Trying To Get To You

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July, 2007

The biggest challenge for me in celebrating the 4th of July this year is separating my feelings about my country from my feelings about my government. Reading Bush's decision to commute Scooter Libby's sentence is almost literally nauseating to me and makes the idea of watching a parade or waving a flag seem patently absurd. And that, in turn, is ridiculous of me. To allow myself to lose my own sense of patriotism and love of country because of the actions of George W. Bush and his cronies is a sacrifice of myself that I refuse to make. I am alive because of the refuge this country has been - my father's family came here to escape Antisemitism in Hungary at the turn of the last century, and my mother and her family barely escaped the Holocaust, literally getting on the last train out of Warsaw, Poland after the Nazis had invaded in September of 1939. When I see the flag, I see many things, chief among them gratitude. I get that that is not universal - gratitude may be far off the list of many who see the flag. But it's what I see, and it continue to provides me with a sense of promise for what this country can be.

So on this July 4th, I turn to what has always made me feel good about my country - the music, art and literature that it has produced - art that has often been inspired by America as both beautiful ideal and more complicated reality.

Download: Bruce Springsteen - "4th of July, Asbury Park" (7/31/73, Roslyn, NY)
Download: Gil Scott-Heron - "Winter in America"
Download: Chuck Berry - "Back In The U.S.A."
Download: Simon & Garfunkel - "America" (11/11/69, Oxford, OH)
Download: Bruce Springsteen - "Independence Day" (7/4/85, London, England)
Download: Little Steven - "I Am A Patriot" (11/21/93, New York, NY)

4 comments:

tom said...

Excellent point about Bush's actions making it tougher to celebrate this 4th. I was going to put some good ol' USA songs on my blog but was unable to shake my pissed off attitude. Seeing one of my favorite Chuck Berry songs posted on yours cheered me up. Thanks.

Maria said...

Get a life. What did Libby do that was so bad??? Oh yeah, he was railroaded by the true fascists. Thank God we live in the USA and thank God a good man like GWB holds the office right now. He has done nothing to squelch democracy.

Clinton, on the other hand, pardoned 140 true criminals but nobody seems to care about that?
Leave, seriously, leave. You obviously are easily swayed by those you think are "hip" and are unable to see the big picture. Plenty of countries have fascism and socialism. GWB's USA is not one of them.

wzjn said...

I want to thank you for the wonderful write up of why your proud to be American. It's a breath of fresh air to have someone seperate the President from the country.

Your story is heartfelt and brow-raising. Inspirational and a reminder of why the country exists in the first place.

Thank you, and Happy 4th!

Dan said...

Wow, Maria, what a nut! Railroaded by fascists? You need a break from caffeine and talk radio. Libby was prosecuted by a Republican appointed by a Republican. He was sentenced by a Republican appointed by a Republican. He was found guilty of perjury (GUILTY) by a jury. It is really that simple.
The investigation was started at the request of the CIA. You do support the CIA don't you? I am sure you support them when they are torturing someone.
Jesus, these people.
Anyway, thanks for all the music, especially the fantastic boots.

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