We’re all on a quest to rediscover lost American “greatness”.
To be sure, most of us didn’t realize that things had gotten so bad, but Trump woke everyone up in his inauguration speech when he portrayed the country as something akin to the opening scene in Terminator 2.
You know, rusty factories – landscapes rendered in grayscale – bones strewn about – marauding gangs of bandit cannibals in search of fuel and flesh, and not necessarily in that order.
Basically Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
Or Mad Max without the fun muscle cars.
Fortunately, an overweight, elderly, bigoted billionaire donning a blonde beaver pelt hat arrived just in time to restore America’s prestige. We’ll be “great again” after all. It says so on those red hats.
Of course so far, our quest for “greatness” isn’t going too well. In fact, as bad as Trump insisted things were in late January, they’ve gotten materially worse since. If American “prestige” was waning headed into 2017, it’s now disappeared altogether.
Here with some fresh ideas on where we might find some of that “greatness” we’re looking for, is The New Yorker…
Via River Clegg for The New Yorker
We will be great again when we stop talking about being great again. Sheesh—obsessive much?
We can’t be truly great again until we realize that there are some parts of the pizza that should not be stuffed with cheese.
Many people find the “again” part of this weird. “Great again?” they ask. “What supposedly great time are we trying to replicate? The days of Jim Crow? Or of Japanese-American internment?” No. The answer is May 2, 1982. Just gorgeous weather.
An important thing to remember is that we’re talking about the word “great,” not “grate,” which is pronounced similarly and refers to the slotted metal coverings of municipal drainage systems.
Maybe what we could do is ask everyone to name something he thinks is great, and then we can combine all the answers somehow. For example, if one person says that Key-lime pie is great, and another says the music of Bach is great, well, we’re just going to have to get creative.
Health care is great; everyone knows that. So guaranteed access to health care for everyone must be even greater, right? Wrong.
Tony the Tiger famously proclaimed, “They’re gr-r-reat!” If only we could discover what this was in reference to, we could perhaps be great again.
Give me a “G”! Give me an “R”! Give me an “E”! Give me an “A”! Give me a “T”! Good job—now go do whatever makes you feel great again. Maybe tweet something anti-Semitic?
Once, my father told me that true greatness simply consists of living in the present moment, at peace with your surroundings and with yourself. It’s shit like that that will keep us from becoming great again.
“Great-o potato” is a fun expression that, if popularized, would go a long way toward making everyone feel great again. Just say it! C’mon!
Greatness is more than having a big army. It’s got to be really, really big.
One thing is for sure: when someone says, “Oh, great” in a sarcastic tone, that’s not the kind of great we’re going for.
Today’s greatness lesson: no necktie can ever be too long or too Scotch Taped.
Warm weather is great; the more warm weather we have, the greater we will be. If the weather becomes unprecedentedly warm, we will become unprecedentedly great. This is not complicated.
I had a hamburger once that was pretty great. That’s more of a personal story, though.
You know how sometimes someone will ask you how you’re doing, and you’ll say “great” without really thinking about it? Like, you’re sort of just going through the motions? Good job. Becoming great again will require a lot more of that.
Feeling like you’re part of a community is great. That sense of belonging, you know? On some level, it’s what we’re all looking for. But there’s a catch: that feeling depends on the existence of an outcast group—people who don’t, who can’t belong to your community. Without them, the group you belong to will be rendered formless, robbed of its definition and meaning. Selecting the “other” against which your group will derive its identity, then, is of vital importance. How will you decide? Will it be based on skin color? Gender? Religious differences? National origin? Yes. All of those. Great!
If you rearrange the letters in “great,” you can spell “treag.” This felt worth mentioning.