America Far Away

by Sarah A. Hoyt

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Most of the rest of the world, but particularly Europe, seem to have a bizarre funhouse vision of America.

Part of it I’ll admit is our fault, or at least “our fault” in the sense that every place in the world has idiots and crazy people, but some we’re the only country on Earth who make those people celebrities and stars. And also that no other country’s movie industry specializes in showing the worst possible about their own country, including making up stuff.

However, it leads to completely surreal experiences. Let’s say there is no resemblance between our country and what people abroad believe we are, except perhaps that we occupy a certain landmass and speak English (and even those. They routinely underestimate both.)

I have on various occasions had my brother try to “broaden the American’s experiences” by saying things like, he knows we only have one kind of cheese (from a country where maybe six kinds are available at any time) or offering to send me a book on history (which I’d read a year before from the History bookclub—so this was pre-Amazon.)

I’ve had the distinct, er…. pleasure…. of being in a store that had bars in every window, in a place where even nice areas have window bars and metal drop shutters on residential homes, and being told by the lady that America sounded nice, but she didn’t want to live with the danger of that much crime. … at the time I lived in downtown Colorado Springs which—at the time—was safe as houses. I routinely left my car unlocked and—often, being scatty—my purse on the floor. (It’s more dangerous now.)

Sometimes, more rarely now, I find myself in late night discussions with various people abroad who…. well, some of them think we have shootouts on the street as a matter of course, others think the average American is starving. The most common ones think that we have a race war going on (which is very alarming, since they think we’re divided 50/50) and almost all of them think that we die on the street corners for lack of health insurance.

This last group falls under “your governments are herding you by telling you lies about freedom.” Which is why it’s so pervasive. Our media lies, their media amplifies it because it’s useful.

Yesterday a blog tried to link to my blog—for no very clear reason—and I always follow the link before approving.

I will confess that this one annoyed me by being wordy, confusing and white letters over a busy background.

The gist seemed to be “America is falling apart because of its fatal flaws” only all the flaws they mentioned are ten times as bad in Europe, particularly France where—for reasons—I suspect this blog originates.

It did the double reverse leap of reasoning about our sexual morals too.

It accused us of being too bound by tradition/what will the neighbors say and blamed, of course, the puritans—I don’t know about you, but I don’t seem to have any guys with tall hats in the neighborhood — and it claimed we’re peculiarly infantile because we always give in to our basest urges and have an “ubiquitous availability of any kind of sex and drugs.” To which we always give in.

And therefore systems that are based on the individual are bad evil wrong, and true morality is collective and also reee.

The fact that they seem to be for more traditional morality than the SJWs doesn’t mean they’re not precisely the same thing, since “collective morality” and a society focused on “the good of society” and not the individual always ends the same way. I’ll grant you certain traditions get there faster, but enforced, collective morality only works in religious orders and isn’t perfect there, where everyone enters volitionaly.

I’ve come across this opinion before and I remain utterly unimpressed. Look, I am an extremely boring woman, married and monogamous and edging towards “grandma aged.” The only drug I do consistently is caffeine. I drink like 4 times a year, which is why my drinks cabinet keeps overflowing since unless I use a liquor in cooking, I rarely use it up. I like alcohol, or at least the taste of it, but I don’t like it enough to drink alone, and husband doesn’t drink and sons drink very rarely.

I doubt there’s anything about my life, or even my attire and general attitudes that would set this kind of twerp off. But I don’t care. My disagreement isn’t with their moral beliefs (those are so different in my friend group that it doesn’t bear speaking, anyway) but with their idea that the community should be able to make decisions about what I get to do when and impose them on me.

I remain convinced that so long as I’m not doing it on the street and scaring the horses, they can put it in their pipes and smoke it. (Well, I’m not going to.)

I also remain convinced when a society becomes convinced that “morality” “justice” and other virtues are collective ones, they’ve already chosen the slide to hell and are merely, busilly, rubbing goose grease on it.

However, it wasn’t till this morning that the idea that we all run around having sex with everything and doing ALL the drugs really percolated. And I’m caught somewhere between laughter and crying.

Uh…. I know this won’t convince anyone, because you’ve seen ALL the movies—ALL THE MOVIES—but seriously, little strange foreign dudes and dudettes….. you’re out of your barking minds.

Hunter Biden or Jack Dorsey or Bill Clinton for that matter aren’t representatives of Americans. No. Seriously.

You can’t at the same time accuse us of being ultra-repressed and having sex with the horses on the street. (Though in a country of 300 million yes, we probably have a few of those, but then so do you. You just don’t put them on TV.)

You also can’t accuse us of working too much—like the evil capitalists we are—and then turn around and think we’re shooting up, snorting and screwing our way through life. Yes, I know the movies show that, but that’s the magic of camera cuts. We are, indeed—thank you for noticing—amazing, but even we can’t lead two totally all-absorbing lives at the same time.

Well, you can, but you risk making even less sense than normal. You also risk our falling on the floor laughing so hard you can feel it across the Atlantic.

To level set, I am a member of the science fiction community, where a collection of odd people gather. I have friends who are in polyandric and polygamous relationships. I have friends of various attractions and inclinations. …. I don’t have any friends who just have sex constantly and on command. For one, because it would get in the way of writing, or studying the craft, or researching.

I don’t know what substances my friends indulge in, mostly because it’s none of my business. But I know most of them—not being Hunter Biden and therefore working for a living—don’t go through life in a drugged-out haze.

The only Americans that fit your description are Hunter Biden and his ilk, and a bunch of homeless, shooting up and fornicating (and killing each other) on sidewalks. And if you think that’s an effect of our society, you haven’t looked at your own streets. It’s the result of the law against public vagrancy not being enforced. No more and no less.

Every society has mentally ill and addled people We just make them celebrities, or turn our cities into dumps for them.

However, as for the “ubiquitous” drugs and sex making us infantile, all I have to say is buy a mirror. In my trips to Europe I see just as many if not more thirty-something year old enfants terribles. And France has always—seemingly—or at least for the last 200 years had issues with the idea that refusing sex is somehow awkward. And yes, I do get that from your media and magazines. Oh, not accurate? Desole. Perhaps you should take a hint.

As for the US falling apart, you only wish. Probably because you’re jealous of all the sex and drugs we AREN’T in fact having. Sure, we have issues, but nothing like yours.

And as for your diagnosis that our problems are rooted in excess individualism, and your decision to jump up the ass of collectivism once more, in search of some kind of grand morality, let me just say once and for all: Next time you’re on your own. Neither my sons or the grandchildren I hope to have, or my ducttape-adopted children and their children should shed a drop of blood or a single tear over your inability to learn.

Look in a mirror, get over yourselves, and realize everything you think about us is a lie. The clues are there, in that you attribute to us wildly contradictory qualities.

Consider that you might be getting lied to, and ask why.

And then dig yourselves out, because Americans are tired of helping you out, and then becoming your punching bag.

It’s time you moved out of our basement and got a life, and stopped obsessing about how much sex we’re having.

And that’s very much my moral, individual opinion.


Reprinted from According to Hoyt for February 10, 2022

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