I was dancing last night. It was a great night. Beach music filled the air at the last outdoor concert event of the season and heaps of people showed up for the grand finale.
I was having fun, right up till the last song when the band broke out in a long forgotten patriotic-heart stirring country song that was so out of their normal genre it was jarring. It was entirely undanceable. And only meant to stir the crowd into some kind of “Yay America” frenzy. In fact, some young men started chanting “USA — USA — USA!” through the lyrics.
I walked away.
When a drone from the venue hovered over me, I gave it my middle finger.
I am over this crap. America is not great again. I am not proud to be an American.
I came here to dance, not to be reminded of this shit, that people have traded their good sense and morals and wrapped themselves in flags (pick one — American, Confederate, Isis) to do whatever the hell they want.
I will not play. I am an American. An Individual, with a capital ‘I’. I get to exercise my rights — and I am not hurting a single soul by not jumping on that patriotic band wagon.
I love the Bill of Rights. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Not just cherry picking the ones I think ought to be there. Or thinking my freedom of speech means I can get in your face with my gun on my hip and make you feel threatened. In Florida — people can shoot you for that, if I remember correctly.
I love music. And I loved that country song when it came out during post 9/11. We were a country united back then. The song meant something different. ‘The men who died who gave that right to me’ — what are they thinking of us now? What mockery have we made of their sacrifices?
We stood shoulder to shoulder then. A country united by tragedy.
Look at us now. Look at the hate and darkness that grows unchecked under the guise of freedom.
If that is patriotism — I’m out.
Last night, to the embarrassment of my friends, I walked away from the darkness. It wasn’t just a song, and it wasn’t just a drone. And I just wasn’t having any part of it.
I have hope though. I lived through the 60s and I know we will survive. We survived then. We will survive now because love and light are stronger than the darkness. Darkness is a cancer of the soul and light is the cure.
May you live in the light — May you find love in your life — May peace rule your world.