Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Best Country That Ever Was

... or not, I'm not sure. That part, if ever true, ended not later than 10 years ago, and to quote a line from the talking recitative in the middle of Patricia Barber's Postmodern Blues, "What we're left with... is wrong." I'll not dwell on all the bad stuff; I suspect ultimately it happens to any nation that lasts long enough. I feel privileged that my life overlapped at least some of the good parts; most people who ever lived had no such advantages.

I engaged... indulged?... in my annual ritual of listening to a lot of different kinds of American music, including the abovementioned blues artistry of Ms. Barber, concluding with The Stars and Stripes Forever and The Star-Spangled Banner (somehow it seems symbolic that in standing for the latter, I have to balance on one foot). For something a bit more recent (1974) and less pompous, you can try Paul Simon's American Tune (YouTube video); pay particular attention to the last verse.
Happy Fourth of July, my fellow Americans. We never expected this, but now that we've got it, we shall find a way to cope.

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