You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Sep 1, 2005
Memo to a certain subset of Americans: STOP BEING SUCH ARROGANT FUCKING PRICKS.
There's a reason the phrase "The Ugly American" exists, you know. It's because the worst of us are also frequently the loudest, traveling overseas and shouting at people in English, bombing people, or calling for the assasssination of South American presidents.
You can't have a sense of entitlement unless you've spent your life entitled, and from a global standpoint, we've been pretty fucking entitled throughout our history. And even at a time where we should be a bit humbled and aware of our hubris, with a city of hundreds of thousands under water because we built walls, cut funding, and crossed our fucking fingers, the Ugly Americans are out in force.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by what I saw on CNN. I tuned in out of the vague idealistic belief that video footage collected by real people could provide me with information I couldn't get through wire reports and online text. Instead, I found myself in the Situation Room, watching in horror as Jack Cafferty, someone I'd been entirely unfamiliar with up to that point, introduced his latest informal online survey.
The question? "Should the international community help out the battered Gulf Coast?" Cafferty then followed up with the question with words to the effect that if your answer is "no", don't even bother answering, because OF COURSE they should. Because we always help everyone else out.
The tone of the responses played on air was similar. Insulting France. Insulting other countries. Talking about how we're owed. Cafferty even used the phrase "cashing in a chit or two". YOU ARROGANT FUCKING PRICKS.
Let's leave aside ENTIRELY the fact that on the global scale of haves and have-nots, America is King Have of Havalon. Pretend economic disparity doesn't exist. I think it'd be great if other countries sent manpower and supplies, especially since our manpower in the region is hampered by all those National Guardsmen digging up all those Iraqi chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
But we're not fucking OWED. It's not some obligation we bought with our help during the tsunami and before. We did not help out in the tsunami as some kind of tit-for-tat insurance policy for the future. Or if we did, we're arrogant fucking pricks. We did it, I'd like to believe, because THEY NEEDED AND WE HAD. Period.
And I'd like to point out that as of this writing, we're only about 24 hours in to realizing just how bad things are. No country (including the French, you xenophobic fucks) has even raised the idea of NOT HELPING. Nobody has denied us help. Hell, Venezuela offered its support yesterday, even though the hurricane struck dead center on the 700 Club's demographic.
And if you really want to take your comparative-tragedy, quid-pro-quo, our-turn-now analogy to the extreme, how long did it take Bush to respond to the tsunami? And how long before his token offer turned into something meaningful? But the Ugly Americans are already up in arms, wondering why Paris isn't done rebuilding New Orleans yet.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if you think we need help on this so bad, you could cut back on the epithets, snark, and sarcasm? We've got a city under water, and you're still waving your dicks around with tiny flags on the end, making stupid assumptions and stamping your feet.
It took less than a DAY for the first sarcastic letter to show up in the Star-Tribune. ACTUAL ARROGANT PRICK TIME!
"I'm just wondering what kind of aid the United States will be getting from sympathetic countries as it tries to recover from the devastation done by Hurricane Katrina." - The unfortunately named Pat Googe of Stacy, Minn, who sounds like a spoiled prep school girl "wondering" if the pony she's going to get THIS year will be prettier than the one she got last year.
This is how we ask for help. Ready to erupt into a self-righteous, xenophobic rage the instant we think we might get even a fraction less than we think we deserve. I sincerely hope the governments and people of the world will do what they can to help the people of New Orleans, but if they don't, I sure as hell wouldn't blame them for returning spite with spite, and telling the Ugly Americans, the arrogant pricks, to buy some boats, shove oars up their asses, and paddle their own damn people out of harm's way.