ALBUQUERQUE, NM—According to an extensive 18-month study published by researchers at the University of New Mexico this week, Americans, despite their embarrassing behavior, general ineptitude, and countless other negative traits, are actually kind of endearing in some ways.
"Our initial data showed that Americans are impulsive and tend toward willful ignorance—findings that are consistent with past research," said Professor Spencer Dixon, who led the study on U.S. culture and society. "But what we were surprised and, honestly, a little delighted to find is that Americans' short attention spans, simplemindedness, and inability to articulate a coherent idea can actually make them pretty lovable."
"It's hard to describe," Dixon continued. "It's just all these little quirks they have. And after a month or two of observation, they kind of start to grow on you."
After thousands of interviews with citizens from every socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic background, the UNM researchers discovered that despite the tendency of many Americans to do the loudest, dumbest thing possible at any given moment, the populace is "in the end, pretty hard not to like" and in many instances "sort of charming, frankly."
Although the study documented numerous cases of adult Americans throwing tantrums, wasting valuable resources, taking their clothing off at live music or sporting events, and littering, researchers said they have determined conclusively that these habits in fact actually add to the people's charm.
"They do this other thing in public sometimes where they'll keep shouting the same stuff over and over again for no reason whatsoever," Dixon said. "And it's really fascinating, because according to our findings, not a single one of them even knows what it is they're shouting. They just like the sound of their own voice, I guess."
Added Dixon, with a chuckle, "The goofy bastards."
A large section of the 380-page study was devoted to examining the personal appearances of Americans, which researchers described as either very drab or unusually provocative, depending on the subject, but in all cases "undeniably amusing to look at."
Anthropologist Loren Martinez, who analyzed the eating habits of Americans, said she was dismayed by early evidence suggesting the study's participants completely avoided food with any nutritional value, but was quickly won over after witnessing their enthusiasm for cookies.
"The way they had chocolate chips and crumbs smeared all over their faces as they wolfed down plate after plate of cookies kind of made me smile," Martinez said. "Because it was just so them, you know? You just have to love anyone who feels no shame about stuffing a second cookie into their mouth while they're still chewing on the first."
According to field data, individual Americans also possess a winning ability to ignore the problems plaguing the nation and content themselves with sitting down in front of a television and drinking an entire six-pack of Coors Light while watching people dance.
Joel Anderson, a research assistant on the project, said the study changed his own preconceived notions about Americans.
"Sure they were loud and obnoxious and pathetic, but they were basically harmless, and we kind of liked having them around," he said. "Even when they smashed our lab equipment you couldn't really stay mad at them for long. I mean, c'mon, look at them."
"The way they waddle around in their little fat pants?" Anderson added. "Tell me that's not adorable."
The study's conclusions contradict a 2004 University of Massachusetts survey that found Americans were selfish, intolerant assholes who should eat shit and die.