Thursday, October 11, 2007

Am I America?!

The 80s gave us "We Are The World", a strange rendition of charity sung by pop star sensations (USA for Africa). How can you, rolling in money rich celebs, be the world, and yet cannot overcome world hunger? Are there just not enough Burger Kings and McDonalds in Africa to satiate our world? Sad, indeed.

Being the world was way too much to shoulder in the 80s. Just look at the effect it has on our pop stars, even today. Rehab is becoming a booming industry. Maybe we are expecting too much from our celebs.

Luckily, this decade is giving us I Am America (And So Can You). I applaud that Stephen Colbert is America. It takes a lot to be America. And I don't know if I could do that. This offer that I can, too, is a bit scary. I don't know if I want that. To be America, or not to be, is that a question we really should be asking? The thought just scares me.

So, the book I Am America was released this week. A mix of uber-ego and self-help. For some reason, I read the title as either a bold American hero claiming his 'right'ful (conservative exulting) title, or America in a 10-step program.

I haven't purchased it, yet. Don't know if I will. I recall a famous person once said "I don't trust books. They're all fact, no heart."

Is this a fact book? I think it is the work of fiction, because there is no way I can be America. Ironically, all I hear on the radio as I type this is Bryan Adams' "Straight from the Heart." Maybe this could be the first heart book ever published. Irony doesn't work in a vacuum, so it has to be true. "Behold the only printed word to be trusted." Yes, it must be.

I must think too much. And thinking leads to fear. This is not a book to think about. The title says it all: I Am America. A bold statement. No thought whatsoever behind it. Yet, even more bold is the statement in parenthesis: (And So Can You). It's just like the Dr. Pepper commercials from the 80s: "Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?" Why, if you put it that way, yes, I would.

Am I America? Sure. I Am America. Free and brave. I think...

Someday I might get up the courage to buy the book, but reading it? That's another story. A hero's story.