America, You’re Being Kind of Weird.

America, we need to talk.

No, not you, people of America, although maybe I could buttonhole you later about the inexplicable continuing popularity of the Real Housewives franchise.

And no, not even you, North Carolina General Assembly, sneaking your late-night Texas-sized abortion restrictions into your goofy anti-sharia law bill (we’ll talk later too).

I’m talking to you, monolithic “America” of the federal government with all your eerie spying stuff going on. And though it pains me to say it, it’s mostly you, President Obama.

At first I thought, it’s not you, it’s me. I was a fan-girl. I sported my Obama car magnet like a good hope and change team player. But in the last few weeks, I realized, it is you.

You’ve become the creepy stalker girlfriend who starts rifling through your caller ID and challenges you about calls from your mom. “Who is she?!” you demand to know. “Why does she call so much??” It’s starting to weird me out.

I’m breaking up. I mean, I’m not ready to see other people yet, but the car magnet? I tossed it, even though I’m stuck with a gross circle of baked-on dirt on the back of my minivan where it used to be.

See, I thought stuff like this … the whole spying on your own citizens thing … I kinda thought those things were on your Change Punch List.

Do you really need to know about all of the things?

Did you see my Google search for “bloat”? I’m sorry if that upset you, but sometimes these things happen to perimenopausal women. (Did you see how I went to WebMD afterward? And then how I thought I was pretty sure I was going to die? Sure you did. You’ve seen me do that a million times. Someday we’ll laugh and laugh and laugh about it).

Did your stomach rumble a little when I sent Matt an urgent text to bring me home a s’mores Blizzard® before its reign as June Blizzard of the Month® ended? Don’t worry. July is “Lemon Meringue Pie” and I’m not very excited about it, so you won’t have to sit through a text like that again until at least August.

You’re even photographing snail mail now! Did you enjoy my daughter’s letter home from camp? In case you didn’t see it (Ha! Of course you saw it!), she outlines in mind-numbing detail her daily schedule (“First there’s flag-raising, then recycled arts, then riding, then swimming, then….”) Even my eyes glazed over a bit, and I’m her mother.

Anyway, do you really think the terrorists are sending handwritten letters to each other? Let me save you some time: It’s 10% parents forging their kids’ thank you notes, 10% belated Hallmark cards, and 80% Valpaks stuffed with shitty coupons. Nothing to see here.

Do you not see how Orwellian this is?

Do you not see how the path to freedom can’t be down the road of less freedom?

Do you get why this is pissing us off? It’s not because we’re not patriots. It’s because we are. It’s because the whole thing reeks so much of what we’ve always fought against. How is this any different from Soviet-era secret police monitoring their citizens’ conversations?

I mean, I know it’s been (ahem) over 20 years since I went to law school, but on what Scalia-shaped “I hate the right to privacy” planet is this constitutional?

Sure, I was a little disappointed when I learned that Edward Snowden took the NSA job in order to unearth secrets and leak them. I was hoping we could make a suspenseful movie about how he was all gung-ho on fighting terrorists and then slowly became disillusioned to the point where his spirit broke and he went all Karen Silkwood on your ass. And he would be played by Ryan Gosling, because why not.

But really? Charging him with espionage? Let me spell it out for you: You were spying on me. So while Snowden enjoys his time in the Moscow airport (where I am pretty sure he is suffering enough because I am almost positive they don’t have Cinnabon there), y’all are going to have to face a pretty angry populace who may think he is a punk but is damn glad he’s our punk.

There’s a saying in law: You don’t get to pick your witnesses. Sometimes, you are stuck with the snitch crack dealer, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t clearly see you hit and run that kid on the bike.

And right now, America? I’m feeling like that kid.

key 4th

Happy Independence Day! Yeah, we’re not really sure what country’s flag that is either. Let’s just call it America’s.


Linking up to the yeah write Moonshine Grid!

About Cindy Reed

I hate pants.
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31 Responses to America, You’re Being Kind of Weird.

  1. Funny, witty and bitterly true – a nicely struck balance. If only it were fiction, like Orwell…

  2. Cheryl says:

    Wonderful article Cindy

  3. Ack! I don’t want it to be true! I’m in denial. It isn’t true! Lalalalalala!

  4. Debbie says:


  5. I’m not allowed to comment on the substance because of my job. But damn I hate the coupons in those Val packs.

  6. Very well said. Although with Gitmo, it’s congress that’s been blocking Obama.

    On another point, I missed your posts and am delighted to be getting them again. Happy 4th!

    • The Reedster says:

      Joyce – I am so happy I finally fixed my subscriber email plug-in so my posts are going out again! Also, updated my post to remove the Gitmo reference – thanks for alerting me I’ll have to do a separate: Congress still sucks post.

  7. Cynthia says:

    Great post, Cindy. And SO appropriate and meaningful this INDEPENDENCE Day!

  8. DonettaS says:

    It would be humiliating for someone to read the emails my daughter sent back from 4-H camp. I’m being ‘mom’, asking, “Brush your teeth honey?” She is being 10 going on 20, with replies such as, “Duh mom. Is Bear ok?” Bear being the dog. Great post. Meaningful and in a way to catch attention! I love it.

    • The Reedster says:

      My daughter is also most interested in the dog as well. Also, I just had a text conversation with my husband about what time McDonalds stops serving breakfast. Did you hear me, NSA? It’s 10:30 on weekdays, 11am on weekends. Just FYI.

  9. Stacie says:

    You are awesome. Do you think he’s spying on your thong underwear?

  10. I love your way with words. Regarding the subject, I just don’t know what to say anymore about anything :-/

  11. I love how you tweeted this to @BarackObama. Way to model your #31dbbbDay3 advice :)

  12. Shannon says:

    Spot on post as usual. Can you tweet to @pmharper too?

  13. Carrie says:

    Whoa. Really good and really thought-provoking. And today is a friday which feels like a Monday and that’s not a day I do much thinking on.

    I do think a lot of eyes have been opened to a lot of stuff these last few years.

  14. The Dose of Reality says:

    Your snail mail breakdown had me ROLLING. Omg..SO funny. (I hadn’t even HEARD of the snail mail photography. UGH).

  15. wow. so sharp, clear and strong. so I’m now feeling, extremely complacent and uninformed. i might need to stop watching some housewives. crap.

  16. Erica M says:

    Snowden hasn’t been charged with espionage. He’s been charged with the things he’s done under the Espionage Act. There are provisions of the law he’s broken, and those are the charges he’s facing, not actual spying. Regardless of the outcome, it’s cool we get to say the word espionage all day. It’s always been one of my favorite words.

  17. TriGirl says:

    You are such a good writer! You made me enjoy reading about a really disheartening topic :) ‘Murica!

  18. Funny and biting. And newsworthy for me, since I get most of my political news from humor blogs. I find it to be the most truthful source. 😉

  19. mannahattamamma says:

    I’m a pretty committed Obamabot, I have to say, and I hate all this crap. Really really hate it. Hate that he’s authorized it, hate the fallout from it, hate the Right-wingnuts response to it: um, hello, boys, when you authorized the Patriot Act (way to misname) under Dubya, exactly WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN? I mean, they were all for spying on every damn person and now they’re against it because, you know, Obama. Was it I think Thomas Friedman who wrote about this NSA thing–or Paul Krugman–and talked about precisely the problem: what the NSA is doing sends Orwellian shivers up our spines…and then the great and terrible what if: what if some 9/11-ish terribleness happens that could have been avoided…along the lines of Dubya ignoring the various warning reports he got pre 9/11. I dunno. It feels complicated to me, and terrible that it seems complicated: I want it to be easy, good guys V bad buys, but it just doesn’t quite seem that way anymore. Insert deep sigh here. Barack, if you’re reading this response, please know that your loyal ‘bots are shaking their heads.

  20. This is brilliant!I loved your tone, too. Life is getting pretty creepy lately, and I expected so much more from Obama.

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