Archive | The US of A RSS feed for this section

So You’ve Become The US President and It’s All Gone Horribly Wrong

30 Aug

Have you recently become president because, despite not having an understanding of the job or the ability to do it, you really get off on people cheering your name?

Sure, we all have.

But being an idiot who is also a racist and the president of the United States can be stressful and have a damaging effect on your hair and skin, so it’s good you’ve decided to pick up this pamphlet. Like all information available in a doctor’s office waiting area, it primarily contains common sense ideas that you or the grown ups around you should already be aware of, but keep reading as it’s a better use of your time than getting stumped by the partially completed crossword puzzle in that 2010 issue of Highlights magazine.

Back when you were 69½ , it probably seemed like a good idea to run for president. You could shout whatever you want into a microphone and people would cheer and, of course, you could gets lots of attention on television. Those are some of your favourite things, so it makes sense you’d consider a full time gig. But after seven months in the job, you’re suffering weight gain, lethargy, and mockery from reasonable people all over the world. Is this normal? Is the damage reversible? Is there anything you can do to keep things from getting worse?

First off, you need to know that this is not normal. Nothing about this is normal.

However, the good news is things can change. Obviously our first suggestion is to drink more water. Staying hydrated seems to be the go-to suggestion in any and all lazily written medical advice pieces, so be sure to get at least eight glasses of water a day.

Otherwise, there is really only one option: stop being the president. Stop talking and threatening and lying and embarrassing yourself and your country.

Seems simple enough, but we all know that making healthy choices is often easier said than done. You might be asking, “How do I get out? Before I even got elected, I mocked a disabled person and bragged about grabbing women by the pussy and tried to ban Muslims and called Mexicans rapists. Still people cheered. I lie about literally everything and continually contradict myself — for Christ’s sake, I defended Nazis! I’m trapped in a wicked cycle: yes, I despise my growing waistline, irregular pulse, and the complete lack of movement in my bowels, but god, do I love seeing my face on television. Every time I do something stupid, it becomes breaking news — how could I possibly turn my back on that?”

We knew you were going to say that, but sorry, the answer is still to stop.

However, stopping doesn’t mean your life will be unsatisfying. All of the urges, desires, and emotions that are parts of your shamed presidency you can still get with your new healthier lifestyle.

Clearly you fear abandonment and losing the love you receive at your rallies, but do you have a partner and/or children between the ages of 39 and 11? They are probably willing to accept your love and give some in return. Why not try buying them something shiny? You may be surprised, but love from members of your own family can be just as fulfilling as the monosyllabic chants of thousands of racists waving misspelled placards.

Are you familiar with the game Risk? It’s a great and safe way to fulfill your power fantasies, but unlike what you’re doing now, no one ends up dead. You can make alliances with the baddies and you can control any entire continent if you’d like. In fact, you can even command an army and ban whomever you want from serving because everything’s imaginary and you’re not destroying real people’s lives.

Once you do stop, it’ll be important to remember that what you’re really craving is just a feeling. Feelings pass, so you may find that after a week, your desires have evaporated.  If they haven’t, though, you have the option of turning to memories to relive some of the more positive emotions. You should be able to find footage of your lies and irresponsible behaviour literally all over the fucking internet, so if you need an ego boost, watch a couple of your videos and bask in them. You’ll get some satisfaction but without doing  any more damage to your country’s reputation. (Note: damaging a country’s reputation is the number one cause of digestion problems in 71-year-old jackasses.)

Speaking of poor digestion: eat fibre.

If your presidency has gone horribly wrong, it may feel like there’s nothing you can do to change it. But there is: you can stop. It takes stamina, but you’ve got that, right? You’re a big boy, aren’t you?

It may be difficult in the first few days, but you can always hold tight to the fact that you are really rich. You are. You’re really rich. Let that give you hope. Some experts suggests creating visual reminders of the things that make you happy — small images displayed in prominent places to reinforce the fact that even if you’ve stopped being president, you’ll still really rich. Perhaps you could rig up something like that?

So your plans for your presidency didn’t really pan out . . . there are worse things in the world.

Things can change for you.

Now is the time to stop.

 

Ten Days In

30 Jan

It’s a difficult time to be hopeful, isn’t it?

It really doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat, if you’re American or not (yes, Americans, other countries have people, too!). If you’re a human, this is a tough time. You don’t have to be a frequent tinfoil hat wearer to see conspiracies and have doomsday worries.

Because this is kind of how the end of the world’s likely to start.

In the simplest terms, a powerful nation has elected a man who knows fuck-all and for whom power is nothing but wank fuel [insert small hands joke here].

His global abortion gag rule will affect women all over the world, but he doesn’t care. I mean, literally, he doesn’t care about abortion; this isn’t a moral issue for him. A White House leak claims his words on the topic were: “It doesn’t effect me, so why should I care if it exists?” (I’m going on the assumption that even when Trump speaks he misspells words.) He pushed forward on the DAPL, despite Native Americans’ and environmentalists’ objections. The following day 138,600 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from a pipeline in Iowa. Of course, Trump doesn’t live in Iowa, so why should he care, right? Some of his cabinet picks, though, do care about the pipeline’s success. Coincidence? He put gag orders on government agencies, telling them not to speak to the press. He began plans for the Wall. And he initiated the Muslim ban Muslims-from-countries-that-do-not-benefit-Trump’-companies ban. He did this on Holocaust Memorial Day, when he also released a statement that did not mention Jews. I’m sure this has nothing to do with Steve Bannon, whose power in the White House continues to grow.

Basically, in his first week, Trump has illustrated that

  • American ideals mean literally nothing to him
  • many Americans themselves mean literally nothing to him
  • issues that affect the stability of the entire world mean literally nothing to him.

It is tempting to lash out at the people who voted for Trump, even the ‘good’ ones who didn’t agree with his horrible actions and words before the election but focused on potential economic benefits. It’s tempting to remind them of all the times they said wait and see or just give the guy a chance.

It’s also tempting to get sucked into every ‘alternative fact‘: the size of his inauguration crowd or his obsession with voter fraud. It’s tempting to retweet and post evidence that proves the President of the United States is a delusional liar.

It’s also tempting to put on a foil cap, curl up in a corner of a cellar, and pray you’ve stockpiled enough food and water to make it to the other side.

All these things are enticing, and I wouldn’t judge anyone who gives in. However, there are other things we can do.

Thousands of people are taking action around the world. Some US government agencies have set up ‘alt’ social media accounts. A few politicians are stepping up — lawyers and protesters showed up at airports, and shortly thereafter, a federal judge issued a stay against Trump’s ban. Millions of people are marching and making donations.

This is good. This is all good.

But it’s also all tiring, and we can’t pretend it’s not. We have to take care of ourselves as we do our best to take care of the world. We don’t know for sure what will or will not work. If at the moment all you can do is sign a petition, that’s all right. If you can’t afford to offer financial support, that’s okay. If you need to take a break from 695b5edf289e965571216ccf3acd3361social media, do it.

But promise yourself that you’ll do everything you can to stop Donald Trump. Because in high school history class, you probably wondered what you’d have done during the early days of Hitler’s reign.

Now is the chance to find out.

 

 

 

What Matters

7 Nov

Words matter.

Actions matter.

Voting matters.

bystanders

 

My Eleventh Summer

27 May

This Monday was Memorial Day in America, which has traditionally marked the beginning of summer. When I was young, Memorial Day always meant the opening of our city swimming pool, an event which had even the most uncoordinated and physically unappealing kids in our neighbourhood giddy with excitement. Unfortunately, my siblings and I were not allowed to go to the pool, because my mother was afraid we’d get warts and be unable to wear sandals.

Instead, our Memorial Day ritual involved helping my mother move her winter wardrobe into the attic.

That was until my eleventh year, which is when I solved my first crime. It wasn’t a murder or anything like that. But still, it sets that year apart.

c8b7c1860273f5dda0e6a301576d75aaThe night before this Memorial Day, my parents had attended a party at the Flanagans’. Mrs Flanagan wore clogs. Apparently my mother found this unacceptable. There were words and then shouting, and then my parents returned home, where there was more words and shouting and then a cigarette was put out in a gin and tonic. That’s when I decided to get up from the top of the stairs and go to bed. When I woke up in the morning, my father was sleeping on the sofa. I pushed on his shoulder until he woke up. He looked at me and said, “I want crepes.”

Because I was (and still am) his favourite, he and I left before anyone else was awake. We went to our special restaurant where he never took my mother, and he ordered us each some crepes and black coffee. While we were there, a truck pulled up outside and a man who was wearing an undershirt as a shirt came in. He smiled at my father and my father smiled back. Because that’s the kind of man he is.

The rest of the breakfast passed normally. We slowly made our way home, both of us dreading the inevitable appearance of my mother’s clipboard and complicated storage system. Three police cars passed us as we walked.

“I bet they’re arresting that truck man,” I said to my father.

“You’re probably right,” my father said. He laughed a little and then added, “You don’t need to mention him to your mother.”

On the evening news, there was a bulletin saying that a shoe store had been robbed. The guy got away with the safe and five pairs of girls’ saddle shoes. My mother said the man was probably a pervert.

My father winked at me.

Sour Times

11 Sep

Hooray for Freedom!

4 Jul

Let’s celebrate the Founding Fathers’ commitment to ensuring the freedom of speech and religion of all corporations!

Just Don’t Wear Them Backwards

15 Apr

While I was out in the garden yesterday tending to some suckling clover, I was startled by a bit of a ruckus next door. Without any effort of my own making, I was able to overhear a conversation between the lad next door and his mother.  From what I could decipher, some chores of his had not been done (she had asked him to take the bins out the other night at approximately 5.45 and again at 6.30 yet he had left without doing so to go watch Clash of the Titans with that Liam Williams kid whose mother leaves a lot to be desired in the responsibility department). The lad’s defense was simply that he had not heard her request on either occasion or he would have definitely done his job.  A few mild swears were tossed about (coming from both parties so this gives you a sense of the kind of people I have living next to me). I was just about to abandon my activity when I heard Lady Muck make a comment which upset me terribly.

She said, “And take off that ridiculous cap, you look a right twat.”

Having been keeping tabs on this boy for a number of weeks (he is my prime suspect in the case of bicycle tracks through my tulip bed), I know the cap of which she speaks. It is commonly referred to as a baseball cap, and I feel it is an unfairly maligned article of clothing.

I have already spoken extensively about my love of baseball. The intelligence, bravado, and strength that it takes to be a great player, I feel, means that anyone wearing a hat in any way associated with this great sport always commands a certain amount of respect.

The design of these hats, of course, is based on a specific purpose, which is shielding one’s eyes from the sun. This is why you often see cricket players wearing similar caps, though their brims are just slightly shorter (if you know what I mean). Baseball caps also keep one’s hair out of the way, which could be helpful when one needs to focus on driving or performing keyhole surgery. That’s another feature which shouldn’t be sneezed at.

Because of their width, baseball caps are also useful for publicly stating your support in a team, musical group or cause. They come in so many varieties that they are a comfortable and useful way to advertise your philosophy of life to every Tom, Dick and Harry you pass on your way to the off license.

My shrew of a neighbour therefore was completely disregarding the cap’s historical significance and practical application when she made the above comment. And I know the reason she did this. It’s because the baseball cap is symbolic of America. When Britons aren’t fawning over America, they’re dragging it down. (You’re such a fickle country, you are, but I love you.)

True, America’s got its problems. I’d be first in the queue to admit that (well, actually, I’d probably be second behind Jeremy Clarkson). But it’s outrageous to assume that everything American is bad. That’s just racism. Just because millions of drunk, ignorant, and loud Americans sport baseball caps twenty-four hours a day (many of them even wear them while bathing) it does not mean that the cap itself is the problem. I wish my neighbour would realise that her son has in fact always been a right twat and probably always will be, with or without the baseball cap on his head.

Listen to me, England, you are some of the most compassionate and accepting people I’ve ever known. Don’t blame baseball hats for the idiocy of some who wear them. That’d be like blaming hooded sweatshirts for youth crime, and I know this great nation would never entertain a foolish idea like that. Not only should the lad next door be able to wear his baseball cap, he should do so with pride. And he should do so while reimbursing me for the emotional pain his reckless cycling has caused me and my tulips.

Make A Little Effort Please, People, It’s A Holiday For Christ’s Sake

28 Nov

Dorothy Parker said gratitude is the meanest and most snivelling attribute in the world, and she makes a good point.  In fact, that’s probably the simplest explanation for why I’ve never married: there’s little less appealing than a person who can’t stop telling everyone how thankful he is to have me in his life. Restating the obvious does get tiresome rather quickly.

That said, I think more obnoxious are the people who can’t find a single thing in the world to be grateful for. Right now in America, I don’t doubt there are millions who, having wept over their TV turkey dinners, are watching King Kong and wondering why they are alone and miserable on Thanksgiving Day. The smiling faces of families at the Macy’s Parade, the constant commercials for Black Friday sales they cannot afford to take advantage of and the piles of empties lined up on the kitchen counter only serve as evidence that there is nothing for which they can give thanks.  You know who you are (my guess is if you’re online reading this instead of spending time with loved ones, you are probably one of the saddos of which I speak). Pull yourself together and try a bit harder.

Everyone can find something to be grateful for this holiday, if you really put your mind to it.  Out of the goodness of my heart, let me offer some suggestions to get the ball rolling:

  • Be grateful that fluffy little puppies exist
  • Be grateful that modern dentistry uses anesthesia
  • Be grateful that your hair is still full of bounce (disregard if you are bald)
  • Be grateful that shards of glass aren’t a dietary staple
  • Be grateful that you do not have to have a boil on your eyeball lanced
  • Be grateful that Dina and Michael Lohan are not your parents (disregard if they are)
  • Be grateful that your suicide attempt did not leave you alive but essentially a vegetable

See? With a little effort and imagination, you will be able to find something that makes you can appreciate. If all fails, be thankful I took the time out of my busy schedule to write this thoughtful message. I don’t do this for my health, you know.

The Forgotten Victims of the US Government Shutdown

4 Oct

404 ShutdownWe’re a few days into the US Government shutdown, and quite frankly it’s a wonder there are any Americans still alive at this point.

The shutdown is no joke, people. It’s not for me to say who is to blame for the situation (it’s the Republicans), but every day that it continues, the more bad shit that’s coming America’s way. NBC estimates that the shutdown costs $12.5 million an hour. That’s a brilliant way to solve budget disputes, isn’t it? No wonder the rest of the world thinks Americans don’t understand irony!

It’s not just a vague disgrace that’s going on — it’s one that affects many Americans in very real ways. Hundreds of thousands of government employees have been furloughed and are not receiving paychecks. Services like food programs for low income pregnant women and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention flu program aren’t running. National parks are closed; even the National Zoo is affected. Animals can’t even vote yet they’re feeling the pain of the GOP’s childish behaviour.

However, when talking about groups of people (or pandas) affected by the shutdown, we can’t ignore the individuals — the ones who don’t get mentioned in the papers — whose lives are being tragically altered forever.

I’m talking about the children who just a few short days ago saw politics as a high calling, a career path for those who care about and want to help others. Who will explain to the little ones how terribly, terribly American politics has gone wrong?

I’m also talking about the nail technicians, telemarketers and tabloid journalists around the country. They wake up in the morning eager to get started on their life’s work and read that the government has deemed so many of its employees “non-essential.” If working for education or the environment isn’t seen as an essential task, well, that really puts other jobs into perspective, doesn’t it? It wouldn’t surprise me if people started topping themselves left and right. Sadly, this will only lead to more problems since the Federal Department of Suicide Clean Up is currently running on a skeleton staff.

And, of course, I’m talking about all those Americans out there who were taught in elementary school to look towards elected officials as models of responsibility. Those models of responsibility have decided that if they don’t get to play their way, they’re shutting the whole operation down (while still collecting their pay, natch). Why should Lenny over at the liquor store have to pull three late night shifts in a row; why shouldn’t he just lock up early and head home? Steve in an accounting might just up and say screw it and his company will be powerless to conduct business. Who will sponsor the t-shirts for Jerry’s daughter’s softball team then, I ask you? All of these little effects have roll on effects which could, quite frankly, bring the world’s most powerful nation to its knees.

Which would be a shame. Because I’m American and I hate to see this happening to my country.

Land of the Free

4 Jul