Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Acidic Ramblings

Thirty-seven Fourth of Julys.

As a sprout, in my knee high to a grasshopper days, the holiday was just another fun day in a long string of fun days in the epic months of summer. Golden days. Days when I ached with longing as I was tucked into bed, windows open (a decade before central air ever entered my life), the sound of waning birds and the far off laughter of the children with clearly more permissive and less wet blanket parents filling my ears, the last hint of daylight still visible at the bottom edge of the black out curtains.

Years later, it was fireworks and cruising boys, elephant ears and kisses under the bleachers.

After college, it meant I worked all day, when other people had the day off (I was an assistant manager in retail & low, lone woman on the rickety ladder of an AM radio station).

The underpinings never escape me; I get that it's an arbitrary date set by some dead people to commemorate our break with the Mother Land. The signing of the Declaration of Independence is like a grade school secular obsession equaled in scale, myth and magic to The Last Supper in Christian Sunday School classes. As a WASP, I was steeped in this shit. America the Beautiful.

Do I sound bitter?

I'm not. I'm in love with America as surely as I am my husband. Our imperfect union is just as peopled with skeletons, boogeymen, and ghosts. When you're stripped bare as a spouse, the Baby Jane leaks out of the corners, sometimes. Or there's a glimpse of the Vegas Elvis, peeking through the facade.

When the country seems to be falling apart, the government incongruously in tension with what the people are apparently's the same stomach-grinding stand off. But this is my home, my country, and Good Goddamn, I'm not giving up on it, because to do so, I'd be giving up on the people. People I don't know, will never see. But they're my people.

And then I think, aren't all people my people? It seems like globalization is the only way we're ever going to free ourselves of what is happening right now, all this fracturization and self-segregation going on. Our self-aggrandizing president waving from his bully pulpit, that smarmy little smirk on his Curious George face.

But we can't oversimplify, either. There has to be some way to rid ourselves of the melting pot, and think more in terms of a Salad Shaker (remember those things? The only thing I ever ate from McDonalds for years). Vive le difference, right? Can't we all just get along?! *dramatic sob*

Hillary can eat me, but her ghost-writer did have something going on with the whole it takes a village thing.

So I'm left wondering why in the name of Thor's Hammer are states like Minnesota passing laws that make it a misdemeanor to sell American flags that are not made in America with American textiles, and yet an organization like Child Workers in Asia even exists?!

"Dammit, Jim, let's make sure we get our flags from the US of A, but who gives a rat's ass where my Nikes came from. Oooh, a Starbucks!"