by Adam Engel
November 4, 2003
(Winner of the Jericho Junior High School Essay Contest)
Topic: But when you say you neither love nor hate "America," what do you mean? What is "America?"
America is a joint-stock company shared by various transnational corporations.
America is a brutal hyper-state (of mind?) that won’t accept Tragedy unless it falls out of a plane.
America is a saber-toothed beast gobbling resources and farting poison into an already exhausted environment, the death of which will mean the death of America.
America is my Grandmother’s home-made matzo balls and Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage.
America stole my heart and mailed it to my wife (she keeps it hidden and won’t say where -- it is the only secret between us).
America killed my mother with Darvocet and lawyers.
America called me a “dirty Jew” then sent 3 billion dollars to a guy named Eretz Israel. I don’t care what America calls me I just wish it would stop confusing me with that gun nut, Eretz, who stole my Grandma’s matzo balls then claimed the recipe wasn’t hers at all: it belonged to God, who left the box of index cards containing ALL of grandma’s recipes (including the Marshmallow Rice Krispy Treats) to Eretz Israel when He died.
America let me finger her that week my parents went away and left me to baby sit my sweet, demented Grandfather the Summer of 1980. My first encounter with a GENUINE REAL LIVE PUSSY came quite unexpectedly and afterwards we ordered in Chinese (mooshu chicken, I think, and egg rolls).
One colorful late Spring evening in America I pitched a shut-out in the Little League play-offs and they let me keep the game ball (I have it still).
America fooled me into thinking I needed yet more education and more and more and now I owe the bank my life. Thank you America for teaching me hard lessons (I guess that’s what you meant by “education”).
America raped my girlfriend in high school (I knew it was you America so I beat you bloody in the hallway it took two Gym Instructors and the Football Coach to pull me off – I would have killed you, America – but really, did beating you change anything at all?)
America wouldn’t print my article and I got scooped by the “rival” paper and demanded to know why so the editor opened the morning edition to the advertisement paid for by the company I was investigating and America laughed so hard it fell out its chair.
I loved getting drunk in the back of the Datsun listening to “Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out” real loud while manic, coked-out America sped down Jericho Turnpike at eighty-something miles an hour and did “donuts” in the parking lot.
America applauded when I shot a duck, a sparrow, a rabbit, a gardener and a two door Fiat with my pellet gun (age twelve).
America taught me to throw a wicked curve when I was thirteen; I struck out batter after batter till my arm blew out. . “You know, you shouldn’t be throwing curve balls at least until you’re seventeen,” said America. “Your body’s not developed yet.”
America opened her innermost to me when I was seventeen. It felt weird because of the rubber -- like a cold, dead fish between me and America.
America is a huge chunk of stolen property on which 280 million people live along with animals and plant life. The plants and animals are disappearing.
America’s so angry and depressed it’s killing itself and the world.
America can be reached at email@example.com
* MAN Talk