Tuesday, October 25, 2005

America -- wotta country!

I love this country, especially its forms of play, which are often fun and aggravating at the same time. I mean, you can enjoy drinking Budweiser and have a happy history of beer pong, yet still be amazed and mildly appalled at the transparent cynicism of Anheuser-Busch, which is shocked -- SHOCKED! that people are using beer rather than water to play the"Bud Pong" game it was marketing. And you can revile Barbie dolls for all the usual feminist reasons and still be amused by the decades-long effort to craft the life of Ken, the longtime love doll she dumped who's now getting a fashion makeover so he can get his baby back. (The hilarious photo captions might have been written by Wendy McClure.) If you're an employee of Anheuser-Busch, Mattel, Ronco or any of a thousand other American companies, how can you put in years of your life on campaigns like these and keep your sanity? As Abraham Lincoln said, "If I didn't laugh, I would have to weep?" Perhaps this is why things like hunting, nail salons, reality TV, methamphetamine, NASCAR, evangelical Christianity and online shopping are so popular in our country. I'm not sure what the cause-and-effect relationships are, but they just all seem to be connected somehow. It's something to do with lack of an ironic perspective, not enough cynicism, too much cynicism, escapism, pleasure and gratification, inability to think critically, no sense of humor, warped sense of humor... I don't know. Help me out here.

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