What’s Wrong With the World Today, Part Eleventy Billion

People keep asking how we got here. How we, the noble citizens of a once proud nation, came to find ourselves in a situation where demonstrators in Wisconson have to protest in order to keep collective bargaining for unions. How we can find billions of dollars for two land wars in Asia, but can’t find a few million to provide universal healthcare.

I’ll tell you how: because we’d rather build a statue of Robocop.

What started out as a joke on Twitter, turned into a Kickstarter campaign that, in less than a week, has raised over $60,000 to build a statue of a fictional character in one of the country’s most beleaguered cities. I could think of a few dozen things to spend 60K on in Detroit and statues aren’t on that list. But getting web-enabled irony overdosing hipsters to shell out $5 a piece for a statue of a gun toting robot is cool. We can do that. Feeding people is hard work. Employing them in jobs that are meaningful and allow them to live with dignity, even harder.

That’s 21st Century America for you. We’ll blow thousands on a statue, billions on a war but nothing to actually help people in need. We’ll redefine rape, try and and provide fetuses with human rights while stripping them from their mothers, but donate to your local library? Fuck that. Some kid might read Huck Finn and see the N word. A young woman might read something other than the Bible and get ideas in her head that she is more than just a walking womb to be fought over by men. Jesus may have liked the poor but extending unemployment benefits? That’s taking things a little too far don’t you think? I mean, symbolic gestures are alright, since they take almost no time or thought to complete and make you feel righteous. But helping someone in need? That’s communism, buddy. We don’t do that sort of thing in the US.

Not anymore.