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What Hasn't Changed in America
by joseph    Oct 15, 2001


About forty-eight seconds after the initial attack on September 11, the news media leapt into a breach of intellectual discourse they love to engage in, pre-historicization, the process by which people instantly cast forward into the future and talk about the import of the events currently unfolding. The bit they most harped on was that EVERYTHING had changed. Every last damn thing about America was now completely different. Frogs had become birds; men had become women; there would never be another violent movie again; people would appreciate the little things in life like they have never done IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

This seemed a bit extreme for my tastes, and I admit to disliking change, especially when it involves biological warfare, religion, and damn well EVERYTHING! So, to calm myself, in the past month I've set out to find ways in which life is still exactly the same, and I was surprised and, yay, comforted by the fact that some routines and modes of life in this country seem inviolable. I offer up the following list for your spiritual and emotional sustenance.

  • My cat still persists in yowling like an abused infant whenever I wake up and hence become available to give her the food she has been wickedly denied by my slumber. I have tried to explain to her that in light of September 11, her continual howling when she is, in fact, rather plump, could strike many as insensitive to the newfound understanding and somber profundity we are now in. This lecture does, I might add, absolutely nothing to appease her.
     
  • Americans are still, by and large, despite being the nation with the most automobiles IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, still unable to operate certain fundamental pieces of said machinery, the turn signal being a prominent example.
     
  • Irony, despite what one is reading in the pop sociology rags, seems to be persisting, although here I believe it should perish and recently admonished a fellow employee, who had made an ironic comment about the ability or lack thereof of another employee who we both enjoy despising. I immediately got in his face. "How can you say something like that? Irony is dead, my friend. It died on a single day, September 11, and never shall it return." He laughed, but I would have none of it. "I'm not kidding." "You're not being sarcastic?" "An even cheaper form of irony!" I huffed. "Not a chance!" He was uneasy then. He retracted his statement and we kept on playing our pinball game. "You're sure you're not kidding?" But I fixed him with such a hot glare that he completely missed his multiball.
     
  • James Joyce's Ulysses is still an awfully thick book that would be great to have read, but seems like a lot of work to actually read.
     
  • Ameicans everywhere are still enjoying the wholesome taste of cheese.
     
  • Michael Jordan is returning to basketball. Have we mentioned that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND?
     
  • Once again this year, no one will watch, or care about, the Emmys.
     
  • Americans across this nation still display a determined ignorance of American foreign policy, world history, and non-Western cultures and religions.
     
  • On college campuses across this country, countless young men still persist in believing that baseball caps, worn both traditionally and backwards, bespeak suave sophistication and worldliness, and will garner them the finest of honeys.
     
  • Despite being aired both before and after September 11, Americans everywhere continue to find the Carrot Top CALL-ATT commericals profoundly unfunny.
     

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