We’ve become soft. Like Jell-O. You. Me. Everyone. America. Americans. Too fragile to breath in someone else’s cigarette smoke, ride a bike without a helmet, or play Texas hold ‘em without a pair of wraparound sunglasses. We’re turning into a nation of fearful twats, obsessed with tragic childhoods, lousy parents, career disappointments, social outrages, political grudges, and long lists of personal grievances that until recently were collectively known as the human fucking condition.
—To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies, and the Art of Extreme Tourism by Chuck Thompson
Our edges have been beaten away by trophies handed out just for showing up; schools that no longer make kids memorize multiplication tables; doctors who pass out brain meds like Skittles’ and therapists who indulge the public’s every impulse to whine and wallow in self-obsession. The pussifcation of America, promoted by corporate empires, with an interest in keeping the nation locked in a state of suspended me-me-me childhood, is especially insulting to anyone with a memory that stretches back to a time when comic books and superheroes were cultural mainstays only for those under twelve years old and our national leaders didn’t use words like “bad guys” to describe criminals, misfits, and ever third unlikeable foreigner.