The prevalence of American culture in the world makes the country a very prominent target of the globalized hyper-attention of the mass media. Due to that fact the image of America that permeates to the world can sometimes become a caricature of itself. The pieces of information that have the widest reach are mostly shocking, episodic, stereotypical and, more often than not, highly misleading. It is with the acknowledgment of this systematic inaccuracy that I have formulated a series of questions that I have always wanted to ask Americans. (And yes, I know that these issues do not apply to all Americans, all the time, everywhere.)
1. Can someone explain to me this obsession that you have with bacon?
I love bacon. We all do. It is hard to go wrong when something involves salted pork. But the thought of actually eating it in the morning makes me seriously question the legitimacy of America as country, and eating it with pancakes makes me seriously question the existence of the human race.
2. Why do you turn your elections into reality-television pageantry?
Every four years, your country seems to be assailed by some sort of collective hysteria where what is arguably the single most influential political event in the world is turned into a superficial debate on the veracity of evolution, the relevance of religious beliefs, geopolitical paranoia, and glorified character assassination. I unwillingly know more about meaningless and irrelevant details from Barack Obama’s personal life than I willingly know about any European Prime Minister.
3. While we are on the subject of elections — Sarah Palin?
All I know about Sarah Palin comes from her televised interventions, but even still, a rational human being has no other choice but to conclude that Sarah Palin is dangerously close to being clinically insane. It is hard to find a political event that happened during my lifetime that’s as shocking as when, in 2008, 45.7% of you voted for a 70-year old cancer-survivor one heartbeat away from putting that woman in charge of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
4. Does the enjoyment of baseball come from some sort of sadomasochistic instinct?
Like most of the inhabitants of this planet, I think that “soccer” is greatest thing that exists, ever existed or ever will exist. I have trouble conjuring that same passion when it comes to basketball and American football, but I understand why they might appeal to others. But when it comes to baseball, nothing makes sense. It is the most boring game ever devised by the human mind, even surpassing the lobotomizing tediousness of the Winter Olympics.
5. Why do you tie people to chairs and injecting deadly poison into their veins?
If you take into account the self-declared moral high ground that America claims to inhabit in the field of international relations, it is baffling that your nation still retains the barbaric practice of capital punishment. While it is absolutely valid to restrict the freedom of psychopathic monsters, it is very hard to justify the moral legitimacy of political institutions to carry out state-sponsored executions.
6. Why do you act like the concept of Socialism is an ideological black plague?
America, like the rest of the industrialized world, has cherry-picked the most efficient aspects of Socialism and integrated them into their market economies. Most of the industrialized world has no problem recognizing the Socialist nuances of concepts like social security, state interventionism, universal healthcare, and progressive taxation. America seems to be stuck in some sort of ideological bog where the word “Socialist” is considered a shameful accusation, while engaging in the types of policies that very well may be described as “socialist”.
7. Why do insist on measuring things with feet?
The motivation behind the adoption of the metric system seems pretty straightforward. If we all measure things by the same units, it becomes considerably easier to share information, trade goods and, well, do just about everything. Over 95% of world uses the metric system. America is one of three nations that have not adopted the metric system as their official measuring system. (I guess it could be worse. At least you don’t drive on the left side of road, like the British.)
8. Is it really that hard to disagree on everything and agree on healthcare?
In most European countries, people have wide array of ideological disagreements. Even when it comes to healthcare, there are plenty of disagreements regarding the operational and financial details of the system, but everyone agrees on the very simple principle that there is no reason why people shouldn’t have access to affordable healthcare. This is not polemical, for god’s sake.
9. What is this obsession that you people have with all things deep-fried?
When I first heard of the term “fried Coke” I thought that I had misunderstood the term. I thought that it was drug-related gimmick, but it turns out that you have actually found a way to consume Coca-Cola with actually having to drink it. I am repulsed by the concept, but I actually admired the ingenuity. But later, when I heard about “deep-fried butter”, I realized that maybe there’s just no hope for your country.
10. Is it really necessary to have 10 freaking aircraft-carriers?
America is responsible by almost 40% of worldwide military expenditures. The country spends more on the military than the next 10 biggest spenders combined, eight of which are allies. Just cut your budget by 20%, America. Don’t worry. I assure you we’ll all be able to sleep at night.