"The hell's the matter with you? Stupid! We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts! Here's proof: his nose is cold! But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt." ("John Winger" Stripes)
There’s a show called American Pickers, a “reality” show of a couple of antique-collectibles store owners who drive around the U.S. looking for rare “Made in U.S.A.” Americana. When you reflect for a minute, you see how apocalyptic the show really is. They’re going through the wasteland of what once was, picking through the American-eschatological rubble for items made in the U.S., because such things are as scarce as hen’s teeth nowadays.
I went to the supermarket the other day and saw a large, rusty, metallic ad of some kind of BBQ product. Its color was all red, white, and blue, and it displayed an anthropomorphic Star Spangled Banner waving a smaller version of itself, and the name of the product was “American BBQ.” I’m sure that if we were to check the label on the bottom, it’d have the indelible “made in China” on it. And that’s the state we’re in, so to speak. What’s that flag waving itself for? What’s so American about a BBQ product made in China? Why is the anthropomorphic flag so proud of itself? Why is it called ‘American BBQ’? Just by default, because the company is based in the U.S.? Because simple folk will fall for it and feel patriotic when they purchase it? It’s all a shameful sham. How dare they deceive the simple American folk who have been reduced to powerless peasants scrambling for work, for cheap wages.
Wasn’t the econo-apocalypse of Detroit the sign of what was to follow? How dare they blame it on the “illegal” human beings who kept the prices of groceries down for the rest of us consumers, who worked so hard from the crack of dawn to dusk, with minimal pay, at jobs Americans were too prissy to do? Sure, the corporations will create more jobs the more they profit, especially from tax cuts, yes, for sure, that is, more jobs in China, South America, India, Philippines, and wherever else wages needn’t be “minimum,” wherever there be peasants and children who live in piss poor squalor, willing to slave away for peanuts. Everywhere but here, in the U.S.A.
Be aware, Americans, because the economy is the very basic, basic, grossly basic foundation of our subsistence, and future. This incessant war isn’t helping matters either, which no one addresses much any more. No one wants to be “unpatriotic,” but how patriotic is it to not show boys and girls coming home as casualties, or in a box, because those things would infuriate the public and start the Peace movement all over again? A sixteen-trillion dollar debt? Something’s got to give.
So what if the solar system itself is heating up, why is it such an either-or, that we can’t do our best to not exacerbate an already dangerous situation? The bulwarks of the U.S. have slowly been removed, pieces at a time, and more and more pieces are getting taken away. At least the Obama second term victory was a morale booster, but still, Americans hobble about like tattered zombies, trudging about, no longer caring about appearances, no longer able to afford much of anything any more. And yet there are uneducated, disinformed, zealous Tea Party type hordes out there ignorantly praying for the demise of their own country.
America. What makes America so great? Never mind patriotism and all that psyched up bravado. They’re all meaningless fluff and hot air. It's not great because of "freedom." No one uses that word much any more anyway, because they know it's just a euphemism for deregulated capitalism at best, if not just Orwellian doublespeak. Is it great because it's a land of opportunity? That's just a 1950's pipe dream. And it’s definitely not great because it’s a fucking “bible” based christian country; that's the stuff fascist totalitarianism is made of.
But Obama got it right when he said that it’s a nation of great diversity, in terms of nationalities, beliefs, and sexualities. That’s what America is all about, it's what makes America great. If America is the spearhead representation of that diversification on this planet, if America is the concentrated locus of the interfused human Mandala, then that is what makes America the greatest country in the world. Let there be no denial; that's just a default that's working its own teleology (and there are xeno- and homo-phobic tribal-mentality cave people who would want it to stop), and you can't keep waving a flag too long in puffed up pride over a mode of being that is merely a default. There's a whole lot of waking up to do first.