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    Transmissions from a Lone Star: America Has No Problems

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    Problems, problems, everybody has problems. Look at Russia right now. Those protesters - they’ve got problems. If they don’t get prior permission for their rallies they will now be fined thousands of dollars. The opposition leaders have problems: the police raided their apartments, seized all their hi-tech gear and “investigations are ongoing.” Pussy Riot has problems. Ksenia Sobchak has problems… jeez… so many problems.

    Problems, problems, everybody has problems. Look at Russia right now. Those protesters - they’ve got problems. If they don’t get prior permission for their rallies they will now be fined thousands of dollars. The opposition leaders have problems: the police raided their apartments, seized all their hi-tech gear and “investigations are ongoing.” Pussy Riot has problems. Ksenia Sobchak has problems… jeez… so many problems.

    Elsewhere it’s worse. Look at Egypt, where the nation’s constitutional court just dissolved parliament ahead of presidential elections between two decidedly unlovely candidates - it’s complete chaos; nobody knows what’s coming next - no wonder the folks are hopping mad! And then there’s Europe, where the currency is about to slip down the drain. And what about Libya, Syria, Mali? The list goes on and on.

    Thank goodness I live in America, where we have no problems. You doubt me? Why, just look at a few recent news stories and you will be obliged to kneel before my Truth.

    First of all, have you heard that in New Jersey the authorities just mandated seatbelts for cats and dogs? Oh yes, my friends. And if you don’t buckle up your beast, you will be fined between $250-$1,000 for your callousness and disregard for public safety. That’s right - no longer will Fido be able to ride shotgun, fur flying in the breeze.

    See what I mean? Would the wise legislators of New Jersey be concerned about the seating arrangements of cats in trucks if they had serious issues, like homelessness, unemployment or crime to think about? I don’t think so.

    And then there is the pleasant town of Middleborough in Massachusetts, where residents recently voted to approve a proposal from the local police chief to impose a $20 fine for public profanity. That’s right, life in Middleborough is so good that the sound of a teenager saying $#@! Or &^%$#! is a big deal. Just try and imagine what kind of utopia the town must be. Oh wait - you can’t, because you have so many problems. But life is bliss, friends, and soon - with the disappearance of salty language from the streets - it shall be perfection.

    All right, I hear you cry, but what about John Travolta? He’s American and he’s got problems!

    This is true. Recently the married “Look Who’s Talking” star was accused of pestering male masseurs for sex, and has been hit with sexual battery claims. This week meanwhile the National Enquirer reported that in the 1980s Travolta had an affair with his personal pilot, a man named Doug Gotterba.

    This could cause problems for Travolta in Hollywood, where producers have yet to green light a film in which the action hero is gay. Compounding the actor’s woes, the Enquirer reports that Travolta’s lover objected to his fat, hairy body.

    On the other hand, the fact that anybody bothers to report this, and that I spent several minutes of my life reading about it, proves that in America we have no serious problems.

    Which brings me to the Ku Klux Klan: you may have heard that a branch of the racist organization wants to “adopt” a stretch of highway in Georgia, for which they would receive a little plaque thanking them for cleaning up the road.

    I will concede that this is a problem. Racists still exist. On the other hand, we can see improvement. Once upon a time, the KKK terrorized and murdered blacks, and people with links to the KKK infested the Democratic Party at the highest level. For instance, Hugo Black, Roosevelt’s first appointment to the Supreme Court joined the Klan in the 1920s; President Harry Truman was an ex-Klansman; and onetime Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd - who filibustered the Civil Rights act for 14 straight hours in 1964 - only died in 2010.

    In 2008 however the Democratic Party nominated a black man for president, and he subsequently won. KKK membership today consists largely of morons, sometimes married to their cousins, who meekly ask the state for permission to pick up litter on the highway. As it is, Georgia turned them down. America is making great progress.

    Lastly, you may have heard that America has a few economic problems. But this is a myth. How do I know this? Well, the president has been spending a lot of time with his celebrity friends lately. In June alone he’s attended at least six parties and dinners, where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Maria Carey, Julia Roberts and the lady with the long face from Sex and the City. He even gave Jon Bon Jovi a ride on Air Force One! Now cynics might say he only wants their money, but I know better. The president enjoys downtime with friends, like the rest of us. It’s just that he has richer and more beautiful friends!

    Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts, my friends. Good luck with your problems. We don’t have any.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s and may not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

    What does the world look like to a man stranded deep in the heart of Texas? Each week, Austin- based author Daniel Kalder writes about America, Russia and beyond from his position as an outsider inside the woefully - and willfully - misunderstood state he calls “the third cultural and economic center of the USA.”

    Daniel Kalder is a Scotsman who lived in Russia for a decade before moving to Texas in 2006. He is the author of two books, Lost Cosmonaut (2006) and Strange Telescopes (2008), and writes for numerous publications including The Guardian, The Observer, The Times of London and The Spectator.

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