In which I Pretend to Take Buzzfeed Seriously

Normally, I would avoid listicles like this one like the plague, but oh, what the heck, let’s have a little fun and answer these allegedly hard-hitting questions:

1. Our flag is not on every corner, but we do happen to think our flag looks lovely, we are a patriotic lot, we enjoy flying it, and therefore, there is a proliferation of American flags in the United States. Hope that cleared things up for you.

2. We don’t supersize everything, but we certainly do believe in consumer choice, and as a consequence, if consumers want something supersized, we do our best to give it to them.

3. I don’t know. Ask Justin Bieber.

4. We are not against universal health care. In fact, many Americans are for universal health care. I happen to think that the best way to cover as many people as possible is to focus on cost and not universality. And it should be noted that any politician who says anything approximating “I don’t believe in universal health care” would substantially increase his/her chances of losing his/her next election.

5. If you can translate this question into English, I would be happy to answer it.

6. Oh, irony.

7. Unlike the terrorists whom we fight–and yes, they are terrorists–we do our utmost to avoid civilian casualties. Sometimes, we fail, and we are deeply sorry about that. But our failure is not for lack of effort or morals, and it should be noted that terrorists whom we fight–and again, yes, they are terrorists–oftentimes deliberately out the civilians they claim to care about in the line of fire so that if/when they are killed by military actions undertaken by enemies of terrorists, then the terrorists can try to claim some kind of grotesque, macabre propaganda victory. And of course, terrorism depends in significant and substantial part on deliberately targeting innocent civilians for murder in order to terrorize the rest of the targeted population. The United States does not do that, and that–among many other things–separates us from terrorist barbarism.

8. There is gun control. Even as the United Supreme Court affirmed an individual right to bear arms in D.C. v. Heller, it also affirmed that localities can pass laws regulating the ownership and use of firearms. Whether there is the specific kind of gun control that you would like is another matter altogether.

9. Because we believe in equal rights, liberty, democratic republicanism, and not treating other people like dirt simply because they come from a locality that you do not like.

10. While there is certainly a great deal of improvement to be desired from American media, the same could be said of media outlets all around the world. And for someone who accuses the American media of being “assumptive,” you appear to assume too much and paint the American media with too broad a brush.

11. We do question what we are told, whether the things we are told are by our own government, our own media, or by Canadians engaging in stereotypes. See what I did there?

12. There certainly is a middle ground in politics and attitudes, and if you knew anything about American politics, you would know that moderates and independents must be appealed to by any politician who wishes to win an election, especially one that is national in scope and consequence. To be sure, there is a lot of extremism on display, but that in large part is the consequence of the Internet and 24/7/365 cable news.

13. We are not all fat, but to be sure, there is an obesity problem in the United States. I imagine that there may be one as well in Canada, if Rob Ford is anything to go by. This obesity problem stems from the proliferation of fast food outlets, the relatively little time Americans feel they have to sit down and enjoy a nice, healthy, home cooked meal–eaten slowly, deliberately, and with pleasure taken from the digestion of every morsel of food–and the fact that unfortunately, there are people who don’t have sufficient monetary resources to go grocery shopping and purchase healthy food.

I hope this discussion was informative for Canadians who have a tendency to ask less-than-intelligent questions about the United States. The hardworking staff here at really does try to provide quality service with a smile.

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