Frankelstache

Life, America, Randomness

America’s Backbone

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Aside from Baseball and steroids, no connection in America is deeper than the one between Americans and the institution that provided them with their post high-school education. In the spirit of March Madness, I thought it’ll be wise to stop and talk about ‘College’ and its significance in American society.

Every nation needs a backbone. Something that will connect EVERYONE, an experience that one way or another had affected all during his or her lifetime. In Israel, for example, it’s the IDF. Mandatory service laws dictate that every 18-year-old Israeli boy or girl has to serve three and two years (respectively) in the national Army. Put the war issues aside, this is a great bonding experience, a true melting pot for society. It’s something every citizen can relate to, a place where everyone meet and are forced to live together and persevere. America doesn’t really have a melting pot, but College is definitely the closest one. In 2004, 52% of Americans attended college. That’s huge. But that’s barely half the country, not to mention I’m way too lazy to break the 52% into socio-economic backgrounds to get a clearer picture (I tried reading the census and failed due to severe boredom).

The reason that this occupies me is that I always felt that if it weren’t for ‘The Arabs’ who are inescapably trying to kill them, Israelis would hate each other to the point of a civil war. But lucky (or not so lucky) for Israel, the fact that the Arabs are trying to annihilate them from the face of this planet unites them. This is obviously not the best of situations, but the result, I believe, is that no other people in the world care for their fellow citizens like Israelis do. Now answer this – does anyone in Santa Monica cares for anyone in Detroit? Better yet, does anyone in Santa Monica cares for anyone in the San Fernando Valley?

How much of this dog eat dog world has to do with the capitalistic nature of Uncle Sam? Is there a fault or blame here? And who cares if there isn’t really a connection? America has done fairly well without it, so does a country even need to have a correlation between its people? And how come people get along here but can’t stop fighting elsewhere? Is it because of Woodstock? Burning Man?

It’s a tad weird to live in a place where the people are so different from each other, so disjointed and far away. I guess America is like a Paralympic Athlete: not all body parts are connected, but they somehow pull it together enough to be champions. Odd metaphor, I know. Now, if in fact ‘College’ is America’s melting pot, and if in fact we’ve established there’s some sort of Paralympics-ness involved here – isn’t it suitable that the man who represents ‘College’ (and as such, connects America) during this fine month of March is Richard ‘Dick’ Vital?

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Written by Frankelstache

March 23, 2009 at 8:22 am

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