Sunday, July 4, 2010

From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam

Oh, Digby.
And anyway, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday -- a beautiful, secular, mid-summer celebration of freedom --- and I just don't want to feel awful today.
I completely understand not wanting to feel awful today--I generally don't want to feel awful any day, though my success with that desire is spotty to say the least. But, come on now: a beautiful, secular, mid-summer celebration of freedom? Is that what today is?

Because my understanding is that it's more to do with a bunch of privileged, property-(including-slaves-let's-not-forget)-owning, wealthy white men taking a quick break from their ruthless genocide to violently express, first, their unwillingness to part with any of their wealth, and second, their desire to take on those aspects of power that they did not have already. The fact that they packaged these desires in populist hand-waving only means that they were clever about the long-term needs of maintaining that power, nothing more, nothing less.

Lovely also how she posts a video clip, perfectly frozen by youtube on a still of Barack Obama's most unbearable look of beatitude and his wife's most perfect look of contempt for her inferiors (who are, naturally, everyone else), of a bunch of privileged powerholders listening to a wealthy white man condescend to the rest of us, linking below it to Douglass's What to the Slave is the Fourth of July with a smug, very nouveau White Man's Burden "We've come a long way."

What to the Black American who is president is the Fourth of July? A celebration of the continued gullibility of the masses that enable his wealth, no doubt. And what is it to the vast majority of the rest of Black Americans of today? Or, for that matter, 99% of this country's population? And what is it to the rest of the world?

Myself, I'm celebrating the day by staying the fuck indoors and watching boatloads of Star Trek by myself. Its portrait of the unquestioningly patriotic front guard of a repressive psychologically totalitarian society is a perfect mirror of today's America. Later on I plan to start reading Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. God Bless America.

PEE ESS Those lyrics I used as the title of this post sure need amending at this point, don't they? "From the blasted, topless mountains to the mineral production fields and factory farms to the oceans brown with oil" doesn't exactly fit the rhythm of the song, but it'll have to do until we have better things to sing about.

PEE PEE ESS Another good way to celebrate This Great Nation Of Ours™ (unless you and your parents and your grandparents and your great-grandparents weren't all white people born here in which case get back to where you came from, and if you're already there what right do you think you have to read this American blog???) is with a listen to Laurie Anderson's wonderful new album Homeland. The lady's still got it, and she's always been good at seeing the actual world she lives in.


Jenny said...

last year,I went to my uncle's picnic while listening to a lot of MC5 and Modern lovers on my ipod. This year,I just made a summer pop song mix. And for the record, my two favorite holidays are Christmas and Halloween

Ethan said...

I love the Modern Lovers. I always want to love MC5, but always find the production a bit....wussy, I guess the word would be. Although I hear the live recordings are much better.

Jenny said...

yeah, Kick out the jams is the best so go for that.

Anonymous said...

I don't cut President Obama much slack --- the job is too important for that and he doesn't need patronizing sycophants ---


Ethan said...

Haha, yeah, that is a good one, isn't it?