Only In America . . . TMCopyright © 2004 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.
Tales of the bizarre and humorous side by side with tales of the bizarre and thought-provoking.
A little ha ha . . . A little hmmm . . .
A lot of entertainment . . .
Every day brings new zealots, busybodies and latter-day celebrities to the fore trying to remake America to their personal specifications. Some day things may turn out differently . . .
Every day brings new zealots, busybodies and latter-day celebrities to the fore trying to remake America to their personal specifications.
Some day things may turn out differently . . .
"Official" presidential portraits rarely capture the essence of the man. This one does . . .
Athletes are constantly being paid exorbitant amounts to play and endorse products. Where does it stop?
A lot of people have to travel to Canada or Mexico in order to find affordable prescription drugs. Maybe they shouldn't have to . . .
If we could get the world's dictators playing board games instead of war games, the world would be a much safer place . . .
Our elected representatives would never let extended unemployment benefits run out during the holidays . . .
Hollywood has been spawning Peace Protestors for decades, but they have never received their just due. Maybe it's time . . .
Have you looked at all the published pictures of the proposed replacements for the World Trade Center Towers and wondered, "What planet did these come from?"
Does it ever seem to you that there are more "Handicapped Only" parking spaces than there are handicapped people?
ONLY IN AMERICA is a collection of tales recounting some of the more preposterous human activities. Sometimes bizarre, often thought provoking, but never quite so improbable as they first appear, these are simply reflections on life in a fractured America .
Any relationship between the characters and organizations described on this site and those out tromping around the real world shouldn't surprise anyone . . .
Hmmm Stuff . . .
In today's politically correct America the number of sensitive subjects is almost infinite.
Some of them will be addressed here.
Their primary job seems to be the protection of the few from the machinations of the many. In doing so, they make the laws that shape our lives from cradle to grave . . .
THE EMPEROR'S CLOTHES
Modern America seems awash in two things: Experts who are always smugly certain that their opinions are superior to those of the hoi polloi; and Political Correctness, designed to keep us commoners from questioning or criticizing these opinions.
Fortunately, some of the great unwashed still know the difference between bombast and bologna . . .
THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
This is where decisions are made that we can no longer do the things we used to do – or must now start doing things we consider distasteful.
"So long as society is founded on injustice, the function of the laws will be to defend injustice. And the more unjust they are the more respectable they will seem."
" . . . equal harassment under the law."
THE HUMAN JUNGLE
It takes all kinds of folks to make up a country like ours. With that, we get all kinds of ideas: some well thought out, some not; some intelligent, some not; some left, some right; some wacky, some not. However, freedom of speech is guaranteed to all.
THE FIX IS IN
Lots of things need fixing in America – and a lot of things don't. What usually happens is that we try to fix those things that aren't even broken, and do our best to break those that are working just fine, thank you. Occasionally, we get it right.
Movies stars, sports stars, media stars, mega models, instant celebreties of every ilk – we're used to them vying for our dollars in commercials, but that isn't enough for some. Having conquered one field – or at least a tiny piece of it – they are eager to demonstrate their expertise in all others . . .
Sports in 21st century America is a serious business at all levels - from peewees playing for parental approval to professionals playing for personal aggrandizement.
These are their stories . . .
Ha Ha Stuff . . .
There are billions of bizarre stories on planet Earth -- a large subset of which seem to occur smack dab between our shining seas.
Only a few of those billions are presented here.
What we have here is a veritable cornucopia of little known but important knowledge. All those unanswerable questions that have puzzled philosopher's, sages, wise men, and parents through the ages will be explored here in depth. Either that, or I will try to figure out the answer to the one question that children of any age never seem to tire of: "Why?"
THE HUMAN JUNGLE
It's a big world we live in, and it's full of all kinds of things that we have to deal with -- things animal, things vegetable, and things mineral. Those that are merely vegetable or mineral are usually pretty easy to figure out, but the animal things can drive you down a rubber road -- especially if you're dealing with those human animal things.
A BETTER LIFE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Someone once said that the amount of human knowledge doubles every seven years. These days it seems more like every seven months. New gizmos appear faster than we can use up the old ones, but that doesn't mean that everything new is necessarily better.
It has been said that any destination can be reached by a thousand different roads -- some more heavily traveled than others. Here are some people who have definitely found the road less traveled.
Man is described as a tool-using and machine-building animal. This is usually said with some pride, connoting a certain cleverness, sophistication, and mastery of the natural environment. But, more often than not, the results of this human ingenuity can be more inimical to the orderly life on our native dust ball than anything Ma Nature ever dreamed up.
YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Bureaucracies move in mysterious ways -- when they move at all. Sometimes it seems like the main qualification for a life of "government service" is a daily half gainer off a three story building onto a concrete sidewalk. But, not to worry, what they do, they do for you . . .
The possible paths to riches in a capitalist society are many and varied, and it seems like new money making schemes pop up daily -- some more outré than others.
Stories that warm the cockles of your heart and showcase the human spirit at its very best. Guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye, a swell of pride to your heart, or just plain rekindle your faith in homo sapiens. The chance of any of these stories being true is nonexistent.
SACRIFICE AT THE TOP
Someone once said that the only good thing about politicians is that they're not immortal. Obviously, this person hadn't been keeping track of our body politic in the nation's
THE SPORTING LIFE
Once upon a time in ancient Rome, lions and Christians and gladiators were in vogue. This was to entertain the populace and feed the lions. Today wrestling and races and all kinds of professional sports are in vogue. This is to entertain the glitterati and corporate bigwigs and feed the public coffers. The Romans probably had the better idea.
This is a very special category -- it contains all the stuff I couldn't fit in anywhere else.