraps of the American dream, doing as little as possible while, as Grimes put it, leeching off decent, hard-working people. Only in America could Homer survive. In any other country, Homer may very well have starved to death.

The next day, after failing to convince Lenny and Carl to see his point, Grimes tries one last-ditch attempt to prove that Homer is an incompetent boob, by tricking him into entering a nuclear power plant design contest intended for children. As expected, Homer fell for it, but when he does enter, he submits a near exact replica of the existing plant, which Mr. Burns somehow prefers over the far more progressive and advanced design proposed by Martin. When Homer was declared the winner, and when everyone cheered for him, Grimes finally snapped and went on an insane rampage where he tries to mimic Homer, up until the point where he gets himself electrocuted after grabbing a high voltage wire without safety gloves.

frank grimes

This can’t end well.

Since Homer is representative of the American slob, the writers killed Grimes off in such a degrading manner in order to preserve the status quo, and appease the sensibilities of millions of idiots. For me, the worst part of the ending is when Homer and everyone laugh contently as Grimes’ casket is being lowered into the earth, just because Homer said something stupid.

The episode is a classic depiction of typical 20th century anti-intellectualism, where morons like Homer are exalted, while intelligent people who expose society’s weakness and stupidity are reviled. What’s even worse is that the writers chose to kill Grimes, rather than making Homer see the error of his ways and changing for the better.

It’s a terrible shame that Frank Grimes had to be destroyed to preserve the status quo of Springfield, but I also think that the death of Frank Grimes is a perfect metaphor for the idiotic society rejecting the man who shed light on its own incompetence and stupidity, and that’s ultimately the most tragic part of the story.

What happened to the American family?

The American family has had a bit of a change of depiction over the past few decades. In the old days, from the 60’s to the 80’s, the American family was depicted as a rather close bunch (if only because America wanted to look good). It looked something like this:

the old american family

Doesn’t that look pleasant?

It may have been idealistic, but it’s the image that deep down, all families want to aspire to, regardless of ideology. But then, in the 1990’s, The Simpsons went on air, and changed the face of television. The Simpsons took the American family, and distorted it, exaggerating it to the point that they are the lowest of the low, and stating that this is how all families are, when in reality it is an exaggerated stereotype.

The Simpsons was the first to distort the American family, and because of its success, many shows would follow, with their own distortion, and now the image of the American family looks something like this:

the new american family

What a mess! Are they trying to make us think all families are like this?

The American family as a stereotype has changed dramatically. Nowadays, writers will just cherry-pick the worst examples that society has to offer, and pass them off as normal, as we’ve seen in Family Guy, which the example picture above is representing.

To say that it doesn’t represent “family values” would be quite stupid, as by “family values”, we mean the right wing Republican values that politicians claim to uphold. Family values are incredibly subjective because every family could have different rules (though most of the time they just follow the same authoritarian trend). However, we’re letting TV paint the worst images possible, and passing it off as normal, and we’re mindlessly accepting it as truth.

I’ve noticed that all the shows that do this are sitcoms, or comedy shows. Do people honestly think that violent dysfunction in the family is funny? Let me make a point. Violence isn’t funny. It can be entertaining or grotesque, but never funny. In fact, brutal violence like in newer episodes of Family Guy and South Park is what ruins comedy.

You know, I’m sick of the man of the house always being a fat, selfish idiot. Why can’t the archetype be more of a smarter, more confident authority figure, like he should be? Why are the mothers always depicted as lustful hypocrites who try in vain to cling to their youth? Why is the son always depicted as an idiot with a libido? Why is the daughter always shafted to the side? Why is family always Christian? Why? How? What? Why?

To summarize, the international perception of the American family, and indeed Americans in general, is being unfairly influenced by distorted stereotypes. Not all families are fat,  not all families are Christian, and not all families are stupid. Yes, it is alright for the media to use stereotypes, but not if they pass the stereotype off as the norm.