Today marks the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Obama's campaign was built around a message of change. What changes would you most like to see in the next 4 years?
I would like to have my depressing cynicism, hopelessness and paranoia be proven wrong, especially when it comes to the news, politics and world events.
Watching America over the last ten years has driven me to the point where I believe democracy has turned into an elaborate joke designed to give citizens the illusion of choice, the press and media are now propaganda factories and all news and issues are just distractions to keep citizens arguing over petty unimportant bullshit while atrocities are committed under their noses by their own leaders. I'm tired of how exhausting it is to feel that that is reality. Sometimes I even wish I were believing all the lies and bullshit just so I'd be happier.
I'm not American (although my parents are and I might as well be), but the way my life turned out puts me in a no-man's-land culturally where I've been able to see America both from the inside and from the outside, as an almost-immigrant and as a foreigner at the same time. An American friend once described me as "not American, but he might as well be." In art school in NJ my friends said I had a better grasp of their culture than most of them did. Whatever that meant, lol.
When I lived there I remember how exhilirating it felt knowing no one was going to arrest me or lock me up without a lawyer or even a court hearing just because I was a Christian. Now the same thing could happen to me in America for having Arabic in my passport from having lived in the Middle East.
America isn't my country but I can't help but love it and care about it like my own supposed country. Americans aren't my fellow countrymen (yet) but it has been heartwrenching seeing what many of them have been going through the last decade or more. I imagine it must feel like being betrayed by a loved one, or by your own family.
To me, Americans are an amazing, intoxicating, sarcastic, neurotic, psychotic, blunt, fun and slightly insane people that are basically hard to hate and harder to ignore. They're not perfect, but they're often the first people to admit it. I love how you basically can't mock Americans, because no one mocks Americans harder and meaner than they do themselves. Feel free to disagree; that's what it looks like through my eyes.
I think Americans deserve better. I think I'm tired of seeing noble American ideals that its great men and women fought and died for at its birth, get trurned into media buzzwords, cliches, propaganda tools, and ultimately, a giant international joke. It's depressing watching the world slowly hate America more and more everyday, knowing they have good reasons to.
I want an America that I would love to move back and actually live in, not one that I'm afraid of, because for one thing I really miss my family, and for another thing I think I'd make a great adopted citizen given the chance. And ultimately, maybe because it's the one place in the world where I didn't feel like a huge misfit.
Bill Maher once said
on his show: "America must stop bragging that it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it." That line pretty much sums it up.
Take from this what you will.