Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hey America! When did you forget how to laugh at yourself?

Dear America,

It hit me today the biggest thing wrong with this country right now...we've lost our ability to laugh at ourselves.  As a nation, not myself personally or most of my friends, we've gotten really holier-than-thou.  We think we are the shit as far as countries and governments go and that everyone should want to be like us.  Really? I mean really?

As I have stated before and will go to my grave feeling, the hippies let me down.  Unless the part of the under 40 crowd that has a sense of humor, conviction and open minds prevails we are doomed to have the time from 1964ish to the very early 80's go down in American history as a blip on the radar screen.  I pray hard every day that the loud-mouthed, rainbow colored folks twenty years my junior are successful in not allowing things like Woodstock, Stonewall and Dr. King be forgotten.

Yes, there were a lot of very serious things that happened in the 60's and 70's...Vietnam, WATTS, the Mason murders, the gas squeeze, Watergate and the Kennedy assassinations.  But those things drew us close and we poured out tons of new art like the whole rock music shift, Andy Warhol, Peter Maxx, Hair, Clockwork Orange, Kurt Vaunagut, etc.  We also birthed amazing comedy inspired by our neighbors to the north (SCTV) and the Brits (Monty Python and Benny Hill).  Saturday Night Live hit NBC and shocked us up but had us laughing insanely at our own stupidity.  We saw the rise of people like Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Whoopi.  Political humor was biting and deep but Washington took it and for awhile still seemed to be fighting for us, just a little.  

Things have become so incredibly boring and lack-luster in the country that owns half the world's wealth.  Art is black and white photography and earth-mother pottery.  Etsy and Ebay wreak of more of the same feathered barrettes and beaded jewelry.  Books and screenplays are just rehash after re-hash.  With the death of Crichton we are left with Dan Brown as far as exciting, well-researched adventure fiction.  Tim Burton and Tarentino about the only current directors with an out-of-the-box vision.  Scorsasi is amazing but how many more years will we have him?  Besides he was a product of that 70's art explosion too.  Fortunately he's been able to hold on despite the Academy's continuing snubs.  Even some of the good ones eroded into cookie cutter bullshit, like Speilberg.  Comedy has become nothing but a conglomeration of stupid site gags.  People, Will Farrell is not clever.  And the few great satirsts have to deal with five-year old politicians who go "You're picking on me.  Say you're sorry."  Really?  That's why it's call political satire.  You chose to be a legislator, you knew what came with the job and besides its only a bit more sarcastic way of the public demanding you to do the job you were elected to do. 

As far as modern rock?  The only American old regime that stays true to their tight black jeans, eye make-up and big hair is The Crue.  Jon and Richie, Sebastian and Brett have left their spandex and Adorn behind for boring flannel and blue denim.  :::yawn:::  Yeah, Kiss still does their thing but Gene has gotten so arrogantly, irrelevant.  Even he stopped laughing at himself. 

So today I put a face on the majority of my own country.  This face has furrows in its brow, scowl lines at the corners of its mouth, and cold eyes.  I don't know what to do to bring back you sense of mirth.  You really need to get over yourself.  You're not that wonderful.  You're far from perfect but that's ok.  You're human.  You don't have all the answers but you don't seem to be open to learning any new ones.  You need to recoup your free spirits and stop with all these rules.  The government and the church are not responsible for you, you are.  There really is only one rule...treat people the way you want to be treated.  If you don't like what's on TV...shut it off.  If you don't like what's on the newstand...don't buy it.  If you don't want your kids exposed to crap...throw out the computer or put passwords on it.  Oh and while we're at a PARENT!!  But in that parenting...teach your kids to laugh...not at others who are different than them but at themselves.  When they face their own frailties, suddenly others are something to become the butt of a joke. 


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