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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stealing Our Culture, That’s What They’re Doing!

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Twenty-Six Chickens Found Beheaded in North Pole Coop

Twenty-six chickens were mysteriously beheaded at a North Pole chicken coop this week. Then things got weird…

Seems that State Troopers were called to a home in North Pole, a small town a bit north of Fairbanks, to investigate a massacre.

Twenty-six chickens had been killed in their coop, their heads ripped off.  No sign of the heads at the murder scene. Apparently the mysterious chupacabra de pollo took them, the heads I mean, perhaps for trophies, perhaps for cat toys, perhaps to make MRE Chicken Ala King. Who knows?  Who understands the mind of the chicken marauder? The headless carcasses were lined up in a row with the last few in a circle at the end – like a satanic lollipop.

The cops are baffled. It doesn’t look like a fox or a coyote, who tend to make squares instead of crop circle designs with their victims. Bears would have eaten the fowl whole and squawking and then spit out the beak, there were no beaks. It doesn’t seem to be connected to the recent spate of alien cattle mutilations in the Southwest, there were no lights in the sky and no black helicopters.  And nobody has seen Colonel Sanders on the streets of North Pole.

Three chickens survived the slaughter, the police are unsure of the significance of the survivors (Significance? I suspect those three were just a lot faster than their deceased comrades, but I’m not a trained chicken murder investigator so I’m probably wrong). So far the three survivors haven’t been able to describe what happened or give a police sketch artist a coherent description of their attacker – they just wander around pecking at the ground in a traumatized fashion.

The ADN story is here .

Why bring it up?  Other for the obvious entertainment value – and to point out that the chicken murders aren’t even close to being the weirdest mystery in North Pole at the moment?

Well, see I bring it up because of the comments under the story.  That’s what actually caught my attention. As is usual for the Anchorage Daily News (and increasingly every online news site where there’s no moderation or minimum intelligence level) most of the comments are pretty damned ignorant, but it was this one in particular that caught my eye:

justasksasquatch wrote on 05/25/2010 06:13:39 PM (copied verbatim):

get used to more of this as more and more immigrants move here.

Why would we deliberately supplant and displace our culture?

In Minnesota for instance, Somalian immigrants have restaurants where they don't allow women in their midst.

Immigrants in Florida practice 'Santeria' where they behead and bleed goats and chickens in front of children as they spray themselves with blood to cleanse themselves from evil spirits.

Hindus immigrating to our country carry on their ancient 'caste system' whereby certain persons remain at the bottom social level.

Middle Eastern immigrants carry on the barbaric practice of female genitall mutilation on their baby girls.

Many from south of our borders bring in horse tripping, cockk fighting, dog fighting and when their numbers grow to majorities, they will legalize bull fighting.

All these practices are Third World, inhumane and disgusting beyond comprehension.but we are being forced to accept them as normal part of society according to those who push the communist doctrine of diversity and multiculturalism on us. aint diversity great? [Sic]

Ah hah! Mystery solved. Obviously it was immigrants practicing the communist doctrine of diversity and multiculturalism who slaughtered the chickens.

Repeat that. Say it out loud. See if it sounds any less steeped in teabaggery:

The communist doctrine of diversity and multiculturalism.

Communist diversity. Communist. Diversity.

We don’t know what either communism or diversity is exactly, but we know we don’t like it, no siree. And it’s sure not doing the chickens any good.

The oxymoron level (emphasis on moron) has got to be pushing at least a 9.98 in that one sentence alone, hell it might even be a perfect 10.  And then Sasquatch goes for the bonus point: As soon as “They” have the majority, “They” will legalize bull fighting! Oh noes! Because, as you know, that’s the real agenda of those filthy Latinos – legalized bull fighting!  Yes! Those Fifth Column bastards (or should I say Bastardos?) are secretly swishing their capes and polishing their little matador hats, waiting to make their move.

¡Ay, caramba!

Sasquatch’s comment reminded me of a conversation I recently had.

A couple of days ago, I ran into this guy I vaguely know. He’s one of those people you meet at school functions, or little league, or in the Home Depot parking lot when you’re in a hurry. That sort of thing.  I think I know his first name, but I’m not sure and so when I run into him here and there around town I’m careful to avoid any conversational gambit that would require me to use it.  Obviously I don’t know him all that well, but I do know that he used to be in the military and he’s got a kid about my son’s age, and he’s a big damned fan of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party (the T-shirt and the little flecks of spittle around his mouth are dead giveaways).

The conversation meandered around, as it tends to do in these situations as we dodged crazed drivers in the big box store parking lot. How’s the family? Fine, and yours? Nice weather, eh? Yeah, except for the glacial dust, I could live without that.  Kids start driving next year. Sigh, not looking forward to that. Obama is destroying this country! Whoa, slow down there Crazypants, how, exactly is Obama destroying the country? Woowoo liberal diversity agenda with a side of multiculturalism nazi abortions reet! deficit weak on terrorism China Iran reet reet and thecountry is brokenandnobodyinwashingtonlistensanymore reet reet reet!

I went to Lowes to pick up some gasket material and the Right managed to barf on my shoes in the parking lot. Sigh.

It’s always some bugaboo with these people, isn’t it?  It doesn’t matter what the story is, what the situation is, murdered chickens, glacial dust, black guy in the White House, it always comes ‘round to somebody destroying the country. It’s always some damned thing. The commies, the socialists, the queers, the terrorists, Big Government, Tax and Spend liberals, the atheists, the Muslims, the Chicago political machine, the Fed, taxation without representation, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Iranians, gun control, Old Europe, the tree huggers and those bunny lovers in the EPA, FEMA, minorities, The Axis of Evil, the War On Christmas, Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, Wall Street, these kids nowadays, NAFTA, stem cell research, civil rights advocates, the feminists, the activist judges, and, of course, those filthy immigrants.  Somebody is always out to steal conservative America. 

America, in some mystical alternate conservative reality, used to be really awesomely great, but now it sucks. 

It always sucks with these people, the country is always going to hell. It was going to hell last week, and last year, and back in their daddy’s day and even back in their grandfather’s day and their great grandfather’s day – America has been going to hell for generations apparently, probably all the way back to the Revolution. I suspect these people can trace their family shrub all the way back to some garrulous Boston Tea Party attendee who bitched that Washington and Jefferson and Paine and Adams and the those bastards in the Continental Congress were destroying the country.  Somewhere – maybe during the glorious warmly golden autumn of the Reagan era, when the streets were paved with gold and flowed with free gasoline on which floated baskets made of money and coated in the cured hide of Karl Marx and filled with smiling Christian babies – it was pretty good, but other than that the country sucks donkey balls and it’s been sucking more and more every day.

Oh woe. Woe is us. Weep, weep for America!

This, my electronic friends, is what happens when you let Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and their ilk shape your worldview.  When you listen to people who get paid to tell you the sky is falling and that the country is going to hell – because if the country isn’t going to hell and the sky isn’t falling, well, then they don’t get paid.  When you listen to the doomsayers, what you hear is doom.  But you know what’s really funny?  In the last year, during the height of a recession, Sarah Palin failed to win an election, quit her job half-done and became unemployed, reneged on every promise she’d ever made to us Alaskans, backed losing candidates across the country … and yet somehow managed to make somewhere in the neighborhood of ten million dollars.  Now this empty headed baby machine is busy telling you why everything sucks and the country is headed into the crapper? What the hell does she have to be miserable about? Her empty headed twit of a daughter got knocked up by the local delinquent, dropped out of school, and became yet another unwed Wasilla teenaged mother with a GED – and she gets $30,000 a pop to come teach your kids how not to have a baby even though babies are a gift from God and everybody should have as many as possible, also abortion makes Jesus cry.  An eighteen year old amateur who doesn’t even know what a condom is makes more in an hour than one of Tiger Woods’ professional party girls does in a month, but America is going to hell in a liberal hand basket? Frankly I don’t know how the Palin family is living with the hardship.  Limbaugh and Beck made hundreds of millions last year, enough money to buy their own gilded Rupert Murdock clone, for doing nothing more than acting like diseased monkeys on the air – but, yeah, the country is going to hell.  And all their idiot followers are nodding their heads and bitching about how the country is going straight to shit, how the government is taking their last penny, and how they can’t make the loan payment on their $50,000 Lincoln Navigator with the spinning gold hubcaps and the $10,000 stereo system – meanwhile they’re shelling out fifty bucks a day for smokes, lotto tickets, and pay-per-view porn – and somehow a whole shitload of these booger eaters managed to shell out $30 a piece for Palin’s fictional ghostwritten masterpiece.

And of course, you can’t have suck without somebody to blame – and who do we blame? Why the people who stole our country, of course. We blame the liberals. We blame diversity. We blame multiculturalism. This is exactly what you get when you consider education as elitism and let people like the Texas Board of Creationism decide what your children should learn in school. This is the kind of paranoia and false perception and xenophobia that is the hallmark of lazy and defective thinking and that panders to the lowest common denominator – and that sells advertising space on talk radio and FoxNews.  Not so long ago, this same kind of diseased reasoning proclaimed people of color as sub-humans who lusted uncontrollably after white women and were suited only for life as chattel. Not so long ago, this same worldview proclaimed Jews as filthy scheming vermin, again less than human, fit only to be herded into camps – and then into ovens.  Not so long ago this same frothing nationalistic thinking proclaimed Manifest Destiny and led to genocide on a grand scale – and today, in a dozen places around the world, it still does.  This is the kind of ignorant myopic parochial world view you get when you are deathly afraid all of the time. When you only listen to people who are as afraid and ignorant as you are and you never travel outside your comfort zone.

This is what you become when you live in utter and abject fear. When you’re a coward.

So I asked him, “What is it, exactly, that makes America great?”

The answer?  “Well…uh, it just is.”

Not good enough, I said.  What is it specifically that makes America great? Baseball? Hotdogs? Beer Pong?

Well, it’s because we have freedom!

Freedom? What kind of freedom? Like the Mel Gibson Braveheart kind? Freeeeedomm! What do you mean by freedom? Give me some examples.

The Bill of Rights! Freedom of speech!

OK, but I can name dozens of countries where you are guaranteed the freedom of speech – hell you’ve got freedom of speech in Russia nowadays. Doesn’t that make them equally great?

Yeah, but we can go where we want, we can live where we want.  We don’t have to show papers and like that!

Well, except in Arizona, but I digress. So do Canadians enjoy the same freedom, and members of the European Union, Australians, Italians, Icelanders, and those people who speak the click click language in Africa and, well, I’m pretty sure Russians can live where they want nowadays – which is why so many of them live here - hell some them moved back to that radioactive village next to Chernobyl.  Doesn’t that make them great too?

No, of course not, because we have the right to bear arms too!

So, gun ownership then? It’s our guns that make us great?  Wouldn’t that mean that Somalia and Afghanistan and the Republic of the Congo where anybody can own a gun, including machine guns and grenade launchers, are pretty awesome too? If guns make you great, they’ve got us beat hands down.

No not like that, that’s different.

Different how?

You know.

So, we’ve got guns – but we also have laws? Gun control then? Gun control makes us great?

Uh…

Never mind. What is it that we’ve lost that makes us less great today?

Obama’s gutting the military!

So, it’s our military then, that makes us great? Nobody screws with us? Be nice to America or we’ll bring democracy to your country too? Aircraft carriers and stealth bombers and cruise missiles make a country great? Also, we’ve increased the size of the military and Obama just plussed up our forces in Afghanistan by 30,000 troops.  I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. If the military makes us great, we should be more great now not less. The ability to kill people? Blow up a continent? Sheer raw violent power, that’s what makes a country great?  By that logic, wouldn’t a guy that can kick everybody else’s ass be great? Jackie Chan? He’s pretty great. Better than you and me? You can’t be great unless you’re bigger and badder than everybody else?

Well, no, not exactly, but you know what I mean.

Well, no, I don’t actually.  Up until the time of Teddy Roosevelt America was not a world power – and hell, you could argue that America didn’t really emerge as a world class power, militarily, until WWII. Were we great before that? 

Uh… (apparently not)

One by one he went through the litany.

Taxes. Lowest in thirty years. Low taxes make us great? No.  Stimulus package. Contained huge tax breaks for the average American, responsible for the lowest federal income tax year for those earning under $250,000 per anum since the 1950’s.  So, Stimulus makes us more great? No, of course not. Bailout.  Saved the banks, saved GM, saved millions of jobs.  Do failed banks and closed auto plants make us great? Does keeping them open make us less great. No, no, you’re confusing me.  What about the debt!

Ah, something we agree on then, debt certainly makes a country less great. Wouldn’t it be in our best interest, greatness wise, to raise taxes? Surely, for the sake of greatness, everybody could pay a couple percentage points more?  Doesn’t reducing taxes make us less great – if it increases our debt? How much is greatness worth? Surely it’s worth a hundred bucks more a year? Maybe a thousand?

He glanced at his watch, oh look at the time.

Yeah, last question, it seems that we have more greatness than not.  Why for the anger?

And then we were down to it. Finally, the thing that’s ruining America’s greatness.

Diversity. Multiculturalism. Legal and illegal immigrants are stealing our culture! Stealing our greatness!

Stealing our chicken heads too apparently.

What else are they stealing? Are they stealing our St. Patrick’s day? Pizza? Tacos? Beer? French fries?  Our English?

Yes! Yes, exactly, they’re making us speak Spanish!

Que? When is the last time you were forced to speak Spanish? How many times today? This week? This month? This year?  Okay, in the last ten years? Ever? 

That’s besides the point. It’s happening. One day we’ll wake up and find our kids speaking Spanish. These people keep trying to change us.

So, change decreases greatness? Right?  A culture that remains static is great?  A culture that doesn’t (forgive me) evolve is great?  A culture that doesn’t change and grow is great? So we are less great today because our culture has changed, and therefore made us lesser, than in the days of our founders? Is that about right?

In the end he went his way and I went mine. 

He left angry, mad that he couldn’t convince me that America’s greatness has been diminished by Barack Obama.

Me? He left me pondering what it is that makes America great.

Frankly, I’m hoping it’s more than just guns and English and fear.

55 comments:

  1. Hey, chicken murders is part of what makes living here in North Pole great. Don't go knocking it!

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  2. Jim, I think I (purely platonically) love you. And not just for the "sucks donkey balls" phrase (which makes me laugh every time I read your use of it).

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  3. I hate to say it, Jim, but I think the ADN commenter was right. You are going to see more of this as more immigrants come to Alaska.

    Now, if these were cows, I'd think we were talking about a bunch of goddamn Grays from Sirius. Those big-headed bastards are always showing up in their saucers and grabbing a bunch of cow anuses before the INS can arrive in their black helicopters and detain them. But these are chickens, which leads me to think maybe you've got some Centaurans sneaking in under the Aurora Borealis while the solar activity is running a little low. Those lazy bums from Proxima drive those little uninspected cigar-shaped pieces of junk that are held together by duct tape and baling wire, good solar flare or spike in the particles-per-minute count in the Van Allen knocks out the deregulator and they get stalled in LEO, know what I mean? Anyway, those bastards love sucking up the encephalic fluid, snort it, that kind of thing, bunch of strung out junkies is what they are, you know how those "people" are, Jim, if you can even call a colony of jelly living in close symbiosis with a silicon-based semi-sentient exoskeleton a "person," not to sound like a bigot or anything, but come on....

    Anyway, it's only a matter of time before they're all over Alaska, stealing jobs and probing butts, breaking into houses and stealing ovaries and teeth--I think you need to write your legislators, see if you can maybe get the funding to build a big fence over the state of Alaska or something before things get out of hand.

    Oh yeah, and watch the skies.

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  4. I almost had to stop at the secret swishing of cape but read on:) The only thing sadder than you murcans falling for Beck and Limbaugh is Canadians eating up that crap. Every time I hear Obama is a liberal and ruining our country I have to my citizenship and whether Canada all of a sudden lost our social net. What a bunch of maroons.

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  5. When I first read the bit about the chicken murders, I was going to say that it must have been those Russians that Sarah Palin can see from her house, but, after the rest of the post, I fear that it would be open to misinterpretation.

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  6. nzforme,

    Obviously, the problem is that Sarah isn't spending enough time at home keeping her eyes on them damned Ruskies. As Sally Struthers used to whine on TV..."Won't somebody PLEEEEEEEEZE think of the chickens"?


    uperser Just like a usurper...only on a ship...and he gives out positions of power instead of taking them.

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  7. That last bit was my word verification. Might have looked better with some punctuation.

    Them damned immigrants been stealin' our punctuation again. And leavin' us them damned upside-down question marks!

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  8. Yeah, it was a huge pain to get those upside down exclamation points in there. Had to go to the spanish font set.

    Also why exclamation point? They're more like exclamation slashes. Weird, man, weird

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  9. ::obvious cheap shot warning::

    As Sally Struthers used to whine on TV..."Won't somebody PLEEEEEEEEZE think of the chickens"?

    And we all know Ms. Struthers was thinking of the chickens. Fried. Barbecued. Nuggetized. Stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Wrapped in bacon. In gravy....

    ::thank you, this has been your morning cheap shot.

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  10. Oh this was good, actually this goes down as a classic Jim post, all time top 10 category for sure.

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  11. Categories?

    There are categories now?

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  12. Jim - I'm glad I had finished my coffee when I got to the swishing capes!

    Engaging a "true Murican" with logic is like trying to teach a pig to sing - it won't work and irritates the pig.

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  13. MRE Chicken Ala King. Priceless.

    Was it you or Bill that chipped your tooth on a chicken beak in the MRE Chicken Ala King?

    Or maybe you just got the feathers. Good times...

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  14. I think that was Bill, I had to drive him to the dentist. I'm the guy who got the whole chicken head in his Chicken Ala King. That's the day I learned that "ala King" doesn't mean "fit for a king" but rather "Here, have a fucking chicken head and other miscellanious pieces parts."

    I've also seen chicken feet in MREs.

    Best part about being retired? I no longer have to eat government factory food in a bag made by the lowest bidder.

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  15. I've also seen chicken feet in MREs.

    Pshaw. I'm pretty sure John has seen chicken feet in expensive restaurants. Has possibly ordered them.

    Actually, to be honest, there was a really great Dim Sum restaurant in Charlotte's "Little Chinatown" that had chicken feet on the menu. I never worked up the courage to order, though I was curious from a whole "cultural tourist" POV. ("Courage" may be an incomplete concept: I never got down to the place often enough to order things I didn't love; ordering chicken feet would have been an act of courage, true, but there was also the fact it was competing as a menu item with things I already knew I loved.)

    Not sure if that place is still around. May need to get back down there. They really did serve a lot of nomilicious dishes.

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  16. Eric, you may be confusing "courage" with "stupid."

    That happens a lot, usually it begins with beer and the phrase "I bet you couldn't..."

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  17. Jim, you didn't knead the CAK bag before opening to see if there were 'chunks' that needed to be smoothed out? Like mixing the 'cheese spread' back together so it doesn't pour out of the bag like chunky piss?

    I'll have to be on the lookout for anyone lurking near my chickens - just want to be prepared when I have to hide the remains after the rooster gets done...

    LOL - good captcha word:

    scarfu - a martial eating style.

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  18. hee - sorry - next word is 'outwing'

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  19. Nick from the O.C.May 27, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    I am a good person and car-pool into work 43 miles each way. Actually, car-pool is misleading. I take a 12-seat van to/from work each day.

    Sometimes people nap and sometimes they chat. Often, they make or receive calls on their cell phones.

    This week I heard:

    -- Mikhail speaking Russian with his wife.

    -- Millie and Guillermo speaking Spanish with each other.

    -- Danny speaking Korean to somebody.

    -- Tom speaking Chinese with his family.


    I work for a defense contractor, a big one. You've heard of the company, trust me. Most of the above people have Secret or Top Secret clearances, many have SCI or SAP on top of that. They are, by every possible official measure used by our country, the epitome of "loyal" citizens.

    You want to discuss multiculturalism and diversity, and how immigrants are taking over this country? Talk to them.

    perkas == in Fairbanks, stores often offer outerwear as a perk for shopping/joining. Such giveaways are known as "perkas".

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  20. Given your location, Nick, and the security level, I could probably make a fairly accurate guess as to your employer - but I won't ;)

    Personally, I think that "multiculturalism" is a red herring. There is no "multi"culturalism, it’s all culture. De facto, it’s all "our" culture, whatever it is at the moment. You don't integrate people into your society by telling them that the cultural things important to them are bad and should be dumped and replaced with something else. You mix cultures together in order to create something new and vibrant and evolving.

    There is no American culture per se. As Rob said in response to this post on my facebook page – the American culture these people pine for, that Frankie and Annette beach blanket bingo and Leave it to Beaver culture, is a myth that never actually existed. American "culture" is not homogeneous across the continent and never has been – stories from two centuries ago often allude to the difference between the wild west and refined culture of Boston or Philadelphia for example. Even today with increased communications and mass media to unify us, culture in Honolulu is not the same as in New York City (New York City! Sorry, can't help it) is not the same as Des Moines is not the same as Dallas. Our culture, and our regional and local micro-cultures, are a hodge podge of cultures and traditions borrowed from dozens of other cultures and peoples and times. From Christmas to fortune cookies to French Quarter funerals and Creole and chop suey to fish tacos and California Fusion Cuisine.

    In fact, if you really want to get technical about it, true multiculturalism was once forced upon Americans - it was called segration.


    Bill Murray in Stripes said it best: Our ancestors were kicked out of every decent country in the world

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  21. Segregation


    Goddamn IE and it's no integrated spell checker.

    Piece of shit.

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  22. Gee...I was in high school and college during the Reagan era...I don't 'member things being like that though....

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  23. Indeed, I thought the beautiful thing about "American culture" was that it was synonymous with "melting pot," except that "melting pot" was sort of an inapt phrase: it's more a pot where things are melted and merged while retaining distinctive streaks and veins, something like when you try to melt several differently-colored candles together in the same jar or holder and get a swirly lump.

    Which isn't exactly poetic, but maybe you get the image anyway? I love living in a country where I can drive in one direction and get authentic dim sum and another direction and get authentic German cuisine. I love that I live in a country where there are distinctively melded cuisines like Cajun, something that's sort of French, sort of West African, sort of Gulf American, and absolutely unlike any of those three flavors.

    Maybe I'm hungry, to be focusing on food, or maybe it was the talk in the thread about food, but it's not just food. American English is a hodgepodge of European and African languages, and increasingly Asian tongues as well. (The distinctively American word "okay" is one whose origins are debated, but it's notably similar to a phrase found in West Africa and probably brought to the New World by slaves.) Our contemporary movies are heavily influenced by French and Japanese cinema, both of which were heavily influenced by American cinema, which was influenced by German cinema--a wonderful snake-eating-its-tail of artistic and commercial expression. Our distinctive contributions to music--rock'n'roll and jazz--are hybrid musical forms that absorb and meld African and European rhythmic traditions and tropes (and over time have absorbed the reflections of those tropes from elsewhere--contemporary pop rock is heavily influenced by British and German acts that were trying to copy American musicians).

    "There is no American culture per se"--absolutely true, and yet there is an American culture, just not the imaginary one the whitebread militants have misplaced nostalgia for; the beautiful paradox of American culture is that "American culture" consists of a lack of "American culture": it's a distinctive amalgamation of people--including the current generation of Hispanic immigrants--who have created something out of a desire to assimilate while preserving their roots. It's a perpetually immigrant culture.

    Wow. Gotta take a breath--I'm having one of those "remembering why I love America" moments. I'm also wondering what country the "America for Americans" crowd lives in, because it's not anyplace I've lived or would want to.

    (On a maybe-not-unrelated tangent: it's 5:00 here, and it occurs to me that this evening I may drive my German car home, walk down to the cajun restaurant on the corner, return home and drink a Mexican distilled spirit while watching episodes of a television show hosted-by-and-named-after an English director* on my Japanese television. For whatever that's worth.)

    Anyway, Jim, thanks for reminding me of why I really do love my country even when I sometimes say and think mean things about the people who live here and run it.

    ----
    *First season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on DVD, lotsa fun.

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  24. That was the idea behind this post.

    I do think America is a great country, otherwise I wouldn't have spent two decades in uniform defending it.

    Oddly though, it's the very things the extreme rightwing hates that I think make this country a great place.

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  25. I was skimming through the comments while basking in my enjoyment of Jim's carefully crafted prose.

    And then I got to Eric's first comment.

    I may die now.

    My verification word is squit - is that even legal?

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  26. Oh my gosh. And to think when I started reading this post I thought it was going to be about the coming zombie apocalypse, what with the chicken heads & brains missing and all.

    My apartment complex is a mixed bag. Hispanic, Indian, Iraqi, Israeli, Ethiopian, Jamaican, Pakistani, Polish, German, Chinese, Creole…and a few of us Muricans thrown in for good measure. All different races and cultures. Trust me, kids screaming in the pool are kids screaming in the pool, the race & language doesn’t matter.

    The area I live is so diverse you commonly see store signs in many languages, none of them English. I use public transportation and am frequently the only white, English-speaking person on a given bus or train car. I haven't heard a real Southern accent in a while now.

    Most of the time we just all try to get along.

    btw – around here Melting Pot is a restaurant chain that serves fondue.

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  27. That's why Atlanta has an awesome selection of restaurants, Wendy.

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  28. Yes, we do have a fabulous restaurant selection in Atlanta. Locally owned restaurant groups are a high culinary art form here. Yum. We have one of the best Thai establishments in the base of our office building, had lunch there last month.

    And if I want fondue for dinner I either make it myself or go to Dante's Down the Hatch - live jazz and fondue!

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  29. Yeah, but don't they have any American food?

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  30. I ordered chicken feet at a dim sum place last Sunday. For breakfast.

    And, being breakfast, no beer whatsoever was involved.

    What? My FIL likes them.

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  31. See, I was right.

    I'd ask what they tasted like, but I fear the answer would be "like chicken."

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  32. Actually, they were pretty hot. Tasted like hot pork BBQ. And Chicken cartilage.

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  33. JTS, is there even a name for what's wrong with you?

    Chicken feet for breakfast? What? They were out of waffles?

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  34. Phoenix talons, Jim. Which makes 'em sound pretty badass, actually. Anyway, like I said, I've thought about trying them, myself. The problem's been that dim sum (at least in Charlotte) is sort of like sushi in that it's easy to run up a huge bill with a bunch of small, reasonably-priced dishes, so if there's stuff you know you like, you're not necessary jumping to experiment.

    One of these days, maybe....

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  35. Eric, I've eaten a lot of weird shit in my life, in a lot of weird places, but you know I've reached a point in my life where I'm pretty unlikely to pay somebody so's I can eat chicken feet.

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  36. Poor Jim.

    His sense of adventure has withered into a cold hard wrinkled lump.

    Looks a lot like a chicken foot.

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  37. My sense of adventure is just fine.

    My sense of seeing a pickled chicken foot on my plate and thinking "mmmm tasty!", is somewhat lacking.

    I am eating caribou sausage in my omelet this morning however.

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  38. I have to leave a meaningless comment because psingi might be the coolest-sounding verification word ever.

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  39. Jim,

    I'll have 2 dozen FRESH chicken feet available in late August. What would you like them pickled in? And if you want to eat them in one more weird place, you can sit on the boiler house roof with the rooster watching you.

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  40. Jim, you come with me and we'll eat at places where, if you order waffles, they'll look at you like you grew a third head and say "why would you eat THAT? We've got frogs..."

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  41. John, you forget, I've lived in many of those countries. I know you. This combination does not in any way predispose me to letting you choose the menu.

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  42. My sense of seeing a pickled chicken foot on my plate...

    If I'm not mistaken, I believe we're talking steamed or fried in dim sum. I can't remember which the dim sum place on Central Ave. offered up, but I'm thinking the steamed.

    Personally, the thing I most like pickled is myself (with pickled cucumbers at second place and mostly served on burgers or chicken sandwiches, sometimes as a side garnish, and most other pickled things not even rating), so I don't know that I'd go for pickled chicken feet, adventurous or no. But steamed or fried? Yeah, maybe.

    On the one hand, I'd like to think I'm flexible and brave and all that. On the other hand, the single worst thing I ever tasted was a Chinese snacky-treat that consisted of dried fish--the entire fish, I mean, head and all, and from the taste it was probably three feet long before it was dried into a teeny-candy-sized bit, because that 1" tasted like an entire fish gone a little off.

    Then again, in all fairness, I understand that there are plenty of American things that don't go over well abroad--e.g. I hear that Europeans really can't comprehend what we call chocolate.

    So, y'know, there's stuff that doesn't cross the cultural whatsit. But I still think I'd try phoenix talons sometime. Maybe.

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  43. Fried. In hot sauce. Sort of like a Buffalo Wing. But not. A Buffalo Foot!

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  44. Standing ovation! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

    Bowing before your brainiac eloquence.

    Thank you for pointing out that the USA is not the only "free nation" on the planet. In fact, thanks to the War On Drugs and The Patriot Act, there are quite a few countries with citizens enjoying More freedom than do Americans.

    Another post that keeps you in my favorite Alaskan blogger top spot.

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  45. Eric's comment is Great too. Along the lines of his thoughts, if you've not yet read it, a good book on the topic of Americans' shared myths about how things used to be in the good old USA is The Way We Never Were by Stephanie Coontz. You can read about it here: http://www.stephaniecoontz.com/books/thewayweneverwere/

    A friend of mine used to make a point of going to Seattle's International District every time he visited in order eat in a specific Chinese restaurant that served chicken feet and fish lips. No, I was never brave enough to taste such delicacies.

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  46. Wow, so serious.....didn't anyone even stop to think that this was just a really good excuse for a town bbq? Who took the 'evidence'? Did they just toss the chickens? Freeze them or break out the grills?

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  47. by the time they were discovered, the chicken carcasses had rotted.

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  48. Oh wow, what a loss...this is a tragedy then. Not even a chance for some potato salad or some corn on the cob.

    Criminal, just criminal.

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  49. Okay, thanks to my brother I just discovered your blog today. And you have single handedly restored some of my faith in Americans. Thank the FSM, I was starting to fear that the only thing left down there (in your case up there) were a bunch of uneducated, pie eating, Cheezus worshipping, tea bagging, gun toting, morons. I have only read a few of your blogs, but already you are one of my most favouritest people ever.

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  50. I just read this again, but outloud to my husband this time because it is one of my all time favorites. He had to wait every time I stopped to slap my knee laughing. We talked about why you are a "rock star" among bloggers and I told him I've decided I'm a Jim Wright groupie so he said he is going to get us together one of these days so I can meet you in person. Have your autograph pen ready. If you ever become really famous, and I'm really broke, an autograph will bring a lot on eBay. (<;

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  51. "When you listen to people who get paid to tell you the sky is falling and that the country is going to hell – because if the country isn’t going to hell and the sky isn’t falling, well, then they don’t get paid. When you listen to the doomsayers, what you hear is doom."

    Hey!You've summed up our current president's tactic quite well.

    Beautiful job!

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  52. A primary difference between conservatives and liberals is that while conservatives believes the world is going to hell in a hand basket, liberals believe it's always been in that basket and the goal is to get it out.

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