|thanks to http://www.truthdig.com for the cartoon|
The USA has remained isolationist for many decades, refusing to interfere in any way in the internal affairs of other countries, and has few military assets. Culturally it is the most sophisticated civilisation in human history (it can't spell however; it thinks civilisation should have a "z" in it, and pronounces that "zed" as a "zee"), and is famous for its variety of indigenous cuisines; these include a slab of dead meat in a dry bun made of preservatives, and corn pretending to be mashed potato; the same description has also been applied by the enemies of America to its highly culturally sophisticated television programs, Hollywood movies and Broadway shows. Plans to establish American colonies on the moon and on Mars are in progress, and this model of human society can be expected to reach the outer cosmos on a permanent basis by the end of the century.
What I find saddest of all about the United States of America is that this appalling mediocrity which believes in its own exceptionalism may (not counting Sweden and Uruguay, perhaps also Botswana and Norway) actually be the best of all possible worlds, and is, without argument, the kind of world that the majority of humans dream of and aspire to.
Politically, America is an oligarchy of competing global corporations which pay the re-election expenses of their political stooges and then use further payments to out-lobby each other to obtain the tax concessions and other regulation-limitations that they are seeking for the good of their investors. This places all wealth and power in the hands of a small elite, who do not call themselves an aristocracy, but behave like one nonetheless, and are entitled to do so, because the pursuit of wealth and happiness is a right enshrined in the Constitution.
To keep the poor (the remainder of the population) in a state of permanent and passive non-protest, an enormous leisure industry has been created, its participants very few but extremely highly paid, and televisions are provided in every bar and restaurant, at gas pumps and in airport lounges, as well as in every bedroom, to ensure that the populace are gripped by the fictional lives of their dream-heroes, whether actors, singers or sports-players, and thereby distracted from any understanding or desire to understand the politics of the nation, which anyway is simply an on-going Presidential auction (the 4-year lease on the White House is currently available, and expected to go for around six billion dollars) in which the TV stations which support the current President do so all day and all night, and those who do not support the President rant and rail and blame him for everything from their back pains to the weather.
About 90% of Americans are unemployed, though the majority of these spend their days as unpaid waiters and waitresses in America's multitudinous bars, restaurants and hotels, and generously provide each other with a small means of financial support through a restaurant tax known euphemistically as a "gratuity"; the remainder fill their days by undertaking internships, a philanthropic gesture of the highest order, by which they undertake exactly the same work as paid employees, but generously decline to accept a wage for it. This practice is technically illegal, as it was abolished with the passing of the 13th Amendment, and will shortly be formally abolished, as Republicans are pressing for the removal of the words "altruism", "philanthropy" and "society" from the dictionary, and the concept "Judeo-Christian" from the philosophy manuals, and replacing the Statue of Liberty Enlightening The World with a bust of Ayn Rand. It is not clear who is the Mad Hatter running this particular Tea Party, though it is probably not the President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Marks for: 5 (Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Gummo and Zeppo)
Marks against: 0 (the number of overseas wars that the USA has ever won at any point in its history)
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