All that damn entitlement leads to willfully-imposed ignorance.

It takes nothing more than a good presidential election to illuminate our qualities as a nation and sound them out to the world like Mark Ruffalo on a bullhorn. There is the left and the right and the label-averse independents, but after distilling our world-view into sound bites, the networks have been successful above all else in making us seem like a simple people. Simple, basic Americans.

I mean, us, the unique and intelligent individuals who think for ourselves and don’t buy into the newsfeed bullshit, we’re not simple, we’re not basic. Yeah, yeah. All it will take is Apple releasing the 7 to have us lining up like cows to feed.

The whole basic thing is thoroughly played out, but so are those basic qualities of entitlement, questionable self-awareness and devotion to materialism. Yet, it sure seems like America finds pleasure in them.

It’s probably a money thing. We, Americans, base our world status on GDP, under the assumption that wealth equals just about everything. We’re like a global Martin Shkreli, unrepentant about a single-minded desire for profit, and pretty fucking thrilled with ourselves that we can afford Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

But money is inherently irrelevant… it’s the status that money brings which makes all the difference. Whether it’s having the cash to buy a few more Predator drones for the fleet or a Hermes handbag for next Friday night, it’s the money which leads to the status, and the status which leads to entitlement. Sometimes it seems like America’s the person who walks into a conversation and within thirty seconds they’re doing all the talking. Talking about taking over a theoretical conversation is amusing, but when it’s the G7 and the Micronesian nation of Palau is literally out of fresh water, it’s hard to laugh.

All that damn entitlement leads to willfully-imposed ignorance. Climate scientists sound like Jane Goodall telling a troop of lowland gorillas about a dangerous valley, where poachers are waiting to cut off their hands and turn them into ashtrays, but they go anyway because the food is good.

Whatever empirical evidence there is indicating a path matters only when we Americans want to hear it. The Earth? Fuck it. Polar bears? Fuck them, too. Well, hold on… if climate change affects Ethiopian coffee production, then I care. I mean, that light roast aroma.

It might just take a little more self-awareness to get it all smoothed out. Take, for example, the opening monologue of the HBO show Newsroom, when Jeff Daniels goes on a statistical rant about our country’s ranking amongst the developed world in categories like education and infant mortality. While this stuff gets quoted at liberal gatherings like Warren Buffett in freshman finance courses, there’s a lot of truth to it. And yet, most of us continue to circle up and give each other handjobs while insisting that America is number one.

It’s definitely too gracious to say that older countries have it all figured out. But America has dyed its teenage-hair grey, giving an appearance of wisdom and longevity, when in all reality our tits haven’t even begun to sag. We’re a pop star, with rich producers running the sound board, a pretty face in the form of our abundant natural resources and an unchecked desire for the spotlight. Pop stars are shitty role models. The money-men behind them like quick returns on their investment. Nothing more.

Listen. The future is dictated by our desires, the past informs the consequences of these desires, and the present is a balancing act between the two. Priorities, priorities, priorities. Right now, humble is not a word that tops the list when describing our nation. Maybe it should.