Tuesday, 2 August 2011

How to cope with the end of empire: a guide for Americans

With the news that the US congress has just raised the debt ceiling, and committed the nation to severe spending cuts without raising a cent of extra revenue, mere hours before it would have faced defaulting on its debt. Nations around the world, including Russia and China, are criticising the US for inflicting upon themselves an entirely unnecessary crisis which could have destroyed the entire world's economy. The damage done to America's reputation, coupled with the massively destructive impending spending cuts which will take money out of the economy and gut the defence budget, has pretty much signalled the downfall of the American empire.

So, being a Brit, who comes from a country that knows everything there is to know about the national trauma caused by the loss of superpower status and empire, I've decided to compile this handy guide for Americans on what to expect and how to cope with the loss of empire.

10. Start studying geography

As you cease to be the most powerful country in the world, what other countries are doing becomes more important - in order to cope with this it helps to be able to locate said countries on the world map.

As you do so you can expect to see your knowledge of the world go from this:

You mean there's more to the world than this?

To this:

Eh, close enough.

9. Start studying history

As America realises that its glory days are behind it you can expect to see and hear lots of people arguing about where it all went wrong and talking about how much better things were in the past - if you don't know your national history then you'll feel left out in dinner table discussions.

Sadly the American Revolution was fought with muskets and not patriotic robots.
As it turns out, telling people how "George Washington's robots slaughtered the redcoats with their laser eyes" will earn you nothing but scorn and pity.

8. "Those were the good old days"

Get used to hearing this phrase as you'll start hearing it on a regular basis from anyone who is more than five years older than you. Once you get over the age of fifty you will be legally required to use this phrase at least once a day.

Pictured: "the good old days"

If your future self tries to say that things are actually better with personal hovercars and sex robots then you can expect to be stabbed viciously by an old lady with her knitting needles.

Seriously. Don't argue with old people. They're evil.

7. Tea - start drinking it

Historians widely believe that if it were not for the calming effects of a cup of tea, Britain would have collapsed into anarchy and cannibalism upon learning of Indian independence. The Romans didn't have tea to help them with the loss of their empire and look where they ended up: Mussolini and Berlusconi.

Basically, without tea you'll probably end up with Glenn Beck  as President, followed by Hugh Heffner.

Not pictured: presidential material

6. Hope you like male voice choirs

Because the loss of empire often triggers an instinct to burrow deep under the ground where you'll be safe from the cruel world above.This will usually lead to the discovery of coal reserves which will lead to a vast growth in coal mining as an industry. Obviously, this will entail a large increase in the number of people working in mines. Usually associated with this is the development of a mining culture with such elements as funny accents, male voice choirs and a love of phallus shaped vegetables.

The Welsh: a side effect of national decline?

5. Learn to like "saucy" humour

Following the loss of empire, Britain saw an epidemic of Carry On films filled with innuendo (in your end-o), sexism and puns. I hope you'll learn to like it because thirty years from now you'll still be watching the films as cable networks will put them on whenever they have a gap in their schedules.

You'll be seeing this facial expression a lot

4. The first female President!

Prepare to have an American equivalent of Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first ever female leader, who subsequently turned out to be a satanic robot that fed off the tears of children [citation needed].

Here Thatcher is pictured part way through
 changing into her true form.
The upside is that Thatcher is the only known method of eliminating the coal miners mentioned earlier. As a bonus, she comes with extra police brutality - meaning that at least one fine American tradition will continue for years to come!

3. Beware Canada

As the empire fell apart, Britain had to deal with Irish terrorists blowing things up in an attempt to get control Northern Ireland. The American equivalent will most likely be Canadians blowing up McDonalds in order to try and gain control of Alaska.

"We will destroy you ay."
The best way of dealing with this is to ignore them and gain vengeance by not buying maple syrup, thereby ruining their economy.

2. Get ready to gain independence to your vassals

Based on my calculations, Puerto Rico, Panama, Australia, Iraq, Texas and Afghanistan will all desert you in favour of following their own destiny. Much like children, you can expect at least one of them to fall for a crazy political ideology, become addicted to crack and then ask you for money to help pay for a back street abortion.

This is where Puerto Rico will probably
end up working.

1. Fight for Hawaii

In the 1980s the Argentinians invaded the Falklands, a few tiny islands which remained part of the British Empire because no one had remembered they existed long enough to grant them independence. The invasion led to a short and bloody war where hundreds died but where the stiff upper lip was successfully preserved.

Little mentioned but equally important, the stiff upper moustache did not survive the war.
All of England mourned.

If you want to avoid going down that path then you're going to need to station an army in Hawaii to prevent the Mexicans from taking it from you. Be ready to show them you're still boss.
    Look at him. He's just waiting for the chance to steal your grass skirts.

    1 comment:

    1. You map reminded me of a similar one from the 1980s. In those days Ronald Reagan was president of the USA and came from California, which you need to know or the map won't make sense today;

      http://bigthink.com/ideas/21087

      ReplyDelete

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