r&r diary – “America, We Love the Con…” – 07.04.21

Sure. Let’s celebrate, it is July 4th 2021, blow-off some fireworks, at least in our heads. Happy to be here, still kicking. Born in the USA and feeling pretty lucky. You know, Democracy, Freedom, Equality, Pursuit of Happiness, and all that. Nice, high-minded concepts. But, you know, it is complicated, and this is a profoundly Imperfect Union.

Those high-minded concepts bump against some hard, deadly, soul-killing realities: Genocide – “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” Racism/White Supremacy – Slavery, Ku Klux Klan, Trump-ism, Wars & Atrocities, Institutional, Societal, Political, Psychological Inequality, Gun-Crazy, Murder Inc. And our Enthusiastic Embrace of Idiocy – see: the Anti-Vaxxers, the Anti-Science Brigades, Conspiracy Theorist Nut-Jobs.

And the Confidence Man’s Amusement Park – “A sucker born every minute.”

The Hustle, The Sales Pitch, The Scam, The Hoax, The Lie, The Big Lie, The Cheat. We love to sell and to be sold. We love to lie to ourselves and to others. And, remember all those fireworks are made in China. Cheap thrills: Gunpowder, Smoke, Razzle-Dazzle and BOOM! That’s America, Baby! – Jammer

The A.M. Soundtrack – Wilco’s “Yankee Foxtrot Hotel” (2001) – Great early Wilco record. Great American Band. 

“Ashes of American Flags”

The cash machine is blue and green
For a hundred in twenties and a small service fee
I could spend three dollars and sixty-three cents
On Diet Coca-Cola and unlit cigarettes
I wonder why we listen to poets when nobody gives a fuck
How hot and sorrowful, this machine begs for luck All my lies are always wishes
I know I would die if I could come back new We want a good life with a nose for things
The fresh wind and bright sky to enjoy my suffering
A hole without a key if I break my tongue
Speaking of tomorrow, how will it ever come? All my lies are always wishes
I know I would die if I could come back new I’m down on my hands and knees
Every time a doorbell rings
I shake like a toothache
When I hear myself sing All my lies are only wishes
I know I would die if I could come back new I would like to salute
The ashes of American flags
And all the fallen leaves
Filling up shopping bags

– Jeff Tweedy & Jay Bennett

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