We used to be the best.
By “we” I mean “us” and by “us” I mean “U.S.”
When I was younger (not younger partying myself stupid in college, younger as in I still carried lunch in a lunch box) I was moved a lot, as my father and mother were in the military and the military has its ways of sending you wherever the military needs you. Some would consider this a curse, us Army brats just considered this standard operating procedure. Before I was ten years old I had lived in South Korea, the U.S.A., Germany and Italy, and had visited at least a dozen cities in three of those countries.
Most of the memories I have of that part of my life are here and there, topsy turvy, spare the moment type flashbacks. ONE constant I DO remember however, no matter which country I was in or what city I was passing through, was the fact that America was #1.
When I was a kid the U.S. had the best music, the newest television shows, the hippest clothes, the biggest budget movies, and the baddest-a** military. America had Michael Jackson, Luke Skywalker, Tron, The Police, the A-Team, Knight Rider, Madonna, and MTV. I saw this first hand growing up in countries OTHER than the U.S. They were wearing our styles, singing our lyrics, and calling us on the phone when their countries were going to war with someone and they thought they’d need backup.
If you were from here, you were American.
And if you were American you were GOLDEN.
Somewhere along the way all of that changed. Somehow we became less cool, less dependable, less original…less trust-worthy. The rest of the world began to move ahead of us, one by one, staring at us with that “get outta the way” look as their country passed ours on the global highway.
They began to advance technologically. They started making bigger blockbusters with smaller budgets. They began buying all the oil and all the gold and all the land. Their leaders started making OUR leaders look incompetent, when merely ONE World War ago they were asking “how high?” whenever our Commander in Chief said “jump”.
My concern lies not with the fact that the rest of the world keeps trying to surpass us. We’re the Big Dog…and all puppies want to be like the Big Dog.
The real problem begins when even WE know we’re slacking, but still don’t seem to care enough to change.
How can we once again be the forerunners? What do we have to do to change our current “U…S…A” chant back to the ever-popular, vanity-based “We’re number ONE…we’re number ONE”..?
Maybe we could stop the greedy overtakings of our smaller companies by the corrupt, cynical practices of our larger corporations. Maybe we could provide jobs instead of firing them, laying them off and outsourcing them to Lord KNOWS where simply because it saves half a buck. Maybe we could come up with original screenplays and original movies, instead of RE-MAKING everything because it worked the first time…or 2 times…or 3 times. Maybe we could go out and LIVE reality instead of watching it on television every day, and perhaps change our wardrobes, slang, and hairstyles into something other than the “vintage” ones we were using 30 years ago. Maybe we could prevent the California fires, Oklahoma City bombings, Katrina hurricanes, Michael Jackson overdoses, and 9/11’s here in our own front yard instead of going over to help our neighbors with theirs first because, ya know, they EXPECT us to.
And IF NOTHING ELSE…maybe we could rank higher than EIGHTEENTH in Education among the World’s top thirty six industrial nations.
Whatever it is America…it needs to stop NOW.
We need to put our foot on the gas pedal and pull back in front. We need to help “us”, help “U.S.”
We need to give the rest of the world some competition again for crying out loud.
We need to try harder…