Things called America that are not America

Detail of Budweiser’s new “patriotic” beer label (Photo Credit: HP)

The Fourth of July is a fine time to reflect on what is and is not America.

Marketers have long sought to identify their products with Uncle Sam and Old Glory. There’s little harm in that most of the time.

In a few cases, though, the commercialization of patriotism triggers a gag reflex that requires comment.

Not America.

Barely beer.

Certainly not the “king of beers.” More like the beer of pawns.

Alcohol kills 88,000 Americans each year.

Hell no.

This image is an un-American and anti-American clinic: Dynastic politics, rich white male privilege, fetishism of violence, and a demonstrably false interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Guns kill more than 30,000 Americans every year.


If you’re going to name your rock band after one of the greatest civilizations in human history, then you should really rock like a superpower.

This wussy pop folk trio, on the other hand, should be a band with no name. Now a mere duo consigned to the casino circuit, their 45-year oeuvre boasts just one good song (“Sister Golden Hair”) and one remarkable acoustic guitar riff stuck in an otherwise unfortunate tune (“Ventura Highway”).

America? More like Weed, California.

History, politics, education, music, culture. Award-winning high school teacher, former principal. College instructor. Seahawks Diehard. Twitter: @brian_mrbmkz

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