Sunday, August 27, 2006

American Terrorism

I was recently browsing other blogs when I came upon a video put together by a group called Improv Everywhere. Beside laughter, the other thing that struck me was a thought. This is an example of how Americans mobilize. In general, we are not getting together in people's basements trying to figure out how to ruin the lives of innocents to prove a point. We are joining groups that espouses the following on their FAQs page:

"Improv Everywhere is, at its core, about having fun. We're big believers in 'organized fun'. In the process we bring excitement to otherwise unexciting locales and give strangers a story they can tell for the rest of their lives."

Sometimes I try to wrap my head around what an American terrorist would look like. What kind of profile would they have? Then I think about different stereotypical Americans--the NASCAR fan who hangs a flag out front on race day, the quilting mother who wears applique vests, the lawn-mowing homeowner, the QT-stopping teenager getting 64 oz of soda for fifty-nine cents.

I know there are many other types. And I know that Americans, like all others, are capable of doing terrible things, but sometimes I'm struck by how really silly and naive we can be.

We like our chili fries and ICEEs. We like our cheap goods at Wal-Mart. We like really large lawn ornaments that require their very own electrically-powered fan and internally illuminating lights to signify the holidays. We like free toys in our cereal. We like the 65th edition of Garfield. We like Slo-Mo Home Depot shopping. And the really globally-minded Americans even like soccer. Maybe someone whose last name rhymes win Bwin Fladen needs to come take a trip down the aisle aisle and talk to the men with the orange aprons. Then again he might get the wrong message from their slogan meant to comfort the bumbling, suburban handyman: "You Can Do It. We Can Help."

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