I had noticed today, when I checked out the British paper the Telegraph, an article in which people were asked to summarize their lives in six words. What I didn’t realize is that there is something of a meme going on out there, not in the internet so much as in the MSM. As Laer explains at Cheat-Seeking Missiles this meme is also playing out in the NY Times:
Stephen Dubner, writing at the Freakonomics blog at the NYT, is running a contest for a six-word slogan for the U.S.A.
The idea was triggered by a book of six-word memoirs of famous and not-so-famous people, and by England’s recent national slogan concept (“No Motto Please. We’re British”). As of this posting, Dubner’s post has generated 677 comments.
It’s a cute idea but would it surprise you to discover, as Laer did, that many of those comments are relentlessly negative?
Some are fresh: “Still Using Fahrenheit, Feet, and Gallons.”
progressivedeploringly negative and ignorant of how dynamic this land of opportunity and equality is: “White? Straight? Christian? Rich? Welcome Home!” or “‘Number One? Smells like number two.”
Some get it right: “To each, according to his ability”
It seems that few NY Times readers can summon six nice words to say about America. Laer would like to remedy that. He asks people to join him at his blog and to come up with some good six words descriptions of America, and starts with some ideas of his own:
Planet Earth’s shining light of freedom.
Give us your poor. Terrorists excluded.
Proving the magnetic attraction of opportunity.
Can you name one place better?
If you have some good ideas, please go here and share with Laer your six words describing what’s good about America.
UPDATE: Yay! Michelle Malkin gave a whole post to Laer. That ought to send people streaming over to his site, so please go there and check for all the good (and, sometimes, mean and loony) six word ideas they’re leaving in the comments section.
UPDATE II: My current favorite, from the brilliant Bill Whittle at Eject! Eject! Eject!: “Great Country! (Needs more math education though.)”