June 19, 2010

Homo Americanus

Homo Americanus represents the silent, and invisible, majority. He has a notion of strife: he works hard for the money to feed his family and to fund his debt, but these are the limits of his horizons. Nine-to-fiving for the Man, this beige individual is probably intelligent enough to know that his existence is meaningless. To be a cog in the economy barely works as an identity when the machine is well-oiled. In rustier times, its vacuity is alarmingly apparent.

The self-aware variety is depressive and anxious, possibly angry (but restrained), and clings to the system, for he feels powerless to move within it, let alone effect change. The denial variety has a larger debt, for he fills his desolation with stuff. Cars, gadgets, bits and bobs – anything to inject some distraction into the day-to-day – that he can compare with the stuff belonging to others of his species (whom he calls ‘friends’). He drinks beer with these associates, grills, and goes to football and baseball. If he’s a bit higher up the tree, he’ll play golf, but only because one should.

A picture, for provocation's sake

Homo Americanus knows that something is wrong, but cannot exactly express what. He feels unrepresented by politicians, if not betrayed by them, and does not exactly know what America is fighting for (on various fronts). He is intrinsically patriotic, but is torn between an unquestioning allegiance and his nagging doubt. And still he works, and still he pays down his debt. Homo Americanus is inert. He is a quiet voice, getting on with things, such as they are. He despises American Macho, and anonymously posts comments on web forums about the obesity problem. He recognises, but does not know how to be, American Manly.


  1. That is a provocative picture. Michael Douglas believes that you should not be able to own a handgun, and he takes his views with him to the movies. The execrable movie from which this picture is taken is an extended anti-gun screed. Most of the "reasoning" behind it is exploded by the well-known "40 reasons to support gun control" collection of arguments, easily found through your favorite search engine.

  2. It just goes to show, one can never tell which way provocation will go. If anyone out there hasn't seen 'Falling Down', I recommend it. Far reaching critique in comic-book style.

  3. Homo Americanus...are you referring to what I think you're referring to?


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