Happy In-Dependence Day

Mister President, do you swear to uphold the economic prosperity and national security of these Great United States? I do.

Madame Speaker, do you swear to uphold the financial security and safety of these Great United States? I do. Then let us join hands in our singing of Hymn 64.

O say can you see

By the dawn’s early light

What so proudly we hailed

At the twilight’s last gleaming.

I am Student Code 3118946C, and I am at my desk, facing the altar. The altar two stories above looks down at the Great Hall filled with student desks, and in the depths the desks begin to fade, shadows folding into a darkness veiling the extent of this religious delusion – how has this cathedral justified its tithes?

The Emcee of Services, Fox News Model in a primpy suit jacket, rises on the altar and lifts her hands, cue the lifting of heads. The choir continues:

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

Through the perilous fight

Will the Class of 2016 step forward. This includes myself, shuffling into small aisles filing to the foot of the altar of Our Savior. We kneel, looking up at an alter two-stories too high for us to see the elected clergy.

Overhead is a darkness of chains clanging, belts whirring, gears clunking, engines churning. You can see the first few layers of conveyors, of mechanical arms and processes rising up and quickly veiled in the darkness and no one is said to know how high the darkness goes.

We subverient are gathered here today to accept our diplomas stipulating debt-repayment plans – I can choose the 20yr plan, the 30yr plan, the 50yr plan, but the debt-collection agency who has purchased me is going to get their gold, they hold my credit score and life-dreams as collateral.

We subservient are gathered here today at the foot of the alter, kneeling with our heads raised, DHS troops patrolling aisles and windows with M16s and riot-gear and night-vision goggles equipped with facial-recognition technology and retina scanners – poor luck if you have a nervous twitch.

O’er the ramparts we watched

Were so gallantly streaming

I will be ushered to another desk. I have graduated from this desk, owned by The Ohio State University LLC., led by hand to this next desk, property of Halliburton Financial Services. I am told Halliburton even has fluorescent lighting. The choir continues its low-key hymn while the Fox Model Arbiter of Democracy continues the ceremony.

Let us bow our heads and recite Prayer 649:

We pledge allegiance to the flag

Of the United States of America.

And to the financial stability

for which it stands

one nation, under surveillance, defended,

With comfort and money for all.

And the rockets’ red glare

The bombs bursting in air

I have been corralled into this school. I will spend the next thirty years paying off loans they sold to a debt-collection agency, and boy do I thank everyone for teaching me how to obey my bosses and file forms and itemized deductions, for helping me pay for the pharmaceuticals I needed to sit still at my desk. I will faithfully spend the rest of my life making payments to an insurance corporation, in the name of a basic human need. I will watch wars on CNN, monitor frightening stock-market dips on Fox Business, learn about The Benevolent Ones on MSNBC. My children will grow up idolizing Disney brats in ritzy hotels and cruiseliners, I’ll ignore civic duty while watching Disney’s ESPN NFL play-offs Super Bowl Sponsored by AIG Countdowns Rundowns Best Plays Ever. My children will follow corporate careers into newer sub-divisions 3000sqft houses in 3500sqft lots, and I will depend my old infirmity on the caprice of a capitalist hegemony that’s made retirement an ideal I need a PIN and good faith credit in the Corporate Federal Government for.

Screens on the back of the altar show videolink to a marble hall, long mahogany table of men and women who may be hedge-fund managers or Joint Chiefs or Senators or CEO’s – no, I recognize the names of The Unelected Masters of Mankind, bankers for the institution that might be public or private in DC or Manhattan or Riker’s Island London Hong Kong, Live From Baghdad the World Bank Free-Trade Geo-Political Positioning it’s all for our Safety and Wealth, it’s what these people are here to defend, for us.

The video-link speaks: It has come to our attention that Student Code 3118946C did not complete Geology 101, prerequisite for the Corporate Finance track. The student’s degree is invalid. Student Code 3118946C, step forward.

The politesse of proper etiquette requires, when being spoken to, to keep my head down, hands folded in the front. Supplicate. Serve. Masturbate Your Masters.

They have been monitoring me. Processing me. Indoctrinating me.

Student Code 3118946C, are you aware that without us you would not find a career? That you would not be able to afford your car, your TV, your tablet, your vacations, your clothes, your debt if it weren’t for the benevolence we serve you with? Do you understand that, without us, you would suffer and die without a doctor to treat you, without a savings account in your old age? Is that what you want, Student Code 3118946C? Do you understand that without us you are nothing?

O say does that Star Spangled banner yet wave

There are sounds of fawning, crawling at the feet of the Masters of Mankind because our neighbors are hungry and poor and we want someone to do something, because we might lose our jobs, be unable to afford the aisles of our favorite supermarket chain. There are sounds of drones screeching, bombs falling, catastrophe. People shouting in a crowded mall because their neighbor looks suspicious. But we are saved by the benevolence and altruism of Humankind’s Dominant Hegemonic Power, the most Powerful Human Beings history has ever seen, watching after us, feeding us, curing our ailments and concerning themselves with our mental well-being.

O’er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

Happy In-Dependence Day.



Bullshit American Exceptionalism

America is exceptional, we’re told. We’re the best at everything. We’re supposed to lead the world at everything. The point of America is that we’re supposed to have the best economy, the best technology, the best schools, the best military, the best stock market, the best standard of living.

That’s what America’s about, that’s what the role of government is. Obviously, because those are the things politicians and the media refer to as American Exceptionalism.

America isn’t supposed to be exceptional because of Democracy and Liberty. Forget about those things, will you? The whole world has those. America is only exceptional if we have the best economy and the best military. Health insurance, that’s what we’re really supposed to be great at. We lead the world, yeah of course we do, because we police the world. Availability of student loans, that’s what makes us exceptional. How many pairs of shoes did you buy last year? 5? Yeah, because you’re an American, you’re exceptional, man.

We used to be piss-and-vinegar and defiant, anti-authority cowboys and hippies and beats and congregation members, democratic ideals and a love of serving community. We used to pride ourselves on Liberty.

We all want our children to be educated, we all want medical care, economic stability; roads and electricity and neighbors that aren’t shivering starved. These aren’t mutually-exclusive to Democracy and Liberty – Democracy and Liberty allow us to create these. But by placing these needs above Democracy and Liberty, by changing the meaning of American Exceptionalism, Democracy and Liberty have been degraded and our schools suck, we can’t provide medical care, our roads are crumbling, and we’re always at war.

What happened? When did American Exceptionalism mean valuing goals other than Democracy and Liberty? those two ideals that had made us exceptional in the world?

We’ve allowed politicians and the media to redefine American Exceptionalism. I doubt this was an accident.

“You should be worried about terrorists and college tuition because this is how we make America Exceptional again.”

America isn’t about Liberty and Democracy, it’s about policing the world and making sure everyone makes monthly payments to insurance corporations.