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July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day...

I'm trying to figure out what I do with this holiday. I had a full day of work yesterday and I'll have another full day tomorrow. I'm not completely clear what I'm celebrating today. Am I celebrating the country that condones torture in undisclosed locations and on a prison built illegally on land belonging to another country? Am I celebrating a country that refuses to acknowledge that most women in Afghanistan are no safer today than they were under Taliban rule? Am I celebrating a country that thinks its system of corporate "free-trade" capitalism should be exported to every corner of the earth, despite having the largest income inequality of any industrialized nation?

Maybe I'm celebrating the country that cares more about the nuclear power industry and the military industrial complex than it does about its citizens' health? Because you know, I've really appreciated how the lax environmental standards in this country gave me thyroid cancer and allowed me to have a vital organ removed and replaced by a daily pill.

Or am I celebrating a country that managed to convince its citizens that Iraq is somehow related to the terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center? Am I celebrating a country that tries to convince me to be wary of every Muslim and every Latino who crosses my path? Apparently, my Arab brothers and sisters "hate my freedom" and my Latino neighbors are "taking away my job."

Of course, there are those who will say I should leave if I'm so unhappy. But, you see, this is my home. And the thing I'm happiest about today is the opportunity to be near family. Then again, I'm contemplating bailing on the family get-together because I'm wary of being on the road so much today. Angelenos are notorious for drunk driving, especially around major holidays. So, uh, Viva los Estados Unidos!

Posted by cj at July 4, 2007 8:02 AM


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