One “Mundialized” Country

Uncommon to many Mexicans, I don’t usually watch television, whether TV or through Internet. The truth is, whenever I watch TV, I watch U.S. content. The other day I was watching the last season of Breaking Bad on Netflix. In one chapter I heard the expression “rocks on it?” I’d never heard it before, but contextualized by the image I inferred it referred to a beverage with ice, where rocks means ice. Therefore rocks on it? means with ice?

How interesting to see each country has colloquial expressions proper of the vernacular use of language, as well as culturally appropriated terms. These vary according to each society among countries of the same language; they vary even between the regions constituting one nation. Thus the expressions used in Spain differ from those used in Mexico, and both from the res of spanish-speaking countries. By the same means, words and expressions managed in the Unites States will not exactly be the same as those of Australia or the United Kingdom. Furthermore, expressions will be different among the nations composing the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and North Ireland), just as the internal regions of a country; in the case of Mexico, expressions considerably vary according to each region, North, South, Centre, East or West, etc., varying also according to each federal entity.

Nonetheless, someone from one spanish-speaking country is able to recognize and assimilate other spanish-speaking countries’ expressions. It is such for Germanic or Anglo-Saxon groups, etc.

The curious matter is the assimilation of colloquial english, specially US english, is a world (mundial) process. Throughout the world expressions are known, such as what’s up and derivates (<what up>, <wu´rup>, <’supp>, etc.), fuck offyoh, among others, and are well employed by those whose mother tongue is not english. There are many societies assimilating these english expressions, but few US people assimilate expressions alien to their native language. The difference relies within the bombing of US content, whether movies, television, music, novels, books, etc. We all understand the logic of english and how it operates in US society. Extremely at the opposite, it is known that US citizens know few or nothing about other cultures and languages.

Many talk about (cultural) imperialism, or about systems of cultural domination, but from the exposed point of view, it is the US who dominate nothing nor no one. Us represent nothing, for they are rooted -assimilated- in the deepest, to say, from their language. They represent no otherness, and in order for domination to be, there must be one Other who imposes. They’re the icon on coarseness, generic banality. In such a way that they can be exchanged one for another.

On the contrary, it is the world who imposes to them. They live such in a bubble, so everything turns to them as otherness, everything turns as unknown to them, and that is how everything is imposed to them: as the unknown, the inconceivable, that what hey are unable to assimilate. Such a problem for such a introverted, offish, and self-rapted society.

A country (of/for) children

Due to the mentioned, everything and everyone are a potential threat. That’s how the US arrives as the country of the overprotected. Watching Breaking Bad, minute 4:32 of “Confessions” (Season 5, Chapter 11), somebody asks “What the hell happened to this country?” (US), to what he get by an answer that is has become a “nanny state” [1]. The dialogue distinguishes not between “nanny state” or “Nanny State”; but the idea is clear.

The strategic intelligence model [2], planted as the use of intelligence apparatus to watch over, collect, process, analyze, and disseminate [3] data belonging to individuals or private groups, works under a State’s exception. The functions of the State’s exception are justified by an “exception state”, which means a situation in where the country finds itself before a possible risk. Polemics unleashed by former employe of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, offer a clear example.

Considering that everything alien is imposed to the U.S people as a potential threat, I believe to be write by affirming that “the” United States are no longer in a “State’s exception” nor in an “exception of state”, “state of exception” (state of risk), but, somehow managed the contrary, for that country the state of exception and the exception of state have turned into the environment where Common Life develops: they Live in the exception, so that this becomes the norm, and the exception for them is that what other societies would ideally consider as a state-State of certitude, lets say, the norm. It’s not that they actually live under a threat, a risk or danger; that’s simply how they perceive their lives. They believe everything endangers it, risks it, and threatens it. United States live under a state-State of exception-norm, to which correspond what I´ll call Nanny Measures, prevention and defense mechanism scratching the paranoiac absurd. Everything should be mechanical and technically foreseen, calculated, assured, and certain. No place for the  error-risk. Heidegger feared of a of a world were calculus and technique is the only modus operandi, the only cognitive way, and the only model of thought. Unites States reached that point. Retaking Breaking Bad‘s dialogue about nanny state, one of the characters engages to smack away the next kid’s helmet he finds ridding a bike, “like, for his own good”. What does he mean by “for his own good”? It means that an overload of overprotection  makes of people defenseless before the rest and in front of helplessness itself. They are a society of “zero death”, “zero risk”, as Baudrillard says in his book Power Inferno (I wonder why english’s Word Press self-correcting recognizes not the name Baudrillard, but Spanish’s WP self-correcting does).

For me, US people (yes, I’ve been avoiding the word “americans” beccause, SURPRISE! they’re not the only americans living in America -America understood as a continent…”wait, America is a continent?” I was asked once. Us people are as much americans as Mexicans, Argentineans, Portuguese and Venezuelans are) live in consent threat, or better said, the supposed threat, that’s to say, under the suspicion or perception of threat (terrorism, war, assaults, homicide, etc.). As long as the perception, the suspicion of threat, does not vanish, the supposing risk will be constant and, therefore, risk will remain triumphant. Perhaps the greatest cunning of the devil is to make believe he does exists.

In the eagerness for the global, Unites States globalizes to de degree of being assimilated by the greatest part of the rest, therefore shutting them themselves up in their bubble and the external world looks like a threat in such a maker that, under the constant perception of a threat, the threat becomes significantly constant. And the United States lives in a Nanny State that (over)protects them of the unknown world.

By Ulises Bobadilla y Jiménez


1. Breaking Bad. “Confessions”. Gilligan Vince. AMC. 2013

2. Elizalde, Luciano H. “Elementos para una estrategia de comunicación gubernamental. Un intento de solución al problema de la espiral consenso-disenso”. En Elizalde H., Luciano; Fernández Pedemonte, Damián; Riorda, Mario. La construcción del consenso: gestión de la comunicación gubernamental. La Crujía, Argentina, 2006, pp. 191-219. Self-translated.

3. Wikipedia. “Strategic Intelligence”.



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