America Rocks

Looking at the situation in Iran today, gives one time to reflect on the difference between America’s culture of freedom and celebration and Iran’s culture of oppression. It is perhaps more compelling in 2009 than in other years. Thinking back to our Presidential election and the subsequent peaceful, dignified and celebratory transfer of power from one polarized party to another…….it is truly astounding to look at the difference. They have riots in the streets and deaths; we have public debates and forums. Despite the ever present name calling and labeling, despite the anger and insults we are yet a celebratory culture.

 

It is a reflection of our history; a history of multi-cultural celebrations of life. Despite many painful and errant missteps and human tragedies our culture remains one of optimism and celebration.

 

Nothing is more reflective of that than our music. America’s music is the single most unique cultural contribution to the world that we have to give. It absolutely epitomizes who we are. A nation of immigrants, a hodge-podge  of ethnicities that blended together has produced an evolving anthem to the world. Combining Hymns, field shouts, frontier (country) and urban (ragtime) to produce syncopation through blues and jazz we have changed the world. We are a nation of improvisation as well as structure. Not just in politics, law, business, sports, technology, but culturally too. Our music sweeps the world in celebration.

 

America Rocks!

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12 Responses

  1. > It is a reflection of our history

    Yes it is.

    Just as what is happening in Iran is a reflection of its history. The U.S. restored the Shah after he was forced into exile by a democratically elected PM and then supported the Shah all the years he oppressed the people. So is it any wonder that the backlash was the Islamic Revolution? Another example of what happens when the U.S. sticks it’s nose where it does not belong, which is one inch past our national borders.

  2. I celebrate the goodness of America. While all government has warts, we have not yet invented, nor have i heard or seen a sane alternative, to self rule.

    I have fallen in love with American Names,
    The sharp names that never get fat,
    The snakeskin titles of mining claims,
    The plumed war bonnet of Medicine Hat,
    Tuscon and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat.

    Stephen Vincent Benet

    There is still a pureness of spirit in America that we instill in our youth. The promise still exists.

    We are often far too cynical in day to day affairs, but the promise is still passed on to each generation.

  3. So, Anarchist, you’re for isolationism?

  4. I can’t speak for Anarchist but what I will say is that America never does anything that will not benefit it economically or politically. And the two are intertwined.

  5. “America never does anything that will not benefit it economically or politically. And the two are intertwined.”

    It is easy to make one dimensional accusations and shoot from the hip, but it is often not factual.

    America is a nation of Philanthropy that is often cynically dismissed. There is an enormous amount of good will and life sustaining activity underway every day in this country. I personally have worked with many foundations that have annual budgets that go underpublicized because the American Media can’t sell print or air time with these stories.

    Here is just one link, there are hundreds.

    http://www.charity.org/About_Us

  6. Oddly enough, I agree with you on this pt. I spent much of my adult life being very disillusioned about America and contemplated moving to another country more than once. My choice was: France. But when I really looked at it, it seemed to me that America with all its flaws is a freer place. That’s a fact that we take too much for granted, and our newfound knowledge of the Middle East underscores that. I mean, in Saudi
    Arabia, women are not permitted to drive cars. I can’t even wrap my mind around that.

  7. of course I’m an isolationist! It goes hand in hand with being an anarchist.

    I’m with Nick on this country’s motives. Behind it all is some self-interest. Even if it is just “good will” internationally.

    And I still want to leave this country when the time is right. Maybe Costa, maybe somewhere else. I have no psychological or emotional investment to this (or any other country). Whatever is best for *me* is where I’m going. Because that’s all there is…. me (which includes Susie).

  8. I knew that already about you being an isolationist 🙂 Just wanted to hear you say it. There is no country or person who operates under anything more than self-interest, including Costa Rica. I think the U.S. is finally headed in the direction of actually acting in what is in our best interests.

  9. > There is no country or person who operates under anything > more than self-interest, including Costa Rica

    And I’d never suggest otherwise. However, since CR doesn’t even have an army (it was abolished some 50 years ago), it’s international profile is, shall we say…quite subdued. CR could never be a part of the Coalition of the Willing.

  10. “Whatever is best for *me* is where I’m going. Because that’s all there is”

    Not accurate for many people. But perhaps so for you. Many people have families that are more important to them than themselves. There are people all around you making life choices that are more about others lives than about themselves.

    America is not just about government it is about free people. Freedom doesn’t exist through philosophy alone it requires vigilance. It is not a theory it is a living breathing reality.

    If everyone believed as you do there would perhaps be no America to come and go to as you please.

    Some of us take that seriously, I am one who does.

    Many imigrants place great emotional value on becoming citizens and will fight to preserve that right for others.

  11. “Freedom” to me means making the choices in life you want to make. I have no problem with anyone who wants to make whatever choice they want. They are “free” to do so. But the idea that I have any “inherent” responsibilities that I do not freely accept to take on is one I reject.

    I do not accept that I “should” do this or that. I accept only that I “choose” to do this or that. “Should” implies an obligation, whether internal or external in origin; “choose” is an existentialist decision of a free person.

    “Freedom” to me means “freedom from government”, which restricts freedom. The government says I cannot do drugs, visit a prostitute and all sorts of other nonsensical things. I reject its authority and legitimacy. Those who accept the authority and legitimacy of government have surrendered their freedom to government.

    If we look at the world today that is “not free”, why is that? Are they occupied by a foreign power? No. In almost every case, it is their own government that has taken their freedom. China, Iran, etc. So it is government that is the #1 enemy of freedom.

    Which is why, in a country with weak government, we are much more “free” than a country with strong government.
    I have lived in both types. And I prefer weak government provided I have wealth, in a relative sense.

    So I live here for purely economic reasons. No other reason. And that is why so many immigrants come here. It is not about freedom, in most cases; they just want to make some money. After which, they may very well return to where they came from and live a good life.

  12. Very interesting thread. I hate it when I forget to subscribe to follow up comments.

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