For the past few years, if I had gotten to choose my country of birth and childhood I would have chosen Australia or maybe Italy. Frankly, I would’ve chosen pretty much anywhere except America. Perhaps it started when I was obligated to say the pledge of allegiance every day before elementary school, but ever since I’ve smirked at America, hating it for being fat, and loud—for being wasteful, culturally insensitive and more than occasionally ignorant of the world outside its boundaries, and for its embarrassing politics. And perhaps the worst thing about America is that its people are incurably cynical. Like me.
I won’t lose my cynicism anytime soon, nor do I have much hope for American politics, but on this July fourth, I have something to say, America:
Stop hating on yourself.
Yes, you are fat but you make fantastic food. Your pizza’s unbelievable, your sandwiches delicious, and your cookies are worth every single pound. Love handles are the products of calories well spent on the best dinners and desserts worldwide.
We all hate your wastefulness, but it’s a byproduct born of your most amazing asset: space. Russia and Canada are hella big—but you are big and hospitable. Grasslands and hills and mountains and backyards—space to move, air to breathe, and room to relax. It takes a lot of cars and a lot of gas to cover that space.
You are also an obnoxious country in many ways and maybe I’ll never get used to it. However, I consider the loud ridiculousness yet another byproduct of a vibrant individualism. Sure it churns out a lot of crap (I could list a whole lot of bands and movies and Kim Kardashian here, but I’ll let you fill in the blanks). I admit it, though: you make many fine movies, occasionally t.v. shows, and Adam Levine. Good work.
There’s no getting around how embarrassing our politics are which is why I have to praise American senses of humor. Thank you, Colbert and Stewart, and everyone else that knows how to laugh at our vice president actually shot someone while in office and so on.
Nothing makes you appreciate home quite so much as leaving it. So this July Fourth, I say “Rock on America” and I’m happy to be home.