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Marching Backwards in Americana

 

"I'd like to tell you about my dream... it's a place where strip malls abound and diversion's mere moments away. Where the ones least refined define culture; you'll be left behind if you don't fit in. Everything‚s backwards in Americana."

--The Offspring

 

Indeed, everything is backwards in our Beautiful America: Where the intellectuals are on the bottom of the social hierarchy--at least, until they become rich intellectuals. Where magnificent painters, musicians, and writers can be belittled as "starving artists"--before they become famous artists, that is. Where so many of us find it too difficult to take a walk or jog outside--but will spend hours searching for the remote control. Yes, this is Americana.

 

"Live Free or Die," as the New Hampshire state motto tells us. Since the 18th-century debut of the phrase, it has inspired the encumbered to fight to no end for their rights to representative government, to vote, to equality. And when those liberties were granted, they sought the justice to industrialize Native American reserves, to dump toxic wastes into the ocean, to smother monkeys with chemicals. How long must we fight until we can call ourselves free?

 

"Your freedom isn't free. Pushing us a drug you call freedom and democracy, promise us that selfishness is the means for happiness... If this is all there is to freedom, I don't want it."

--Five Iron Frenzy

 

Protect what's yours - steal what isn't. When someone else wants it, take it. If you can't have it, complain. Everything's game in this country, no? Isn't that the meaning of freedom?

 

Something went seriously awry in this country's constant quest for justice‚ between July 4th, 1776, and today. Will we ever be satisfied with what we have, or will our crusades for more be the death of us? Let's demolish the forests, we need more homes--someone else can worry about oxygen depletion. Hop in the car, it's too far to walk around the block--I don‚t believe in acid rain. No place to dump those hazardous chemical wastes? Just make sure that the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency is ignorant and heedless--she'll find a water system for you to pollute. Who, with me, wonders: Are we living free or killing ourselves?

 

Alas, our freedom really isn't free. The price we are paying is too high. Greed reverses the progress of our society, and we find ourselves six feet under the surface of a landfill.

 

Don‚t be left ahead. We're marching backwards here in Americana.

 

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