Why I’m Anti-American*

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Why I’m Anti-American*

In 1963, they killed my president. I was 10 years old and I didn't know what that meant. I knew it was bad and sad and grisly and involved a lot of ugly, sordid people scuttling around doing nasty things like shooting each other in basements.

I didn't have a father so JFK was my ideal dad. I took him for granted. Doesn't every country have a beautiful man running it? Gracious, articulate, thoughtful, smart as the dickens and sexy, although I didn't know what that meant. I'm not sure I still do.

JFK separates church and state in Houston, starting at 1:30.

Why would anyone kill such a great guy? Wasn't this a free country? Hadn't he been elected? Didn't everyone love him? Who even thought about killing people and, again, why him? In broad daylight, in a major American city, with thousands of people watching. What just happened? Like Lincoln, only on film.

They killed my president and from there on in, as far as I could tell, things kept going downhill. I won't name names. Fill in the blanks. We got a super-ugly president and an awful, neverending war and then a craven, creepy crook and then a fuckin' football player and that's when the trouble really started. I kinda lose track, but wasn't it? See, I almost forgot Jimmy Carter, who was gentle and thoughtful and genuinely cared. Then we were back to a CIA chief and, okay, a wonky sex addict they framed instead of shooting and then the cheerleader from hell.

JFK champions freedom of the press over state secrets.

Now we've got someone who reminds me of JFK without the bad back or the Boston accent. Barack Obama has the style and the wife and the charisma. I'm not sure he has the principles, but I'm old enough to have witnessed sufficient corruption to know how naïve I sound. Or should I say, I'm not sure we have the principles. There's no quantifying the nation's moral melt-down beginning with...

See? I knew I'd forget someone. I blocked the bastard totally from my mind. He was my governor, famously saying, "You've seen one redwood you've seen 'em all." Fucker. Nice guy. Bastard. He told people in the '80s it was okay to think only of themselves. Profit über alles. Thence began the incremental dismantling of the federal government, a process that accelerated alarmingly under the sadistic chimp and might never be reversed.

jfk1.jpg
Déjà vu: Obama's campaign poster brilliantly reworked this icon.

I don't get emotional about BHO. I can't afford to. I've been down that road. That way lies political heartbreak. But every time I catch a glimpse of him or his woman I do a double-take. Is this really happening? The promise of the '60s reawakens. I can be American again.

*This one's for Peace Kitty.



Comments [99]

Steph's picture

Replying to Beauty

Replying to Beauty below

Thanks for those - one of my absolute favourites is -

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt

beauty's picture

I too love quotes. These are

I too love quotes. These are some of the quotes I rely upon to guide me through my life:

Helen Keller The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart." (uncanny similarity to Kierkegaard)

Helen Keller: Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature....Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

Susan B. Anthony: "Cautious, careful people...never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and...avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences."

Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Albert Einstein: “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities.”

Harriett Tubman: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Anne Franke: "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

Rosa Parks: "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear."

yonks's picture

I would say "our life always

I would say "our life always express the result of "the" dominant thoughts" and i quote Aldous Huxley "6000 repetition= a truth"

“The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, no read about, nor seen but, of one will, are to be lived.”
the pure experiences, the pure feeling.

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

Steph's picture

Second quote should say "if

Second quote should say "if one will" not "of one will".

Apologies.

Steph's picture

Hey Yonks Here you go - "Our

Hey Yonks
Here you go -

"Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts."

"The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, no read about, nor seen but, of one will, are to be lived."

I'm a bit of a quote junkie xxx

yonks's picture

I'm curious, what those 2

I'm curious, what those 2 Kierkegaard quotes?

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

beauty's picture

garbo speaks: “Every one of

garbo speaks: “Every one of us lives his life just once; if we are honest, to live once is enough”

and here's to grace from marilyn (thanks for doing the unfathomable everyday so we can find freedom):
"I'm for the individual as opposed to the corporation. The way it is the individual is the underdog, and with all the things a corporation has going for them the individual comes out banged on her head. The artist is nothing. It's really tragic."

ohhhhhhhbaby's picture

Dear Reader From Beauty

Dear Reader
From Beauty (ohhhhhhhbaby@gmail.com)

i was going to sullenly leave this site in humiliation and never return bcs of Ms. Blackwell's rude and ostracizing statement and actually did leave for more than 24 hours in anguish, humiliation and despair bcs of the loss of this invaluable outlet for and by me and you. but then i realized velvetpark is not hers alone. it is ours. even though she wants to bully me from this page she does not get that prerogative to do so and she knows it.

that's why she had to resort to the tried and true tactics of public humiliation; the scarlet letter, the stocks. the same humiliation i faced as a gay teenager in a heterosexual school. the same conformity-ensuring humiliation endured by the african american student in the all white suburban school, or the woman faced with sitting in the back of the bus bcs of her skin color, the female firefighter or the jew confronted with a christmas display in a government building or ruth bader ginsburg, susan b anthony, gloria steinham, abraham lincoln, barack obama, and even the woman who dares to publicly announce that she's anti-american in an american public forum.

the word "playground" is the perfect metaphor Ms. Blackwell unwittingly used to describe this sociological phenomenon predicted in human systems theory. the playground of popular kids, followers and misfits. Her coercive primal tactic as the "popular one" followed by your, perhaps fearful, silence as "the follower" who could become the next misfit at any sign of dissent, followed by my predictable submissive response as the misfit provides rich commentary in itself for which we should thank Ms. Blackwell. it kept me in my place for about 24 hours. For most conformists it works a lifetime.

But her tactic only works if all three of us play along. each of us on the playground has a choice. if one of us abandons her role then the playground theory falls apart. and i am the fly in the ointment, the rusty wheel, the misfit that doesn't accept her role of shame and abandonment.

i am here as the dissenting voice to say that she does not have an unabated right to pick and choose who plays with her on the playground, no matter how much bullying and humiliation she heaps on me unless i choose to succumb to her bullying. And ironically, though certainly not required, i have donated handsome sums of money i didn't really have to this site and more so to one of its struggling artists, to help ensure that this unparalleled sanctuary could exist so that our unique and invaluable voices could be heard. And my voice just like yours needs to be heard to provide a diversity of ideas and the substantive discourse to which Ms. Blackwell seems so averse.. Otherwise, why should we bother to congregate in this free and independent forum. Why not go to one of the corporate owned gay entertainment sites and let this sacred little island sink into oblivion.

Steph H's picture

FOR TEX JUST DOWN A BIT You

FOR TEX JUST DOWN A BIT

You betcha! (although for a million bucks I think we could negotiate on the pittance!)
I am loving the "facts-for-fun" - this place is the best classroom ever!

Steph H's picture

FOR ERIN BELOW Oh but it's

FOR ERIN BELOW

Oh but it's far more fun to blame you!

Tex's picture

FOR STEPH WAY DOWN

FOR STEPH WAY DOWN THERE

You're learning more "facts-for-fun" every day.....If you're ever on a game show, and they say, "For one million dollars, tell us what polk (poke) salad is," please remember me with a pittance.

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

ROLLING FOR ERIN .....never

ROLLING FOR ERIN

.....never underestimate a self-deprecating genteel Southern woman

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

FOR LA-TEX how did i miss

FOR LA-TEX

how did i miss that Ariadne reference? she's wait a minute didn't she give Theseus the ball of string so he could go in and kill the minotaur or was that Medea? DANG. had to look it up. yeah, that's her. ok, so she married Dionysus. yup, you got it. you do pretty well for someone who doesn't understand much.

Erin Blackwell's picture

TOPPIN' TEX'N'LOVIN'

TOPPIN' TEX'N'LOVIN' IT

northbrae community church in north berkeley, non-denominational, it is a blog-unto-itself, with a fab music director who bought me a beethoven tie at the houston airport!

Tex's picture

ERIN BELOW If you don't mind

ERIN BELOW

If you don't mind - what church? Or if you'd rather not - that could be a whole other blog....God understands, I don't think Daylight Savings Time was his idea anyway....

Does that make Priscilla ARIADNE?

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

so are you saying the CIA had

so are you saying the CIA had Kennedy killed because he thwarted them?

Erin Blackwell's picture

Elvis is a point of no return

Elvis is a point of no return because that boy's got it all covered... that young Dionysus! omg!

re "texturbating": we ALL think everything's about us: that's why this webbing internet HOOKS us: and of course we ALL texturbate, whether or not we're fantasizing about y'all

i missed church, having not set my clock back, so i'm blogging instead. God's loss is your gain

Erin Blackwell's picture

blame it on Jennifer

Steph H's picture

Tex - pokeweed, tow sack -

Tex - pokeweed, tow sack - there is a whole world out there that I know nothing about....

Steph H's picture

In short, no!

In short, no!

Steph H's picture

Erin, thanks to you I know

Erin, thanks to you I know have 2 Kierkegaard quotes in my diary. So, there you go mon amie.

Tex's picture

Don't worry about us - I'm

Don't worry about us - I'm hanging in there - understand a word every now and again - so I post a video or something to enlighten - everyone knows what pokeweed is (and got to watch classic Elvis) - if the blog gets really slow today I can let everyone know about a tow sack (Annie carried her polk salad home in a tow sack) Smile I thought the TEXTURBATNG was talking about me.....hope your weekend is going well....

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

note to beauty: you're wasted

note to beauty: you're wasted on VP (but not on the ex-vp), you should be writing screenplays for republican national committee inspirational videos

note to self: am i more or less popular because of bronniepickle and beauty's presence on my blog? if it weren't for them i wouldn't have any comments, but does their overweening whatnot overpower the other children who come out to play, driving them to safer, less stimulating playgrounds?

[a double reference here too: ya know Kierkegaard had different pseudonyms for different philosophical positions & used to "argue with himself" via his published works]

yonks's picture

re: yes its beautiful, as a

re: yes its beautiful, as a caress in a brutal world.

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

bronniepickle's picture

but erin you're not giving

but erin you're not giving credit where credit is due.
remember there was an ice cream truck evasively driving around the desert supposedly carrying weapons of mass destruction and ya know what, they did find bombpops in there. those are so bad for your teeth.

Although, really i guess, "W" and his puppeteers cld have gone to kenneybunkport texas for a hootinanny or however those faux texas new englanders say it, have a rambo/die hard film fest and let dick spray his guests with buckshot as the grand finale (don'tcha think he kinda looks like the penguin from the original fun campy batman series? all he needs is that vintage hollywood cigarette holder)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHDymOhHFI0

(a double reference here: sorry to bring up the last election but cheney looks like penguin but someone else talks like him....)

beauty's picture

i heart peter sellers in this

i heart peter sellers in this flick and in being there too (arguably my favorite movie of all time which also has a place in this political discussion). have you ever heard the words "peter sellers" and "heart" in the same sentence before??

Erin Blackwell's picture

draggin' out all the 60s

draggin' out all the 60s icons... "Heartbreak Hotel"

bronniepickle's picture

re: Erin below that's

re: Erin below
that's beautiful. i know exactly what he's talking about.

Tex's picture

Yep, it's a weed we eat in

Yep, it's a weed we eat in the South....

Additional information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pokeweed

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

TRANSLATION OF THE ABOVE

TRANSLATION OF THE ABOVE LEARNED MONTREALIST
17th century: several five-card games similar to american poker: the "poke" (french), "brag" (english, includes "bluffing") & "pochen" (german)

well, we all know what POKE means

yonks's picture

I'v found this: Au 17ième

I'v found this: Au 17ième siecle, on retrouve des éléments du poker actuel dans plusieurs jeux a cinq cartes, comme le poke (jeu francais au nom similaire mais aux règles assez différentes) le brag (jeu anglais dans lequel on retrouve le bluff) et le pochen (jeu allemand avec des règles similaire au poker actuel

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

yonks's picture

what i'v found: Au 17ième

what i'v found: Au 17ième siecle, on retrouve des éléments du poker actuel dans plusieurs jeux a cinq cartes, comme le poke (jeu francais au nom similaire mais aux règles assez différentes) le brag (jeu anglais dans lequel on retrouve le bluff) et le pochen (jeu allemand avec des règles similaire au poker actuel

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

yonks's picture

And and and, they hold the

And and and, they hold the world largest amount of gorgeous dykes for themselves witch is totally unfair for other country...

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

Erin Blackwell's picture

what's the etymology on the

what's the etymology on the name of that game?

yonks's picture

"who’s they?" I was about to

"who’s they?" I was about to ask you the same question.
well, everybody knows that a country is an abstraction so i'm talking about concrete outcomes of these abstraction.

I have forgot to said that one of their most famous game had lying in its rules. They not even call it lie but bluff. The point of the game is to hold the truth with out showing any sign of it!
How can someone trust these kind of peoples.
Tongue feeling facetious

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

Erin Blackwell's picture

i try to use U.S. instead of

i try to use U.S. instead of American because there are so many other american countries, north and south! but sometimes American means precisely that U.S.-centric vision of ourselves.

Erin Blackwell's picture

TRANSLATION OF FRENCH

TRANSLATION OF FRENCH BELOW

"that which is caressed isn't touched, exactly; the caress knows not what it searches for; it's like a game with something that vanishes, without a project or plan with something other, always other, always inaccessible, always to come, and the caress is the waiting [the hope] for that pure, contentless future, the caress consists of not seizing anything, to sollicit that which continually escapes towards a future... which vanishes...: it's a search, a step towards the invisible. totality and infinity" EMMANUEL LEVINAS

Lezbeth's picture

The US govt., collectively

The US govt., collectively referred to as "Americans" implicating all of us which is why, when Canadians travel, they usually put Canadian flags on their backpacks. In that instance, they are "they" and we are "us", except that I've never considered myself an "us" when that refers to "The US" as in govt.

Oh, it was a rhetorical question...sorry about the ramble.

lucia_2008's picture

I didn't compile it sweety I

I didn't compile it sweety I copied it....here you go...

http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/baypigs/pigs.htm

Smile...life is good!!!

Erin Blackwell's picture

okay TODAY, after reading

okay TODAY, after reading comments & websurfing, i think:

JFK was a much more fascinating, dangerous character than i gave him credit for. he deserves a really hot sexy terrible tragedy be written about him.

politically, he seems to be both a continuation of american business as usual (lust for power) and maybe a turningpoint or a glitch or a darkening or a schism in the national psyche.

i don't know who killed him or why.

yonks's picture

Well, my references are in

Well, my references are in french. wiki isn't the best, even the french and english side doesn't tell the same thing on several topic. I give the link for you have a general idea.
I'v read some Levinas few years ago and i have no remember of the "face to face". i remembered the responsibility and obligation but its not what i wanted to point.

lets said thats its my trial and error of Levinas reading.
I was marked by Levinas concept of caress.
a relation must not be a fight, neither a fusion or knowledge but a pure experiences
Love is a caress for the soul, caress is the wisdom of the uncertain, its a journey out of oneself toward other's mystery . a caress is a donation.

ce qui est caressé n'est pas touché à proprement parler; la caresse ne sait pas ce qu'elle recherche; elle est comme un jeu avec quelque chose qui se dérobe, sans projet ni plan avec quelque chose d'autre, toujours autre, toujours inaccessible, toujours à venir et la caresse est l'attente de cet avenir pur sans contenu, la caresse consiste à ne se saisir de rien, à solliciter ce qui échappe sans cesse vers un avenir... qui se dérobe.......: elle est une recherche, une marche vers l' invisible. totalité et infini EMMANUEL LEVINAS

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Bay of Pigs was a CIA

Bay of Pigs was a CIA paramilitary operation that was approved of by Eisenhower, not Kennedy. Kennedy was out of the loop until the actual invasion of Cuba began. The CIA-Pentagon theory was Kennedy would back their play if they just went ahead with it. Had Kennedy caved to CIA-Pentagon pressure to involve US Military personnel and weapons, the Soviet Union would most certainly have gone to war with the US. That war would have gone nuclear very quickly, because people back then actually believed a global nuclear war with the Soviet Union was winnable. Had Kennedy given in to the pressure, none of us would be alive today to discuss it.

As for Marylin Monroe, we will never really know why she took her life, but I suspect Hollyweird had more to do with it than politics. It's not like we haven't seen this many times before and after, especially with talented young women being turned into exploited sex objects by the largely male dominated entertainment and media industry.

Erin Blackwell's picture

who's they?

who's they?

Erin Blackwell's picture

sorry to butt in but it's a

sorry to butt in but it's a great site
http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/baypigs/pigs.htm

you'll want to follow up with the Cuban Missile Crisis
http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/Crisis/crisis2.htm

and of course Dr Strangelove

bronniepickle's picture

wow, that's fascinating. you

wow, that's fascinating. you are fascinating. were you a philosophy major? i remember several philosophical discussions on OC where you discussed philosophers i had never heard of.

what implications does levinas have on blog interactions. wiki (which is as reliable as the anonymous source providing the info) says that it is the inherent, and as i understand it, blatant asymmetry of the Other over the self, the differences from the self, which are especially pronounced when face to face with the Other, which installs in one a sense of responsibility or obligation to the other over the self. In fact, the way wiki reads, one must be face to face with the other so that the self recognizes that the other is in fact the other and it is only then that one develops a sense of responsibility/obligation for the other over and above the self.
Philanthropy and a sense of compassion/responsibility for people less fortunate would be dead if you needed to be in the physical presence of someone to feel a sense of responsibility.

However, my understanding of what you are saying about levinas' philosophy is different from that which I recited above. and my understanding of your recitation makes much more sense to me. but i may be completely off base so tell me where i am wrong or have misunderstood because i have extrapolated from your statement a lot of assumptions. okay, blah blah blah...
it is my understanding from what you say that his proposal is for me (for example) to turn off my Self and meditate on the Other in such a way that it is as if i am giving the Other a blind caress or a light gentle touch even when i do not even know what i am seeking. and that even though i may never engage in the physical act of a caress or a gentle touch with the Other, i am (soulfully) sensing them in a way that induces a feeling that i am in compassionate face to face contact with them even when i am not. This implies to me that one does not have to ever be in the physical presence of the other at all to sense the asymmetry between the self and the other. it is the unique presence of the other in whatever form that creates a sense of responsibility/obligation and compassion (my addition) towards the other without ever actually meeting face to face.

thus, we can feel a sense of responsibility and compassion towards others on a blog for instance without meeting them. however, i guess it is easier to dismiss such a person when you don't have face to face accountability. so i may be completely wrong. perhaps it is the exceptional person who has the faith to feel the same sense of compassion and responsibility towards another without the regulation created by physical presence.

now i'm confused. perhaps face to face is the baseline of responsibility and obligation and other more elusive contacts (or no contact at all in the sense of charitable donations) demonstrate a higher levels of responsibility that is "elective".

what do you think...am i completely crazy or what? i am undoubtedly short on concision.

yonks's picture

I don't want to bother and

I don't want to bother and i'm usually a partisan for everyone should clean their own house but may i point some of my personal?

They haven't sign the "international convention on the Rights of the Child" http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/CRC.asp?catName=International+Tre...
because some states allow death penalty on child

they'r only 4% of the world population but hey produce 22% of the world amount of co2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

They are the largest energy consumer 26% of the world use
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/08/10-facts-on-united-states_n_117...

they refuses to sign Kyoto protocol and think they are the king on ecological matter just because of the all Gore movie.

Their political center call themselves left wing witch cause the others left wing to be trow into the accusation of Bolshevism or stalinisme. and are use by right wings, such as Sarkozy to prove that traditional left wing is obsolete.

and their new president Obama said that they should not apologies for their way of living.

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

Fastgurrrl's picture

Lucia, thanks for the

Lucia, thanks for the breakdown. Do you have a link from where you compiled this hon? Smile

Fastgurrrl's picture

BEAUTY! "plus i still wanna

BEAUTY! "plus i still wanna see those godzilla/king kong matches between you and erin." Right on! =)

ME TOO

Fastgurrrl's picture

BRONWYN! We love you Lady!

BRONWYN! We love you Lady! Smile

GLAD YOU'RE HERE

Fastgurrrl's picture

RUSTY - RUSTY - RUSTY! =)

RUSTY - RUSTY - RUSTY! =)