OK so it's been a while since I posted anything new. Lots of reasons for this I guess. Laziness, new computer games, drama in my life, getting the loveletter virus(lost over 14,000 files including 3+ months worth of photos of my son and the TSOL show) and etc..... I did at one point write a complete one back in April but HoTMetaL froze up and I lost the whole thing. A real kick in the balls to say the least. It was a good one. One of those days when the words just flow out of you and it all makes scences. Ya know when it burns.
I've been thinking a lot about how I treat other people and interact with them lately. Maybe I've been watching too many Capra films lately. I watched Mr. Smith goes to Washington today and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town the other day. You know if there is a film that has ever made any lasting effect on my life it is more than likely Meet John Doe. The idea that everyone is responsibility. That you should reach out and help you fellow man or at least give a shit. Do something of meaning. I mean they all have the basic same plot. Wide eyed Idealist has a massive change in life, encounters jaded female, idealist is attacked for trying to do the right thing Jaded female is always some how involved in plot, Idealist loses faith, jaded female falls in love with idealist and becomes less jaded and then helps save idealist. The thing is there is always this underline theme, the little man, the have not, the down and out fucking count and even the biggest crack pot should be supported when they are right. Even when they are wrong on just about everything else. The idea that the big things and even the little things you do for your fellow man count. That you should count your riches in what you can do for others instead of what you own. Also, to fearlessly do what needs to be regardless of the cost.
Maybe this way of thinking is out dated. I mean if you started visiting your neighbors everyday and offering to help them out they more than likely think your crazy or a pain in the ass. We've changed. We think too little with our hearts and more with our stomachs. We see big problems and seek big solutions and neglect the small problems with small solutions. We are more concerned with our own safety then in the health of the old guy down the street. Isolated, in our dark rooms, curtains pulled tight, alarm on, and busily indulging in our own gluttony of entertainment. I'm guilty, fuck yeah, but I like to think that there is more to me. I do care, I do give a shit but maybe I've grown jaded. Maybe there was a girl or two involved, a few underhanded backroom deals, a little graft on the side, a few jealous hand shaking, back patting enemies. I don't know, sometimes I feel like I've been pulling this jaded little wheel cart around with blinders on, focused on this goal of my own happiness. With blinders on for my own protection, they protect me against the guy next door who beats his dog or the woman that tells her child to shut the fuck up. Just keep on walking. Don't get involved. You know it will only get in the way of your own happiness and more then likely cause you pain and discontentment. I often wonder why anyone ever would stand up and be counted. I don't know maybe cause too often you stand alone in the end facing the angry mob and their jeers, clubs and rotten fruit. I've been told that it's against human nature to be kind to strangers but it seems to me that it is the most human thing you can do.
I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be American the last few months. I think we all have after September. We are all bombarded with the media image of what it is suppose to be. Flag waving parades, revenge, strength, courage, etc... Maybe I missed something but I've never felt that. Being American was something else. Maybe it was how I was raised, the things that we're taught to me by my elders about this country and what I've seen and more importantly what I have felt in my 33 years on this earth. America has always been a place of contradictions. Maybe cause I grew up in the 70s and experienced second hand the resolved conflicts of the 60s. I remember Vietnam, Watergate and watching MP's at the Iowa State Fair beating the shit out of this Hippie. The destruction and corruption of the unions, the killing of the family farm, the cold war in action, the Irain Hostages and Iraingate. Is it a wonder that I have a bad taste in my mouth. It was easy to be an ex-patriot but damn it there is so much good in those 200+ year old ideas. I think too often we define ourselves with our government but that isn't the case. I think we all know that we for the most part lost control of government a long time ago. Government for the people and by the people left Washington with Truman. Elections turned into a dog and pony show in the 1960 Kennedy election and it's all been down hill from there. I'm not saying that there are not good people in Washington, cause there are, it's the people with the influence and real power that I question. The true Evil Doers.
No, America is not defined by it's government. No they are just hired help. The real America, my America is the diversity of beliefs and ideas that can co-exist. The idea that you can be anything you want here regardless. To me it's more patriotic to go to a gay pride parade then put a flag on your car. It's sticking your neck out, not only to help yourself but others. It's unknown heroes like fireman that risk their lives for others or even the guy that leaves all his pennies in the cup at the QT. The idea that self is not as important as the good of the group. Chasing a dream regardless of it's pointlessness or the sacrifices. The idea that if there is a job to do, do it. Don't rely on other to do it, just do it yourself regardless of how hard it is or what the reward is. Be kind to your fellow man and respect him and support him when he needs it. Look out of the little guy and when you are doing well help him out. Embrace those that are different for you and understand them even if you don't agree with them. Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe. Always root for the underdog. Don't ever be afraid to roll up your selves pitch in and get some dirt under your nails. Rush to the aid of others regardless of weather they are yelling "fire" or "rape". Raise your own children and instill your beliefs and morals in them. Question authority, may very well be the corner stone of this country. Worship heroes like Lincoln, Jefferson, Bobby Kennedy, MLK Jr., Malcolm X, Ali, Lenny Bruce and Edward R. Murrow instead of sport half wits and movie stars.