Thursday, September 27, 2012
That little crack in the wall.
I see you. I see you and see the roads behind you and what is ahead of us. I see flashes of nightmare color, blood, I see the sparks on the guardrail. I am a coward. I deceive myself and that is a damn shame. I give myself too much credit. But I have high standards. I will admit that I am operating on a different plane than many of the slack jawed simpletons that populate this earth. And CHRIST, give me the simpletons. Rather than the calculated users and autodidacts who learned it wrong. I will create a maze for myself to investigate. I will go to sleep late and wake up guilty. I will always pull for the little guy because I have known too many big guys. And I'm a big guy, but size isn't what I'm on about. Four years old, I lived in England. Sang 'God Save The Queen' every morning. Exercise in our underwear. Football with a wiffle ball. Climbing giant apple trees and tossing them down to my father, happy as I can imagine being. We lived next to beekeepers. I will take an English robin over his American counterpart any day. I get emails from my UK friends and I feel the yearning so strongly sometimes...why do we take ourselves so seriously? The USA. A country founded by criminals, infidels, and religious zealots. We wag our finger at the Holocaust and ignore the fact that we eradicated an entire way of life. Our hands are soaked in blood. But we put on a happy face, pretend. We are a nation of charlatans, but I won't participate. If I want to hate myself, I have that right. If I want to see the cracks, I fucking will. I'm not saying we don't have our redeeming qualities, but we also have niggers hanging from trees not too damn long ago. We have people afraid to admit their sexuality. We hide the abuse that gets cast upon the young. We live in a TV world where books are a joke to most. Literally, a joke. Reading is shameful. I met a young man once who thought that all fags should die. I asked him why and he couldn't come up with an answer. Kill the redskins, hang the niggers, beat the fags...and we have the nerve to pretend that America is a land of hope. If you are white and well off and you go to church...maybe. Those of us who think? I live in a country where sometimes a woman can't get an abortion if she is raped. By a family member. Thankfully, some states have seen the light. The right to the pursuit of happiness. What a joke. I could go to jail for numerous things that make me happy and harm no one. The American Dream? What a lauded fable that one is. Families are starving and scared. The distribution of wealth is shameful. I clench my jaw and try to stretch my neck, but goddamn it we fucked things up. My great grandfather was a sharecropper. My great grandfather on the other side worked and died in a coal mine. I have it good. But it could be so much better if people would stop being such blind assholes and take the time to think about how we should operate as rational fucking people. I have a feeling I will live my life poor and die poor and leave my children little, but I will show them that passion trumps assets. That honesty is more important than a job promotion. That honesty is everything. There are cracks in the walls and the roaches are coming in. I am waiting for the white man to be the minority. I am cheering for the immigrants. I am waiting for the revolution that I know is on its way. I hope I will have the courage to try...to be there. I hope that I will have the tenacity to call it as I see it.
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Dan, I'm glad this ended with hope, I was beginning to worry. The pain, the injustice, the cruelty in the world and yes in North America seems unfathomable sometimes. It's borne of ignorance which then becomes society's responsibility to deal with. Yet there is hope. There must be.ReplyDelete
Thank you for writing this - for getting it out of your system and for sharing it. Pure, real, shine a light on the darkness, Mader.
Thanks for reading it. We have screwed things up mightily. We had help, but it gets worse every day. But yes, there is always hope.Delete
Once again, exemplary post. Why the fuck are you hanging around with us boring mortals, Mader?ReplyDelete
Thanks Rich. The immortals won't have me, brother. Something about fragility.Delete
E pluribus unum, remember that? It used to be on change until they changed it. E pluribus unum from many, one. It used to be our credo, it represented what we aspired to be back when we had aspirations. They fucking killed it. The dream, the hope, the aspiration. That was in 1956 I think, when the first wave of assault hit us with the big weapon. Xenophobia, fear, and greed. E pluribus unum was murdered and replaced by John Galt. In Galt we trust.ReplyDelete
America is a grand illusion. It's really quite spectacular. One cooperative self delusion.Delete
I've been giving out much the same message but I'm too polite about it. You do it so much more eloquently than I can.ReplyDelete
And what you say is not limited to the U.S. MANY countries, groups and governments are guilty. As are many individuals.
That said, in my 63 years I have seen changes that leave me hope. Atrocities, too, but I choose to see those more as resistance to the inevitable better changes.
You're right, it is not just a US problem, but Americans have a special arrogance and ignorance that make it all the more appalling. Keep sending out that message of hope.Delete
It's a shame that a magazine like Time or People wouldn't run this piece. Thank God for blogs.ReplyDelete
Thanks brother. Harpers would. Sometimes I think Harpers is our last hope.Delete
Highly intelligent observant piece Dan, but then I wouldn't expect any less from you. As Henry Miller so acutely observed in Tropic Of Cancer, America doesn't exist except as an ideal, the issue of identity was there in Jean de Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer, Henry James said "we go to Europe to become Americanised" and I think Emerson wanted to cut the apron strings.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Richard. I had a writing teacher once who said that I write fables. I said that I was born choking on fables.Delete
Your stuff borders on classic literature, JD. It really does. From talking about fishing to talking about children to talking about what's on a guy's mind on any given day, you're good at talking to parts of me most writers do not reach :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, brother. I appreciate that. I just try to be as honest as I can and make it sound pretty. ;)Delete
Outstanding. I have nothing else to add.ReplyDelete
(Standing and clapping)ReplyDelete
I have nothing to add. You've said it all.
Thanks much, Lynne. That means a lot to me.Delete
You articulated the hypocrisies and the rank disappointment of our country brilliantly. I agree with an earlier response that many of the things you mentioned are global problems. Humanity problems really. While other countries might appeal, I don't see the UK for example as a bastion of equality. Still, I generally feel compelled to say something much (much) less brilliant than you like, Americans are stupid, at least every other day. Given the date it was written I'm curious about what the inspiration was for this handsome piece of writing because I was quite convince while reading it that it was written yesterday.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I agree, many are world problems. I lived in the UK when I was young. You're right, plenty of problems there. The comparison is weak, but I was getting more at the idea that Americans seem to feel like we have to APPEAR perfect whilst doing lame shit. We certainly aren't the only ones who do it, but we're the brash kid on the world stage. :)Delete
I write a lot, so I am sorry to say I have no idea what the original inspiration for this piece was. The sentiment is constant. This was a stream of consciousness piece, so my best guess is the inspiration was "damn, been too long since you wrote something on the old blog, SPEW VENOM!"
Thank you much.
Oh yeah, and English Robins are CUTE. :)Delete