I hear things. Wacky, paranoid, hysterical, condescending, insulting things that used to be confined to the homeless guy who tried to shake me down for $4.25. What I hear most is, “We got to take back our country!”
This implies that, somehow, our way-of-life has been stolen from our grasps. We’ve been bamboozled! Hoodwinked! Flimflammed! And as usual, it’s not our fault!
Well, I have terrific news for you folks: the country is still right here! Look outside. It hasn’t moved an inch. We’re still consuming enormous amounts of calories. We’re still walking around with concealed firearms. We’re still screaming and thrusting poorly lettered signs into the faces of the officials we elected. Everything’s cool.
But it’s more exciting if everything isn’t cool, right? I mean a world with Bigfoot trundling around the woods is far more intriguing than a world with a dork wearing an Alec Baldwin suit, right? A faked moon landing is more interesting than an actual moon landing. What if George W. Bush really did know the 9/11 attack was coming? Everybody but Fox & Friends would be talking about it for years.
There is a certain segment of the country that wants a stolen country, if for nothing more than to have something interesting to follow. Recently, a man was asked why he was (legally!) carrying a firearm to a Town Hall protest. “I don’t want a revolution,” he said. “I don’t want a civil war. But it is a possibility. It’s there as an option, as a last resort.”
Public health care is not an option, yet a civil war is. How can this possibly be? Because it would be interesting. Fascinating! Take one protester at the Tea Party hosted on the National Mall in Washington D.C. recently. “We are losing our country, we think the Muslims are moving in and taking over.”
Or take this woman from Battle Creek Michigan: “I really don’t want to be a guinea pig for the experiment they have with the population control.”
Or consider this woman in Canton, Ohio: “(President Obama) is going after our kids to try to indoctrinate them into a national defense army.”
Population control. A national defense army comprised of children. Muslim takeovers! How exciting! I can’t wait to see the movie. Good thing we have stand-up guys like TEA party co-founder Mark Williams calming the citizenry with unoriginal but hearty maxims like, “You can have our country when you pry it from our cold dead fingers!“
Life without conspiracy is boring. We need a man on the grassy knoll, not mundane details like affordable health insurance, quality education, or even a better economy. Have you ever listened to Timothy Geithner drone on-and-on about interest rates, unemployment numbers, and the GNP? Boh-ring. But what if, what if, Geithner not only murdered his wife in the 1960s, but also got his economics degree from DeVry University? Instant interest!
Remember James Frey? He wrote a book called A Million Little Pieces, a true story about his two-fisted battle against drug addiction. Oprah loved it. So did a trillion book clubs. Problem is, it wasn’t true. Psyche! It was all made up. Frey knows that facts are boring.
Donald Rumsfield knows facts are boring. Glenn Beck, too. On the other hand, Roman Polanski knows facts can be so exciting that they can throw you in jail. He’s the exception that proves the rule.
I’d like it all to be real.
Many years ago, I waited in front of the television with breathless anticipation as Geraldo Rivera cracked open the “lost vault of Al Capone.” When, after two hours of prime-time, the vault was revealed to be empty, but I came away with a treasure of truth: The world is a dull, boring place my friend.
Even the Most Interesting Man in the World is dull
I’m not saying that it’s without its beauty and charm. I’m just implying that you may be wasting your time looking for the Loch Ness Monster or a Koran in President Obama’s desk. You don’t have to cancel your ghost hunters meeting at the Barnes & Noble. You can continue annoying your friends by claiming you’re psychic or insisting that you were Cleopatra in a past life. Keep it up, if it makes your world more fascinating.
After all, it’s your country.