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America, Home of The Free to Make Fun of Ourselves

Fireworks, BBQ, and red, white, and blue everything is what will permeate nearly every household of the U.S. on the 4th of July. However, if you were to hear a comedian or a TV show or a movie talk about the character of America, many of them would immediately point to laziness, a general malaise as to the interests of most people, how we have so much that we don’t appreciate, the rampant obesity problem, an obsession with fake celebrities, the hypocrisy of our government, the corruption of our politicians, and not being able to text and drive all as if that’s exclusively an American problem. You’d begin to think that the culture is better on the other side of either ocean or north of the border and hear the echoes of that rant opening Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom last week.

Of course, there’s validity in many of those jokes. They come from real life observations of things that shouldn’t be, but are. Those jokes shouldn’t be a sign to apply for dual citizenship, which by the way is incredibly expensive. That’s because it’s an absolute sign of prosperity, at least in a culture (I mean, in this economy, right?) that someone can vociferously criticize every little aspect of said culture and everyone can laugh about it.

Every president, the person most responsible for the direction of this country, has a joke about them. We’re not the only country with such freedom, but what other country has their Colberts and their Ron Swansons while simultaneously not throwing people in jail for barely making fun of a state-established religion? Cue the fist pumping USA chant here.