--Ernie Pyle, 1944
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the United States of Wal-Mart. Or, as the residents call it, "America."
In the USWM, everyone is happy. At least, until Tragedy strikes. When Tragedy strikes, the television flashes the citizens' wailing faces from coast to coast. But it's okay--you see, their Solid Faith and Simple Homespun Values will see them through it, no matter how bad it gets.
In the USWM, children are always blessings and gifts from God. A blessing that increases with the more you have. (But only if you have at least three, mind.) Children are the absolute center of a couple's life--parents have no individual identity, but are defined by their offspring. ("Who's that?" "Oh, you know her; that's Dylan and Katie and Tyler's mom.")
In the USWM, all decisions of social policy must be made with the good of the nation's children foremost in mind.
In the USWM, people don't want fancy, complicated, intellectual stuff. If grade-school students can't understand it, it's not worth saying.
In the USWM, everyone is Christian. On Sundays, it's always the pastor the congregation hears; seldom the minister, and never the priest. Rabbis are only characters in dirty jokes.
In the USWM, other countries want to be like us and always look up to us. Except the ones who don't. And that's only because they're jealous of our freedom. And besides, if it wasn't for us, they'd all be speaking German.
In the USWM, Citizenship is the sole reason for Pride.
In the USWM, We Support Our Troops. We Support Our President. We Stand United. Because the billboards tell us that we all do. And why would the billboard lie to us?
In the USWM, saying the word "fuck" in a song or a movie is reprehensible. And blowing enemy soldiers into meat chunks is commendable.
In the USWM, heroism is being incinerated by a tide of flaming jet fuel and shredded aluminum while you sit at your family-portrait-festooned desk. And sainthood is rushing in to snatch the poor souls from the inferno.
In the USWM, political discussion and discourse consists of three elements only: 1) Pictures in the newspaper. 2) Pictures on the TV news. 3) Bumper stickers.
In the USWM, the nail that sticks up gets pounded down. Because these things are what Americans do--look around, everyone does it! Why wouldn't you want to do it too? Don't you love your country? Why do you have to be so different??
In the USWM, it's good to have dissenting opinions. Except when they contradict other peoples' opinions.
In the USWM, if you don't like what happens here, get the hell out--you don't belong in this country.