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Twitter Users Ponder the Petty Things About America That Bother Them Most

By Petr Knava | Social Media | May 7, 2020 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | May 7, 2020 |


It’s dangerous and fallacious, of course, to conflate the monolithic ‘nation’ with all of the numerous and heterogeneous masses that reside therein—especially when the reality of capitalist electoral politics and representation is taken into consideration, and the governing wing of a state is seen as serving the interests not of the nation as a whole but only a tiny proportion of that nation’s population. So to say something like, ‘Damn America for its unimaginably destructive foreign policy,’ carries with it the obvious implication that ‘America’ is taken to mean its government and the financial interests it represents, not its people—and that’s without even getting into the incredible diversity of those people as far as identity, class, et al. go. As the late, great Harold Pinter said when addressing the issue in his 2005 Nobel lecture:

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It’s a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, ‘the American people’, as in the sentence, ‘I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.’

It’s a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words ‘the American people’ provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don’t need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it’s very comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the US.

All that being said, as the financial, military, and cultural hegemon of the world, some gentle ribbing is the least that America can expect. Twitter users provided that ribbing a little while ago when they pondered not the big evils of the American government, but the small, petty things that annoy them about the society of big lug straddling the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

See that wasn’t so bad, we managed to avoid the heavy stu—…

Never mind.

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

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