5 Things That Make Me Proud To Be An American This Week

Every week, I find five things that make me proud to be an American. This week patriotism came smooth and easy – dogs, video games and gambling. Let’s go!

Modern Warfare

Here in America we’re good at a lot of things, but awesome at just a few. One of those things is killing people. Another is making video games.

So, of course, it stands to reason that we would be awesome at making video games about killing people. And so we are.

The very first video game was Spacewar! It was about killing people. In space.

47 years later we have all new ways to kill people in video games. We can do it in HD, over the internets, or by waving our fool-ass hands around all over the place. The thing is that we’re still cooking up new ways to kill each other. We have all this amazing technology and all we really do with it is cook up bigger and cooler and gorier ways to kill each other. In video games. But also real life.

ANYWAYS, the point here is to bring to life the dirty little secret about video games and killing people in them: it’s the most fun thing you can do in a video game. Nobody wants to be the guy to stand up in the town hall and say “Yes I think we all need to accept the fact that when I merked Bob with a headshot from the other side of the map it was the highlight of my day.”

It’s the truth, though – nobody wants to play Call of Duty: Modern Arbitration. We – humans – are dirty filthy animals who just want to launch grenades at each other and rocket jump off of a dude’s head and shoot airplanes down and build a sentry right outside the other team’s base and shoot a gun that has a chainsaw for a bayonet and all kinds of other stuff that makes even less sense.

Your Dog

Because your dog loves America more than you do. Your dog voted for McCain in 2008, 2000, and 1988. He thinks that Nixon was a liberal and Reagan was a pussy. He smokes unfiltered Camels and plays horseshoes while he drinks Old Style.

Your dog wants you to get a haircut and to stop watching so much pornography. He’s not comfortable telling you this but he thinks he likes your girlfriend more than he likes you. Don’t take it personally, you know, but it’s just one of those things.

Go find your dog and rub his (or her) belly. Go do it because this is America and there’s a good chance that your dog is awesome. Even though he did vote for McCain.

Ricky Butler

Ricky Butler is a man who wants both form and function from his wardrobe. He is a man who appreciates the acquired taste that is white lightning. Ricky also understands that moonshine can make a man a little crazy, so he likes to keep a little something around to help take the edge off.

He is aware that this is a dark and perverted world we live in and that we need to be able to protect the things that we cherish the most. He knows that sometimes having just one layer of protection sometimes isn’t enough – sometimes you need a machete.

Ricky is a man comfortable with his environment and his place in it – comfortable enough to lay down and go to sleep. In a ditch.

Ricky Butler is an American.

Air Jordans

In 1984 Nike released the first Air Jordan. It looked bad ass. Especially at the time – everyone else was wearing plain Converse or Adidas or Nike high-top shoes. Basketball shoes were pretty basic: there had been some adjustments over the years, and Nike had played with the Velcro strap on the Air Force 1 a few years before, but the first Air Jordan changed everything.

It made snakers into a fashion statement overnight.

Before, sneakers were just neutral. They were what you wore as a kid or in gym class or just lounging around town. But the Air Jordans changed that. You could now wear your Jordans or Air Force 1s and wear them as your nice shoes. Or fresh kicks. Whatever.

This had the effect of stratifying sneakers into two groups: fly sneakers that you wear to look hot and kind of like Pharrell and embarrassing sneakers that get worn with blue jeans and white socks and basically make you look like Jerry Seinfeld. Nobody wants to look like Jerry Seinfeld.

People do want to look like Michael Jordan. Or his feet, at least. That’s why Nike has kept putting out updated Air Jordans every year since 1984. Even after MJ’s retirement.

2009 is the 25th anniversary of this whole mess and so it’s a special time for Nike to bring out an all-new, all-different version of the Air Jordan. They’re calling it the Air Jordan 2010 which sounds like an EA Sports game but it’s really just a shoe.

A shoe with a hole in the side of it so you can see…your sock?

World Series Of Poker

This cat just won the Main Event at the World Series of Poker, taking home eight and a half million dollars.

He’s 21 years old.

But don’t think about that. Don’t think about the fact that this guy had won over a half million dollars playing poker online. Don’t think about all the ridiculous stuff you would get into as a millionaire 21 year-old. Don’t think about the Porsche or the Ferrari or the strippers or the drugs or the parties where there are like 200 people at your house but you don’t really know any of them and you wake up and they’re all gone and you’re stumbling around your Tudor mansion in a bathrobe and Spongebob slippers looking for one last bump.

Don’t think about that. Just think about the fact that this time last year the World Champion of Poker was a 22 year old kid from Denmark. But now, and for the next year, the Champion is from Michigan.

It would be better if the previous year’s Champion didn’t have to play the entire tournament like everyone else. He should get a bye and just sit in the TV booth, sharing commentary and talking noise on everyone else in the tournament. Only after the field has been whittled down to one, should the Champ play cards.

It would be like Wrestlemania. Bigger. One man (or lady) overcoming 6,000 other hopefuls in the gauntlet that is tournament poker, all vying for that one shot at the Champ. That one man, after exhausting himself, then finally sits down to play heads-up against the Champ.

It would be like if Rocky had to fight 10 other guys before he even got to set foot in the ring with Drago.

Check out our Proud To Be An American archive.

1251465204_aaron-b-murray.jpgAaron B. Murray has a wall-sized aquarium filled with Cristal and reef sharks. He feeds them daily and recycles the Cristal twice a month. Follow him on Twitter at murray_cod
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