America The Beautiful

It’s sad that in a country that boasts so much leniency and freedoms, the likes of which should make foreign countries green with envy, how unaccomodating we are in real life.  Conceptually, we say that we are democratic, diplomatic and bureaucratic.  We love to tell everyone we know that thanks to events such as the Suffragist and Equal Rights Movements and propelled by American Activism backed by The Constitution, labor union strikes and protest rallies, that everything’s cool.  Well, duh, it’s not.

But it is in the small day-to-day stuff that I still marvel at how inside-the-box we still are.  Our lean toward mega-conservativism.  I mean, we dress the same and look the same…hello, Communism!  We fight, lie, cheat and steal to get our grubby hands on the Almighty Dollar…hello, Capitalism!  But we preach a good deal about our ability to give everyone inalienable rights to do what they please as long as they are lawful in the eyes of an unlawful government.  Hello?!  Does anybody realize that we’re drowning in our own bullshit? 

Name Changing:

Pre-Renaissance and Victorian Era ideologies still reign supreme everytime I see a woman named Geraldine shorten and re-invent herself as “Jerry” in order to gain respect from her peers.  When your Asian worker, Xin must become, “Jim” or your friend with the weird name comes out with an easier-to-pronounce Americanized version.  Then there is the loss of any indicator of heritage: Umbobwe becomes, “Bob” and Rosa Rosario takes on her husband’s last name, adopting a less obvious seemingly “American” name.  For American Indians who have eternally suffered thanks to the knowledgable English ready to take advantage of simple-folk, Heather Littlefeather becomes plain old, Heather Little. Sad.

The Law’s Not on Your Side:

In the Wild West days, you could go to your Sheriff and report someone doing wrong and he’d have the accused jailed, assuming that the person a) admitted to what he / she had done or b) was pointed out by the town gossip.  No lengthy trials.  Just good old justice.  Now, people make false claims and cops who made all of these oaths to serve and protect are left wondering why they’d opted for a badge instead of some other nobler profession.  They get inundated and bitter and “cop” (pardon the pun) a lot of attitude.  My Dad was on the force for over twenty years and he can tell ya that it’s real difficult to stay true to your original code of ethics when you’ve visited the same rotten apples of the neighborhood time and time again.  What really burned him was how much labor went into putting someone behind bars only to watch them go within an hour of posting bail.  Nevermind the networks of swindlers, losers, addicts and cons who help aid their troubled friends and outweigh the scales of justice to their favor.  Some officers learn that if you can’t beat ’em, you join them.  Those dirty cops hardly ever get caught thanks to a wall of blue and criminals in high places working off old favors.  Then, there is the BIG GREEN, rearing its ugly head.  The temptation to issue parking tickets in municipalities working hard to maintain excruciatingly unrealistic budgets.  The corrupt officials who like lining their pockets with tax dollars while serving their communities, hungry for vindication.  Even in big, public scandals where white-collar crimes are identified, no one ever asks for the money back to return to the little guy.  Never.  And any cars and expensive homes almost always are kept, turned over to close friends and relatives for a dollar or purchased in someone else’s name.  Those don’t go back either.  So you tell me, does crime pay?  You bet.  Especially in starving states like New Jersey where every mayor has a hand in on some scam, potential scandal, or FBI investigation.  Just check the histories of towns like Union City, Bayonne, Jersey City.  Go ahead, I dare you…

I’m Like You, You’re Like Me: 

In a time when global unity is most necessary and UN meetings a regular occurence, it still seems that our exclusivity and politics is burying everyone’s unique qualities, replacing it with a softer, popular form that denies what makes everyone distinctive in the first place.  And did I mention America’s goal to throw McDonald’s and malls on every corner or the planet?!  Don’t get me started…

Look No Futher Than Our Own Backyard:

While Angelina Jolie is a UN Ambassador for Africa, there are children being raped, hurt, malnourished in some foster home somewhere.  I can’t help but think that all of this foreign aid is misdirected.  New Orleans suffered immensely due to broken levies which could have been avoided.  Florida residents were displaced because of hurricanes which not only damage, but eat away at the shoreline.  Affirmative Action doesn’t work.  The Health Care system in this country doesn’t work.  The Welfare system doesn’t work.  The INS system doesn’t work.  Hello, the “terrorists” are already living among us.  Cells and cells of ’em that no one thought to keep track of. Der! People are cheating insurance companies, driving cars that are expelling carbon-dioxide into the air, and gas and oil prices are making it awful hard to get around.  So why in the heck are we sending troops to Iraq?  Why are we so concerned with feeding starving children in foreign countries whose governments owe so much money that our national deficit is as high as it’s ever been?  Why are rich Americans like Johnny Depp and Michael Jackson and Madonna and Kate Moss and others all fleeing to other more “liberal” countries?  Why is France and England and the Swiss Alps or whatever so great?  Huh?  Traders.  I hope they pay a killing in foreign taxes. 

That Song Is So Obsolete:

Oh beautiful for spacious skies (Yeah, right.  Filled with CO2 and a damaged ozone layer)

For amber waves of grain (Oh, I’m sorry, we’re killing off our farmland and importing goods we used to grow)

For purple mountains, majesties (But thanks to global warming those snow-capped mountains may go away)

Above the fruited plain (Ahem, farmland dying?)

America, America God shed His (your?) grace on thee (Can’t use the term, “God” anymore.  The conservatives will kill you…oh, and the feminists will have your hide for making God a male.)

And crown thy good with brotherhood (You betta not be referring to the monarchy in England…God save the Brotherhood?)

From sea to shining sea (Not if the polar icecaps keep melting…try “From tsunami to tsunami”…)

Well, keep on rocking in the free world.  For what it’s worth.  See you at Armageddon! (That’s Judgement Day to you Christians).


About Lisa Perez

Lisa M. Perez is a published poet, editor, copywriter, public speaker and artist. The co-creator of the first ever ArtSpace in Jersey City, member of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and administrator for an online Mail Art group, Lisa supports the arts and advocates for creativity. Her successful, Art Journal and "Notes from my Brain" series are ongoing projects that evolve with the artist. In addition to being an active blogger since 2005, Lisa scripts and edits copy for various online articles and videos. In September 2017, she was a guest-speaker and virtually chaired a YOGA Recovery meeting. In her spare time, Lisa studies, reads, and creates while maintaining a day job in a STEM field and being a full-time fur-mommy to her shih-tzu, Cher.
This entry was posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia, Things That Make Me Go Hmmm..., things that suck. Bookmark the permalink.

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