The urge to write struck me this evening. I’m down on America and unlike half of the population it isn’t just due to Donald Trump. Instead it is a number of things I’ve experienced and read since I came back into the country only six short days ago.
The thought started right when I got off the plane from Japan and the first person to greet us travelers was an immigration guy barking at us to get into the proper lines. Now given the current climate you might expect that many Trump supporters would bark at foreigners but this particular guy was a Chinese American and barked at us with an accent. I literally said out loud “Welcome to America” as I passed him.
Now I do have to give our actual immigration inspector props as he was actually very cool which is unusual for the SFO port of entry. I mentioned we’d like all of our passports stamped since they usually don’t stamp American passports with the American stamp; I learned the reason is because frequent American travelers were complaining that it takes up too much space. When I mentioned this he let my kids stamp their own passports to big props to him!
But things went downhill from there and again, they are not complex political things, but small things that occur during daily life.
The first is that my son lost his Bey Blade launcher at school. Unfortunately the first thought to come to my mind was, “This is America, you won’t get it back.” This is in contrast to Japan where lost items have a 99.999% return rate. Here in the USA a lost item has a 30% chance of being turned in if that. Sure enough he checked the lost and found and no Bey Blade launcher. This is America so of course you won’t get it back.
The next item to bring me down even further was reading about Chicago and how there were 60 gun shot wounds over the weekend. That’s right, 60, not year to date but over the weekend. In America logic this means people don’t have enough guns and we should give the good people of Chicago more guns.
I then turn to the entertainment section and read about the passing of Aretha Franklin. As news isn’t really news anymore it was mixed with a meme about how Nicki Minaj has beaten Aretha Franklin’s record for hits or something like that. There was a picture of the respectable Aretha next to Minaj’s “Queen” where she is perched half naked on a tree branch
practically exposing her boobs. I can think of a number of great songs by Ms. Franklin but the only one that comes to mind for Minaj is “You a hoe, you a hoe, you a hoe, you a hoe.” Again, “Welcome to America!”
And in a time when one of our greats has passed away we can at least expect some praise from our Commander in Chief right? Well, I guess the main thing Mr. Trump had to say was “Well, she worked for me once.”
Welcome to America.
I then go on to read about President Trump stripping Brennan’s security clearance and Mr. Brennan speaking about trying to uphold American values in times like these. What values is he talking about? As I’ve grown older I’ve come to realize the only value America has ever had is that of profit at any cost. Throw in as many 4th of July parades, Budweiser commercials or Bald Eagles as you want it still comes down to profit over everything else.
Perhaps in these dark times we could turn to religion? Nope. I read further and see that 300 priests in Pennsylvania had been molesting boys and girls for decades. Well, what is new? Perhaps an isolated incident? Yea right, it was my trip to Spain and reading books like Lazarillo de Tormes which taught me that abuse by priests is nothing new. In fact half, and by half I mean HALF, of the priests in the parishes I attended got in trouble for this kind of behavior. And what do the parents do about it? They have FAITH and deliver their younglings right back into the hands of the predators. As a parent now myself, this makes absolutely no sense to me. What is one of the worst things you could do to a kid besides outright murder and these people have so much “faith” they are able to turn a blind eye to it over and over and over and over. I feel as though I’m living in an episode of the Twilight Zone where nothing makes any sense at all.
Why doesn’t the Catholic Church just take a page from Mr. Guiliani and say “Truth isn’t the truth” unless Jesus? I read a statement from a priest in one of the articles that said we should all pray for those PRIESTS!!!
For fuck’s sakes man……..
So it is for these reasons I’m pretty down on America and it all occurred within the space of a week.
But perhaps this is what our society deserves. There is nothing to bring us together except for the pursuit of profit and we should just admit that and all be better off.
And I don’t even want to get into the Alex Jones and Infowars hate. I’ve never listened to him but opened up a meme video where his hate speech was set to Indy Rock Music.
Now the song was nice but the words an abomination. How is it a demagogue like this can actually attract so many followers in a place like America? Oh yea, it is America. I used to think we had our heads on straight but perhaps it is time we take a hard look in the mirror at what we have become.
These are dark times and I expect things will only get worse.