What a Penis Can Tell You About the Downfall of America

Plus, a few other overlooked harbingers of doom.

Jill Francis

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Shot of a man wearing jeans. We can only see the crotch area and an outline of a penis.
Photo by Ryan Gardner on Unsplash

If there’s one thing I am sure of in the middle of this summer of American implosion, it’s that this didn’t come out of nowhere. While many of us busied ourselves elbowing each other out of spots at elite universities, strapping into acceptable debt-to-income ratios, and rewarding ourselves with thirty-dollar hot yoga classes and kombucha-tinis, the seeds of derangement had already outgrown their containers and were clean busting out of the greenhouse. Let’s admit that most of us were too busy, too stressed, too tired, or too scared to pull our heads out of our asses long enough to notice that we’d become complacent. We were so sure that everyone was thinking exactly like we were that those who didn’t had enough time to construct an entire branch of government like it was calmly playing the world’s longest game of Connect 4.

But, the truth is that it’s not about the waddle-necked conservatives and their repugnant council of plonkers. I can’t give them credit for something that goes even deeper than the recent spate of legislative horrors. There are things about America that, once noticed, reveal the deepest, most fundamental values of the culture– and it is not good. They are things that virtually everyone accepts in the US, yet are questioned everywhere else. I never saw them myself until I moved abroad permanently, but now that I see them they are as impossible to forget as that story about Lindsey Graham and the ladybug moles. (Don’t Google it.)

This isn’t about the American horrors that you know; healthcare, racism, guns, pesticides, opiates, wealth disparity, climate crises, that place called The Heart Attack Grille that serves butter milkshakes, or Ryan Reynolds’ entire oeuvre. I am talking about the horrors that are silently explaining everything without saying a word at all. As is the case with many painful realizations, we have to start in the bathroom.

Where’s the bidet?

Everyone shits, do they not? Great, so we can all speak about this from personal experience and agree that it can be a less-than-gorgeous business. At the end of your odyssey, no matter what crime scene has been left behind, clean-up must commence. This is not…

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Jill Francis

American immigrant in Italy with too many degrees in Psychology. I write about everything I’m afraid of. jillfranciswrites@gmail.com