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Threads of Patriotism
by Jeremy Browning
May. 03, 2006 02:35

I'm exhausted trying to keep up with everything that is going on in the world.

I don't even have television, but I'm still bombarded constantly by the radio news about a whole slew of problems and issues bearing down on us at any given time.

Right now it's Iran saying that they think Isreal should be annihilated and does not have a right to exist, and everyone is bellyaching about gas prices so incessantly that I'm sick to death of it. Then there's what appears to be a complete and absolutely stunning failure of our mission in Iraq. Today I heard about soldiers getting blown up. I heard that the death toll rose above 2,400 U.S. soldiers. I heard about a poll claiming that most Americans think the war is a failure. There is an uprising brewing among illegal immigrants demanding immediate citizenship and immunity. They're marching in the streets. A new study shows Americans not as healthy as the British.

It goes on.

Number one question is how the hell can I keep up with all that news and form an opinion about it? Number two question is why do I feel so guilty about all of it? To hear they news, you'd think Americans just bungled the whole thing.

Everything was going along just fine and then America ruined it all.

(But it is amazing how international relationships have so many of the same characteristics as interpersonal ones. It's like a fractal -- it has self-similarity, like the fractal that looks like a curled tentacle and is made of shapes that look like curled tentacles, which are outlined in strips of curled tentacles joined together. Self-similarity. International relationships are the same shape as interpersonal ones -- they have similar characteristics.

The nations of the world are turning on us. Like the kid who begins to chip away at his best friend for always beating him at everything.)

So to sit here as an American, it doesn't feel very comfortable. And yet most Americans are guilty of no crimes against humanity.

Is it really that bad?

I think if I believed that I wouldn't be able to contiue each day. The reason I don't believe it is because I have a great life. I absolutely love it. I have a great time with my friends and family. I live like a king, it seems. People would kill to have a life like mine. And it's a life created by those dirty, rotten Americans. I know it's all a myth. And yet I can see parts of it coming to fruition. It's like the news is in the driver's seat now.

Everything is what it seems. And it seems to have been conveyed too quickly and superficially to pass along much meaning. So most things don't have meaning, only feeling. And the overriding feeling is things are bad and they're probably my fault.

There's more and more of it and I'm getting tired, and further behind. I'm knowing less about each issue. And the reports are becoming more grave. So I might have to take a break and stick to what I do know: that I basically do as I please in this life and I'm having a good time, despite the news that everything is in fluxing turmoil. (That phrase may or may not entirely be made up of real words.)

Imagine if Americans weren't so convinced they've blown it. Imagine if a thread of patriotism was permissible.

Edited Feb. 13, 2007 00:20


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