In the two hundred plus years of the United States, we’ve faced a myriad of challenges that threatened the very existence of the country. We’ve faced multiple wars; most overseas but some threatening the very borders of America. Economic difficulties like the Great Depression and more recently the Great Recession put the financial stability of the country and her people in question. Terrorism, both domestic and internationally spawned continues to affect our lives, years after our perceived bubble of invulnerability was pierced.
As we approach the 237th birthday of our country, Topless Robot wanted to stop and take a look back at some of the foulest enemies ever to try and ruin our way of life – and while it may seem tasteless to cheer the death of anybody, these threats were all entirely fictional, so it’s totally okay. After all, this is the country of baseball, rock and roll, both Star Wars and Star Trek, both Marvel and DC comics and so much more. We’re the main protagonist of every single game in the Call of Duty series. Hell, we’re the main protagonist of almost every military video game. So let’s sit back and remember some of the greatest and most powerful villains ever to threaten the Red, White and Blue and get their asses handed back to them. America! Fuck Yeah!
To quote Douglas Adams, “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” That being said, Earth seems to have a knack for attracting large bits of space matter. It seems that comets in particular have a vendetta against Earth: a comet bitch slaps the planet in Deep Impact, turns people into either dust or zombies in Night of the Comet, and even punts a five-mile-wide rock right at the Earth in Meteor.
Meteors, on the other hand, have a much lower success ratio when taking on the U.S. Though a comet started the events in Meteor, all it took was Juan Sanchez Villalobos Ramirez and a shit load of nukes to stop the titular meteor. Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis and a complete lack of scientific credibility were enough to take out the rock in Armageddon, and countless SyFy original movies have also tried and failed to destroy the Earth by pelting it with rocks. Thankfully we have NASA and Michael Bay to protect us!
Sorry to spoil the plot of The Purge for everyone except the people who couldn’t get tickets for Man of Steel opening weekend, but apparently in the near future, crime in the U.S. hits an all-time low thanks to The Purge, a twelve-hour period of lawlessness where essentially anything goes. The idea is that people can release all of their negative emotions and impulses during this period, which makes them be fine, upstanding citizens for the other eight thousand, seven hundred, forty five hours of the year. In reality, it’s just a dystopian plot point for a home invasion film, but apparently in the film it works. I still think the best way to curb crime is to make murder punishable by death by wood chipper.
For the most part giant monsters have ignored the United States, focusing their attention more on the land of tentacle porn. That, of course, hasn’t stopped at least two attempts by Kaiju to take out New York City.
1998 brought international exchange student Godzilla to the shores of the US to go lizard e mano with Ferris Bueller and Leon. Instead of Tokyo as the backdrop to
his its demolition fun (they establish Godzilla as asexual), the completely redesigned monster has decided to take a bite out of the Big Apple. To make matters worse, Godzilla has apparently been ovulating, and a good two hundred bouncing baby badasses are en route. Of course, things go south for the big guy when he gets tangled up in the support wires of a bridge, and the army (who do not seem to be acquainted with Marquess of Queensbury rules) takes the opportunity to sucker punch him into submission.
There was a much higher cost when the US military dealt with the titular monster from Cloverfield. While the monster did a good bit of damage = including its Kurgan style decapitation of Lady Liberty – the shit truly got real with the military use of its “Hammer Down Protocol.” It’s implied that the army went scorched earth on the tentacle clad monster, nuking the city that never sleeps like a pissed off Ellen Ripley. Regardless of the toll taken by both monsters, America once again proves she’s not to be frakked with.
4. The Media of Japan and Canada
It was Whitney Houston who believed the children are our future. It was Stephen King who thought they would rise up and murder us, and the Syfy Channel who thought it would be wise to remake Children Of The Corn though it was entirely unnecessary. We hear everyday about how fragile the minds of our offspring are, and that we must take care to ensure they grow up to be responsible, beneficial members of society. My goals are slightly less lofty: I will be satisfied to see all four of them avoid the stripper pole or appearances on COPS.
We’re often told how much we should limit what our children experience. TV is bad, violent video games are bad, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are bad, hot dogs are bad. The way media can corrupt is exemplified by two separate incidents in the town of South Park, Colorado.
The first is a heinous act by our supposed friend and ally: Japan. Created after World War II, Article 9 of the Japanese constitution outlaws the use of war as a means of settling disputes, and therefore Japan is constitutionally bound not to have an army. It is allowed a Self Defense Force that sees to the protection of its borders and interests, but aside from rare international peacekeeping missions it remains strictly limited. Article 9, of course, says nothing about brainwashing the minds of others to do their dirty work, and so they set out to do just that.
Addicting the children of “South Park” with the new anime/collectible toy craze Chinpoko-mon, and making all American men oblivious to the fact by telling them they have large penises, Japan meant to strike Pearl Harbor once again. They almost succeed, to the point where “South Park” children were marching down the street of the town with their new liege Emperor Hirohito, up until the point when parents busted out the age old weapon of reverse psychology. They outsmarted the children and the budding Japanese Empire, and the children swore off fads, at least until World of Warcraft came out.
The attempt from Canada was far less nefarious but had much greater consequences. When Canadian pop-culture icons Terrance and Phillip began to corrupt the sweet-hearted, gentle nature of “South Park” children with copious dick and fart jokes, the determined parents had to act. Their response was intense, going so far as to execute the comedy duo and triggering a war with our northern, hockey-loving neighbors and releasing both Satan and Saddam Hussein from the depths of Hell. Thankfully young Eric Cartman went Super Saiyan defeating Hussein and in a heartwarming act of self-sacrifice, his frenemy Kenny MCCormick requested everything return to normal when given a single wish from the Dark Lord; an act which doomed him once again. In the end, the evils of media were defeated by a group of children…our future.
With a population as large and diverse as that of the United States, there are copious amounts of illnesses that could potentially infect the populous. Viruses like coxsackie, the common cold and herpes love to propagate through our culture, but what if a new virus – a killer virus – was suddenly unleashed on the unsuspecting masses?
According to fiction it’s happened multiple times here in the United States. Between viruses like the hemorrhagic fever known as Montaba and bacteria/alien life form code named Andromeda, millions of fictional Americans have dropped dead thanks to illness. Thankfully fictional America is prepared with specialized tasks forces like Wildfire and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, both equipped with the tools and the talent to take on these microscopic monsters. Interestingly enough, the USAMRIID does indeed exist, and has been taking on nasty infectious bugs since 1969, ironically the same year that The Andromeda Strain was published.
6. The Cubans (and the Russians) – Red Dawn
The first thoughts most people have when they hear the name Cuba is cigars, military prisons, the missile crisis and some bad ass sandwiches. Of course it’s easy to forget the time they turned against their northern neighbors and common sense itself by teaming up with the Soviet Union and trying to blitz the Midwest. Their invasion took a heavy toll on the country, even inciting a minor (if there is such a thing) nuclear conflict.
Apparently, though, the American public education system of Calumet, Colorado offered some of the best military training known to man, as a band of high school students, the Wolverines, waged an extremely effective guerrilla war against the Communist bastards, to the point where it took massive amount of subterfuge and a trio of heavily armed helicopters to take the rag tag band down. If you think Johnny Castle is tough, wait till you see Jennifer Grey wield an RPG. The Commies put Baby in the corner, and now they’re going to pay! AVENGE ME!!!!!!
7. The Stuff
It’s safe to say that America was built on Capitalism. Anyone with an idea or a product could see it into fruition and potentially make millions so long as they put out enough effort. Just look at such greats as the Pet Rock, The Clapper and Shamwow! In fact, you don’t even need to be an inventor to make a mint; sometimes it just takes being in the right place at the right time.
When some redneck patrolling the grounds of a mine stumbled upon a white, creamy substance bubbling out of the ground, he in his infinite wisdom decided the best way to figure out what it is was to stick his finger into it and taste it. Apparently it was very yummy, so this entrepreneurial dipshit decided to package and market it, giving it the profound name The Stuff, because really, you would go out and buy a mystery dessert described as stuff.
The Stuff became America’s new food craze: zero calories, zero fat, and more addictive than crack, bacon and that stupid ass Inona Pop song “I Love It”. The Stuff swept the nation, and only a young boy and an industrial saboteur played by a young Michael Moriarty knew the truth: the Stuff is sentient and turning people into mind-controlled zombies.
The American Revolution was spawned by brave men, loosely organized into small militias, willing to fight and die for independence. In The Stuff, a similar militia answered the call to arms, led by disgraced retired Army Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears, putting down the menace of the white goo and its addicted human servants, the Stuffies. With patriots like Colonel Spears and “Mo” Rutherford, American citizens can sleep soundly knowing the contents of their refrigerator won’t kill them…at least quickly.
8. The Earth – The Core
Those meddling weapons scientists just don’t know when to quit. So apparently not content with creating Captain America, Caesar Flickerman creates a magic earthquake making machine surprisingly not powered by the Parliament Funkadelic. Of course, using a weapon that sounds like it was created by a Bond villain stops the rotation of the Earth’s core which will apparently cause the planet’s electromagnetic field to go the way of the dodo, allowing radiation to deep fat fry us all within a year. Thankfully this is Hollywood, and Dr. Ed “Braz” Brazzleton, in a stunning display of Deus Ex Periodic Table, creates an ore called Unobtanium that magically gets stronger under intense heat and pressure. Let’s take a look at some statistics:
Pressure at Earth’s Core: 45,000,000 per square inch according to Oregon State
Temperature at Earth’s Core: Really Fucking Hot
What a coincidence! Unobtanium performs at its best when both temperature and pressure are extreme. Thank God! Oh wait…how the hell are we going to get down to the Earth’s core? We can make a ship out of this magic metal, but it would take decades to drill down there. Holy shit, Braz also designed a Death Star caliber laser that can dig us there? Thank God once again.
And so Captain Pike, Harvey Dent, the greatest scientist in the known universe and The Next Karate Kid all drive their magic school bus to the Earth’s core to detonate some nuclear weapons which will in turn restart the Earth’s core, because as we all know, nuclear weapons are the only proper way to motivate the core to stop playing WoW, get off its lazy ass, move back out of its grandma’s basement and start rotating again. Of course millions of scientific laws are broken in this pursuit, though thankfully science fights back and take out most of the crew in the process. Only Aaron Eckhart and Million Dollar Baby survive, miraculously rescued by whales, while that nerdy guy from Roadtrip leaks enough classified information to make Edward Snowden look like small potatoes. Sorry to spoil the movie for you, but trust me, we’re doing you a favor.
There is only one thing from space that has threatened our home more than comets and meteors: aliens. They wanted to eat us in Signs, kidnap us in Strange Invaders, rule us in Battlefield: Earth, frak us in Species, and so much more. But the perfect example of the response those extraterrestrial bastards can expect from America is the one from the aptly named Independence Day.
Aliens started to blow the shit out of Earth’s cities, with all armed response failing. Of course, that’s before the all star team up of Lone Star, The Fresh Prince, The Fly, Data, Laura Roslin, Vernita Green, Jayne Cobb, Cousin Eddie and that asshole grandfather from Over the Top stepped in. Apparently all it took to stop an alien invasion was to steal one of their ships, create a computer virus that magically infects highly advanced alien computer systems, then sacrifice a redneck. Sounds simple, right?
Apparently we didn’t deter them enough the first time, as we’ve been promised at least another two forthcoming movies in the Independence Day series. I wonder which holidays ET will try to invade on next time. Perhaps we can cast Sylvester Stallone and have him get chosen to fight in hand to hand combat with an alien champion in Toronto…we can call it Boxing Day. (If you use that title, Emmerich, you better have a check ready or you’ll be hearing from my lawyer!)
10. North Korea/Kim Jong Il/Alien Space Cockroach
In recent years, the DPRK has been acting generally like Earth’s douchebags. Like drunken frat boys who show up uninvited to your party after way too much tequila, they boast of their conquests, pick fights, and spout off butt loads of absolute nonsense, much to the chagrin of all of the more reasonable party guests. The world breathed a collective sigh of relief when the High Exalted Douchelord of the Sith Darth Kim died, only to quickly realize that the son who replaced him is about as batshit crazy, as proven in recent months when he metaphorically dropped his pants to show the world his johnson.
The fictional world on display in Team America: World Police had a perfectly reasonable explanation for the Taco Supreme Leader’s actions: He’s a space cockroach. Of course, while defeated in his plan to reduce every country to third world status, he did manage to take out Alec Baldwin, a feat which has only been accomplished by Dear Leader, Saddam Hussein and American Airlines.
In a world where we desperately need a Team America sequel, we can only hope that the red blooded, apple pie eating puppets of freedom get a chance to take on the unholy team up of Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman.