17 January 2014

America is NOT the greatest country

This is one of my blog posts of material that is not mine.  It comes from Wikiquotes, originally from the opening scene of the pilot episode of the HBO series The Newsroom entitled "We Just Decided Top", written by Aaron Sorkin, the show's creator, and spoken by the lead character Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels.  McAvoy is a burned out cable news anchor ratings whore appearing at Northwestern University sandwiched in between a talking head from the left sitting on his right and a talking head from the right sitting on his left.  After a ridiculous exchange between the left on his right and the right on his left, a student asks the panel "What makes America the greatest country?", to which both talking heads give meaningless answers.  When the emcee pins Will down for an answer, this is what results:

‘Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there's some things you should know, and one of them is, there's absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world.

‘We're 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports.

‘We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined. 25 of whom are allies.

‘Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year old college student. But you, nonetheless, are without a doubt a member of the worst. generation. Ever. So when you ask, “what makes us the greatest country in the world?” I dunno know what the fuck you're talking about. Yosemite?

‘We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in our last election. And we didn't... we didn't scare so easy. We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered.

‘First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.’

The following video from Youtube shows the whole scene: 

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