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

5 Things That Make Me Proud To Be An American

Every week, I find five things that make me proud to have been born in America. This week we go up into the glorious reaches of space and down into the grimy dirt of Hollywood, with some stops in between.

NASA Ion Propulsion Drive

So, NASA has a new ion propulsion system. If that sounds like some Star Trek noise, you’re exactly right. Because that’s exactly what it is: Star Trek noise.

This thing could get us from Earth to Mars in 39 days. Let me repeat that: from Earth to Mars in 39 days. That’s faster than taking Amtrak…anywhere.

I remember reading about the old proposed Mars missions when I was a kid, at the time they were predicting a round-trip time of two years. Now we’re talking less than two months. It took Columbus longer to cross the Atlantic.

>The next step is to put this thing on top of a rocket, strap a couple of guys to it, and go. America’s balls were never bigger than when we were regularly shooting dudes into space, and we need to regain that. Sure, we tried to blow up the moon a while back, but that was just a probe or a bomb or whatever – we didn’t send any dudes to blow up the moon. Which is what we should have done. What we should always do.

Never send a probe to do a man’s job. Let’s get it right this time with Mars: send some dudes up there and blow that sonofabitch out of the sky.


Monocles are popping out across the UK because of stuff like this. I guess it’s horrifying? I love how they’re just now, in the year 2009, making it illegal to drink in the street. I mean, yeah I’m all for drinking in the street but let’s be serious here.

All the photos look like outtakes from an AbFab reunion. Is this what other countries see when they look at us and see Girls Gone Wild? Or SEC coeds?

I went into this feeling proud and cocksure about how, in America, our alcoholic exhibitionists with daddy issues keep it classy. Probably not, though.

But this whole ladette thing is fascinating because they named it. Well, they named the lads. And thus, ladettes. Whatever.

We would never name something like that here because when you name something it exists. You can’t ignore a thing if you name it and legitimize it and give it an identity for people to latch onto. Then you’ve got t-shirts at Hot Topic and backpacks and coozies and car flags and internet petitions and before you know it you’ve got a goddamned social catastrophe on your hands.

All because some skank couldn’t keep her knickers up.

The Honest Robber

This cat walks into a South Dakota bank – unarmed – and demands cash. And it worked. He walked out the door with $2,800.

That alone would be a pretty boss story – but it gets better. Our hero Lonnie Pannell aka Lonnie King aka a pretty rad old guy ran out of gas in Nebraska, apparently on his way to…somewhere. Anywhere but South Dakota, one would assume.

So Lonnie gets picked up by the police and they bring him downtown. Now hopefully this small-ass town in Nebraska has a folksy, morbidly obese Sheriff who is unfailingly friendly and homespun at all times. Maybe his pants are too tight and his hat is too small for his head, which makes it look even more like a pumpkin. And maybe his little cherubicly fat face has a ruddy complexion that flushes beet red when he gets flustered. Maybe he has a catchphrase he blurts out at such times, something like “Ohhhhhh biscuits!

I hope that when the Sheriff asked Lonnie what he did for a living and Lonnie answered “robbery” the Sheriff’s little hamfists balled up and his face turned beet red and that little hat looked like it wanted to pop off his head and his fat little arms flailed like fish stapled to a beach ball and his nostrils flared and he tried to stand up to talk some sense into ol’ Lonnie but just then the Sheriff’s pants split right up the ass and nothing was left to say but “Ohhhhhhh biscuits!”

Tracy Morgan

I wanted to write a big long paragraph about how Tracy Morgan is a national treasure and how his new autobiography I Am The New Black is the best and blackest book since The Audacity of Hope. How it has more anal sex in it than The Autobiography of Malcolm X. How it will be the new Roots: the book written by a black guy that is read by millions of white people.

I wanted to write about how it will change America and bring us closer together more than any Shepherd Fairey poster ever could hope to because Tracy Morgan is the face of postracial America.

And the thing is, he’s right. He taught a white dude how to be black that one time – and it worked. A little too well. But it worked.

I think that’s the takeaway here: Tracy Morgan is teaching us, one at a time, how to be black. Or, at the very least, how to be less white.

Lindsay Lohan, R.I.P.

Goddamn it seems like The Parent Trap was like 30 years ago.

Honestly I think what happened here is I Know Who Killed Me was actually a documentary and Lindsay Lohan died in 2007. What you see on TMZ every day is just her reanimated corpse shambling around.

Most anyone with a brain is going to look at this and be horrified but I think what we’re seeing here is just Lindsay brilliantly reinventing herself. What’s the hottest thing in pop culture right this very minute? Zombies.

This is all so obvious: Halloween is right around the corner, zombies are blowing up huge all over, and celebrity reality shows are bigger than ever. Here is Lindsay, as always, with her finger on the pulse of what America wants.

Don’t even sit there for half a second and act like you wouldn’t watch every last minute of Lindsay: The Undead Life. Because you would.

Check out our archive of Proud To Be An American columns.

1251465204_aaron-b-murray.jpgAaron B. Murray writes words and makes pictures. He is credited on more than a few high profile video game releases as well as an ever-growing stack of unproduced screenplays. Originally from East Tennessee, he currently lives in Utah with his wife and a ridiculous dachshund. Follow him on Twitter at murray_cod
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