Patriotism Now 50% Off, Thanks to Online Coupons

Image of Groupon for Half Off Patriotism for July 4th

Patriotic Online Deals Also Offer Rare Glimpse into National Psyche

Most of the time, you don’t have to look very far or think too much about what it means to be American. Lest we forget, we are constantly reminded of our duties as a citizen to uphold the lofty values that our forefathers intended to bequeath upon our great land.

Like most mornings, I open my email and begin deleting junk from a list of usual suspects: Living Social, Groupon, Capitol Deal, Amazon Local Deal, the landlord, debt collectors, Eversave, and ESPN. However, this time, I found the diamond in the rough awaiting me in  my inbox:

“Subject: Half Off Patriotism – Fourth of July Deals ‏”

Thanks to the advent of modern technology, I was given a key, nay a revelation, to enjoy my god-given rights as an American to the maximum extent possible by virtue of…Patriotic Online Deals for the Fourth of July!

With Independence Day just around the corner, many of us have already concocted detailed strategies of how we will honor our great nation. For many, this usually involves a simple equation consisting of food, family, friends, fireworks, and copious alcohol consumption. My current plans still adhere to this time-honored tradition, but after receiving the opportunity to purchase a bevy of limited-time offers, my Fourth of July machinations have bloomed into a star-spangled furor, sure to shatter my own personal records of patriotism.

How, you ask? Behold, the keys to freedom enshrined in the Articles of Online Coupon Patriotism:

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Earth Day 2011: Going Green in the U.S. Easier than Ever

Image of "Gaia" painting by Alex Grey

Today, April 22nd, marks the 40th annual Earth Day. Founded in 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, the observance day began — ironically — as an American-centric “holiday” to raise awareness of the importance of environmental conservation in the United States. Largely a day lauded by tree huggers and scorned by legions of kool-aid drinking conservatives (people who don’t believe in conserving anything), the current iteration of Earth Day serves as a poignant example of what the concept of “going green” means to everyday Americans: it is nothing more than a slick marketing term sold to the masses to make us feel better about our insatiable consumption.

What is so ironic about Earth Day and conservation in America? With less than five percent of the Earth’s population, “U.S. Americans” consume more than a quarter of the planet’s fossil fuel resources and contribute approximately 278 million tons of un-recycled waste into the environment each year. Fear not — an additional 120 million or so tons are “recycled,” so pat yourselves on the back.

For many, going green simply means disposing of empty water bottles, beer cans, Pringles containers, boxes of Pop Tarts, and an array of other cardboard boxes from so-called food items into a different collection bin that magically saves the environment while allowing people to belly up to Wal-Mart and buy more product. Saving the environment by consuming more products, in essence.

So what does this mean? In the spirit of American individualist consumerism and, even moreso, following the lead of our nation’s government and corporate entities, it means you are free to define your own meaning of “going green.”

Here are some examples of how you can become an environmentally-conscious American and “go green”:

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Valentine’s Day: End the Oppression

From candy hearts to heart-shaped diamonds, men have been hoodwinked for centuries in the losing effort to please their women

Image of Valentine's Day balloons

Shiny metallic balloons on Valentine's Day are a popular way to express one's love toward another human being.

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Is there a less meaningful or more detestable holiday on the calendar? Surely designed to stroke the fragile egos of insecure lovers while shamelessly bilking them to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, Valentine’s Day is yet another burden on those of us who struggle to remember — or pretend to care about — our significant others’ birthdays and anniversaries. This so-called day of love serves only to pressure us, particularly guys, to open our wallets and not our hearts or minds to win the affection of the women who claim to love unconditionally.

If we learn anything from Valentine’s Day, it is that unconditional love can be bought with prickly red roses, rich fattening chocolates, insincere remarks printed on greeting cards concocted by a recent English Literature graduate, shiny mylar balloons, and an expensive night out at a trendy restaurant.  More severe situations result in being conned into purchasing diamond pendants, bracelets and earrings. Nothing says “Be My Valentine” quite like presenting your lady friend with a piece of jewelry that features a diamond plucked from a treacherous mine in Botswana by a 9-year-old orphan.

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