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I hate America

Brooks Smith | Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Man, I can’t stand America. This country just stinks. Especially since the government isn’t doing exactly what I want it to do. Sometimes it seems like those bloated Washingtonian fat cats don’t have any idea what I think government should be doing, or what I need it to do. Even when I voice my concerns loudly, say to coworkers or in a letter to my congressman, I rarely see the kind of sweeping changes in national policy that should accompany my every pronouncement and whim. Hello! Aren’t we supposed to be living in a democracy?

Or have I just gone demo-crazy?

And since we’re in the middle of a recession and unemployment is high, I might not be able to find the type of cushy job that is my inalienable birthright as a scion of the upper middle class. I’ve heard horror stories of people from my age and social stratum doing work that used to be reserved for illegal immigrants. How is our free-market economy failing me so badly? The rich are supposed to be getting richer (because everyone who’s rich is hardworking) and the poor should be getting poorer (because everyone who’s poor is lazy), not the other way around! As one of the rich, if I don’t get settled onto a nice, comfortable career path, then the whole institution of capitalism is a bust.

Don’t even get me started on the trash that passes for “pop culture” in our dumb country. I often want to have deep conversations, but whenever I try to discuss the themes of tragedy and redemption in Faust, people just ignore me and keep talking about is who Snooki hooked up with last night on Jersey Shore. In general, people don’t spend nearly enough time listening to critically acclaimed music like Radiohead, or watching critically acclaimed TV like The Wire, or reading critically acclaimed books like Jonathan Franzen’s new novel “Chronic City.” It’s hard to communicate when other people when they show no desire or effort to stop being uncultured boors and rise to my exalted level. Wake up and smell the Starbucks half-caf extra-foamy cappuccino, people! (My favorite drink, and one that’s criminally underappreciated.)

Plus it seems like nobody even bothers to read the Western Canon anymore, or listen to classical music. It used to be that intelligent men and women could bond over a shared appreciation of the works of Rousseau whilst Chopin etudes alternated with Debussy preludes. Nowadays you’re lucky if you can get a conversation going about the new Twilight movie with Jack Johnson playing in the background. And people seem to like it that way! Everyone’s so anti-intellectual. They can’t appreciate how hard I’ve worked to make myself the flawlessly learned and cultured person that I am.

But I haven’t even gotten to the worst thing about America: Namely, that I have to share this country with 300 million other people. Many of these so-called “other people” simply don’t understand that my point of view is the correct one on every subject, whether it be politics, religion, or which TV shows to watch (Arrested Development, you are sorely missed). Almost half of these people vote Republican and a great deal of them believe what Fox News has to say, which proves beyond a doubt that they are brain-dead mouth-breathers not fit to share this planet with me, much less this country. How could any person with a functioning mind disagree with my political opinions?

I gotta tell ya, it scares me sometimes. Sometimes, for isolated moments, I even start to worry that the world doesn’t revolve around me, and that I will have to accommodate other people’s stupid points of view and wack lifestyles. When that happens, though, I just repeat to myself over and over, “I am the center of the universe. I am the center of the universe.” This mantra calms me down wonderfully, and soon I have regained the lofty imperial pedestal from which I survey all human activity that is not my own.

Now if only I could get other people to agree with me that I’m better than they are, I’d be all set.

 

Brooks Smith is a senior. He can be contacted at bsmith26@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not

necessarily those of The Observer.