Graffitti on the Great Wall of China

Graffitti on the Great Wall of China

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Belated Fourth of July Post.

So long time no post. I was out of town for a week helping my dad move and then came back and had to do lots of extra training at work plus some double shifts so its been a bit too long since I’ve written.

Happy belated Fourth of July though. In terms of the greatness of our country, I heard a story today about how a bunch of New Yorkers are protesting building a mosque near (as in a few blocks away from) ground zero because it would be a “shrine to terrorism”. I wonder if they think of churches as a “shrine” to the crusades, the inquisition, the holocaust or child molesters. I am not saying that I think Christians are all those things, but the corollary could very easily be drawn. I also heard a story on NPR about how the teabaggers are saying that the NAACP is…wait for it…racist. So yeah, YAY AMERICA!

But I do hope that anyone serving overseas is safe and gets to come home very, very soon. I also hope that people who are just trying to live their lives in countries like Afghanistan or Iraq are safe. There are a few people that I personally know that are in the military and I really do worry about their safety when they are over there. Because I know them, it is easier for me to be worried about them as individuals. Other than that, I can’t really say that I feel MORE concern for American citizens in war zones than I do for other people that happened to get caught living in a war zone. To me, both cases are situations where people I have never met are in danger and, because they are human beings, I genuinely hope the violence ends and ends soon. But, unlike most people in this country, I do not think of the Americans first and the people in the other countries as a belated afterthought.

I think that I feel that way because I have never really understood patriotism. Obviously I understand the concept but I have never felt that emotion. To me, national borders just seem like what they are, imaginary lines drawn on a map. I mean I get it, there is usually uniting cultures languages etc. that create a sense of community between people in any particular country. However, I have a ton more in common culturally with people from Thunder Bay, Ontario (which is about four hours away from where I went to college) than I do with someone who lives in Hawaii. Or Los Angles or New York City for that matter. The point I am trying to get at is that I think, overall, patriotism seems just a little, well, nonsensical to me.

But we as Americans do have a lot to be proud about. For example, the KFC double down sandwich, the twilight series, scientology not to mention the fact that we have been able to develop a prescription medication to cure…wait for it again…thin eyelashes. But seriously, I have been to a developing country and I am not going to lie, I am glad that I was lucky enough to be born in a country where the living conditions are really high.

But the thing is, and this is the thing I think most “I LOVE THE USA” people should remember, we didn’t do anything to be born here. It’s a crapshoot, basically, and no one who was born a US citizen worked harder or is better than anyone who was born Canadian or Mexican or Swedish or Nigerian so quit acting all high and mighty because of a totally random event that happened to make you a US citizen. And, since I know a lot of patriotism and Fourth of July festivities are aimed at supporting the troops, lets really show our support by ending the war and bringing them home safely.

Plus, the fireworks scared the crap out of my cat and he showed his dissatisfaction with the holiday by yowling and racing around the apartment like a nutcase for hours every time he heard a bottle rocket go off.

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