When I look at that grand old flag, waving up there, big and proud in the breeze, my heart swells near to bursting, and a tear forms in my eye from thinking of all that it represents. Freedom. Glory. Tradition. For this land—the greatest on earth—is the land that I love, and may its song of liberty ring out from now until—what in the hell am I saying? This country and all its inhabitants can go take a flying fuck for all I care, honestly.
Sorry. That came out all wrong. Not what I meant at all. You see, loyalty to this nation is something I hold dear, just as my father did and his father before him, and all that shit. I mean, who cannot help but be filled with pride to think of our humble beginnings, knowing that we grew into the greatest democracy the world has ever known, even if the Browns couldn’t win a game to save their lives and you can’t get one moment of peace with all the noise these goddamn neighbors of mine are always making? You know, thinking of this nation’s past stirs something deep inside me.
Yeah. Real fucking deep.
What’s so great about this place anyway? I hate my job, I’m still in debt for a dishwasher I bought six years ago, and I haven’t had sex since the last Olympics. Land of the fricking free, huh? I spend an arm and a leg at the garage and my car still breaks down every other week. I started balding when I was 25, and no matter how cool it is, I sweat like a pig if I so much as stand up too fast. That doesn’t exactly sound like a City upon a Hill to me—what about you, huh? And at the end of the day, after all this aggravation and grief, what’s my big reward? I get to stare at something called Grey’s Anatomy that my wife just fucking loves so fucking much.
Never mind that my youngest kid’s got lice again.
All right, all right. I’m getting off track here. Sometimes I can get excited, but the fact is that this is the best country in the world. No matter what they say, it’s the truth. Ever since I was a schoolboy growing up in a small farming town, I’ve had a profound sense of honor and duty and belonging deep in my soul. Why, it seems like just yesterday that I’d doff my cap, place my hand on my heart, and recite those famous words: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of Jesus fucking Christ.
Screw America. Does America give a shit about my daughter’s dickhead boyfriend who smells like bacon fat and hair spray and probably has crabs? Hell no, it doesn’t. Does America care that a fucking battalion of squirrels is chewing through the walls of my attic and nothing can seem to stop them, not BB guns or rat poison? Nope. All America cares about is putting coffee stains on my best shirt, losing my ATM card, and giving me a defective cell phone that never gets voice mails until three days later and you have to lean out the living-room window to get rid of this stupid fucking popping sound.
I’m sorry. I’m probably just tired. In the mornings, I get these headaches like you wouldn’t believe.
Just think about the Statue of Liberty and what an enduring symbol of freedom and hope it is to the rest of the world. That’s what a good American thinks of, right? Not that shit-headed little brat who was poking me in the back as we waited to get on the ferry? No. Not that, or what assholes everyone in New York was. Or how long we had to wait at LaGuardia just to get our asses back to Cleveland where it was snowing like a motherfucker.
Because, as I was saying, patriotism is my lifeblood. My very essence. Red-blooded American patriotism. For America. America the beautiful. O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, like Ray Charles ever saw amber fucking anything. Amber waves of nimrods trying to cut in front of me at the supermarket, maybe. Yes, in the words of Francis Scott Key: “Aw, who gives a crap?” And, of course, the purple mountains’ majesty, though the last time I was in the mountains was when I visited my pain-in-the-ass sister and her clammy-handed husband and it was the worst weekend of my life.
I love America. I do! And when the proud eagle soars above all of creation, I get a lump in my throat, and everything like that. So fuck this. You know what I’m saying—democracy, loyalty, values. Et cetera, et cetera. You get it. You know the drill.