As a premise to this post, I want to say firstly, so there is no confusion, I am a liberal. After living in Amsterdam for a year, I have many (possibly impractical) ideas about how to improve the lives of my friends and family living stateside. This includes building bike lanes in all cities. Secondly, I have lost nearly 15 lbs (and toned up of course) by rock climbing, cycling, and doing yoga alongside going vegan for the past 4 months. Health has become a very important issue to me (it is about life after all).
When I made it home, things were not how I had remembered. My city, which was once thriving, now has mostly empty store windows with FOR SALE signs. Almost every person I see is overweight, if not obese (with many accompanying gazes of sadness and grief). Race is still very much an issue. (???) So I decided to write an open letter to this ridiculous entity that will never respond. This is not a fact-based political discourse…just a rant. A current topic bitch-fest, if you will. Sorry if I (unintentionally) offend. So here it goes.
I love you…but you piss me off.
When you grow up living in the Land of the Free where there is Freedom of Speech and other such things that they just don’t have over there…it is reasonable to believe that there is nowhere else on Earth where one should desire to live. They certainly won’t have these freedoms, you said, like the freedom to choose to buy huge cars, despite only having one child. The freedom to buy loads of processed foods that “taste delicious” and again…only in America they are legal to buy. Better yet, you can load up your huge car full of your processed foods and then store it in your huge home with your huge refrigerator. You did this America, yet I am not grateful. I am disgusted at this life you have created.
You have made your people believe that they are worthless and don’t deserve to live unless they have the latest iPhone within a few hours of its release. The lines are not unlike the lines for the food pantry in my hometown, like in many cities. People line up the night before it opens, waiting for the good stuff, the free stuff. Meanwhile, those with the new iPhone look up the best way to lose weight while standing in immaculate, well-stocked grocery stores. This is not their fault, I blame you, America. Maybe they are looking up how to cleanse away all those unnecessary calories they’ve consumed, including all the meat that is slowly decaying in their colons. Maybe they are Googling “How to feel more centered” or “How to be happier”.
Meanwhile, the flowers are in bloom, but no one is going outside. No one will notice…
America, why is it that the women don’t feel beautiful unless they have orange skin, heat-styled hair, and pants with suggestive words stamped across the ass? PINK. Why do the men not feel masculine unless they can carry a gun, know how to fight, and become star athletes, only to become overweight as they age? And what choices do they have? Buying organic groceries will cost an insane amount of money (I spent over 300$!)… and then if they buy organic, how will they pay the bills? This is an issue of consumer culture, which you have created, not the fault of your people.
What is worse still, is that there is no room for artists, writers, musicians, etc. unless they are also the janitors, fast food workers, and bus drivers by day. They may never have time to do what they enjoy. To live how they wish…
You have eliminated all the endless possibilities of who people can become by enforcing economic competition between countries, states, communities, families, friends, and individuals. How are you supposed to “follow your dreams” when you are buried in debt? When did that luxury of 6% locked-in interest becomes a 30- year payment plan of 50$ per month, so that you can still afford to by that Hummer that your spouse demands? Or that trip to the beach every year for vacation? After all, you don’t want to eliminate that beach trip…it’s the only thing keeping you sane from dealing with the angry colleagues, unpaid overtime, crippling debt, and chronic health issues that you still can’t afford to deal with.
America, I demand an answer to this question: Why do you mock my hard work by making me jealous of reality TV stars every time I can’t afford to upgrade to the “better” version of things?
OH! Just one more thought…
F*&% you. I’m moving to Europe.