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Top 10 reasons America Sucks

By Josh Schellenberg
On February 23, 2005

All right UConn, the moment you have been waiting for since last Wednesday has finally arrived - the top five reasons why America sucks.

Though we all say, "sucks," many do not know its actual meaning. Remember that we are using the official definition for sucks: "to be disgustingly disagreeable or offensive."

As a recap, let's go over reasons 10 through six from last week. At No. 10 is tipping. No. 9 is that Americans are cocky and arrogant. Our lack of a proper presidential candidate fills the No. 8 spot. No. 7 is that there are too many rural people that are overrepresented and No. 6 is that Americans work too hard and do not know how to relax. Now, let's continue the fun.

No. 5: America has good prices for nearly everything, but goods and services are usually of low quality. Think of the great number Americans who receive a free "cell phone" for signing up for a mobile plan. But, then the "phone" doesn't receive service everywhere it is supposed to or you drop the thing once and it doesn't work anymore. Is it really a cell phone then? No, it's just a piece of junk from Korea that's an illusion of a cell phone. But hey, at least you got it for free.

Europe may be expensive, but most goods and services are of much better quality. Garbage Kyocera "cell phones" from Korea can't penetrate European markets because the people demand and expect quality. Even McDonald's tastes better in Holland. And in most cases, the Dutch cashiers speak better English! Now that fact, which I have found from my own experiences, proves how America can be "disgustingly disagreeable or offensive," and therefore sucks.

The No. 4 reason why America sucks is that the United States is environmentally unfriendly. The rest of the rich world looks toward the future with the Kyoto treaty and gasoline taxes to become more sustainable. However, President George W. Bush, along with most Americans, refuses to change. Everyone is terrified of having to pay more for energy and gasoline. I could continue, but most people know about this problem, including how it results in America's addiction to foreign oil. As the list heats up we get to No. 3 - in the United States, sex is unmentionable and any amount of nudity is taboo. We all remember the Janet Jackson ordeal at last year's Super Bowl. Our fanatical attitude toward sex and nudity is precisely why she did it. She knew it would get her a lot of publicity. I'm not saying we should all be able to walk around naked, but come on, we've all seen a naked breast before. It's no big deal.

Continuing on the subject of sex, the fact that children need sexual education classes in fourth grade proves that sex is unmentionable in America for most people. Even parents cannot mention anything about the subject and need the school to teach their kids about the birds and the bees instead. It's quite offensive.

Let me tell you a story about the urinal that changed my life. It helped me further realize America's disagreeable attitude toward sex. Walking the crowded streets of Holland during Carnival two weeks ago, I came across a four-sided urinal in the middle of the street. Guys could just walk up, pee in one of the quadrants and just walk on. It was an efficient, beautiful thing that would never be allowed in the United States.

Much of America's attitude toward sex is due to No. 2 - America is too religious and is controlled by the rabid, Evangelical Christians of the south. Everyone knows this fact from the last election, so let me point out some examples of how Europe is much different on the matter of religion.

Though Europe is scattered with thousands of huge churches and other religious icons, it is a very secular region. Europeans know that religion has caused nothing but problems in the past, so they have found other uses for their beautiful churches.

The cathedrals of Italy and other parts of Europe are huge tourist attractions. In Cuijk, Holland where my family lives, the local hooligans, my cousin and I use the church stoop as a spot to hang out, drink beer and partake in other more elicit activities because it is conveniently located next to our favorite pub. It also has a nice nook for concealing yourself while urinating.

In the city of Utrecht, where I am currently staying, one of the cathedrals was turned into an apartment building! Maybe doing the same on the UConn campus could help alleviate the housing shortage. Oh wait, never mind, that would never happen in the United States because spending money on more churches takes priority.

And finally, drum roll please. The No. 1 reason why America sucks - the most disgustingly disagreeable and offensive feature to the American way of life - is that the drinking age is 21.

This stupid law rips the social fabric of our nation into halves. On one side are those who are 21 along with those who are willing to risk using a fake ID. On the other side of the divide are the majority of college students who are under 21. At UConn, this group of students is forced, yes, forced, to risk their lives by walking down dark roads or trails to get a drink at a party.

In Europe, a drink at the pub follows nearly every college event or club meeting because the drinking age is only 16. Three days of orientation activities at the university is boring, right? Not when everyday ends with a relaxing drink and a chance to get to know your fellow students. Think how much of a better orientation UConn could have if a little drinking were allowed at the end of the day.

I'm not saying the drinking age should be 16. The age of 18 is more reasonable in America so nearly all college students can go to the pub, thus dissipating the social divide.

Well folks, that's the end of the list. I hope you all, like me, have thought about how we can make America a better place by first learning how it sucks.

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