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National Identity Identification January 23, 2009

Posted by frostwolftfirerose in Mystical, Personal Journey.
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I was struck powerless yesterday, reading Ran Prieur’s observation that, unlike the breakups of the USSR & Yugoslavia, a breakup of the U.S. is less likely because, in the former examples various peoples identified more as “Ukrainian” or “Tajik”, “Serb” or “Macedonian”, etc., than they did as “Soviet” or “Yugoslav.”  Contrariwise, here, we are all Americans vs. Rhode Islanders, Vermonters, Denverites, Hudson Valleyites, etc. 

I remember a similar conversation with Sharon Astyk when I took her home adaptation class about New York State, that too many people identified themselves with the idea of New York State, and seemed all right, if sometimes uncomfortable, to see themselves linking up both Joe Bruno (indicted today!) and the East Village of New York City, as well as unusually fabulous Buffalo with Albany–“home of the average American.”

I say I felt a powerlessness gush over me because I knew instantly what he was talking about, and knew that “American”, like Jack Daniels, Catholicism, Heroin, Being Overweight, Macys Credit Card Holding, Anonymous Sex and other Addiction/Civilizationalisms/vEmpirisms was a powerful meme.

I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, I can’t control it.

And I am aware of this.  This mutha is too big to be wished away.  It is a shadow-critter that must be faced and learned from. 

When I was getting abstinent, I remember taking my sugar addiction to my then therapist, and I put her on the chair.  She appeared as a Southern Belle Iron Butterfly type.  Mizz Scarlett with a whip.  And in that initimatably Suth’n fashion of “Ah mean that in the nicest possible way!” she proceeded to tell me why I couldn’t do without her. 

Her arguments were pretty thin, and I could easily dispense with Sugar in this visage.  I will sometimes remember that to both mock and to recognize the power of the addictive form, however.  “The nicest possible way” can be a truly undermining factor in all the muck.

I hear people rattle on about “American this,” and “American that,” and I know it’s ALL a sham.  Ironically, it’s people who agitate for secession or sovereignty who “get” what the founding fathers said.  To the unconscious ones, “American” is basically like Barbie, Ken, Coca-Cola, Disney, McDonald’s, etc.  It’s a brand name as applied to nations, and all them uthaz is nuttin’ compared to A(we’re #1-woo-hoo!)merica.  People may say “Buy American,” but they don’t MEAN it.  If they did, they would read packaging at the Target or the KMart, and leave without buying much at all.  They would be going to the farmer’s markets and the local shops that Wal-Mart is putting out of business.  “Buy American” is an empty slogan and one that ironically “only traitors really take seriously.” 

“I’m ‘Merkin, see, so’s I bah mah blings (who carez if dey’s mayd in China?) at tah Wally and at tah Seeers.”  (They probably do at least get their tattoos done by American artists I expect, and slather over the Harleys which may or may not be built down Mexico way.  Hey, at least it’s on the same continent!  “America” donchaknow!)

See, what I’m doing, and I hold this up as an example of the power and seductiveness of the Addiction, is “taking someone’s inventory.”  I’m engaging in judgments that don’t further discourse, but only serve to mock and berate.  Again, I don’t have answers of how to deal with the entranced, those besotted with patriotic b.s.  It doesn’t matter whether they’re left or right.  I am powerless over American identity, and my life has become unmanageable.  I am powerless over alcohol, and my life has become unmanageable.  I am powerless over food and my life has become unmanageable.  I am powerless over people, places and things, etc.

I’ve really been going back and forth between the anger and bargaining phases of grieving this issue.  That I can’t really help anyone get through this aspect of their blindness.  This piece is SO big, so armed and dangerous, and I am such a tiny little speck.  I have to surrender.  I can’t, Star Goddess can.  I think I’ll let Sugma’ad.

I threw an I Ching about this issue.  One changing line in #49, Pushing Upward.  To Endurance.  It’s like with this issue, spring will give way to a strength that will endure.  I guess I’m just a little shoot, growing up alongside the monoculture.  I am helping to propagate a new species, and I will undergo the normal difficulties of spring–heavy snows that melt moderately quickly; cold, but few subzero temps overnight; grey days, but hopefully lots of rain to nourish my roots. 

I need to be little.  Little works.  Calling no attention to myself helps.  I can be invisible.  That’s not hard, though there’s also the fame thing calling to me.  How that will work is up to Sugma’ad and Diana too.

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