You don’t need context to chant “USA!”May 9, 2011
“I noticed something weird,” says Anonymous Doug.
“Like how the majority of women’s fashion is geared toward the not-wearing of socks?” I say. “Or at least the appearance of not wearing socks?”
“No… but that is kind of strange,” says Anonymous Doug.
“Yeah, what is up with that?” I say.
“What I’m talking about is what most Americans did after hearing they killed Osama bin Laden,” says Anonymous Doug. “Crowds of people started doing the USA chant. They were celebrating the death of the mastermind behind 9/11 with the same chant that we use to cheer on Olympic athletes.”
“USA is a very versatile chant,” I say. “We are fortunate as a nation to have a chant that can be used for pretty much any situation.”
“I think there’s such a thing as too versatile,” Anonymous Doug says. “I wouldn’t want to use something that could be used as furniture polish and a contraceptive device. Yeah, it’s convenient to not have to buy separate canisters of polish and contraceptive jelly, but I don’t want my junk smelling of lemon Pledge.”
“Like a Hallmark card that can be used for any occasion,” I say. “Birthdays, weddings, funerals, get well soon, sorry you miscarried yet again. Convenient for the card-giver, sure, but for the card-receiver it kind of cheapens the sentiment.”
“Yeah, how much national pride can you have with a chant that’s used for so many things?” says Anonymous Doug.
“Actually the USA chant, while looking like it’s for many things, is really only being used for one thing,” I say. “It’s pretty much our nation’s way of yelling Fuck You in a nationalistic manner. Do you remember the 1980 Miracle on Ice?”
“Vaguely,” says Anonymous Doug. “The years 1975-1988 are kind of hazy for me.”
“Well, that’s when the USA chant broke into the mainstream,” I say. “It was pretty much us telling the Soviets to fuck themselves in a sport they had previously dominated. And after that, we kept it around to use to wag our figurative American balls in other countries’ faces like some asshole on XBox Live taunting people he’s killed in a rousing Halo deathmatch.”
“And what is more American than yelling fuck you at others?” says Anonymous Doug, understandingly nodding. “So it’s a chant of national pride masking a middle finger. I know most chants of that nature do that already, I just didn’t think Americans would be so subtle about it.”
“It’s good to balance your balls-out bombasticness with some clever sneakiness sometimes,” I say. “Keeps people on their toes.”
So we’ll continue to use the USA chant where appropriate, and where inappropriate as well. Because we fucking can.