— We want big. We want fast. We want far. We want now. We want 345
horsepower in a V-8 engine and 15 miles per gallon on the highway.
behemoths. We drive them alone. This country was not built on H.O.V.
have limits. We have liberties.
If we don't
wear our seat belts, it doesn't matter, because we have air bags. If
the air bags don't deploy, it doesn't matter, because our cars are so
beefy, we'll never get bruised. If we need to widen the streets for our
all- wheel drives, we will. If we need to reinforce all the bridges in
the country, so that they don't buckle and collapse under our
5,800-pound S.U.V.'s, our engineers will do that.
We'll bake the
earth. We'll brown & serve it, sauté it, simmer it, sear it,
fondue it, George-Foreman-grill it. (We invented the Foreman grill.) We
might one day bring the earth to a boil and pull it like taffy. (We
seas obliterate the coasts, our marine geologists will sculpt new ones
and Hollywood will get bright new ideas for disaster movies. If we get
charred by the sun, our dermatologists will replace our skin.
If the globe
gets warmer, we'll turn up the air-conditioning. (We invented
air-conditioning.) We'll drive faster in our gigantic, air-conditioned
cars to the new beaches that our marine geologists create.
We will let
our power plants spew any chemicals we deem necessary to fire up our
Interplaks, our Krups, our Black & Deckers and our Fujitsu
drill for oil whenever and wherever we please. If tourists don't like
rigs off the coast of Florida, they can go fly fishing in Wyoming. We
won't be deterred by a few Arctic terns. We don't care about caribou.
We don't care for cardigans. Give us our 69 degrees, winter and summer.
Let there be light — no timers, no freaky- shaped long-life bulbs. (We
invented the light bulb.)
We want our
refrigerators cold and our freezers colder. Bring on the freon. Banish
those irritating toilets that restrict flow. When we flush, we flush
all the way.
perfect the dream of nuclear power. We will put our toxic waste
wherever we want, whenever we waste it. We have whole states with
nothing better to do than serve as ancestral burial grounds for our
effluvium. It can fester in those wide open spaces for thousands of
have the biggest, baddest missiles, and we will point them in any
direction we like, across the galaxies, through eternity, forever and
thrust as many satellites as we want into outer space, and we will
surround them with a firewall of weapons for their protection.
guarantee broadband and fast connections to the Internet. We will not
permit anybody, anywhere, at any time to threaten the delivery of all
the necessities to computers, Palm Pilots and BlackBerrys: stock
quotes, sports scores, real estate listings, epicurean.com recipes,
porn. (O.K., so we didn't invent porn.)
space, and protecting satellites, we ensure life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness — our 500 TV channels drawn from the ether.
secure the inalienable right of every citizen driving by himself in his
big car to be guided by a global positioning system. Nobody should have
to call in advance for directions to a party when the satellite can
show the way.
modify food in any way we want and send it to any country we see fit at
prices that we and we alone determine in the cargo ships we choose at
the time we set.
international banking arm — the World Bank and the I.M.F. — will
support whatever dictatorships suit us best.
We will fly
up any coast of any nation on earth with any plane filled with any
surveillance equipment and top guns that we possess.
build superduperjumbo jets so Brobdingnagian that runways will be
crushed under their weight at the most congested airports in the
history of aviation. (We invented aviation.)
buy, carry, conceal and shoot firearms whenever and wherever we want,
as is our constitutionally guaranteed right. (We invented the
Constitution.) We will kill any criminal we want, by lethal injection
or electrocution. (We invented electricity.)
20, 2001 Copyright
2001 The New York Times Company