Category Archives: Weird America

Reasons I Wish I Still Lived in D.C.: The 9/12 Rally

On Saturday, tens of thousands of conservative voters marched on Washington, D.C., to protest the Obama administration’s reckless spending (or merely suggested reckless spending) on such traditionally un-American issues as: universal health care; taxing the rich to give to the poor; taking bonuses from Corporate America’s CEO’s; communicating civilly with governments of Muslim-majority countries; and the presence of black people in the White House.

The protests were headed by several conservative groups, including FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Patriots, the latter of whom were responsible for Teabagging America ’09:

Here are some gems from among the quotes. I don’t generally read the Daily News, but some of these were too awesome to pass up:

“You want socialism? Go to Russia!” — Susan Clark, D.C., The Washington Post

This might have been effective if she said “communism,” and if this march happened before 1991.

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“We want our country to go back to the roots of doing what our Founding Fathers wanted us to do — less government in every aspect of my life. We walked the streets of Williamsburg, and it felt like we were learning how to be a patriot.” — Debbie Wilson, Apollo Beach, Fla., The Washington Post

Patriotism = using outhouses, wearing bonnets and churning your own butter.

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“I’m outraged prominent black politicians use the race card [to cover up their failed policies].” — Deneen Borelli, New York, N.Y. Times

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With regard to Obama and healthcare: “It’s not that he’s evil, but the outcome will be.” — Suzanne Mullen, Fayetteville, N.C., N.Y. Daily News

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“Health care is not listed anywhere in the Constitution.” — Brian Burnell, 45, M.D., The Washington Post

But multi-million dollar Wall Street bonuses totally are.

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“What he’s doing to the budget, and taking over health care, is only a part of it. He’s bankrupting us. He’s not protecting us. He’s apologizing to Europe and the terrorists.” — Richie Mitzner, Fort Lee, N.J., N.Y. Daily News

Yes, trying to negotiate peacefully with Iran — as opposed to nuking them before they nuke us — is a TERRIBLE plan.

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“We’ve got a deficit so large, my grandkids won’t be able to pay it off.” — Pete Jones, New Hartford, C.T., N.Y. Daily News.

OK, so are you saying that Wall Street wouldn’t have exploded last year (WHILE Bush was still in office) if Obama hadn’t won the election? Would it be alright for your grandkids to be in debt if all the proposed health care money were going toward the defense bill?

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And don’t forget all the fabulous visual documentation of the event:

Move over, White House czars! The Boob Czarina is totally more informed and better at leading the country than you are.

Move over, White House czars! The Boob Czarina is totally more informed and better at leading the country than you are.

A future death panel victim makes his way toward the Freedom Mobile.

A future death panel victim makes his way toward the Freedom Mobile.

The next "Vogue" cover model

The next "Vogue" cover model

Uh. What?

Uh. What?

This young racist has something to say.

This young racist has something to say.

You mean about how Obama wants to institute universal healthcare as a means of effecting reparations for slavery? Totally.

You mean about how Obama wants to institute universal health care as a means of effecting reparations for slavery? Totally.

There are no words...

There are no words...

Augustus Gloop and friends

Augustus Gloop and friends

Only a conservative can be this egregiously racist.

Only a conservative can be this egregiously racist.

And be sure to check out The 10 Best Signs from the “March on Washington”, which includes “Most Racist,” “Cutest,” and “Most Ironic Acronym.” Priceless.

EDIT: I just realized I’ve forgotten to thank the photographers who so kindly posted distributable photos on Creative Commons. Thanks to: KCIvey and Andrew Aliferis

EDIT: I just realized I’ve forgotten to thank the photographers who so kindly bore witness to the event and posted re-postable pictures on Flickr. Thanks to: KCIvey; Andrew Aliferis

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Filed under Politics, U.S. Politics, Weird America

The Weird America Series: American Cheese

When I was a child, I loved American cheese. I loved the way it melted between the golden-brown bread slices in a pan when I made grilled cheese. I loved unwrapping it and eating it plain, relishing that strange, unnatural chewiness that only American cheese possesses. When I went to Friendly’s and was given the choice between American, cheddar and pepperjack, I undoubtedly went with the American cheese. Everything else seemed foreign and repulsive.

But now, having experienced Gruyere, feta, multitudinous goat cheeses, extra sharp cheddar, Camembert, brie, Jarlsberg and many others, I just have to ask: what sick human gave birth to the idea of American cheese? Its floppiness is distressing, the individually plastic-wrapped slices make it terrible for the environment, and it usually appears on the grocery store shelves in a sickly shade of chemical orange. And on top of it all, it’s not even actually cheese.

According to my extensive research, American cheese used to be manufactured from a mix of naturally produced Colby and cheddar cheeses. If you’ve eaten American cheese any time within the last, oh, twenty years or so, you’ll know that this is no longer the case. These days, American cheese is a true chemical concoction and doesn’t even meet the legal criteria for being called “cheese,” so instead needs to be labeled as “processed cheese product” or “processed cheese food.” This might be the worst one I’ve ever seen:

cheesefront2Imitation pasteurized process cheese food?? Seriously? Why would anyone buy something that claims to be an imitation of a processed food? The American consumer mindset is extremely confusing to me.

Anyway, here’s the list of ingredients in Kraft American cheese:

MILK, WHEY, MILK FAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM CITRATE, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SORBIC ACID AS A PRESERVATIVE, APOCAROTENAL (COLOR), ANNATTO (COLOR), ENZYMES, VITAMIN D3, CHEESE CULTURE.

And here’s the list of ingredients in Swiss Gruyere cheese:

MILK

The worst of all this is that we seem to be using our marketing power to contaminate the otherwise dignified European cheese culture. Everywhere I go in Germany, I see “Toast Kaese” (“toast cheese”).  Well, at least the most disgusting cheese in the supermarket isn’t labeled “American.” And at least they’ve relegated our processed cheese food to a specific culinary arena: toasting it between bread slices (often at music festivals when they’re in need of food that lasts an unnaturally long time in conditions which are less than superb for food preservation). In my opinion, cheese should be more versatile than that. But maybe that’s just me.

UPDATE: I discussed this topic on the train ride home with my friends Brian and Courtney. When I asked, “WHY does anyone buy American cheese?!”, Brian replied, “Because it tastes good on an egg sandwich.” Good point, good point.

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