Friday Happy: America the underdog

Really, Russia? You’re gonna spy on us now? And after we just treated you to some hot slabs of American cuisine? And right before HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA weekend too, no less!

Might we remind you how the last Cold War ended? With Slyvester Stallone pummeling your national pride into a bloody mess in front of a rabid agitprop-prone crowd. One spectator was reportedly so devastated her only consolation was a several year bizarre televised relationship with American time clown Flava Flav.

Sure, we lost in the World Cup, but we certainly got quite passionate about it for the short period. Why? Because Americans are used to being the best at lots of things; but we really shine at being the underdog. The Cold War brought out some great, er… campily entertaining movies about the indomitable American spirit, during a time when it seemed like we might actually have a bully in the world: Superman IV, Rocky IV, Red Dawn and, of course, War Games. The spirit of being less than best drives out something fiery in Americans, fueling the need to stand on a Brooklyn bar table at 10 a.m. wrapped in an American flag and cheering on athletes a continent away. Even in horror of the days after 9/11, that down-and-out spirit united people against a common goal: pick up, dust off, hit back. We don’t get to act like this often.

The World Cup, and the discovery of spies among us, keeps us humble in a way, so much that a simple kick by Landon Donavan to beat a country with fewer people than California can get the country’s blood flowing in new ways:

And in case you don’t see the connection between the Rocky video and current events, hit the vuvuzela button on the video and imagine a sea of russians blowing terrible horns, trying to annoy America out of the challenge of the world stage.

Happy Fourth of July, everybody!

sidenote: if I were Rocky’s trainer, my between-rounds advice would probably go on like this:

Round 1: Rocky, put up your hands!

Round 2: I know you’re getting hit, but defense is important!

Round 3: Rocky, block your  face already!

Round 4: PUT UP YOUR DAMN HANDS

Round 5: If you survive this, we’re spending the next year training on nothing but head defense

Round 6: WHAT THE HELL ROCKO? HE WILL HIT YOU LESS IF YOU BLOCK YOUR FACE

Round 7: JUST ONE TIME stop him from hitting your face!!

….

Round 16: Stop taunting him to hit you! He’s actually doing it! PUT UP YOUR HANDS!!

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