Friday, July 4
The Friday Not-So-Random Ten+5 salutes the flag, then cracks open a beer.
Last year around this time I caught more than a little bit of hell for suggesting that the grand "American experiment," while certainly fun for a while, seemed to be losing steam and maybe it was time for us to tear up that silly Declaration of Independence and become part of the United Kingdom again. Get some adult supervision, so to speak. But perhaps that was a little hasty, since there are certainly plenty of reasons to be proud of America. It only took me a few seconds to come up with five right off the top of my head, hence this week's +5 is Five Random Awesome Things That Were Made In America:
I've traveled to a number of foreign countries -- France, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, and yes, the UK -- and I've never seen chicken fingers in any of those places. In fact, I'm not sure I remember chicken strips or an equivalent even being sold in McDonald's restaurants on the Continent. England comes close with fish 'n' chips, but I'm still only so-so on fish, and they mostly insist on eating them with that malt vinegar that smells like sweaty feet even from 50 feet away. Nope, I'm quite happy to be living in a land where delicious golden-fried chicken fingers are rarely ever more than a 10-minute drive away. And they're usually served with French fries, which just goes to show you how they're like a little symbol of international cooperation right there on a plate.
She's done a number of roles that required her to have one foreign accent or another, but nope, this girl's all-American -- something we can all be thankful for, no matter who we are. For as I pointed out shortly after the release of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" in 2005, Angelina Jolie is the one person that everyone I've ever come across, even gay men and straight women, are like, "Oh, yeah, dude, she's hot." That's more than an interesting factoid, that's a community service in our increasingly divided society. I'm convinced that when we elect her president four or eight years from now, every problem will go away.
The Boeing 747
Long before the Airbus A380 was even a gleam in some French dude's eye, the U.S. created the first wide-body superjumbo airliner, which has now been flying for nearly 40 years. And it's interesting to note that when the A380 ran into multiple design and production delays, Boeing stretched the 747, added some new bells and whistles, and rolled out the 747-8, which a number of airlines -- including Europe's own Lufthansa -- ordered as a hedge even though they'd already put in orders for the Airbus. The 747 has amassed an exemplary safety record and is a prime example of American ingenuity, plus the fact that our president gets to ride in one makes the rest of the world's leaders (especially douchebags like Putin) extremely jealous.
Enough said. I love the World Cup and all, but I can still gin up only so much excitement over a sport where people get in trouble for running into each other. Rest Of The World, I'm sorry, but y'all are on the wrong side of this one. Plus even if you don't give a rat's ass about a given game, it might still be a great excuse to look at Erin Andrews.
I know this one's pretty random, but for no real reason I started listening to their Doolittle album again this past week, and was reminded of just how much it fucking rocks. So thank you, Pixies. Ninety percent of popular music in this country might still suck, but every once in a while we come up with a winner.
And now an all-American Random Ten:
1. The Capitals, "Cool Jerk"
2. Public Enemy, "Don't Believe the Hype"
3. A Tribe Called Quest, "Youthful Expression"
4. Richard Cheese, "Closer"
5. The Bloodhound Gang, "Lift Your Head Up High (and Blow Your Brains Out)"
6. Fugazi, "Do You Like Me"
7. Radio 4, "Calling All Enthusiasts"
8. Dick Dale & The Del-Tones, "Misirlou"
9. Miles Davis, "Concierto de Aranjuez" (Part Two Ending)
10. R.E.M., "Star Me Kitten"
By no means are either of these comprehensive lists, so put your own Random Tens and lists of things that are teh aw3som3 about America in the comments. Happy 4th, everybody -- drive safe, drink responsibly, and don't go blowing your fingers off with any fireworks.