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I've been pondering the power of that term "heartland." Since I was raised in Kansas -- a.k.a "The Heart of America" -- I like to agree that the national spirit resides in the middle of the map. But I detest the way the GOP and Fox News use this term "heartland" to infer that the conservative and backwards values of many of that State's residents somehow reflect the true national soul. Kansas has long been home to radicals and rebels too (think John Brown). And, besides, I believe if we are truly to discern the inner life of America, we need to look beyond simply the Heart of America. For a national self-inventory, we need a more complete approach to our national anatomy.

So let's consider the map of the REST of United States as if it were a human body.  [Fly over the flip...]

Did you know our country is a dude? Clearly, this is not difficult to imagine, since we have a natural point of anatomical reference in the peninsula of Florida - it acts and looks like the national d*ck. And both the humid climate and libidinous culture there verify this phallic assignation. Why, within this concept, the Florida Keys could even be droplets of pee. Take that Cuba!

Moving up along the Eastern Coast, past the pubes of Georgia and the treasure trail of the Carolinas, we arrive at Washington, D.C., the belly button of America. Yes, the capitol is the national omphalos that we ponder and worry about. It's also the place where lint and other schmutz collects in the form of politicians. It needs to be cleaned out periodically or it becomes infected. Hopefully we will clean out our national navel in 2006, with that giant Q-Tip known as the election.

Pennsylvania - you're the nation's brawny chest -- the proud home of the Declaration of Independence. Philly and Pittsburg are the nipples.

Further on up the American torso, we arrive at New York. Did you know that the "Big Apple" is also the nation's Adam's Apple, throat and mouth? It is from here that our national voice is projected -- where the nation's media outlets are headquartered and where, with all that talking, our business deals are struck. Naturally, all New Yorkers are Big Mouths.

On 9/11, our two front teeth were knocked out.

Farther north, we have Boston and New England. With the concentration of colleges here, including most of the Ivy League, it's simple to see that this region is the nation's brain. This is also the site of the Pilgrims and first American colonies, and therefore the origin of our national consciousness, or ego. Notice how the brains behind the American experiment always vote Democratic?

Let's go west now. Since Chicago bills itself as "The City of Big Shoulders" it's not a stretch to call this city, along with the surrounding rust belt of Midwestern states like Ohio and Michigan, the broad back of the nation. Once the proud home to American manufacturing, our shoulders slump now, a bit defeated.

More westerly still, we have the Dakotas and Montana - our national lungs where windy wide-open plains and open spaces allow us to breathe deeply and relax.

As was stated, Kansas is the Heart of America.

Then we hit the Rocky Mountain region - the spine of the United States, where rugged individualism rules the culture. High peaks, like so many vertebrae, line up vertically, north to south. Without this mountain chain, the nation would have appalling posture! We'd look like some hunched-over country prone to invasion and takeover, like Somalia, but way, way bigger.

Out West -Look! America has a huge fat ass, of course - and it's called California. It's warm and cushy and full of mudslides. San Francisco can be the tailbone.

That makes Los Angeles the national anus. It is from L.A. after all that American culture is digested and expelled out in the form of crappy television and movies and music. It is our national assh*le that produced Gigli, Ace Venutra II: When Nature Calls and Judge Dredd. Need I say more?

In fact, assholes are everywhere in L.A., looking to make it big in the motion picture industry, so that they can produce yet more crap.

Let's continue our tour of the nation's nether regions -- Arizona and New Mexico being the national taint. Of course, with the presence here of the vagina-like Grand Canyon, there is an argument to be made that the United States is some sort of freaky hermaphrodite. Eeewww!

That makes Texas and Louisiana the American balls. I feel this is so because it is from Texas, the left ball, that we derive that disastrous machismo, like so much testosterone, that has led us into wars and overconfidence. This is where Bush comes from, after all. But also LBJ, who started Vietnam.

Louisiana, and New Orleans specifically, is the other family jewel. It is the libidinous, humid source of our national sex drive - and the red-light source of jazz music and good times rolling. It is our better ball.

Let's face it: by this important anatomical analysis, Hurricane Katrina was a kick to the national nuts.

Lastly, let me assert that Canada is America's hat and Mexico is some kind of prosthetic leg - I haven't quite figured it out. South America is a clubbed foot of enormous proportion. We should see a doctor about it.

So, fellow progressive Americans, whether you live in the American headland, heartland, spineland, mouthland or taintland, let's not let the Republicans monopolize the rhetorical possibilities of Anthropomorphic America.

He/she/it is ours to claim and promote as well!

Originally posted to redglare on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:36 AM PDT.

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