The Land of the Free and the Home of the Blame

It’s been a minute since Nero smoked Rome into an urn, but I’m fairly certain Emperor V would relate to modern times just fine. I wouldn’t be surprised if he curses the fact he never got to headline a reality show, drop an album or run for the highest office in the land; CEO of Google.

And while our empire hasn’t fallen just yet, it’s becoming painfully obvious that we’re headed for the on-deck circle. Our republic is a mess of contradictions with ministers of misinformation having become the ruling class; their subjects intent on turning civil discourse into steel cage matches.

It wasn’t that long ago we marveled at the prospects of an information age that would usher in knowledge the way water fountains once delivered us drinking water. We were gonna be smarter than ever, Easy Bake style. This incremental change to our monolithic reference centers was akin to a roiling thunder whose portent we didn’t fully comprehend until the lightning strike provided us the ugly truth.

We killed the fountainhead.

So here we are, with elected officials whose platforms are built on the kind of shit-for information that would’ve gotten me tossed from my high school newspaper. And it’s okay (sic) because they have numbers; countless sycophants on the left, right and center who are only too eager to torch the other guy’s yard. Even if it means losing everything else in the process. Why concern ourselves with getting it right when being right feels so much better? It’s all about the end-zone, baby.

This absurdist portrait has snaked its way into every facet of our society. Millionaire ballers lecture us on social responsibility with bumper sticker slogans whilst hitting the snooze on their misbehaving peers. Reality show characters cry about the ills of celebrity when most people wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a lineup. Judges have traded in their day jobs for television gigs while jurors have become sensationalist authors.

This collective has nothing in common, excepting for the one thing they really shouldn’t; they’re never, ever wrong. And when that never ever calls them on that impossible wager? No problemo . . . they’ll just blame everybody else.

The Dallas Cowboys lost a game earlier this month thanks to some boneheaded play calling and a slew of high priced talent that always seems to come up small in the biggest moments. After which they held themselves accountable for the loss. Just kidding! No, they broke out the 134 year-old handbook penned by Ernest Thayer and they blamed the refs. Which is like blaming the local meteorologist after your boat capsizes in a storm.

Trumpists blame Joe Biden for losing the 2020 election, and those crooked suits at Dominion Voting Systems, and socialist operatives, communist wannabes . . . and the Dementors, them too. Okay, I made that last one up, but I’m sure if I were to suggest such a thing to any member of the tin-foil posse, they’d Facebook that shit into gospel right quick.

Antonio Brown blames the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . . and the Patriots . . and the Raiders . . and the Steelers . . . and dammit AB! Randall McMurphy called and he wants his crazy back, ayt? Aaron Rodgers is blaming the media for “fear porn” (I will admit, I’m jealous of the phrase because I think it’s fucking brilliant). Baker Mayfield blames social media and a torn labrum for why the Browns behaved like, well . . the Browns. On a positive note, Odell Beckham Jr. ain’t got a soul to blame since being released from that Cleveland gulag. He’s balling and his Rams are thisclose to awakening the echoes of Vermeil, Warner and Warren Beatty.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell blames the democrats for blocking his impaired vision of democracy. AOC blames the republicans’ sexual hang-ups for creeping her out to such a degree that she’ll only appear on the cover of Vanity Fair every other month. Newt Gingrich blames Nancy Pelosi for the Capitol riot. And as if things weren’t comical enough, President Biden blames Spider-Man for like, everything. I procured that last story from an impeccable source: SNL.

Nicki Minaj blames her cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles when asked for a reason as to why she won’t get vaccinated. And I’m super thankful I didn’t read that story until after I got vaxxed. Jennie Nguyen blames her social media team for racist posts on her Instagram page and I gotta admit I was at a loss since I have no blessed idea what Jennie Nguyen is famous for. Zach Galifianakis blames the Trump presidency on America’s obsession with celebrity, which he refers to as a “mental illness”. Tell you what. We’re in some pretty deep shit when the star of those Hangover movies chimes in as the voice of reason.

I had a dream the other night that Yogi Berra was belting out Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods whilst I was reading about a deadly microbe called Andromeda that was sweeping the globe. And . . it’s not the only reason I bypassed the green bananas when I went grocery shopping, but it didn’t hurt.

Can you blame me?

75 thoughts on “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Blame

  1. This is your best treatise yet, Pilgrim. So, here’s the deal. I will take the lead from your discussion and start blaming folks. I blame Trump for being such an ass that the population elected Biden, who is constantly showing his own cheeks. I blame the networks for all the sports fiascoes. If we couldn’t see the games, maybe the players of those games would just play the games without the drama. I blame the media for the news. If there were no media, there would be no news, and we would all be happier.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. B,

    Dammit. John beat me to the punch! As you know, and I shall repeat every single time, this is your finest writing. Your prose so eloquent and with just the right amount of bite delights me.

    I feel ill-equipped to add any cents, never mind my two to this already well-delivered treatise (to use John’s word).

    I shall, however, add that the Blame Game seems to be the most popular and in-demand one out there. I’m trying to think of an occasion where one who fucked up actually admitted they did. None come to mind.

    Brilliant exposé, once again!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love, Home of the Blame. I’ve never seen anything like it. What happened to…the buck stops here? I can’t handle the news anymore, there’s just no integrity. The Hamils and Breslins, gone forever. Let’s toss in E.R Murrow and Eric Severied with a Walter Cronkite chaser. Biden best watch his back, that’s all I can say.

    As for our fellow countrymen, they’ve traded in our amber waves of grain for ratings and more cash in everyone’s pocket. I am very disheartened to say the least. This was very well-written and humbling, your heart on your tender sleeve.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I blame Trump for releasing the Kraken in the form of racist nazi white supremest assholes. I also blame him for forcing the moderates to call out the far left to help us rid our country of Trump and his attack on democracy. Un fortunately once the Kraken is released it’s not so easy to force him back under the word work. Our democracy is in big trouble thanks to the former disgraced president and his thug followers. So there. Thank you for a great narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The racial component to all of this is really not brought up and it needs to be. Then again, the other side is just going to cry foul and dismiss it out of hand. But there IS a racial component to all of this and it began with that inane MAGA slogan that boasted about how great things were . . . back when gay people were being beat up for holding hands in the street and the N word was still an accepted thing and . . . on and on and on.

      And when you clap back with this, those fools believe it’s an anti-American backlash. Bullshit.

      I just wish Hilary or Joe or SOMEBODY would have put that MAGA shit to bed by saying something to the effect of . . . In a true democracy, we do not look behind us to find greatness. We look ahead of us.

      Liked by 2 people

      • MAGA represents the very worst of America. . For months a nearby neighbor has erected the most vulgar display you could imagine in his front yard , a banner hanging between two American flags , I’ll spare you the details but believe me the idea of putting that up where children pass by it everyday is revolting and personifies the lowest of the low white trash. 6 years ago that would have been completely unacceptable because society would not allow it to remain in a residential neighborhood, but it remains protected under free speech.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve hit so many nails on the head with this one. As a nation, we have become a toddler. Stomping our feet and failing at the most basic of responsibilities — self-responsibility.

    We’re experiencing full-on rage and blame while Rome burns. I don’t have a lot of optimism about where this country is going to be 20-30 years from now. If not sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like you!
    I would never blame you!
    Still, I don’t really understand all you speak of.
    So many tie ins with sports, and I know not much about sports.
    The Empire.., I get that!

    Charles Bronson would get that. He was a gunner in WWII. I know cause he told me, when he saw the paratrooper pin on my purse. I had just finished a Vietnam movie.

    The network sent me down to visit and get his approval. I was to design the costumes for the upcoming MOW -Family Of Cops III.

    He lived on a mountain in Malibu. There was no real road.. only a dry kinda creek bed, which was not dry.

    A taxi took me up, and dropped me across the mucky creek bed, from his ranch.

    I had 4,5 bolts of fabric from his tailor on Rodeo Drive. I ended up lugging the bolts across the creek.
    When I got to his gates, I saw the courtyard was of spotless terrazzo.
    Somehow, I was let in.

    The carpet was white. Everything was white. At least I could take my shoes off.

    Kim and Charles greeted me in their whiter than white sunken living room.

    They motioned for me to sit on the white couch.

    Blurp! I had my period, and was having an accident. I pulled my butt up onto the couch… the scary part hanging over, onto the white rug.

    In the end, I survived any horror.

    There’s more to this story, but for now, I want to say he was a true American. I admired him for all he did for his country, which is a helluva lot more than what he did in the film industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like you too, Resa. And you can do no wrong in my book.

      Oh my GOD Resa! I’m sorry but I was laughing as I read this. Sorry about that.

      Bronson was from another time. He didn’t talk about being a patriot, he just was one. A lesson that could be valuable to all these fools who watch cable news and think it makes them one.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sit back, relax… let the calm flow through your veins… Slowly… Slowly. Breathe in… Breathe out… Feel the universe relaxing…. The planets are moving away… Moving away… Slowly… Breathe in… Breathe out… And then SCREAM BLOODY MURDER!!! Feel better?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oooo. You so nailed this one, and in the most delightful way (you know that’s Mary Poppins’s spoonful of sugar?)

    I’m not sure why you bother with pro sports and reading (worse, watching) “news” is pretty much asking to be brainwashed.

    Carry on.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You stopped me in my tracks with one of the best reads in a long time. Home of the Blame is perfect – which would be a good motto to put on money. Meanwhile, I’m so stunned at the brilliance of this essay, I’m speechless. OK … I’ll blame Fox News for that because I don’t watch them. (Secret – I did watch some to see Kiran Chetry many years ago – so I can blame her for those moments of mental lapse. But there’s good news – I didn’t listen)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is a freaking gawd damn amazing reflection on life in ‘Murica. And it breaks my heart that no one seems willing to accept responsibility for the current state of affairs. At least you manage to state the obvious by pointing out what the heck is wrong with society these days. Now to find someone not interested in making a bundle on Cryptocurrency or their own shallow ego and actually make a positive difference without cheesing off everyone in the bunker state. We gotta quit channelling Howard Beale 24/7.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It happened upon me much the same way a Mack truck happens upon a poor critter in the middle of nowhere. BOOM!

      Responsibility? Wazzat?

      The Crypto Squad ain’t answering the phone and Mt. Liberty’s belly is rumbling. We need the hugest glass of water in the history hugest glasses.

      Howard Beale is on the air . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Awesome write. Maybe Dementors are behind all of it, ever think of that? Figure look, with social media, the extreme unaccountable dingbats have a louder and somewhat more convincing voice than ever before, but that’ll erode over time. People are too smart to believe this bugnuttery.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey M – I have a feeling that if I read this post before my recent rant on culture with my Guitar Hotel – it would have changed what I wrote – not sure how – but I know if this had been in my mind at the time I would have modified (or at least linked this post because what you wrote here was part of what I was getting at with the gambling and celebrity worship I mentioned)
    and smiling at how the reality starts could get picked from a line up – lol

    almost feel on the floor laughing with the star of Hangover movies as voice of reason – but I must say I am with Nicki on the fax and testicles – because there are so MANY bad effects of the vaccine (almost on its fourth friggin booster too because it is not a vaccine yet, it is till an epxoeriemaal shot that is not ready for market – IMHO) and my favorite line is
    “If there is risk there should be choice”
    and the heart problems and deaths are not as rare as they say – and we don’t know long term fallout yet either – so I am with NM on this….

    And then of course with all of your wit and playful slams you sometimes just go so deep (deep into the end zone baby) – like with this:
    “countless sycophants on the left, right and center who are only too eager to torch the other guy’s yard. Even if it means losing everything else in the process. Why concern ourselves with getting it right when being right feels so much better? It’s all about the end-zone, baby.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • The dementors kinda lost some of their shock value, what with all the other crap that’s supposed to terrorize us these days.

      Bloggers huh? They can be sketchy . . .


  13. You’re right, we all just blame the “others” (whoever our personal others happen to be) for all the problems of the world. It’s immature and it doesn’t help anything, but that seems to be the trend.

    Liked by 1 person

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