Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Zeitgeist of 2003

"Remember this, take this to heart, live by it, die for it if necessary: that our patriotism is medievel, outworn, obsolete; that the modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it."
- Mark Twain, from Wikiquote, probably out of context but fitting for this blog's purpose.

Do you remember 2003? Do you remember the extreme jingoism that seemed to pervade the entire United States of America, such that any voice of dissent against the administration at the time was deemed not only un-American, but anti-American? It was the same zeitgeist that rallied against the Dixie Chicks, accusing them of treason. It was the same zeitgeist that was so Francophobic, that Belgian-invented French fries were rechristened as freedom fries and the American mustard company French's was unduly persecuted.

I remember 2003. I remember those who either did the research or had the foresight to oppose certain misguided actions by the administration. I remember the vitriol of those who wanted to monopolize the meaning of patriotism: You're either with the administration, or you're with the terrorists. I remember 2003, when a specific network of terrorists were heavily based in South Asia and not the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates.

I also remember 2004, when the polarization of the United States of America was overwhelming. No side was willing to concede to the meaning Twain's maxim, that each side was so loyal to the nation, that their point of view actually reflected a love of the nation - a vision for the nation. Of course, I had long been on the side devoid of any recognition of patriotism, angry because those who hijacked the title held it so close to themselves, just enough to extend their administration's reign. Too often were our cries of "I too am a patriot" had fallen to belligerent ears, whose ludicrous replies of reductio ad communistum and reductio ad terroristum were only matched by some of our equally illogical rebuttals of reductio ad Hitlerum and reductio ad fascistum. (Forgive my pseudo-Latin.)

As much as everyone wants to think of themselves as individuals (ironic clause indeed), if you stand back and look at population - the masses - statistics ring true. Individual decisions culminate into an ever-changing zeitgeist because I remember 2006. I remember November of 2006. Enough people made these seemingly individual choices (albeit influenced by the world and people around them) to actually express their disapproval, and to recant their feelings from the past three years.

Now, 2007 is about three-quarters over. What is the spirit of this time? Where are the grand jingoists from 2003; are they still around, insisting on their monopoly of patriotism? What will be the zeitgeist in the coming year, of 2008? All I know is that I am a patriot, regardless of whatever mob of jingoists, whatever rabble of nationalists, and whatever Fox News has to say otherwise. Never again should we even allow our fellow Americans to accuse other fellow Americans of disloyalty or treason, just because of a difference of opinion. Opinion. Not action. Action means blowing up medical facilities, ironically killing in the name of life. Action means blowing up fellow believers, ironically killing in the name of God. Opinion. Everyone needs to form one. Question. Everyone needs to ask one or more when the need arises.

Anyhow, Little Steven has it right in his song "I Am a Patriot":

1 comment:

  1. hey, bro!
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    please let me know :)

    --Rama's SCREEN--

    ReplyDelete

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