Saturday, July 25, 2009

America is Like Michael Jackson

A rather brilliant New Rule from Bill Maher (for the record, I do not approve of his Harry Potter stance).

New Rule: All the good news stories have to stop breaking while I'm on vacation! You know, I go away for a mere three weeks to work with my charity, Hot Tubs Without Borders--I've asked Jason to be on the board many times--and Karl Malden dies and also Michael Jackson. The most famous white lady to die since Princess Diana.

And one question gnawed at me the whole time: why, why did America lose its collective shit over Michael Jackson?! And then, like Michael's father, Joe, it hit me. Michael Jackson IS AMERICA!

We love him so much because he reflects our nation perfectly: fragile, over-indulgent, childish, in debt, on drugs and over the hill.

Now, let me state clearly, I don't wish my country was all of these bad things. I just don't want to be like one of those people Michael Jackson had around him, the ones who just tell you you're great and that your destructive behavior is totally normal, and they give you whatever you want. You know: doctors.

So, let's go down the list and see if I'm crazy, or if, indeed, America is unfortunately all the things Michael Jackson was.

Is America fragile? Well, what do you think would happen if there was another terrorist attack here? I'll tell you what would happen. We'd repeal the rest of the Bill of Rights, forget about health care, elect Toby Keith president--and fire me again.

Are we fragile? The stock ticker in Times Square yesterday said, "What the f*ck are you looking at?"

Over-indulgent. I defy anyone to watch ten minutes of "My Super Sweet 16" on MTV and not want to strap on a vest and blow up that little snot's birthday party.

Did you know that a third of children in America are overweight? Michael Jackson didn't have a heart attack. His play date rolled over on him.

Childish. Well, we think "Harry Potter" is literature and Batman movies are profound meditations on the human condition. Our morning coffee has become a milkshake with whipped cream. And 64% of the people believe Noah's Ark actually happened.

And what could be more childish than what our news media chooses to cover? My God, since this Michael Jackson thing happened, I have no idea what's going on with Jon and Kate!

In debt. Please, this week, the deficit --that's just what we've run up for the year -- went over one trillion dollars. To give you an idea of how much that is, take what your home is now worth and add one trillion dollars.

On drugs. If you don't think America has got a drug problem, you must be high. Children are on Prozac. Athletes are on steroids. The pharmaceutical industry sold $291 billion worth of pills last year. Mostly to Michael Jackson, okay, but still. And that's not counting the potheads and the drinkers. Yes, America is on drugs.

And, by the way, people also do just as much coke as they ever did. They just don't share it anymore.

And finally, is America over the hill? I don't know. I hope not. But, Monday is the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong first setting foot on the moon. And I can't think of any ambitious goal we've reached since then. It's sad when your peak was a moon walk that occurred decades ago.

So America faces a choice. We can go the Michael route and keep living on debt and the world's affection for our early work, or we can get our shit together like Britney Spears--put on our circus costume and go out there and show the world we've still got it!

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