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In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . ..Number 9. . .September 11


Emotional Chaos
Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

December 28, 2003



Our nation was born on July 4, 1776 when we declared our independence from Great Britain, using, conveniently enough, the Declaration of Independence. After a long and bloody war usually referred to as "The Revolutionary War", "The American Revolution" or "The War of Northern Aggression" we won our freedom and established a new country. Once we were a nation we needed a government, so Congress was established and George Washington elected president. Washington was so popular that he could have been crowned king, but Congress had already spent the crown budget, so he settled for president. Plus, they agreed to name the capitol after him.

A story cherished by every schoolboy (at least those without an X-Box) is that on his deathbed on July 4, 1826, John Adams gasped, "Jefferson still survives!". Historians believed that he was referring to Thomas Jefferson, who had in fact died earlier that day. Those same historians feel that Adams missed it because he was too busy dying to turn on CNN. Today, we know that Adams was talking not talking about Thomas Jefferson but Weezie Jefferson from the popular TV show "The Jeffersons". Not only hadn't Weezie been born yet, historians have discovered that she was also fictional. And you wonder why historians get paid so much.

Thomas Jefferson was, of course, one of our greatest presidents. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence, he was also an architect, author, philosopher, gentleman farmer and a talented spoon player. In 1803 he made what we now call the "Louisiana Purchase" or "Seward's Folly". (Seward was actually destined to be criticized for the Alaska Purchase (1867), but it was necessary in those days to call every act of government somebody's folly, so he was it. For example, the Constitution of the United States was originally called "Franklin's Folly" until it was discovered that they'd already blamed him for the idiotic name "House of Burgesses"). Napoleon tried to back out of the deal when he discovered that he hadn't read the fine print and sold us not only Louisiana but everything up to the Canadian border, but Josephine had already cashed the check. In 1804 Lewis "Wrong Way" Clark petitioned the government to lead an expedition across the continent. Denied permission by President Jefferson, he instead filed a plan to sail to Ireland. To everyone's surprise, on the day of departure he turned 1800 and, giggling maniacally, headed west. He was never seen again. "I was wondering why he didn't have a boat", Jefferson would later write in his memoirs.

The entire Louisiana Purchase was, in fact, a scam. When surveyors finally measured the parcel of land that we had purchased from France, it was discovered that nothing exists west of Nebraska. The Indians have known this since time immemorial, which is why we had to wipe them out. The rest of the so-called "United States" is an illusion created by Hollywood. The biggest illusion, of course, is Hollywood itself, which is really in Omaha. But I've been to California, you say. Have you? You got on a plane, flew for a couple of hours and landed. You could have been anyplace. Those Cornhuskers are a cunning lot.

Along the way we fought a war with Mexico, which wasn't very interesting and doesn't get anywhere near the ink the Civil War gets. It's been estimated that since 1865 there have been 500,000,000 books written about the Civil War, most of them by James McPherson, and 42 documentaries by Ken Burns, Ric Burns, George Burns and Frank Burns. The Civil War, also known as "The War Between the States" or "Seward's Folly" lasted from 1861-1865 and ended when Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse. By the time the Union Army discovered that Lee had used disappearing ink to sign the surrender most of the Confederates had already gone home, so the trick didn't work.

Now that we were once again one nation, give or take, we entered into a period of western expansion. This involved a land rush, a gold rush, a "kill some Indians" rush, a rush to judgement and, unfortunately, Rush Limbaugh. The band Rush stayed in Canada, but it wouldn't last.

After we tamed the west, it was time to expand our horizons and take our place as a world power. The easiest way to do this with was to start a war with Spain, because the only country easier to beat than Spain would be Belgium, and they didn't own anything we wanted. The war lasted long enough for Teddy Roosevelt to take time out from slaughtering everything in Africa on four legs and charge up San Juan Hill. It actually wasn't San Juan Hill, but hey, if it worked for Bunker Hill, why mess with success?

Next: The 20th century



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Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
. .
Ginger & Shadow. ..Writer's Block.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics . Online Store..
In The Zone. ..Number 9. . .September 11