It seems like the time for these signs, right? During World War II, the British government used these “Keep Calm and Carry On” motivational posters to keep morale up as cities were being bombed. But that’s not like us. We don’t go in for that whole “stiff upper lip” thing. Panic and horror are more our way.
Think about the Rambo films. That’s your modern America right there. It isn’t about thinking through things and making the best of a bad situation. It is about taking a bad situation and making it much worse. We believe above all in freaking out, as long as we get a nice happy ending where the mentally broken homicidal hero kills everyone and is safe to do the same thing in the sequel.
So have at it, my fellow Americans! Let’s panic and freak out! I only request one thing: don’t pretend that we are strong. We aren’t. We are like frightened children. And we aren’t rational. We’ve allowed some bad news in the world (And there is always that!) to be used against us to push television ratings up and increase the power of disingenuous politicians. But there is nothing new is that. That’s what we always do!
This is why we are always for the newest war. We chant, “We’re number one! We’re number one!” And then, after a few years, we calm down. The sky wasn’t really falling. There weren’t terrorists under our beds. Heart disease and cancer are still by far the most common ways we die. And we look back and say what we always say, “That was a mistake.”
So let’s sing it all together:
Fear, fear, fear!
It’s time to freak out
The end again is near!
After we calm down
And had our fearful fling
It all goes back to normal
We won’t have learned a thing!
Because that’s the important thing. In fact, that’s the American thing. Overreact to everything. Behave badly. Look back on it with shame. But don’t learn anything, because that might change the cycle. And if Americans didn’t constantly freak out about everything, how would we know we were Americans?