Newsroom is a show on HBO which features Jeff Daniels as a news anchor. That’s all I know about it. I don’t watch it and have never seen an episode of it. It helps that the only time I watch HBO is when it shows up on some free movie channel weekend funneled through my digital cable receiver. Even then, I shy away from it because those weekends do nothing but ram their own programming instead of a movie or two I actually want to see.
As I understand it, the show launched about a year and half ago with an attention grabbing scene which created the promise of a steady viewership. Nearly eighteen months later, I’m starting to see 3 minute snippets of the scene on the various newsfeeds of Facebook friends. The video is being characterized as the 3 most honest minutes of TV ever.
Here’s the 8 minute snippet of that 3 minute video.
For those of you who chose not to watch the video, it features Daniels’ character going on a rant on why America is no longer the greatest country on Earth. The premise offered up in the tirade is based on various statistics such as bad numbers on infant mortality, literacy rates, blah, blah, blah. The tirade also goes on to explain that there was a time when we weren’t so politically polarized. At one point, we had no problem sacking up and getting r done.
I disagree. The good old US of A is the greatest country on the planet and I’ll tell you why.
We rock harder. We generate a wide variety of kick ass music that serves up eargasmic nirvana in a wide variety of genres to the masses around the world. Even though we’ve generated a healthy supply of the aural delights on a domestic basis, we have no problem importing tunes from around the world. Sadly, we haven’t gotten the effin clue that we need to throttle back on the stream from Canada
We can show our ladies off. There ain’t no law here which demands various genders to wear a burka under threat of a rabid stoning.
We have guacamole, and what we consider to be Mexican food. We have The Avengers, The Justice League, and the Harlem Globetrotters. We have Saturday morning cartoons. We have Mentos and Diet Coke. We have art consisting of dried macaroni glued to a paper plate. We have limitless access to a vast collection of pornography housed on countless servers stationed all over the world. We have Netflix. We have Star Wars. We’ve got beer. We have Texas. We have social networking like Myspace. We have propane and propane accessories. We have Kate Upton. We have dirty jokes, clean jokes, and knock-knock jokes. We have Fire & Ice, Fast & Loud, strikes & balls, and franks & beans. We have the lovely and talented Scarlett Johansson in skin tight attire and loaded for bear (or bare). We have Ben Affleck slated to play Batman. We have pompous, self-important celebrities who put their egos ahead of their craft in order to promote their own bullshit agenda. We have sycophantic fans of those self-important celebrities who put their egos ahead of their craft that actually embrace the bullshit agenda. We have pictures downloaded from the internet of buzzards saying things like “Patience my ass. I’m going to kill something.” We have all you can eat buffets and free style eateries. We have “Don’t Stop Believing”. We have fantasy football and breast cancer awareness month. We have descended and un-descended testicles. We have the American Red Cross. We have really crappy television. We have morning wood. We have that insatiable anal itch that no amount of aggressive wiping can resolve without drawing a little blood. We have progressive lenses which darken in the sunlight. We have the full bush, the landing strip, and the skinned infield. We have the 5 o’clock morning when the whistle blows. We have monster onion rings. We have clean pipes and the hanging curve ball. We have Gary Busey, Snookie, and a back door teen mom. We have 7 dirty words which can’t be said on TV, three of which can now be said in TV. We have a fourth dirty word make its way in on a regular basis, even though it’s not allowed. We have La Z Boys, hot wings, and the George Foreman grill. We have a piece of the moon and victims from a UFO crash site. We have the newer Mexico. We have gold in them thar hills. We have radical moderates. We have moonshine and bath salts. We have a justice system which presumes the innocence of the accused while the media declares them guilty. We have TV-MA. We have flags at all you can eat Mexican food buffets which call for more colonic distress. We have muscle cars. We have Yoga pants and Yoda quotes. We have inbound immigration problems.
WE HAVE BACON.
We have awesome quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and middle linebackers who will be forever known for the brilliant work they did in pop culture and on commercials after they left the game of football.
Or do we?
Consider this. Peyton Manning did a Buick commercial in which he called out an audible to the car’s navigation system. He also owns several Papa John’s pizza franchises. Will we remember Manning for these accomplishments, or the way he reads a defense like a children’s book and subsequently makes it his bitch?
How about the Joe Montana shoe commercials? Screw that. We’ll remember what he did in the 80’s with the 49ers.
Are you going to remember Terry Bradshaw for his brilliant acting in The Cannon Ball Run or his bare ass in Failure To Launch? Don’t bother answering. You know better.
Are you going to remember the likes of Emmett Smith and Jerry Rice for their wins on Dancing With The Stars? That’s like remembering Paul McCartney for his work with Wings.
Back in the heyday of my community college days, I sat there at lunch one day with a fellow math student. He told me that he someday intended on writing a Master’s thesis under the theme that people are assholes. I asked him what I thought was the obvious question. “Who’s your control group?”
I wonder if he ever wrote that paper. I would have loved to have been in his statistical gene pool.
Here’s the deal.
Car commercials, color commentating, bit part acting, and dancing the Lambada are not the qualities which endure our hearts to the likes of Peyton Manning, Terry Bradshaw, and Jerry Rice. Super Bowls, rushing yardage, receiving yardage, and an ability to play the game of Football is how we’ll remember these gentlemen.
Everything I listed above doesn’t define us as being the greatest country in the world. That’s just stuff.
The speaking points in that rant failed to disqualify us as the greatest country on Earth. All of the statistics listed in the video are basically evidence of our problems. I might add that those problems are first world problems. Even more importantly, they are problems that can be fixed. A lot of them are the downstream impacts of our ongoing efforts to Europeanize the United States. For the record, European mentality is one of the reasons our forefathers left that part of the world in the first place.
In my own opinion, I believe we’re the greatest for a reason which was alluded to in the clip, just prior to the rant. The circumstances in which this country was founded were unique, and had never been done before or since. The fact that our Founding Fathers were able to make a successful go of it and put this nation on the path to be a world leader exponentially outweighs the mentality that we are anything but exceptional.
At one point later in the video, Daniels’ character addresses the young lady who asked the question in the first place. “When you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the [expletive deleted] you’re talking about.”
He’s failed to step back and take in the big picture in order to correctly identify the correct control group.