National Sorry Day

In Australia, today is National Sorry Day.

This incredibly thoughtful observance is the opportunity for Aussies of European extraction to say to their Aboriginal neighbors, “Hey, mates, we’re sorry that we stole your continent… and hacked down a boatload of your eucalyptus trees… and raped your local culture… and built that ridiculous-looking opera house… and foisted Paul Hogan on you.”

I’m thinking that we could use a National Sorry Day right here in the U.S. of A.

Oh, sure, we could start with apologies to the indigenous people of North America for 400 years of murder, disease, reservations, alcoholism, and abject poverty, and to the folk of African heritage for that whole slavery / Jim Crow / back-of-the-bus debacle.

But why stop there? I have a whole list of suggestions for America to be sorry about on National Sorry Day.

To wit…

We’re sorry for boy bands.

We’re sorry for professional wrestling and NASCAR (which, if you think about it, are kind of the same thing).

We’re sorry that The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. got canceled.

We’re sorry for Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter. Dr. Laura, too.

We’re sorry for fake fingernails, and weirdly colored nail polish.

We’re sorry for PETA, except for the fact that their existence means more meat for the rest of us.

We’re sorry for Jerry Springer and David Hasselhoff.

We’re sorry for “grim and gritty” comic books.

We’re sorry for Chicken McNuggets.

We’re sorry for cell phones whose owners are too self-absorbed and inconsiderate to turn their ringers off in theaters and restaurants.

We’re sorry for mullets. (The haircut. Not the fish.)

We’re sorry for people who saddle their children with ludicrous names.

We’re sorry for breast implants for anyone who isn’t a mastectomy patient, and cosmetic surgery for anyone who isn’t a burn victim, or born with a disfiguring birthmark or cleft palate. (Basically, we’re sorry for Joan Rivers, Michael Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Pamela Anderson, Bruce Jenner, and everyone who’s mutilated themselves in their likeness.)

We’re sorry for Scientology, although if you bought into pseudo-religious mumbo-jumbo invented by a money-grubbing hack science fiction writer, you have no one to blame but yourself.

We’re sorry for Michael Bolton.

We’re sorry for paisley and polyester.

We’re sorry for the Oakland Raiders, the Golden State Warriors, and the postseason San Jose Sharks.

We’re sorry for all those American Pie movies.

We’re sorry for anabolic steroids.

We’re sorry for the Olsen twins.

We’re sorry for instant coffee.

And we’re really, really sorry for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But we’re trying to undo all that stuff.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, Celebritiana, Getting Racial Up In This Piece, Listology, Random Acts of Patriotism, Taking Umbrage

5 Comments on “National Sorry Day”

  1. sank Says:

    Woah there nellie, just a second… Sorry for NASCAR? Dude, I’m taking you school on that one. It is NOT the same as pro wrasslin’ just draws some of the same fans. NASCAR is the one sport, and it a sport, I’ve come to watch in my old age because.. it’s like golf, it’s basically honest, except for individual team cheaters.. I mean.. if you don’t win, you don’t make money. No contracts like other pro sports.
    There’s a ton or strategy and unlike wrestling the outcomes are NOT predetermined. They hype is a bit sappy and such, but when you see three drivers steer their cars, with no F-1 or Indy telementry into a 18 degree banked turn three wide to try to get an advantage on the “good” line around a racetrack you’ve got some really exciting stuff.
    Plus.. after every race they thank their fans for supporting the sport. I’ve missed that announcement from the NFL/NBA/MLB It’s awesome stuff. And, to show their thanks, the stare are pretty accessable at teh track, and even make field trips to local tracks to race the local guys and sign all the autographs they can. Carl Edwards for exampe, in Minnesota at our local Sat Night track signed for an extra hour after he was supposed to to make sure that every kid got a sig. And, even had time to come over and shake my daugthers hand because she was wearing his hat. When we ran into Kobe last winter in the skyway.. nuthn.

    CHicken McNuggets… with sweet and sour.. there’s worse things.

    The starbucks new instant coffee actually isn’t to bad, but we can’t claim it. Instant coffee was the Swiss, I thought. Nestle invented it was my understanding. gotta look that up.

    I’m going to have to admit to laughing really at American Pie. Embarassing.

    • SwanShadow Says:

      Sank: I hear what you’re saying about NASCAR, but it’s still just cars going around in circles. That’s not a sport any more than professional wrestling is.

      (And yeah, I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that those two activities attract the same audience demographic. The same people who crave watching giant clowns smash each other in the head have a lot in common with those who go to the speedway in hope of witnessing a spectacular crash.)

      Back to my point, though, if driving a car in a circle is a sport, I’m an Olympic athlete. 🙂 Not to say that some of the folks who participate aren’t nice — I’ll bet there are guys in the WWE who walk old ladies across the street.

      But still… ugh.

  2. sank63 Says:

    OK, you started it, I gotta finish it. It’s more than cars going around in circles. This is the same argument that I have with my boys about baseball, they don’t think it’s a sport. I’d even argue that drivers are in better physical shape than most baseball players. Case in point, Tony Stewart. Twice in his career he tried to race Indy in the morning and the Coke 600 in Richmond that night. Both times he could barely finsh the race due to exhaustion and dehydration.
    Keeping a car on a line at 175 MPH, in a jump suite at 100 degrees for 3 or 4 hours takes endurance and full concentration. One lapse and your car is in the wall.
    Strategy of keeping your car 6 inches behind the car in front of you, also at 175 for a few minutes at a time to draft and pick up speed (cutting airflow over the back of the first car makes both go faster) and then backing off so your engine doesn’t overheat because your effectively blocking your airflow…
    Knowing about loose and tight cars to make turns faster, finding the right groove in the track and holding it when there;s a guy swapping paint with you on the side and not making a rookie mistake.

    Watch the NASCAR guys when they come to the local track. They always do a quick 20 lap race with the local drivers in a loner car from one of the local teams. The start at the back and with in 10 laps are up front. Lots of skill handling a car and relexs etc.

    Notice to the long long line of INdy car drivers and teams who can’t make it in NASCAR. in NASCAR the rules make all the cars basically equal in Horsepower and fuel putting more on the skill of the drivers to win. And the good ones do. NASCAR points are based on pole,number of laps led and place at the end.
    There are the vultures at the races, but there’s a lot of people like me who spend a ton of money to go the track, have their ears blown out and see 3500 lb 700 HP cars jostle for position and out manuver each other, get on and off pits in record times. Four tires, using a hand jack and an air gun, 20 gallons of fuel out of a can, a new windscreen in 17 seconds is pretty cool.
    And the decisions, when to pit, when to get new tires or stay out on the old ones, when to fuel… it’s all strategy. You need to go to the track with someone who can show you around a bit. Just like I had to explain the intracies of baseball to my kids.

  3. Rachel Says:

    This is an interesting debate. I’m an Australian, so we have V8 Supercars but not NASCAR, so I don’t understand all the rules of NASCAR. But from what you’ve (Sank) said, it sounds very complex and demanding. Trying to keep a car at top speed whilst on a 18 degree track would be incredibly difficult, let alone physically demanding. Then there is the challenge of passing other cars, whilst trying to stick to a strategy, or perhaps creating a new one in the space of a few seconds due to changing race circumstances (crashes, rain etc). Our V8 Supercar drivers go through the same thing. Incredibly demanding.

    But…..

    To most Australians (myself included) NASCAR is still just turning left (or sometimes they turn right, that must be to shake things up a bit, yeah? Heck, it must confuse the drivers an awful lot)

    It doesn’t make any sense, just like pro wrestling. A pointless, numbing activity that takes place in order to reach a seemingly innocuous ending (to drink a bottle of milk?!? What is with that?? There’d want to be some ‘Irish’ in that milk, yeah? 🙂 )

    I’m glad someone had the sense to apologise for both “sports”. Thank you Swanshadow, for taking that giant, healing step towards forgiveness.

    And don’t even start talking about baseball…………..Painful. Just Painful.

  4. Dan Says:

    What? No mention of the totally useless human beings called Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie? Just throw them together with the Olsen twins and be done with it!


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