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To Look for America   May 20 2009

Filed under Anthropic by Ewen Shearer

Have you found America?

Lives flow zero-sum to futility pursuing mind ephemera in flickering dim persistence.

Media detritus weaves culture to mind-montage, echoing tinnient our frayed and cherished memories.

Collaged in colloidal silvered cellulose, ink-smeared headers, crackly acetate audio, American annals precipitate culture into caricature.

Ouroboros marketers wield consumeristic blenders, markets puréed to crass cliché.

Trail-blazing frontier heydays wane, bygone in these e-times. Parades of decayed decades fossilize sessile, 19th by 20th, in Hollywood’s hubristic faux follies.

Did you find America in fatherland’s flame or motherland’s mystique?

A poorly tended orphan, this nation coalesced to juvenescence, fluoresced at pubescence, in two tumultuous centuries of long pivotal, busy years – barely a blink, mostly a blank, in public percept.

Débutante, a Papal gift to Spain, homeland’s less scenic way saw natives annulled, witches hunted, pious preaching, youthful rebellion, uncivil slavery, and can-do capitalism.. and from that chaotic nonage wearily emerged The Union, bearing but a buck and a Bill of Rights.

Gilded Age founded selfish imperialism that inexorably begat soul-sapping world wars and two apocalyptic oriental flash-bangs. The world took careful note; though capable of equally revengeful spite, of such cruel Hollywoodesque it was not.

Post-war euphoria ebbed Cold War-soured till extinguished by futility in Asian-Arab crusades.

Premature news of its death was only slightly so, arriving delicious with heart-stilling irony by our own hand. Earth’s greatest empire slain by a homegrown virus. A virulent, highly praised export variant: best practice, world class, and best of breed – Greed.

Which brings us where we stand in the smoking ruin that was America, why we might seek what it was, and thus what we are.. or were.

Despite America’s dark heart and God’s eternal silence, none doubt that He exalts Her. “God bless America and nowhere else” resonates as classroom oath, not facetious doggerel.

"They’ve all come to look for America" – still searching, by the way. Not just a tribal ache but some clasping at the nationhood to which we long to belong.

That a combustion-fed artery delivers pilgrims to the City of Ghosts in search of genesis is irony enough. For irony, too, traveled with those who, from the sea, sought a dream yet to exist, founded a Mephistophelian metropolis of gangland hell, then surged westward and ho. Their descendants pay the piper, and the turnpike, by return in futile quest to this Trimenjous Apple, seeing in it their seeding, as does indeed an entire nation.

International regard of us is a cautious affair. Knowing the beast too well, World backs slowly towards the door and looks instead to lateral liaisons with Aspirant Asia, Gulf of Lucre, or Crown Prince Europe.

Oppressed and starved craved bounteous freedom in our virgin frontiers but their dreams mired in threadbare hardship and genocidal slave-keep. Still they arrive, over sea or beneath border, to shatter hopeful longings and languish as latter-day slaves to an imagined betterment.

Marketing, ever our game, drew migrants by symbols rendered as reality. Cowboy and gold rush cloaked ruinous labor. Coca Cola and Chevrolet bestrode dark steeds of economic imperialism, dazzling distant peasants as their birthright siphoned stateside.

Disquiet and delight greeted 9-11. Ensuing crusades blinded-not a media-savvy world that pierced indulgent embedded reportage and found only nakedly hooded prisoners of humiliation, evangelized Christian military madmen, or disillusioned patriot soldiers sacrificed beneath black-tinted mercenary convoys.

We, the Americans who seek this effusive illusion, live unwitting of its malignant extent or mischievous intent. We drive its cars, eat its burgers, bail its banks, laissez its faire, build its weapons of mass misconception, and quell deep-schism qualms at a reality slippery and thin as spring ice.

While septuagenarians work-as-retirement, while all work longer and harder for less, while middle class indebted afford neither health nor home, while overpaid geeks squander gizmo-extravagance online, while rich and famous parade fortune in all’s faces, while lavishly fortressed wealth screws a democracy that once served all.. the fervent distraction of an entire nation asserts Vidal’s United States of Amnesia in comatose acquiescence to dreamland’s Gordian fabric.

A child puzzles why hordes throng in consumptive frenzy and frenetic confusion on the turnstyle of life.

"Where are they going, Dear Parents?"

"To find America, young one, where else?"

"But that way is perfidious, a circus of illusion, the devil’s torment, bubbles of falsity.”

“Besides,” the child ponders in naïve clarity (of which only our favorite observer is capable),

“America lies within."




Down Under


Australiana


Ink Irresistable

Not the NYT Montaigne's what would I know? Huxley's almost anything about almost everything. Or Bierce and nothing matters. Codifying life's inimitable impromptu inclines irrestistably to essay.

Civilization ..

   defiles itself


Times past when warlords, priests and royalty hoarded luxury, life was a short grim struggle. Today most want for little yet still deny dignified survival to working poor, and ravage entire countries as collateral to our laissez faire fiesta.
double arrowOn not shedding a tear ..

A Century of Imperialism

     ..hasn't dulled the urge

American foreign policy never a pretty sight, finesse of the mobile crane chase from Terminator 3. Export democracy? Cure worse than disease. double arrow Read more ..

Charity

~ its own reward

And what's going on in Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? As 40% of kids fail graduation the Iraqistan wars suck $2.4 trillion [CBO 2017 est]. Imagine this staggering sum applied to rebuilding The Great Society. Think of others.
double arrow Where Charity Begins

This lazy unemployed

..crack-smoking welfare queen ran up U$15 trillion debt

lazy homeless scum
Odd how the ultra-wealthy gull even working poor to blame unemployed, disabled, weak, and vulnerable while but for the grace of God go all.

If he's a welfare leech then your soul is with the sociopaths and predators who own Warshington and its minions, the Repugnicans and Dumfocrats, gutting a once noble nation that aspired to equality.

This elite will survive the US economic train wreck, land softly on 300 million plundered taxpayers, then from fortresses of luxury and privilege prey elsewhere for spoils.

The dawn of civilization was greatly exaggerated.

Munch Montage


Painters, such a sad old bunch
None it seems more so than Munch
Upon that bridge with skies afire
A meme took flight to never tire.
2arrow gif

Quote Me

"I am an obsessive rewriter, doing one draft and then another and another. In a way I have nothing to say but a great deal to add
~ Gore Vidal

"Rulers of state are the only ones who should have the privilege of lying" (Well, that explains the last 2500 years)
~ Plato

"By 'known unknowns' I was referring to the universe's dark matter.."
~ Donald Rumsfeld

"I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fullness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out.."
~ Joseph Addison