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What America Means To Me

An essay on America by Ben Raskin

America is a kick butt country. Not kick butt in the Jean Claude Van-Damme or Jackie Chan sense but a quick punt to the nuts of turkeys who want to screw with our freedom. I’m talking about baseball, apple pie, tanks and Kate Upton or Couric butt kicking. The kind of place where a hot dog eating contest is just as important as remembering why we signed the Constitution 546-years ago and why Ben Franklin was our country’s kookiest and badassest president.

We’ve been to the moon, conquered Hawaii and created democracy. Our grandfathers stormed the beached of Normandy while listening to rock-n-roll and every true blue Americans believes that everything should be renamed Ronald Reagan.

I’ve been lucky to visit 46 of our 61 states and every one of them are AWESOME! From Las Vegas to Kentucky, we have more diversity than 25 Britains, Frances and Japans mixed together. We invented the margarita, Hooters, the three-way and NASCAR all before a lunch. Speaking of lunch, that’s where we pound martinis before we pounded our secretary and drive cars that are an affront to God. Take that Russia! All you’ve done is create polio and being lame.

And that’s because we don’t tolerate being lame. Every REAL American believes that kicking ass and taking names is a 25 hour a day/8 day a week job. It’s like that song by Hank Williams Jr., “A Country Boy Will Survive,” isn’t just a badass song but a roadmap in why we can be both strong and kind at the same time.

Strong enough to wrestle a wild stallion to the ground and kind enough to pull a baby pony out of her. Strong enough to watch a Game of Thrones marathon and kind enough to tip the pizza delivery guy 5%. Strong enough to shoot fireworks off at each other and kind enough to kiss the burns your little daughter gets playing with the lighter. Ol’ Hank had it right—a country boy WILL survive.

I’m lucky to have never travelled outside of this country except once. My family went to Mexico to get cheaper prescription drugs for my grandparents and I kept think, “Man, why would you ever want to leave a country that has like almost free basic cable, Bud Light Lime and a pizza joint on every corner? Why are we going to some backwater place when we have Walmarts and Taco Bells everywhere? And why don’t just invade Mexico if we really wanted cheaper, life-saving blood medication for my Granny?”

You wanna know why? Because we’re the country that build Viagra. Think about that the next time you burn a flag. Best of all, we worship God harder than any other country and it shows because God loves us right back. He gave us the Bald Eagle and Dave Mathews cause he loves us so much.

Being an American means being cool and I know all about being cool. We’re great at being cool, just look at some totally rad Americans like Brad Pitt, Kyle Goon, Cyndi Lauper, James Buchanan, Hulk Hogan, Albert Einstein, Justin Bieber, Monica Lewinsky, Mr. T and Godzilla. We make the best movies and have captured extraterrestrial aliens in Nevada. We breed unicorns, tame tigers and taught Adolf Hitler a lesson about fucking with us after he bombed Pearl Harbor.

Being an American is a total honor that every other country and planet in this solar system wants to be. That’s why we built the Statue of Liberty and let people come here to learn how to be American. It’s about stay in shape and looking good at the pool. It’s about tubing rivers and checking chicks out and fixing other country’s problems while we’re working the grill on some delicious burgers. It’s about saving the whales, giving Michael Douglas throat cancer for going down on a lot of babes, roller coasters and allowing Jay-Z to have a musical career even though he clearly has a speech impediment.

Bang! That just happened! USA! USA! USA!

My family and I are celebrating the Fourth of July the only way we know how—by kicking ass. We took the dogs for a walk, went grocery shopping, paid bills, mowed the lawn, called our parents, washed the car and took naps in air conditioning. Think you can handle a kick ass day like that, Sweden? Didn’t think so, punks!

So, in closing, I want to say that America is the land of the free, home of the brave and is a cool place to live and I have the t-shirts to prove it. All of my outerwear has the following quotes on either coyotes or eagles soaring in the sky or just the good old stars and stripes adorning the front:  Love it or leave it. These colors don’t run. Try and burn this one, asshole. If I ever get tired of feeling so great about being an American, I’ll just move to Canada.

Enjoy the Fourth of July, everyone!

Ben Raskin is a bartender, twitter dude @BennyRaskin and suffering from heat exhaustion from being at the Sugarhouse Art’s Festival. He’s calling it an early night because fireworks scare him.

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About Ben Raskin

Born in El Cajon, raised in Las Vegas, educated in Reno and living in Salt Lake City. I bartend, write, box and live in Sugarhouse UT.

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