It always strikes me as fitting when I see a bald eagle perched on a roadkill, squabbling with the buzzards. Later today we’ll get all misty eyed and sentimental about the idea of America, ignoring that the idea we’re so in love with has never existed in reality. Some will temper their fits of affection by deluding themselves that we’ve temporarily gone off the rails but things used to be different and some day we’ll get back to the way things are supposed to be. They’ll say that it wasn’t always like this… but if you can manage to get into a deeper discussion with any one of them without unwittingly triggering anger, you’ll find that the time they remember when it wasn’t like this is the time when they were very young. Ask any six year old if it’s like this now. Of course it’s not, to a six year old.
So when wasn’t it like this? Never, not in the middle latitudes of this continent, the part we now know as the contiguous United States. The peaceful Navajo and the warlike Apache are kin, descended from the same ancestors who came south in around 500BC… Must be something in the water, I guess. And please don’t get me wrong here: I’m not faulting the indigenous people for anything, or trying to minimize the sins of the Europeans who came here to fuck their shit up. I’m just pointing out that it’s pure delusion to believe that it wasn’t always like this. Of course it was. We just lie to ourselves about it so we don’t fall into despair.
I can trace my paternal lineage way, way back. We came to America in 1630, a scant decade after those celebrated Pilgrims who had their celebrated celebration at Plymouth. Yet I get called un-American if I dare to speak plainly about that which I see clearly.
Why? Because I don’t believe the same bullshit the average American believes. I read non-fiction when I don’t even have to. I had to do something to while away the time while my un-American ass earned an honorable discharge after four years in the US Air Force, don’tcha know.
So, we fought a Revolution to free ourselves from imperialist tyranny, or so they say. I don’t buy that version of it, but that’s what most people want to believe. Then we set about Manifest Destiny, got our sea to shining sea, and went right into the Monroe Doctrine to make the whole damn hemisphere ours. The hemisphere ain’t enough, and we got the Bush Doctrine. The world, baby. Or at least the interesting parts, which today are the parts with fossil fuel. But why would a nation who’s a net exporter of fossil fuels sacrifice their children to get more?
It ain’t the nation who wants it. It ain’t us, you and me. We don’t need it, not one drop. It’s the global corporations who want it, the ones who own the government that we stupidly insist on referring to as ours. We’ll pay them to use the mightiest military force the world has ever known, and give them the fossil fuels that military takes by force. All we ask for in return is that they leave us with the debt and dead kids.
If the fossil fuel is near or under your nice American home, well… there’s no longer any law prohibiting the company who owns it already (in our split estate system) from putting a drilling pad in your front yard against your will. Or prohibiting them from intentionally poisoning your family through their extraction processes. Or poisoning your livestock that way. Or your cropland. Or leaving your family members variously dead or with permanent debility and pain. That stuff is all legal now, and you have no recourse. No one owes you a dime. Just like the war is being fought against you right here in America, except they can’t use guns.
We are the subjects of an imperialist tyranny. It’s hard to see it any other way. They’ve suspended habeas corpus. The president targets American citizens for assassination. We are restricted to having our free public speech only in designated free speech zones if we’re within two miles of a VIP. They’re spying on our communications, and treating those who have the proof and the nards to tell us that the government is violating what little remains of the Constitution as enemies of the state. They’ve got surveillance drones in the skies over America. Any time now we’ll learn that they’re collecting data on every non-cash transaction that we conduct. The list goes on and on, and it all points to the same thing: The imperialists are scared shitless. Ain’t but one thing scares those bastards. It ain’t little brown funny talkin’ dudes who were born on land above fossil fuels. Those guys are easily dealt with.
So: Independence from… What? Freedom for whom? Liberty how? What does that flag really stand for?
Enjoy the barbecue and fireworks, friends.