Jingoistic Pyromania

Alice Cooper and some lower-tier musicians pontificate the July 4 meaning of "greatest country on Earth."

Independence Day is here again. Turns out we’ve been free for almost 230 years, which is pretty kickass when you think about it. So what is it that makes America … you know, America? The best way to solve this mystery is to ask a rock star. Not only do rock stars know how to roll a great joint and score some serious tail, but they can pontificate brilliantly on the merits of American beer, American anthems, and American wars are pretty damn scary, too.

So what makes America so great?

“We’re the prototype society, the one that everybody loves to criticize, but everyone wants to come to. Plus there’s a 7-Eleven and a Starbucks on every corner.” — Alice Cooper

“Myspace.com.” — Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

“Interviews like this one.” — Nate Bott, Big City Rock

And what makes you so proud to be an American?

“Coney Island hot dogs and all-you-can-eat buffets.” — Matt McGinley, Gym Class Heroes

“The new Times Square.” — Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

“Gas prices.” — Nate Bott, Big City Rock

Roe v. Wade. ” — Brian Venable, Lucero

Best American beer, lushes?

“Pabst. It won a blue ribbon. What other beer can say that?” — Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

“Miller Light. They paid my rent last month.” — Gavin DeGraw

“Budweiser. … Because it tastes delicious to be drunk.” — Matt McGinley, Gym Class Heroes

Best firework and why?

“The Texas Cyclone. Best five bucks I ever spent.” — Nate Bott, Big City Rock

“M80s, because they celebrate freedom.” — MC Lars

“Roman candles. They’re interactive.” — Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

Why do so many other countries hate America?

“Because they love our stuff. We have swimming pools, showers, air-conditioning, ice in our drinks, butter in our popcorn. If I couldn’t have that, I’d hate the people who did.” — Alice Cooper

“We have enormous appetites. Most people eat food. We eat countries.” — Brandon Reilly, Nightmare of You

“Because we have air conditioning, ice, and flavorful food. I’d be pissed too.” — Mike Kennerty, All-American Rejects

“We’re lazy and wasteful. America might be the only place where you can get a 72-ounce soda and free refills on french fries.” — Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

When did you last worry about a terrorist blowing you up?

“Five minutes ago. Every time I step on the stinky subway.” — Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

“September 12, 2001.” — MC Lars

Greatest protest song ever?

“Eve of Destruction,” Barry McGuire — Alice Cooper

“Murder the Government,” NOFX — Matt McGinley, Gym Class Heroes

“Something’s Got to Give,” Beastie Boys — Nate Bott, Big City Rock

“With God on Our Side,” Bob Dylan — Brandon Reilly, Nightmare of You

What would your pick be for an Iraq War theme?

“‘Satisfaction’ by the Rolling Stones, because we’re never gonna get any.” — Nate Bott, Big City Rock

“Homeward Bound,’ by Simon and Garfunkel, ’cause everyone over there should come back home.” — Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

“Danger Zone’ by Kenny Loggins. It works for any war.” — Mike Kennerty, All-American Rejects

And lastly, best song to celebrate America’s ass-kicking greatness?

“‘American Girl,’ by Tom Petty. It gets you really revved up. And girls are good, too.” — Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

“Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA,’ ’cause it’s BRUCE.” — Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

“‘Sweet Home Alabama’ [Lynyrd Skynyrd]. It’s a rebel song for a rebellious country.” — Nate Bott, Big City Rock

“‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ [Twisted Sister]. The message isn’t in the lyrics, but in the frizzy hair and bad dye job.” — Gavin DeGraw

“‘I Love America,’ by me.” — Alice Cooper


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