Monday, October 05, 2009

Q.O.D.: On American Exceptionalism


(posted on the BC thread "The power of legend")
Back in London, I was having dinner in the Groucho Club—this week’s in-spot for what’s left of Britain’s lit gritz and nouveau rock riche—when one person started in on the Stars And Stripes. Eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about “your country’s never been invaded.” (This fellow had been two during the Blitz, you see.) “You don’t know the horror, the suffering. You think war is...”

I snapped.

“A John Wayne movie,” I said. That’s what you were going to say, wasn’t it? We think war is a John Wayne movie. We think life is a John Wayne movie—with good guys and bad guys, as simple as that. Well, you know something, Mister Limey Poofter? You’re right. And let me tell you who those bad guys are. They’re us. WE BE BAD.

We’re the baddest-ass sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap D’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go.

“You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying ‘Cheerio.’ Hell can’t hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all you Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.”

Of course, the guy should have punched me. But this was Europe. He just smiled his shabby, superior European smile. (God, don’t these people have dentists?)

-- P.J. O’Rourke - “Holidays In Hell”
H/T barking-moonbat.com Q.O.D. 11/16/04

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