Shelley speaks, in pellucid and evocative language, of the tensions between the individual and community, conflicts between the strength of uncompromising individuality and the sense of responsibility to others, which are often expressed in ways contrarian and discordant. If you read her words often, you know that she cherishes this part of herself, and is proud to be the one who pushes back, who questions, about matters political and gender-related, about issues social and relating to the blogosphere, and this is one of the things many other people cherish about her too. I’m glad – more than glad, I’m indebted in a multitude of ways and even if I disagree with her on the details deeply grateful – that she is around to kick against the pricks, as exhausting and demoralizing an avocation as that is.
One of the many reasons I feel indebted to her (and to others around the ever-more-loosely-joined virtual neighbourhood of which I feel a part) is that she kickstarts thoughts in me, and if I’m at the precise juncture where the caffeine has overcome my natural lethargy (like right now), I’m liable to write about them. The exercise of deciding whether this is a Good Thing or not is left to the reader.
The following is long and personal, and no doubt philosophically suspect. So sue me!
Particularly in these difficult days, people accuse me of being anti-American, and I invariably admit that I am, although perhaps not in the sense in which they mean it. The phrase anti-American almost certainly means different things to different people, and in different languages (long ramble about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis excised – I’ll leave that for another day). Occasionally I’m even asked why, although this is rare, and like dg here, it’s usually as part of a low-intensity injoke that bounces around Metafilter occasionally : ‘Why do you hate America so much?’
I wish I were able to trace back to the beginning my first stirrings of anti-American sentiment, way up there in my Northern BC village. That sort of thing is a fool’s game, though, particularly when your long-term memory is as wildly inaccurate as mine. We only got two television channels up there – CTV and CBC – and so there was no nose-upturned pseudo-intellectual pooh-poohing of American entertainment, though you can be sure I affected a whole range of other arrogant smartboy behaviours, feeling as I did a lone island of brilliance in a sea of millworkers and fetal alcohol syndrome genetic sports.
The second album I remember buying was The Clash’s London Calling – perhaps that was the trigger.
With lyrics like

The judge said five to ten-but I say double that again
I’m not working for the clampdown
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall ’cause government’s to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D’you know that you can use it?
The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there’s nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don’t owe nothing, so boy get runnin’
It’s the best years of your life they want to steal
You grow up and you calm down
You’re working for the clampdown
You start wearing the blue and brown
You’re working for the clampdown
So you got someone to boss around
It makes you feel big now
You drift until you brutalize
You made your first kill now

it fired me up in a way that I still feel, bowel-deep and still burning decades later. But really that album, political as it was, had very little in the way of attacks on America itself – it chose broader targets, and knocked them over with rakish, snarling aplomb.
Like Shelley, I read Ayn Rand as a teen too, and everything else I could get my hands on, which, thanks to a mother visibly relieved that I was more interested in books than cars, was almost everything I could think of, but it didn’t leave much of a mark on me, I don’t think. Similar expressions of libertarian ideals in Heinlein’s juvenilia and other SF novels did leave their mark, though. I remember quoting him, sneeringly, over the years : ‘specialization is for insects.’ But I was too interested in individuals (which I mentioned in another context, in a post of which I’m particularly proud, here) to care much about -isms. This decision, this disdain of politics, has stayed with me to this day.
So how does a disdain of politics and a Clash song jibe with a repeatedly-reiterated anti-Americanism? I’m getting to that, honest.
One of the things that Shelley’s piece today started me contemplating was how my feelings on individuality differ from the ones she expresses so well, and how imagining myself as a contrarian (if people-loving) curmudgeon all these years has molded my life. When I think about it, lyrics from another song bubble up into my mind, and I suppose they express the root of my feeling as well as anything else :

I thought thought that I could find a way
To beat the system
To make a deal and have no debts to pay
I’d take it all take it all I’d run away
Me for myself first class and first rate
But all that you have is your soul
Here I am waiting for a better day
A second chance
A little luck to come my way
A hope to dream a hope that I can sleep again
And wake in the world with a clear conscience and clean hands
‘Cause all that you have is your soul

All my life, I’ve fashioned myself as the Outsider, the exile, the individual, rugged or otherwise. I feel little to no obligation to any sense of community, other than that which is mandated by my own sense of what is right. It has roots, no doubt, in childhood bereavements, and first saw the light when a psychologist diagnosed me as a kindergarten sociopath. It matured with the fingernails-ripped-out clawing at the well-walls of my hometown – let me out! – and has evolved slowly since. It’s led to me to live as an expatriate all over the planet for most of the last 15 years, complaining about my new hosts, wherever they have been, and equally kept me from returning home. It’s made me unwilling to consider myself part of any group larger than a self-selected circle of close friends, virtual and otherwise. It’s led me inexorably to spending a significant portion of my waking hours in front of a computer, typing my life out for people I have never met.
But it’s also made me a better man, in many ways, I think, if a somewhat solipsistic one. I do believe that all you have is your soul, and that, absurd as it seems, is true even if there is no such thing as a soul. That’s an argument I’m not interested in, as it simply doesn’t matter. But I believe that once you have done your best to detach, in best buddhist fashion (though I hasten to add that I am no more a buddhist than I am an evangelical christian) – detach from political or religious affiliation, from outmoded and useless labels like ‘left’ and ‘right’, from exhortations to patriotism and considerations of race, from fretting about whether this group or that is disadvantaged or exploited – and tried to live according to the dictates of your conscience and love and do what good you can for those you know….well, we all want that, in one way or another, don’t we?
At the end of the day, ignoring the clamoring of the crowds to join in and be a part of something is the strategy of the hermit, and I am no hermit. I partake, joyfully or furiously, depending on the provenance of the brain chemicals circulating intraskull, with as much enthusiasm as someone might who defined themselves by their job, or their religion, or their gender, or their sexual preference, or their nationality, or their political affiliation, or their race.
So why do I hate America so much, though I’ve said over and over again that I love many American people? Because America does evil, and I cannot help but hate that which does evil, all the while knowing that it is evil. There’s no need for me to recite the litany of Terrible Wrongs that America has done – no matter how you sit on the love/hate/fear/security map, you know those things of which I speak.
This is not to say that other nations, other governments, other groups political or otherwise, today and in the past (and no doubt far into the future) have not done great evil. Cambodia, Germany, Japan, Rwanda, Russia, El Salvador, Guatemala…. any of us could go on, endlessly, and point to massive evils that, in sheer scale if nothing else, dwarf the worst that anyone could accuse America of.
For me, though, disappointment is the key to my dislike of America. Deep, weary, beaten-down disappointment. Disappointment at the massive disconnect between the way that America portrays itself, and the way that many Americans who are ignorant of both history and geography perceive America. Regardless of how shocked people may have been at the million corpses littering the ground in Rwanda a decade ago, I believe that were the blood of those multitudes on American hands through action rather than inaction, the shock and outrage would be many times more powerful. When I was young I expected – and many people, American and otherwise feel the same – that America would always be a force for good in the world. Americans are supposed to be heros, damn it! That’s what their movies tell us, and their television, and their news agencies and their government. That’s what their duplicitous sold-out scumbag of a president keeps repeating in halting tones when they trot him out to read another script about ‘smoking out the evil-doers.’ And nothing, we all know, is as disappointing as a fallen hero.
(Of course, you can probably guess that I directly blame George W Bush and his administration for the death of one of my best friends, as much as I blame the sack of sh-t who set and detonated that bomb in Bali. They loaded and cocked the gun – that little Indonesian just pulled the trigger. Their bumbling PR-driven war in Afghanistan drove al Qaeda members to Indonesia, the nation with the largest Muslim population on the planet, where those escappes were no doubt instrumental in the murder of all those people in Kuta. My resentment of the abject stupidity of the conduct of the little Bush-te revenge-war has only honed my anger and resentment and disappointment to a fine edge.)
But to people not dependent on their politics or their nationality to define themselves, to someone for whom identity is not built on ideas and groups outside of him or herself, the words of Official America are at so far a remove from the realities that anger and disappointment are the only responses that seem rational. Anger that wrong is being portrayed as right, to the apparent unquestioning satisfaction of many who would fight evil if they recognized it. Disappointment because America, the great power of our world, could do so much good, and instead has been locked into a path that will bear bitter fruit for everyone for as far as the mind can see into the cratered, smoke-shrouded wasteland of the future.
I love Americans, many of them. I hate America because through those who lead that powerful nation, it seems to be hellbent on making a world that is worse in every way that’s important for most of the people in it. And I feel this way not because I am Canadian, or ‘lefty’, or religious, or anything else other than who I am. I hate America because I want so desperately to love it.

Politics Chafe My Scrote, Thoughts That, If Not Deep, Are At Least Wide, Uncrappy

Join the conversation! 35 Comments

  1. Chris
    How goes it? OK – enough small talk.
    Question – how do you define hate and how do you define love?
    How about this:
    Love is the pleasure of seeing the virtue in another.
    Hate is the emotion when we focus on negative traits.
    Like everything in the world, America has virtues and negative traits.
    If we only focus on the negative, we come to hate. If we focus on the virtues, we come to love.
    Even if we focus on the virtues, that does not mean we should not protest loudly and try to correct the wrongs.
    Parents love their children, but still try to correct them when they exhibit negative tendencies.
    Countries are not people and identifying their collective traits is much more difficult.
    Why do people hate America? Maybe because they are very focused on the negative and are basically ignoring any positives. Do I expect anyone to love America? Not really, but some recognition of the positive while criticizing and try to correct the negative might lead to a more constructive dialog.
    Just a thought.

  2. I have a love-hate relationship with America, although I find Americans to be generally open, friendly and possessing of a better sense of humour than they are often given credit for (this is irony, by the way).
    On the whole, I think of America as far more puerile than evil. I don’t think there’s any malice in its forgetfulness, broken promises and insignificant attention span. I do believe it acts from good intentions much of the time, even if it appears that many of its actions are misguided. I can certainly think of ten or twenty regimes off the top of my head that need a damn hard talking to before we even start on America. The positive side of America is probably very apparent to those that live there, and those who America chooses to grace with aid. Sometimes this may be hard to appreciate when measured against its exports of missiles, tanks and seemingly smug attitudes to other ways of living.
    As Chris points out, the above is only hard to swallow to the extent that America asks us to expect better from itself. I think Chris is missing some positives though: WWII for instance. I also wouldn’t have fancied growing up under Stalin or Kruschev.
    Incidentally I have far more hatred for the British empire than I ever could have for America (unless it ends up making the same mistakes), but that’s a natural consequence of being British. We take self-loathing with our morning tea.

  3. On re-reading I’m sacrificing accuracy for comic timing in my comment above. There are many more positives about America, of course, and I largely agreed with what Mike said.

  4. Feet of Clay

    I was born in the South in the mid-50s. I spent my formative years going through the turmoil of the civil rights movement and the peace movement of the 60s in the South. Many of the men (and women) who were portrayed to me as heros during that time tur…

  5. this makes me so sad. i love my country and despise it’s leaders. i stay because i want to make it a better place. i stay because i can’t give up – this is really an amazing place to live and i’m grateful that i’m an american.
    i dunno. chris, how would you feel if we copped to our mistakes and changed our ways? is that what it’s going to take to earn back the respect of our friends and allies? i wonder about that quite often. i really think that’s our best option, but it is going to take a lot of work. please let me know what you think about this. i’ve left my email addy.

  6. I know exactly what you mean, and as an American (though a suspiciously cosmopolitan one) I’m deeply ashamed of all that stuff. But… you know those sf movies where people have invisible evil aliens wrapped around their heads, dictating their actions, and one guy gets a knock on the head or a special pair of glasses or something and he can see the evil aliens and runs around screaming about them? Well, America is a guy with an alien wrapped around his head, except everybody outside the U.S. can see our evil alien, but when you say “Hey, you’ve got an alien on your head, it’s making you do terrible things!” Americans just get defensive, because the alien has convinced us that it’s us. So remember we’re victims beneath our bluster and dumb confidence — they’re stealing our money and freedom while we stare and drool — and try to feel sorry for us rather than hating us.

  7. Quick note before I’m out the door to work – Steve, I don’t hate Americans (most of them, at least). It’s America the nation, America as personified poorly in its leaders and its government – that’s what inspires the fear and loathing.

  8. …and I’ll have a read of what you linked to, anna, as soon as I can, I promise.

  9. Mike, I’ve been thinking about your comments for a couple of days, and, well, the best I can do is say that I do love many individual American people.
    Perhaps that’s the point.

  10. Yeah, you made it clear you weren’t talking about Americans, but it’s so easy for the one to slop over into the other, I just thought I’d put in a pathetic plea for sympathy. Besides, I liked the alien-wrapped-around-head image.

  11. hm, alien wrapped around the head. i always thought dick cheney looked a little bit fishy.

  12. I wonder, how much did you hate the US government 10 or even 5 years ago? I think recent political events have exacerbated the problems of US power. Sure, there has always been resentment, but it seems to have grown exponentially in the past 2 years. It seems to have festered into a faceless distrust of all things American, and that is what really bothers me.
    I must poke some fun, your writing seems to imply that the US government hasn’t met your childhood expectations! I could tease you about that if I wasn’t guilty of the same feelings. The problem is just as much the unrealistic expectations as it is the mistakes that are made… Hollywood created a false American world perpetuated by the media and the internet.
    A few days ago there was a comment written on your site about how Americans didn’t choose their superpower status, it came to be as a result of the Soviet Union collapsing. There is a smidgeon of truth in that, since most Americans saw their cold world stance as important to world peace – it was only when the Union broke down that the US politicians began to see their potential as dominant Lions in a passive world. I’ll betcha a frosty-headed brew that in the next major US elections, Bush is out on his can.

  13. The last poster is named Mika Sanders – talk about coincidence.
    Anyway, to your point Chris, it is sometimes hard to differentiate between America and Americans.
    Defining the collective soul or personality of a country is very difficult.
    So who do we hate when we hate America?:
    The Entire Country
    The Democrats
    The Republicans
    A group in the latest poll
    The Congress
    The Cabinet
    The President
    The Press
    The Culture
    The Idealogy
    The Land Mass
    There are a lot of choices, so who do we actually hate.
    Hope to post on this next week.

  14. Why do people hate America? Maybe because they are very focused on the negative and are basically ignoring any positives.
    Because of course we furriners can only think in binary opposition.
    Mike, dude, could you possibly be any more condescending? Yeeesh.
    Stav, re: your last paragraph, I’m totally with you.

  15. Hey America has weapon of destruction and america forbids people to make them what is this,and america also attack weaker countries……I think america is shit and a bully

  16. well, i have another theory: people hate america because america always seems, oh, so shocked when it notices how much hate there is in the world against it.
    hey, folks, i respect your point of view, but i can´t agree: it’s not a matter of ignoring america’s positive aspects.
    i can speak for myself, because i read american books, play american games, listen to american music, watch american movies, and buy american stuff. altough i have the option and the means of avoiding much of that stuff.
    but the truth is that i have no special rejection of american culture and ideas, the same way i do not discriminate no other people’s culture and ideas.
    (i could mention, too, the good and dear american friends that i have, and i can tell that they are embarassed by what is going on these days).
    let’s face the facts: america, as a nation, does evil. and does evil in a scale that obfuscates much of the good it may do, or have done. if not all of it.

  17. Some people think American is a paradise, but I for one know that America is the stupidest country one the face of this plant. All that people here think about is retaliation and everyone here is so full of crap. When the twin towers event happened, everyone here all-of-a-sudden went patriotic.
    They’re buying flags and chanting “U-S-A!”,when I didn’t see anything to chant about. I think the so-called “terrorist” just gave Americans a big wake up call to tell them they need to change.

  18. I dont think hating america is a solution, it’s only a few who are the bullies there (the government etc.)…. Hating it would bring you to the same level as they are.
    about 11/9, it sucked bigtime. A shame of all those innocent people died, but it’s America’s own fault. What is the country that destroyed the middle-east? destroyed middle-america? destroyed the culture of the indians? It’s a wonder that it took so long for someone to strike back. The USA should be happy with this little punishment. millions of people died yet because of the “in God’s name” war-politics of America.
    Bush shouldn’t be killed, just put aside, in a normal house, he should be given a living like everyone else. then MAYBE he sees that he was wrong.. I hope it for him, I feel very compassioned with him.
    greetz from holland

  19. I am saddened by your commentaries and opnions of the USA. Hasn’t Canada done any injustice to anyone? Is it a perfect country? Do you know your own history? YOu have a problem with jealousy and the evil of your own (collective hearts really shows) I am an american who is not embarrased by my country or my president. I have lived in Africa and England and found both countries with their own set of problems and predjudices. When you point the finger at us you are only showing you own ignorance. You comments lack honesty or integrity. Look a t your prime minister, Isn’t he a real doosy? Look in the mirror and see where the problem realy is. You have no justification for your prejudice. Blame yourself and deal with your own heart first and them maybe you can help someone else. America is a winderful place to live and die for. I am honored to be here and love and support my country.
    Thank you

  20. Don’t waste your breath, Brian. I’ve read this guys blog before… It’s all an ego trip. By the way, Canadians are flying sorties over Iraq, have been for at least the past week. They are based out of Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma… They are also providing support in the Persian Gulf.
    Not all Canadians are stupified by the “peace before common sense” mindset.

  21. It’s all an ego trip.
    Curses! My well-kept secret, revealed!

  22. Well I personaly think its high time America got the shit kicked out of its imperialistic ass.
    Hopefully the Syrians can bind Islam and get some decent Muhjideen going, Iran have to help the Syrians out, cause they’re next on the list. Once America has control of all the land Between the Mediterranian and Indian Oceans
    they’ll have a go at the DPRK.
    The DPRK should just go ahead and launch their ballistic missiles at LA, Washington, New York, Texas…. Whatever they have they should just try and sink America before its their turn.
    They’d actually be doing the world a favour by doing so as not only would every ‘ol glory waving, star spangled banner singing nonce be eradicated, so would 60% of the earths yearly polution.
    Thats pretty horrible really, but fuck it, The USA has been exporting racial hatred for long enough – Time for you’s to get some back, and bring terrorism back to its birthplace….America.

  23. oh, and by the way: here in my country we fought for 20 years against a dictatorship regime supported by america.
    tell me about democracy. for us here, america and democracy mean just the opposite, and who can blame us for thinking like that?

  24. Think about this:
    The U.N. didn’t want us (americans)to go to war with the Middle East, but we did it anyway. So, we go to war with the idea that there is oil to be had once we win the war. I am NOT saying that we went to war just to get oil, but the oil is there. The U.N. has stated that once the war is fought (never won) the U.N. wants the oil. Ironic isn’t it they didn’t want us to go to war but they want the oil. The bizarre thing is though is that I wasnt in the LEAST BIT suprised, or concerned when I heard this. The world is so warped that this is just another brick in the wall.

  25. one,two,three,four we don’t need your FUCKING WAR!!

  26. I think the war on Iraq is justified in its intent. We are not going to war simply for oil. If we wanted Iraq’s oil, we would lift the embargos placed on trade with Iraq. Iraq would be tickled to death to sell us their oil. We are the leading oil consumers on the planet. Any country would be crazy to not want to sell us oil. My main point is, it would be cheaper to just buy the oil barrel for barrel than to go to war with Iraq and take their oil. Besides, if we wanted oil we would have our troops in Saudi Arabia.

  27. Bush is a Monkey!! F*ck Bush

  28. Well, it looks like sonic assassin, and any of the other similar anti-American, anti-Bush douchebags got it totally wrong. The USA did the ass kicking. But I did notice that assassin has two words in his alias that describe sonic ass ass in. He is a DOUBLE DUMB ASS and is on the wrong side. Sonic ass, go look in a mirror and you’ll see the real problem. An ignorant shithead is what your reflection will reveal. If you still think your’re so right, then put your ignorant double dumb ass self in front of America’s freedom forces and get it blown off. The you can join all the other ignorant fool dumbasses with their 72 virgins. HA!

  29. Down with the yanks! Communism shall rule once more and America shall perish in a tide of anti-imperialist destruction……..

  30. all this hate against americans…sounds like alot of jealous phsychobabble to me…you would all love to live here because we are free…we have fun..we work hard and play hard and yes we get rich and famous…its a great country and our war machines can beat your ass to the moon…so, put a twig in your heart and maybe a songbird will land on it

  31. The prerequisite to understanding this letter is to have encountered some of Mr. George W. Bush’s accusations and to have realized how slaphappy they are. Let’s review the errors in Mr. Bush’s statements in order. First, dodgy survivalists, motivated by either pessimism or a desire to lead a fatuous life, are eager to help Mr. Bush turn once-flourishing neighborhoods into zones of violence, decay, and moral disregard. Let me mention again that he says he’s going to substitute breast-beating and schwarmerei for action and honest debate faster than you can say “deanthropomorphization”. Good old Mr. Bush. He just loves to open his mouth and let all kinds of things come out without listening to how dissolute they sound.
    This is not the place to develop that subject. It demands many pages of analysis, which I can’t spare in this letter. Instead, I’ll just state the key point, which is that when he says that he can encourage young people to break all the rules, cut themselves loose from their roots, and adopt an unprincipled lifestyle and get away with it, that’s just a load of spucatum tauri. What Mr. Bush doesn’t realize is that I overheard one of his spokesmen say, “Mr. Bush can walk on water.” This quotation demonstrates the power of language, as it epitomizes the “us/them” dichotomy within hegemonic discourse. As for me, I prefer to use language to fight to the end for our ideas and ideals. I try never to argue with him, because it’s clear he’s not susceptible to reason. I’ll repeat what I’ve already said: Mr. Bush believes that black is white and night is day. Sorry, but I have to call foul on that one.
    His diabolic dissertations leave the current power structure untouched while simultaneously killing countless children through starvation and disease. Are these children Mr. Bush’s enemies? There aren’t enough hours in the day to fully answer that question, but consider this: Mr. Bush has never gotten ahead because of his hard work or innovative ideas. Rather, all of Mr. Bush’s successes are due to kickbacks, bribes, black market double-dealing, outright thuggery, and unsavory political intrigue. Lest I forget to mention this later, not only does he concoct a version of reality that fully contradicts real life, but he then commands his helots, “Go, and do thou likewise.”
    What Mr. Bush does in private is none of my business. But when he tries to contaminate or cut off our cities’ water supply, I object. “Mr. Bush” has now become part of my vocabulary. Whenever I see someone weaken family ties, I tell him or her to stop “Mr. Bush-ing”. To tolerate his bookish rodomontades simply because they’re not packaged and sold as irritable is to scrap the notion of national sovereignty. As for the lies and exaggerations, I have one itsy-bitsy problem with his screeds. Videlicet, they intensify or perpetuate incendiarism. And that’s saying nothing about how if natural selection indeed works by removing the weakest and most genetically unfit members of a species, then he is clearly going to be the first to go.
    Even though Mr. Bush has aired his disapproval of being criticized, I still feel that after hearing about his acrimonious attempts to achieve total world domination, I was saddened. I was saddened that he has lowered himself to this level. When you reflect upon this, you’ll realize that he operates on an international scale to make his quips a key dynamic in modern neopaganism by viscerally defining “pathologicopsychological” through the experience of horny insurrectionism. It’s only fitting, therefore, that we, too, work on an international scale, but to protect our peace, privacy, and safety. I could be wrong about any or all of this, but at the moment, the above fits what I know of history, people, and current conditions. If anyone sees anything wrong or has some new facts or theories on this, I’d love to hear about them.

  32. well i want to start off with this, i am an american, and the son of a US marine who happens to be in iraq at this moment, I am not ashamed of my country, i may not agree with everyting Bush does, but as said before… the postives outweigh the negitives. i totally supoprt my country weather i agree or not. remeber majority rules. I cannot see how u people harbor so much resentment agiast us… yes we do shitty things adn we contritict ourselves constantly, but we also feed the world, cloth the poor and enforecee most of the interational laws…honesly woudl there be a UN or NATO or anyother peace keeping orgaization with out the USA…were does all the money come form….and for all u eropeans…when u say u hate america…think about a little thing called the marshal plan…and there is no differnce between america and aamericns, even if our leaders arnt great… but look at yoru own coutries…adn ask yrou self…what good have they done for the world..and compare it to the US…think wher eyou would be…and read history

  33. It’s the ignorance in america that gets me, that so many joe smiths have no idea about the rest of the world and that that level of ignorance seems to continue through the US government. The problem is, is that what america does has such a big effect on the rest of the world, and that ignorance of course affects that. I have no problems with America or it’s people (hell i love the place)with exception of the ignorance and the results of that ignorance.

  34. I’m surprised how many people commenting seemed to gloss over the last sentence:” I hate America because I want so desperately to love it.” Of course, they also seemed to miss other points only to focus in on things to attack you with.
    It’s OK to hate evil and maybe we’ve (in the sense that it’s where I’m from) gone over to the dark side, but as you said, it’s not something that permeates every citizen. I suspect that it’s more or less a fine line between fear and hate. Maybe we’ll sober up from all the fear mongering that going around. Who knows? Maybe all it takes it to wean folks off their daily dose of Fox News and it’s countless radio clones.
    It’s not easy for everyone to live up to the ideals set forth by the founders when you this high level of hatred coming out of one portion of the population (which only makes the portion that has always been about hate more bold) and it’s running against the fear coming out of the other side.
    I’m moved to a more urban community recently and it’s all Republicans here. They had an election a month ago and they were the only ones on the ballot. And it’s not like they are all of one mind, but damn it feels a little lonely to walk around as an independent.
    But I could never say I hate this country anymore than I could say I love it. It’s far too big, wide, and diverse. I balk against patriotism, because it would be a pride derived for being born in relationship to some man-made map. That’s just dumb to me and it’s a trivial reason to start killing people over or thinking you’re all that because of it.
    So I am not fond of evil, but I refuse to believe that we or any other country is nothing but.
    And I read this post way back, but since you pointed back to it, I decided to go the way of old Jack Burton.

  35. Wiki epiphany

    Until yesterday morning the word "wiki" made me feel nauseous. I’ve been thinking lately that our "freedom" to have and express opinions is based on an illusion; that we are, more often than not, prisoners of the ideas and emotions…

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