It’s funny how a phrase that resonated with me years ago when I was serving in the military and shortly thereafter and became a song has become so insipid sounding to me. Beyond that all Americans (other than those naturalized) are Americans by mere mistakes of birth – or if you will a Providence (which is my term of choice).
I’m not going to go on a diatribe here, it’s too late and my reasons for a lack of affinity are so great they could make a laundry list. The past few years I’ve done a large amount of soul searching through personal financial hardships – of which I don’t blame anyone and this has caused me to perhaps become more reflective and focused upon other perhaps more spiritual aspects of my life. However, I will give a very short list of what I feel has caused my lack of affinity.
- A series of wars fought since WW II which have led me to come to the opinion that the Americans are citizens of the most warlike and violent country on the planet and could contend with a long list of “bad guys of history”.(BTW I am a veteran of the Airborne).
- A cultural disconnect I suffer with most citizens. In my perspective most institutions either by design or effect have one purpose – to kill insightful self dialogue leading to real dialogue and I feel this is influenced by the popular culture and by the State.
- The sense of a growing rise in the power of the State – which I strongly believe and could opine about is linked to the first point. Nations which become militaristic always lose their own self identification other than by brute force. This is true whether it is by force of arms or force of governance run rampant.
I have somewhat retreated into something comfortable and familiar – baseball. I’ve been reading some books, viewing some games, looking at old documentaries (along with other pursuits trust me) and came to a startling revelation the other day whilst listening to the National Anthem. The only thing that makes me feel connected to this country and culture is baseball.
In a way that may be sad, but it is really how I have felt. I no longer care about my citizenship in the United States. I feel those who do are self-important and if you look at the behaviors which can be viewed from a political left, right, or center, in the end one really should ask of what are you proud.
Even hearing the National Anthem doesn’t move me so much anymore. It has become more the ritual of the song that I enjoy, not the words at all – and God forbid if some “Proud to be an American twit” is waiting for the flyover while it is played. True I still can get a lump in my throat by hearing “To the Colors”, but that is different. I always found that a sad song of reflection about sacrifice to a community.
As far as baseball songs – give me Take me out to the ballgame anytime. When I hear that I feel connected to something that “may” pass as American.