NOTE: Due to travel and other issues, YAD will be updating more irregularly than usual during the first two weeks of September. Follow YAD on Twitter if you need YAD methadone during this time.
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.
Memo to America: I HAVE FOUND THE SECRET TO OUR DECLINE.
You can point to the shutdown. You can point to the general government paralysis, the stagnant economy, the series of wars either lost or barely won, our diminishing stature in the world, and what seems to be an increasingly openly-xenophobic culture filling up thousands of comment threads on the Internet. And all these things are, yes, indicators of America's decline.
But the real problem with America, in a nutshell? American assholes. Not the ones on Fox News or on the Wall Street Journal comments, I mean our actual assholes. The ones doody comes out of.
In America, we have largely rejected the bidet, turning it into a Wacky Foreign Thing that only gay French and perverted Japanese people use because they're all foreign and stuff. It's used as the...
It's used as the...
Goddammit. That sentence sounds awful if I say "subject of jokes" and sounds punny if I say "butt of jokes". THIS SHIT IS HARD. Goddammit, I think I've done it again. Anyway, the point is, bidet-based confusion, bidet-based startlement, and bidet-based humiliation are staples in the American toilet humor lexicon.
At the same time, there is a general awareness that toilet paper frequently does not cut the mustard, if you will. But this being America, we have instead come up with a chemical-laden paper product that you can pay a nickel a shit for, wipe your ass with, and send into the sewer system where nobody will every have to worry about it again because the manufacturer insists they're "flushable".
Well, guess what's clogging the ever-loving hell out of our hundred-plus-year-old sewer system? Yep. You guessed it. Flushable bathroom wipes. Oh, the manufacturers insist that it's a government plot, and that the science isn't in, and it's just a bunch of paper towels because they know they've made something that vanishes entirely, leaving only rainbows and dolphin smiles behind.
But basically, what's happening is the confluence of three distinctly American traits. The desire for an expensive, pointless consumer product, the xenophobia involved in avoiding a device that would render that consumer product unnecessary, and the careless, wanton damaging of an infrastructure we're apparently in no position to upgrade and replace because big government is bad.
If that's not the perfect shitstorm of American decline, I don't know what is.