Going Abroad (Or Two)

Feb 14th, 2011 | By | Category: Columns

In the near future, I will be taking a trip to Canada, a mystical land filled with meese and rhetorical questions. Seeing as how I haven’t traveled abroad since Karl Malone got his shorts in a twist when he found out he’d have to share the same space as Magic Johnson, my passport has long since expired.

So, in order to be allowed to travel to our neighbor to the north and being allowed to act like a typical, no-nothing, loud American in a foreign land, I obviously had to renew it. I went through the whole rigmarole in early January, and received my passport a mere 5 weeks later, which is pretty impressive considering it was processed by a government agency who work about as fast as a bl—This segment of the article was removed due to legal threats by the NAACP, ACLU, PETA and Joe Jackson.

That was one hell of a rant, but, as it stands, that’s how incredibly slow they are in processing your paperwork.

I rip open the certified letter, and out slides the little blue booklet, with the golden imprint of the State Department stamped on the cover, just as I remembered as a wee lad. I then open the booklet expecting to see my face in all its rugged splendor, but instead, I’m greeted with an excerpt of the “Star Spangled Banner,” with some historical figure who could’ve been either a young Thomas Jefferson or Mel Brooks’ portrayal of the King of France in “History of the World.” So, I turn the page, and I’m immediately slapped in the face with freedom. There’s my picture, with all of my vital statistics; address, date of birth, outstanding warrants, height, etc., and it’s all transposed on (and I wish I was making this up): the American Flag, a Bald Eagle, and the preamble of the Constitution. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, and it’s my love for it that allows me to say: “What the hell is the point of all this?”

When Americans travel abroad, we’re given all sorts of warnings on how to protect ourselves; to be cautious and aware of our surroundings, contact the American Embassy upon our arrival, and basically told that, because we’re an American, we could be targeted by terrorist sympathizers. So–with all of that–why is our passport the equivalent to hanging a Norman Rockwell painting depicting life in Middle America, complete with that awkward man-boy relationship on our back?

Throughout the entire booklet, there are excerpts of Americana; the apparently iconic cacti of the Arizona desert, a giant rock with a bunch of dead guys carved in it, cattle drives, and my personal favorite, the totem pole of an undisclosed Native American tribe, which is a bit f***ed up in my opinion. It’s bad enough that we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday which basically boils down to us celebrating their near extinction at our hands, but to twist the knife a bit more, we’re going to add it to the passport as part of the heritage we’re oh so proud of? Let’s be honest here, the average American learned every thing they know about Native Americans from two sources; “Dances with Wolves” or, if young enough, the “Paw Paw Bears” and various sports teams…some with blatantly derogatory names. What was this up against, the vast cotton fields of American southeast? I mean what person looked at this and went “Yea, that’s fine.”

Ignoring the fact that the totem is even in there, put yourselves in the place of a Native American who received a passport in the last decade. You’ve started thumbing through it, and all you see is a land you lost because your ancestors didn’t push those pasty-ass Mayflower Pilgrims back out to sea. Oh, and on the page before the totem? A picture of the railroad, with a lovely 19th century locomotive chugging along yep…Manifest Destiny is “all up in that ish.”

Closing out this wonderful pamphlet of “Why America is Just Plain Better Than You,” is a composite picture of Mars, the Moon, and the Voyager Spacecraft, effectively saying: “This citizen is better than your citizen because his country has been to space.” I understand our venture into space is a big part of our history, and if you’re going for that angle, then you use one of the many historical pictures of Buzz Aldrin. Besides, if the point is to show how awesome it is to be an American, you don’t get more American than Buzz ‘Fucking’ Aldrin, a man, that when people come up to him and demand he confess to the moon landing being a hoax, he punches ’em in the face. After looking through my passport, it became abundantly clear as to why the world hates us…we’re completely up our own ass. It would probably be less obnoxious to walk around draped in the American flag, while handling a bald eagle, and Ethel Merman following you around singing “God Bless America.”


Chris hates anyone or anything which goes against how he feels a sentient being with more than three brain cells should act. He hopes to use his “Encyclopedia Douchebag…ica” as a springboard into becoming a full-fledged, tax exempt religion complete with holidays and greeting cards, mainly so he can steal from its coffers. His hopes are…not that high, knowing that those who needs his guidance most, are unable to read his words… what with the extra flesh from their sloped, ape-like foreheads blinding their eyes from the truth.

When not acting like a complete bastard (which is not very often), Chris offers his services as a freelancer for Beckett’s Massive Online Gamer. Yep, he’s a neeeeeerd.


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