Lady Liberty-Harriet Tubman
America is nothing but a base camp. A tent and a fire, laid out on some slab. That is all. A country of highwayman, robbers, charlatans, and the insane, and I love it. It is every place and no place, a final frontier. Because it is a country of immigrants and foreigners, it picks up everyone’s story, and assimilates it. Of course, this process is often ugly, barbaric, and half-baked, but it couldn’t be other wise. America is the Tower of Babel, rebuilt with Elmer’s glue and Popsicle sticks, television on max, Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire in the kitchen, and a pack of geeked out nerds and sociopaths in the garage, playing with concrete and psychotropics, trying to figure out the agenda. The enormity of spaces, of ideas, of waist sizes; limits have never been appropriately considered. We are Fantasy manifest, the settler, the soldier, the capitalist, the cowboy, the gangster, the hippies, the trendy, etc.
It’s okay to hate it, because it hates you too. No one belongs here, so we all belong here. It is Paradox Country. Own slaves, fight and die to free the slaves. Be fearful and xenophobic of outsiders, other cultures, make those black sheep social icons and definers. Rape the planet through Industrialization and figurehead the Green movement. Shining example of a Constitutional Republic, and tyrannical Big-Brother imperial state. Land of the Free, the Brave, the Prisoner and the Drug Addict.
Our characters are the best though, historical and other wise. The later amplified and burned into humanities subconscious by modern and distinctly American Technicolor Babylon. Some of my favorite Americans, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Daniel Webster, Walt Whitman, Robert Johnson, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Muhammad Ali, Miles Davis, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and on and on, but I’ll stop cause it, because its boring thinking like that, and boredom is America’s kryptonite.
Hating America is quintessential America. Faking like you love America, so that you can fight people who hate America is very American too. Anyone can be an American, just don’t think you can have any part in defining it, or your role in it…unless you have a lot of money, and then you can do whatever you want and you’re awesome, but because you’re an American, you will secretly respect, fear, and want to be the Poor, because they’re cooler and tougher. But don’t worry as long as you exhibit this understanding through things like expensively and tastefully destroyed designer jeans, you should be okay. Remember, money!
I can’t end it like that. It would be unAmerican. Let me put on my thick Sam Elliot voice. Americas riding home after a long day of playing, ball field, swimming hole, park, fire works. Gentle wind on warm skin, as your bikes pushes forward, effortlessly under strong legs. Flying with your friends, maybe a younger sister or brother in the pack. Mom told you to watch her. Don’t let her run off. And you didn’t. You made her the star, the center of the whole day. Your friends let her be sassy, and get away with saying all the things you could never say. And you smile as you think about that flying down the road to your house. The lights are dim, Mom and Dad are upstairs, already in bed. They call out to the gang as they raid the kitchen for popcorn and treats and then you pile on the sofa to watch the latest movie. Your friends will file out one by one, back through the syncopated quiet of the neighborhood, with perfectly mowed lawns, except that one, always that one house, and into their homes. You sit there til its late, scrolling through your phone and it feels like the whole world has gone to sleep. And everything is perfect, and normal, and put away. You toss a blanket on your sister, she likes to sleep on the couch, and you head to your bed in perfect peace.