Abby's Road: America, the not-so beautiful
During this year’s Super Bowl, Coca-Cola ran a commercial showcasing various people doing various things in various degrees of happiness. In the background, “America the Beautiful” played. Some of the lyrics were sung in English, but some were sung in foreign languages.
The audience was a vocal fraternity of standard-bearers for the grill-mastering, face-painting, prime-time demographic. These referees of righteousness cried foul, citing the rule that America is only beautiful when it is being serenaded by real Americans. They took to their Internet connections to try to make Coca-Cola choke on its multi-cultural mumbo-jumbo.
Their protest was grounded in logic and fairness. For my readers in kindergarten or nonprofit organizations, let me break it down in terms so simple even you will understand:
1 — Any non-native American must assimilate to become American.
2 — Whenever a person speaks a language other than English, it proves that person does not know how to speak a single word of English.
3 — A foreign-language-speaking non-assimilator is an illegal immigrant who must be deported.
If you want beautiful, there’s nothing more beautiful than Judgment In Three Easy Steps. It’s a fool-proof litmus test for un-American activity that puts subjectivity over objectivity, extrapolates a universal truth from a single sound bite, and ignores inconveniences such as consistency or history. A perfectly American way to separate the perfect Americans from the anti-American bi-linguists hiding in our midst.
Everyone wants America to be the best, most American America it can be. Now we know how to deliver unto our Founding Fathers the more perfect union they chartered: we cup our hands to our ears, listen for a foreign language floating on the breeze, and run in the direction from whence that treasonous utterance originated. So easy, even your kids can do it.
Of course, this is more than a family bonding experience. We need to focus our collective energies on cleaning up our geography, desk calendars, and civic inclinations. I’m sure everyone can think of areas where our attention is required, but I’ll spit-ball a few to get the ball rolling.
We need to bulldoze all the Little Italys and Little Havanas and Chinatowns. We’ll call them all “Main Street” instead. Then we’ll fill them with something that calms the spirit and pleases the eye, like Wal-Marts, or parking lots, or on-shore tax havens.
We need to Anglicize the names of all states and municipalities, from Vermont to New Mexico to Los Angeles. Henceforth, your maple syrup comes from Green Mountain, your bachelorette party derails in New Identify Theft, and you hate the basketball team in The Angels. We force Saint Frank, the city formerly parading as San Francisco, to recognize the right of a man in Saint Anthony (are you keeping up?) to marry his gun.
We need to institute a national ban on all celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. Anyone caught wearing a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt must be punched. The fifth of May gets called May 5th. On both days, all Americans are required to drink their full eight servings of water.
We need to impose automatic forfeiture rules, of coveted or current seat, on any politician caught conducting an interview in Spanish. This rule does not apply retroactively, because sometimes when you needed the “Hispanic vote,” you got desperate. This rule does come with automatic email reminders to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
We’ll also need to find someone to rewrite “God Bless America.” That hymn was written by Irving Berlin, who emigrated from Russia when he was 5. He was raised in a Yiddish-speaking household. Yiddish is not English.
While we’re at it, we’ll have to find someone to rename America. “America” is named after the guy who first correctly placed it on a map. That guy’s name was Amerigo. He was Italian. Italians are not Americans.
That, perhaps, is the most unfortunate repercussion here, because pasta is delicious. Baguettes, burritos and sushi are, too. Someday soon, though, we’ll pick up an ear of corn, and a dripping dish of gelato will be an afterthought.
Some hard work and sacrifice may be required, but no one ever said spreading the American message of freedom and equality is easy.