We're All Damaged

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reflections from America

I’ve been back home for about 72 hours now, and I’ve already started romanticizing things.

Yesterday, I ate a cheeseburger that was so good that halfway through I got emotional. My wife has become progressively less concerned with seeing me crying in public, and so it took her a while to ask me what was wrong. Through my sobs, all I could manage to say was that “America is the most wonderful place ever.” And then I made her rub my stomach and tell me how pretty I am.

The sun was out all day, and people were smiling, and there were sports on high-definition televisions all over the city, and children of all colors and backgrounds were playing in parks with dogs. It was like a United Colors of Benetton commercial come to life, like some utopian dream. Every corner store had Diet Dr. Pepper by the case and Snickers-flavored ice cream and I couldn’t help but wonder about all the people in the world who hate America. Have any of those people ever actually been here?

I’m not naïve; I understand that America is not a perfect place. We’re a country that has allowed Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt to become famous. We cancelled Arrested Development, and I guess we’ve been at war with some places recently, but, globally speaking, things could be a lot worse.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m fairly confident that I’ll never be appointed Secretary of State, but, if I were in charge of U.S. diplomacy, my secret weapon would simply be to invite our enemies here for a weekend. One April afternoon in your average American city would leave even the most radical jihadist wondering what exactly it was that he was so pissed off about in the first place.

“Wait a minute, are you telling me they bake the cheese right into the crust? Hmmm, maybe we should forgive them for The Hills once and for all and call off this whole Death-to-America thing.”
You’re welcome, Hilary Clinton.

I'm Matt Norman, and I approve this message.


  1. I just laughed out loud in my cubicle; really loud.

  2. Maybe once the Arrested Development movie comes out the whole war on terror thing can be put to bed.