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04 July 2010 @ 11:28 am
Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes...  
...but as John Fogerty says, "it ain't me."

I have such mixed feelings about the Fourth of July. On one hand, I know I am incredibly lucky to have been born where and when I was, into so much privilege of every kind that I take for granted every day. I also believe in the ideals that the U.S. was founded on.

But I also think that this country has failed to live up to those ideals in really significant ways, and I am downright ashamed of much of what our government does, particularly in the international arena. I'm definitely not a "my country, right or wrong" kind of person and on days like today, with everybody waving their flags, I sometimes feel like I'm the only one, even though I know I'm not.

I wish more Americans would use this day as an opportunity to celebrate what we're doing that's good, to reflect on what we're doing that's not, and to think about ways we can change for the better. But I'm enough of a cynic to believe that that'll never happen, and enough of a hypocrite that I'm going to spend my day eating barbecue and swimming in the pool. :\

...and now back to your regularly-scheduled programming.
How do I feel?: contemplativeambivalent
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Sky: [other] road less traveledskyblue_reverie on July 4th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
It's interesting, because historically conservatives were supposed to be the ones suspicious of government and liberals were supposed to be in favor of big government, right? It's totally turned around, though. Of course, that has a lot to do with the fact that (imho) the government these days is leaning more towards the fascist end of the spectrum rather than the socialist. Naturally, as a liberal, I think the socialist side is better. :p

I like your idea of calling it "Let's-Think-About-This Day." I'm totally gonna use that. :D Thanks for that, and hope your day is good too.
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Skyskyblue_reverie on July 4th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
Ahaha we definitely need a catchphrase. "Socialists believe that everything should be shared, and we do mean EVERYTHING." :P
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Sky: [where the wild things are] rumpusskyblue_reverie on July 5th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Yes, those are perfect! We shall start a political revolution through the force of our slogans! :D
...a kind of sweet metaphysical blur...: set yourself on firehitlikehammers on July 4th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
Love for this; so very true.

Though I also concede the overall point, and will be having a picnic and watching fireworks and staying outside around a bonfire until the wee hours of the morning, nonetheless. I suspect we'll have some philosophical talk about the state of the nation during those hours, though, so maybe that evens things out a little ;D

Happy 4th!
Skyskyblue_reverie on July 4th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the support, bb. It's good to know there are others with similar feelings.

Enjoy your picnic and bonfire, and definitely your philosophical talk about the state of the nation! :)

Happy 4th/Let's-Think-About-This-Day! (stolen from mjules, see above.) ♥
Le Chat Noirchatastic on July 4th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
There are few days that go by where I don't worry and shake my head about events, actions and speeches that are taking place in our nation and by representatives of our nation in other countries.

I am devoted to The Economist, and I'm pretty sure my employer thinks I'm a dirty ass Commie.

However, on days like today, I am particularly amazed that any group of people, including a bunch of wealthy white guys, came up with a ballsy idea and had the with-all to put their names on it. They weren't perfect, their idea wasn't perfect, the follow-through sucked a bit and these days we're all lucky enough to be picking up the pieces.

The worst thing, to me, is that I didn't choose to live here -- I was lucky enough to be born an American. As a member of the press, I consider my right to speak as I see fit, within reason to the liberty of others, my lifeblood. My heart aches for anyone who, like me, likes to opine into oblivion, but can't because their government doesn't permit it.

We don't have it perfect here in the country, and we're making a shit-ton of errors, but I'm grateful every time I put fingers to keyboard and that business gets printed that I live here.

And I LOVE grilled zucchini, so any chance I have to get folks over to my pad and grill veggies in celebration, I'm a happy cat!
Sky: [other] peachesskyblue_reverie on July 4th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of this. You put it very eloquently. :)

I am constantly amazed at the daring and courage of the people who put it on the line to start this country. No way I'd have the guts to do that.

Mmmm, grilled zucchini. Though I have to admit, our grill is full of meaty stuff, so we're steaming the zucchini & yellow squash instead. It'll still be yummy. :D
ellie_pierson: bunny pornellie_pierson on July 5th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
As seen on ROLF Razzi (aka Celebrity cheezburgers) site: This Sunday marks the birth of America, which Americans celebrate by combining their love of drinking with their love of explosions.

Sky: [buffy] buffy hee animatedskyblue_reverie on July 5th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
AWESOME. And I don't like either of those things, which probably explains at least some of my antipathy for this holiday. :p
imacharimachar on July 5th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
You have no idea how happy this made me...this is my first July 4th as an American citizen, and people often ask me why it took me so long (I've been eligible for almost 20 years) and it's because it's something I've always been very conflicted about. I didn't come here because I was running from something, or feared something, or hated the place I came from, or even couldn't have made a living there. The circumstances of my life just happen to have landed me here, and while there are many, many things I love about the US (mostly people and culture and food and places) there are also many things I'm not at all fond of - not least of which is the unreflective nature of American exceptionalism. I know that the unflinching banal nationalism isn't embedded in everyone, but man, it's nice to see that borne out in people like you...thanks bb...you made my July 4th....
Sky: [little prince] landscapeskyblue_reverie on July 5th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, I can imagine that your feelings of conflict must be even stronger. For what it's worth, congratulations on your first Independence Day as an American. We can feel ambivalent together. :)

I agree with you that knee-jerk patriotism is really unappealing, and to me really idiotic. But yes, you see a lot of it here. I'm glad I could show you that we're not all like that. ♥
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Sky: [custom] earthbound misfitskyblue_reverie on July 5th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
I imagine your years abroad have given you a much more balanced perspective on America and Americans. I envy and admire that!