I, American

In my heart, I have always been fairly anti-American, which I guess is ironic since I’m a full blooded American. It’s kinda like how I’m half white and I love dogging on white people all the god damn time. What can I say. I am large, I contain multitudes. That being said, I’ve never been a huge fan of this country, despite definitely benefiting from the privileges that come with being a white passing American. My ancestors fucking suffered to get here. Fuck it, my immediate family suffered. So, sometimes I deal with guilt for being ungrateful, but then I remind myself: fuck that! There’s nothing wrong with wanting more! There’s nothing wrong with demanding better from the system! It’s the American way.

Anyway, now that we’re here in the midst of hugely embarrassing pandemic, all I can say is: my god. Why the fuck did I stay here? Well, I’m lazy, that’s why I stayed here, and I’m too privileged to learn to speak another language or bother to adapt to another culture. But, more importantly: I stayed here, and now what. I feel like I’m living in the opening act of a societal collapse that I always suspected was coming but somehow am not at all prepared for. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that the amount of baseline rage I encounter in people on the street right now is abnormally high, and I live in North Berkeley, which is basically just an enclave for rich white people who smile at their neighbors. Sure, maybe the quarantine has gotten to them, but, god damn, Karen, a class war is coming can you not scream at me about wearing a mask? Sure, I’ll admit that I, too, have been feeling quite pugilistic, so my goony side is reveling in the simmering resentment in the streets.

Sometimes I feel sad knowing that I’m going to have to live through whatever the fuck comes next, and that scares the shit out of me. But then I remember: war. Living through war is something that most people have already done. We in America have generally been to insulated to feel its full effects, but seeing as we’ve inflicted war on a slew of other countries, we kinda have this coming to us, don’t we? If everyone else in the world can survive war, I’m sure that we’ll be able to weather whatever comes next. Not that I’m comparing the pandemic to war, but, rather, doesn’t it seem highly likely that war is the inevitable cure for our broken economy? Which is why I’m not incredibly worried right now, mostly because I know I’m powerless to stop whatever comes next, so I might as well enjoy the quietude of the quarantine.

This, like everything else, is something that I will simply survive. Sure, I might have to watch the American way of life collapse, and, admittedly, despite calling myself an anti-American up there, there are quite a few aspects of American life that I fucking love, such as freedom of speech and abortion. But if I have to spend the next ten years suffering so that everyone else can enjoy a better world that is perhaps less polluted, less racist, less sexist, more educated, and more egalitarian, then okay. I can do that. I accept that. I’ve lived a good life so far. I mean, I doubt that the world will get ‘better’ even if America rips itself to shreds, mostly because this planet will still be inhabited by humans, and we are, if anything, an incredibly fickle and power hungry bunch. But if we have to reset a few things on a global scale and watch America crash and burn, then so be it. I just slightly regret not putting my money where my mouth was and ditching to Mexico twelve years ago, but so be it. I’m prepared to be an American til the bitter end, because I’ve been an American thus far, and what kind of American would I be if I bailed on America right when things got tough? I’d probably be the most American kind of American if I left now, because that’s what we do: we’re greedy. And that is our most defining characteristic.

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