Apparently, lists are the new fad. So I figured it’s time I got in on the fun. Here are 7 of the things that make America awesome. And awful.
The Good: Sure, I could’ve picked “sports” in general, but when it really comes down to it, football is America’s favorite son. If you’re wondering, baseball’s the Eli to the NFL’s Peyton (see, I’m even using a football metaphor for this), the NBA is Cooper, the NHL is the adopted Canadian kid down the street, and NASCAR is the not-so-smart cousin who occasionally runs into walls, which everyone gets a kick out of. The NFL has everything Americans crave: violence, strategy, passion, a meritocracy, and patriotism, though not the kind you might be thinking of.
The Bad: That no-name receiver you watched get crushed by Patrick Willis while you were busy stuffing your gaping maw with Chernobyl-level buffalo wings and washing it down with the lukewarm urine you call “Miller Lite?" In 15 years he’s not going to be able to remember his kids’ names, go to the bathroom by himself or perform basic motor functions. You’d best not take the time to think about that though; that Miller isn’t getting any colder.
2. Barack Obama
The Good: He’s the first black president! He made it possible for gays to go into foreign countries and kill people just like straight people can! He had inarguably the funniest presidential monologue at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner just a few days ago. He has slowly but steadily improved economic conditions, he legalized government-run health care, killed a certain terrorist mastermind, and has a lovely singing voice. What’s not to love?
The Bad: Compromised on the health care bill with Republicans, resulting in an unconstitutional mandate. Compromised on taxes with Republicans, allowing the richest of the rich to maintain a lower tax percentage than middle class Americans. Compromised with Republicans. Increased the deficit by trillions, and continues to do so. And he still hasn’t legalized weed.
3. Modern Music
The Good: Modern American music gets a bad rap, but that’s not entirely justified. There’s talent and ingenuity to be found in American bluegrass, rap, jazz, soul, metal, rock, and everything in between. You just need to look for it.
The Bad: Do I even need to explain this Blackeyed Peas performance? Seriously, I don’t think it’s possible; every time I try to watch this my brain shuts down and I wake up two hours later with blood coming out of my ears. Watch at your own peril.
4. The Media
The Good: Like modern music, American media gets a bad rap that’s not entirely deserved. The coverage of the war in Iraq and the unconstitutional legislation passed by the Bush administration helped inform public opinion and shift it decisively against those totalitarian policies. Reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina helped humanize a people who the government attempted to demonize. Good journalism can and still does illuminate the important issues of the day.
The Bad: Remember when this guy was one of the most popular political commentators in the nation? Yeah, I know picking on guys like Glenn Beck and Hannity & Co. over at Fox for poor journalism is like chucking large rocks at members of Fred Phelps’ church as they stand by the roadside with terrible signs: it’s really really fun, but not terribly sporting. Fortunately there’s CNN, which attempts to overcompensate its lack of journalistic ability with pseudo-technological bullshit like holograms and magic walls and Wolf Blitzer’s beard. MSNBC has something called “The Ed Show” which, unfortunately, is not hosted by a talking horse – I can only assume it would be more informative and less a bombastic ploy for ratings if that were the case.
5. Ron Paul
The Good: Ron Paul is an honest politician, which apparently is as rare as being a heterosexual homophobe. He’s uncompromising in his vision despite what it portends for his fate in the presidential race. This kinda makes him the Rorschach of American Politics, which is cool because Rorschach is the most badass character in the Watchmen comic, though maybe less so because (spoilers) it means a naked, blue pseudo-god is going to cause him to spontaneously combust.
The Bad: Paulbots. If you listened to them, you would think Ron Paul is Jesus Christ 8.0, with a crown of gold forged from the remnants of Aztec treasures, the ability to leap over the checks and balances that limit the president’s ability to enact radical policies against the consent of Congress and the Supreme Court in a single bound and, of course, firebreath. He will use these talents to slay the vile Zionists-Federal Reserve who blew up the trade center ruined the economy. Until this goal is accomplished, they will continue to troll the entire internet.
The Good: The past decade has seen unquestionably the best television programs in American history. The Wire, The Sopranos, The Daily Show/Colbert Report, South Park, Dexter (well, the first four seasons…), Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Arrested Development and so on. This is television’s golden age.
The Bad: Where to start? Maybe shows like Pawn Stars or Hardcore Pawn which are shows about pawn shops with sexually evocative titles, which is ironic because I’m pretty sure everyone on the shows and everyone who watches them are all impotent to begin with. The bit about Fox News before goes double for Jersey Shore here, and really, reality TV in general. People think the Hunger Games is set in a dystopia, but if you replace children with “reality stars,” I might be inclined to disagree.
7. Websites That Consist of Random, Meaningless Lists
The Good: Cracked.com
The Bad: Everything else. Lists are just some horrible, wasteful excuses for writers to give minimally substantiated opinions on random crap that is tangentially related under some broad, vaguely defined theme like “things about America.” Lists allow sites like Huffington Post to poach content from other sites without paying writers while churning out banal original content at low costs to themselves. And thanks to everyone who reads them, other sites are copying this strategy. So my fellow Americans, please stop reading all of these random, worthless lists which don’t add, oh my god there’s a list of the 10 cutest animals in the world!? Forget everything I said. Lists are awesome.