I was in a bar in Seattle when I turned 22. This was a half art museum – half bar setup. My fellow bar mates were an eclectic group of hostel goers from around the world, most of whom had no idea that it was my birthday. Sipping on my local lager, I approached one of the few members of our group I had yet to talk to. The Australian hipster with the short hair to match her short skirt seemed in a daze staring forward at one of the museum’s attractions. It was a samurai sword instruction video with the sound turned off and remixed to include slower and faster motion views of metal slicing through pig carcasses.
I followed her gaze for a minute then turned to her with what I thought was a really brilliant joke: “You have these videos at home?”
Her response was “No” and a look that questioned my sanity.
There may have been a cultural/language barrier, but I tend to think all Australians are stupid because of this girl. This is not an assumption I can make about our other English speaking friends across the pond. My entire west coast trip was spent with the less dentally inclined people of our world. That is to say that while I wasn’t pulling and British birds, my flat would have been full of fierce fannies. I think. I’m not really sure what I just said.
The female former empire-ers were my only friends in the multi-cultural world of hostel jumping and there was reason. The female part was because I frighten easily at demands to chug and find myself attempting to change the subject when asked to brag about the last lady I snogged. The Brit part is because their sensibilities toward humor are more like mine (aka: objectively better). This is a fact I have rediscovered through constant television research.
With the outside planning on getting colder, I’ve been figuring out ways to make my bed a place I never need to leave. So, crackers and cream cheese becomes a meal and I’ve found new ways to stream television on my computer. My success at finding humorous half hours of life has been impressive. Beyond the well known adventures of Ricky Gervais, the Brits have been churning out hit after hit after hit without accolades from us American swine.
Where am I going with this?
If you skip ahead to 2:42 you hear that Beck’s true fear is of our television becoming similar to Britain’s. And O’Reilly’s fears are that we turn into Sweden. (Go to 2:45)
This all stems from the overall fear of self deprecation. The one thing that capitalism undeniably puts a halt to is admitting failure. Capitalism is a system that feeds the need to prove yourself bigger, better, and stronger than the competition, and in this case the competition has become other countries like Britain, Sweden, Canada, and France. Our stubbornness in assuming we are the best and changing would admit weakness has left us weaker than these countries in technology, living, and, most importantly, humor. This is something I will not stand. Let us admit our faults – self-deprecation can go a long way, maybe even lead to universal health care.