There’s hardly anything more polarizing than asking a group of people what they think of the United States and the American way of life, whether they’re locals or not. On one side, you have the crowd that is 110% in support of B I G cars, cowboy-like freedom, and chants USA, USA, USA! every chance they get because it’s the land of opportunity and the best nation on God’s green Earth. On the other side, you have folks who believe that America is so profoundly flawed that it can’t ever do anything right and it’s just rushing towards disaster without any hope for redepmtion—they see only the downsides. Somewhere in the middle, you have the realistic moderates who see the US as a country full of potential and appreciate just how warm the people there are, but also see the need for change in key areas.
However, today we’re throwing moderation and realism out the window and embracing the over-the-top, the larger-the-life, and the we-have-more-freedom-than-you for the sake of humor. We’re featuring the best memes from the ‘Wow, That is VIOLENTLY American’ Facebook page, and the name really doesn’t lie. It’s a social media project that documents things that are as American as possible, viewed through the stereotypical lens of the internet. Scroll down for a good laugh, and tell us what you think America is all about in the comments, dear Pandas.
Warning: lots of satire incoming. Before we get started, just keep in mind that nobody’s making fun of the US here. It’s not about Democrat vs. Republican. We know that America is awesome. We also know that America has its share of deeply-concerning issues. However, it’s healthy to laugh at oneself once in a while and to learn to embrace the cultural weirdness in all of its glory.
Personally, I’m deeply thankful for having experienced so much of American culture firsthand. They’re honestly some of the most hard-working, welcoming people on the planet. They’d give you the shirts off their backs. And their education style is something that really works with who I am as an individual. For me, America is about freedom, respect, and the ability to follow whatever dreams you have, with very little outside interference. (I also grew to love the romantic image of the suburbs in the 1950s with white picket fences, but that’s really neither here nor there.)
It’s because I’ve got this appreciation for the US that I can be honest about the state of the country as a whole. There are some incredible upsides there that are dragged down by unfettered consumerism, widespread physical and mental health issues, and a sometimes perplexing perspective on healthcare, and the environment. To me, America is about paradox and the highs and lows of humanity. And it’s exactly because you love something that you want it to be better.
One major issue that constantly pops up on social media and in the news is the Kafka-esque approach the US has toward healthcare. It’s really a Mad Max-style, survival-of-the-fittest (or is that richest?) system where some sick and injured Americans refuse to go to the hospital because of the bills they’ll rack up, insured or not. There’s a real chance that you’ll be overcharged for your stay, whether intentionally or not, too.
Opponents of free healthcare tend to shout something about socialism and communism without taking a peek across the pond at how things work in Europe or, closer to their own borders, Canada and Mexico.
You shouldn’t have to go into debt because you took an ambulance to get your broken leg fixed is all we’re saying. Dr. Andrew Carroll, the CEO and Medical Director of Atembis LLC and a Family Physician, recently explained to Bored Panda what to do if someone feels like they were overcharged at the hospital, whether private or public.
“If it’s a private practice physician, it’s a good idea to discuss it with the billing staff or with the physician themselves. We have a vested interest in making our patients happy and hopefully continue to see us,” the doctor from Arizona told us.
“We do perform a lot of services during a visit, and some of them are paid for by separate codes and some of them are not. If you believe you have been billed fraudulently, always bring it up with the physician’s biller first. It’s easier to get it resolved that way,” he said.
However, if you happen to go to a public hospital for treatment or surgery, the issue can become much more difficult.
“Call the hospital billing department and ask them to explain the billing, and whether they’re willing to adjust or cancel billings, especially if you believe they were services that were not actually provided,” Dr. Carroll shared.
“If that fails, call your insurance company to dispute services, because your insurance company doesn’t want to pay that bill either. Finally, if you believe you have been billed fraudulently and have not gotten relief from the hospital or insurance company, you can call an attorney to help you out. Medicare also has a hotline for calling in fraudulent billing which you can use if you haven’t gotten relief,” he said.
Over 46k people follow the ‘Wow, That is VIOLENTLY American’ Facebook page, and we can see the appeal of being a long-term fan. The social media project is unapologetic in how it documents the most American things ever. It’s razor-sharp social commentary, packaged into memes. And, from what we understand, some Facebook users actually get offended at the satire and take things way too seriously. (All that stress seriously can’t be healthy.)
People who get offended at obvious satire and sarcasm probably belong in the same facepalm-worthy category as folks who clap when a plane lands. But poking fun at the latter is just going for low-hanging fruit, so we won’t poke fun at them. Besides, clapping on a plane isn’t just American—it’s international cringe and something quite a few different cultures have in common.
Polarization in the US is a huge issue because it reduces the chances for cooperation across the political divide when it comes to issues that affect the entire country. In fact, a study published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace found that no established democracy in recent history has been as deeply polarized as the United States.
The Atlantic draws attention to the fact that, until a few decades ago, Democrats and Republicans got along fine; they did not ‘hate’ each other as they do now. Currently, however, members of the two parties tend to think that each threatens the future of the country with its policies.
The Pew Research Center found that in the run-up to the 2020 presidential elections, 9 out of 10 supporters of either Joe Biden or Donald Trump thought that the opponent winning would cause “lasting harm” to the entire nation. In short, there’s less unity, and more Americans are at each others’ throats over what they see as fundamental, unbridgeable differences in values and aims. And it’ll take more than a list of funny memes about American culture to bridge that divide… but humor is as good a first step as any.
Source link Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
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