Weird getting back from a short vacationing jaunt of just a couple of days, on a Friday evening. It's in advance of a holiday weekend. We were at Lake Tahoe where shortly after arrival on Wednesday, I met up with The Great J Stanton. Upon meetup, 'round 8:30pm, on the anniversary eve of "Our Great Independence," He took me down to the lake. Lake Tahoe.
J told me to "go jump in the lake"...so I did.
A wondrous 65Fish by my pretty good internal therm...absolutely perfect for a high desert 85 atmospheric temp at sundown; arid, and not a whiff of a breeze. Tahoe is at about 6,100 ft. elevation. Arguably the most awesome natural alpine lake in the world, with depths over 1,000 ft. I grew up just up & over, and down in Reno. Spent a lot of my childhood there—swimming in summer, skiing in winter—and mom tells stories of floating me in it as an infant.
It's good to be home. Thanks, J. It was very, very special for me.
Next day was the actual 4th, where I suppose I was supposed to feel grateful for being independent from King George III of England, and without actually shouting down people, that: the sot is fucking DEAD...for a long time. Even. To escape the embarrassing spectacle of American Flag themed clothing and hats, I went and took in Brad Pitt's World War Z at The Horizon Casino. ...Now, there's something worth fighting and dying for...where, all in the while it must be said that Zombyism is becoming less and less literal fantasy, more and more prescient metaphorical.
Later, I took some water and food to Beatrice and her sister down at the beach where they'd staked out a place for the 4th of July Fireworks; wherein, the sole true feeling of freedom and independence rendered to my person was that I'd tucked my flip-flops into the pocket of my cargos and walked the half mile down barefoot.
I commented to others: "If we were in Mexico or any number of other countries I've been to, there would be dozens and dozens of concessions on the beach offering you foot massages, cold beers, the cocktail of your choice—or any number of other things calculated to potentially please you—like true service professionals do. Instead, you have a bunch of ants marching in, to be ants on the sandhill of the beach—it's 'public,' so that's automatically good—while rent-a-cops masquerading as service professionals loudly and proudly proclaim that 'no alcohol is allowed,' as if to signal an applause moment."
I live in a country of morons and I'm ashamed of it. This is not my grandfather's America. I'm very skeptical that it will ever be, again.
That was just one of the more prominent of a number of rules for an Independence Day Celebration in the so-called Land of the Free. [/spit]
"ATTENTION CITIZENS: YOU ARE NOW AUTHORIZED TO CELEBRATE YOUR INDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM."
...Independence from having to think for yourselves as human animals who must survive—prosper if you like. "Freedom from risk" in the consequent fantasy that is a direct result of defaulting on the former. The later is the crack in the deal. Unpack that.
...The fireworks display over Tahoe, given the setting, was one of the best I've seen and with some of the newest "fireworks technology." I admit to the affinity for me, seeing so many wondrous things there as a kid...like when the carburetor on my dad's Ford Ranchero caught fire on the ski slope in about '68, when he was up to look over the scope of the paint job for Ski Incline (a 70s ski place, long since gone). He opened the hood and killed it with dirt from the summer condition of the slope. Probably would have been handfulls of snow in the winter.
...I dunno. When in Europe—or even Japan or Hong Kong or Singapore—the packed crowds don't bother me. I just get along, with everyone else. What's the difference? What is it that I'm feeling, and that so irritates me?
I have to suppose that it's the collectivist hubris so many Americans exhibit—either just presumptuously assuming, or expropriating right in your face. Me? I was just there to watch a competent fireworks display and, and, I do not give a runny shit about "America" as it's shoved by force in the face of the entire world—and quite to the contrary. So many others were there to loudly proclaim—with various tri-colored symbols—that their vicarious psychoses were representative of all.
"We're all here for God & Country," and since those are always the loudest and noisiest, that's kinda the vibe of the thing. What I see are followers, kinda like ants and bees.
...I dislike flag wavers and Bible thumpers: two species of the same cloth and binding.
I'll let Joan Baez & Bob Dylan take it away, video below. Yes, even though I hate commies.
However, their simple melodic words are pretty easy to understand. I think it's more prescient today than when "edgy" and "rebellious" in the 60s. I have to say it was pretty fucking typically commie ignorant back then, when there was indeed a no-shit geopolitical struggle going down with balistic nuclear weapons and a coin toss from any rational perspective. I mean: look how it has turned out on that score.
And so to my mind's eye, that is...vs. a completely contrived "threat" over 14th Century dirt scratching savages of a different stupid religion worthy of uproarious laughter, who're apparently vying go to heaven with 10-Foot Cocks And a Few Hundred Virgins (...if you're a fan of awesome, unpardonable sin-blasphemy, as am I, that's your link).
Or—and get this—in practical political terms, back in the good old days, politicians dealing with potential, doable mutual nuclear destruction rightly ignored all moron Bible thumpers while giving just enough lip service to placate their simple minds. But since the geopolitical calculus has so changed over the last few decades—just as life was getting pretty cool in spite of Soviets with thousands of nuclear Ballistic missiles—the most ignorant people on earth—on every side of moronic religious fantasy—have unprecedented sway in a once somewhat free land.
The "New Atheists" were merely a pushback, and I hope to God they have stolen your children from you, which was the whole point...if you had brain enough to understand the historical context in which that all came about. All of history is about religion, i.e., all of human history is about the irrational fantasies humans hold and how it plays out in geopolitical contexts with the addition of technologies, i.e., weapons to kill people who don't believe like you do, and so you don't want to trade values with them, but you want to kill them for your God.
The video now transcends left and right, to me. Take a voyage back in the context of the independence and freedom we've supposedly won, and are "charitably" showering the world with. [/barf]
(Davis Straub rendered the entire inspiration for this post.)
Maybe try actual independence, sometime. Sometime. Try it before you die.