Those of you who know me, know that I have a tendency to get all teary-eyed at things like the Olympics, the flag being carried in a parade, and the national anthem. While this may seem strange, it is one of the many bizarre things that makes me (hopefully) moderately entertaining.
Even though I didn't get teary-eyed at yesterday's parade (I got lotion in my eye!), I did at church this morning when we sang "America the Beautiful." So, in honor of the 4th of July ( I KNOW today is the 5th) here's a little countdown of why I firmly believe that America is still the greatest country on earth:
10. E!--yes...I love the E! network, and only in America can you find such a proudly blatant tribute to gross narcisism and celebrity whoredom.
9. NYC--we are the proud "owners" of the modern-day Rome--after my first 10 minutes in the city, I knew without a doubt that I HEART NYC!!
8. Johnny Depp--i know he doesn't really live here anymore, but he came from the good, ol' U-S-of-A and he does us proud in every role (besides, he DID partner with ultra-American Disney to be a certain pirate inspired by Keith Richards)
7. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart--in my opinion, the most reliable source for news and commentary on events both national and worldwide. I'll take my moment of zen over CNN, MSNBC, or any other "news" channel out there (you know who are...FOX"news"!)
6. The Wasatch Mountains--when I first moved to Utah I noticed the mountains, but after a while I got used to them...every time my dad came for a visit, he would say "I can't believe you live right at the base of these mountains." Thanks to the relentless praise of my awe-struck father, I notice those mountains every day--and how gorgeous they look in the different light of the day, how they change with the seasons...and during those awful days of inversion, I know that if I just drive up high enough, the sky is always blue.
5. Reality TV--i started out as a hater, but then I realized that some of my most inspired insults, barbs, and witty social commentary comes out of the fury so often instigated by watching this self-promoting drivel.
4. David Sedaris--here's another one who opts to live much of his life on other soil, but he is not only my favorite writer, but my inspiration to write good, funny, entertaining stuff that I hope people enjoy.
3. The first amendment--hello! That's what it's all about...journalism, blogging, news, pop-culture overload, etc. I LOVE that I can say whatever the hell I think about whatever the hell I want...and I LOVE that everyone else can do that too. When I think of situations like what the Dixie Chicks had to deal with several years ago, it's makes me sick. Those who thought that they were un-American for saying what they thought are the saddest thing about America--they just don't get it, and they taint this freedom for all of us.
2. President Barak Obama--not only has he brought smart back, but he truly makes me feel proud to be an American, and inspires me to be a better citizen. After so many years struggling to be loyal to our Commander-in-Chief, I am so happy to have it finally be a pleasure and an honor.
1. My brother, my grandfathers, my stepfather, and all others who serve our country--okay, this is the part where I get teary-eyed. I am overwhelmed with gratitude, love, and awe for the men and women who risk--and give--their lives so I can watch E! and drink beer and blow up fireworks with my friends and family every year and have the life that I take for granted far more often than I should. When my brother saluted our grandfather before they closed his casket, and later presented the flag to my grandmother at the graveside, I was so grateful that he was back home with us after 18 months in Afghanistan, and that my grandfather came back from WWII to be the honorable man that showed me what I should be looking for in a guy. No words can ever equal the blood, sweat, and tears of these amazing people who face things I can't imagine to preserve the life that I experience every day and the future I hope for, for my daughters.