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.
Let's hate on A m e r i c a n things. I hate the way they call Lego 'Legos'. What about you?— Adam (@adamprincebilly) May 3, 2020
I hate how they all obsess over their fractional heritage (“I’m a quarter Irish, and one eighth Italian”) and think they actually have the personality traits of citizens of those countries.— Comus (@TheUnbearableB) May 4, 2020
And then this belief is the basis for about 90% of American stand-up comedy.
Telling a story in the present tense although it has already happened. ‘So I’m walking down the street and I see this guy and he’s walking towards me’. WHY?!! KILLS ME 🤢— Kate O'Mahony (@KateOMahony2) May 3, 2020
Horseback riding.— Bethany 🌸 Fronds with Benefits (@Frondsbenefits) May 4, 2020
As opposed to what? Horseshoe riding? Horsetail riding? Horseface riding?
Just say you’re riding a horse, I can work out the rest 😂
Americans doing any ‘how-to’ instructional piece. For example, baking a cake.— Mikey Cyrus (@MikeyCyrus) May 4, 2020
“What you’re gonna wanna do is go ahead and crack the eggs.”
Instead of the more efficient “Crack the eggs.”
Why is all their A4/writing paper yellow?!?!?!— Ruth Medjber 📸 (@ruthlessimagery) May 3, 2020
‘I could care less’— Carla Dalton (@THEcdalton) May 3, 2020
Their date system. Total nightmare when you’re trying to file US documents along side UK documents (I had to do that when working for a law firm) Also wise up and start using Celsius for your temperature FFS. What the hell is 72 F?! No idea.— Mark Stephen Hughes (@hughesms) May 4, 2020
Saying "poss-ta" for 'pasta', making the h in 'herb' silent for no fucking reason, infecting the rest of the English-speaking world with this ludicrous habit of starting sentences with "So…."— showsiff (@showsiff) May 3, 2020
“I wrote him”— Nadia El Ferdaoussi (@nadia_dailyself) May 4, 2020
Beans. There's no differentiation between different types of beans. Chick peas and just called beans. Haricot beans are just beans. Kidney beans. Just beans.— Alpha Male Tea Party (@alphamaleTparty) May 4, 2020
niche pronounced 'nitch'— Neasa Conneally (@neasaconneally) May 3, 2020
Saying "tan" instead of "tanned", i.e. "I'm so tan". Math instead of Maths. Their inability to pronounce Graham.— Nicola Brennan (@nnibhraonain) May 3, 2020
The inability to acknowledge that all countries are equal in importance and that the US is not special.— _odradek⚡ (@ShaunaBFK_) May 4, 2020
Not thinking they have an accent (everyone on the planet does).
Obsession with the military and respect for veterans when US military is hardly the peace corps..
Their use of the term "World Champions" to describe the winners of the Superbowl, NBA and Stanley Cup. It's the sane as if we were to call the winners of the All Ireland "World Champions". Its so f*cking American.— David. (@david13os) May 4, 2020
Noodles for pasta. Despicable. I now mention this once a week— Sarah Breen 🙅🏼♀️ (@SarahJayBee) May 3, 2020
My name is CRAIG with an A! It’s not CREG. I can’t stand it.— Fleetwood Crack 🏴 (@cracka1984) May 4, 2020
g u n s— Josh Scully (@JSxully) May 4, 2020
The date system
Pledges of allegiance
Their lame idea of what chocolate is
What even are their fizzy drinks?!
Replacing a beautiful word like 'autumn' with 'fall'
In fact butchering many words from European langauges… Notre 'Dayme'?!
Sorority/Frat houses… WTF? pic.twitter.com/TgyKR4z4op— Yvonne M (@Vee_McCee) May 4, 2020
See that wasn’t so bad, we managed to avoid the heavy stu—…
How the 'American Dream' is used as a weaponing of hope by their rich. Meaning the majority won't agree to tax the rick correctly because they think its only a matter of time before they become rich. All the while systems are gerrymandered to keep the poor chronicly disadvantaged— the dollylama now solo (@DonnaIsGod) May 4, 2020
Starting wars and killing thousands to get cheap oil so their businesses can have a competitive advantage?— Shane McHale (@shanemchale) May 4, 2020
I hate the way whenever a resource-rich, third world nation democratically elects a left-wing government they try to overthrow it by arming and funding far-right death squads.— Markie Moloney 🇮🇪🇮🇹 (@MarkAgitprop) May 4, 2020
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