Also Timely

This is not America, (sha la la la la)

A little piece of you
The little peace in me
Will die (This is not a miracle)
For this is not America
Blossom fails to bloom this season
Promise not to stare
Too long (This is not America)
For this is not the miracle

There was a time
A storm that blew so pure
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America
(Sha la la la la, sha la la la la, sha la la la la)
This is not America, no
This is not, (sha la la la la)

Snowman melting from the inside
Falcon spirals to the ground
(This could be the biggest sky)
So bloody red, tomorrow’s clouds

A little piece of you
The little peace in me
Will die (This could be a miracle)
For this is not America

There was a time
A wind that blew so young
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America
(Sha la la la la, sha la la la la, sha la la la la)
This is not America, no
This is not, (sha la la la)

This is not America, no
This is not
This is not America, no
This is not, (sha la la la)

‘Murika!

This week’s school shooting (not to be confused with last week’s or the one the week before that or next week’s or the one the week after that) got me thinking about violence in America; something that as a society I believe we’ve grown increasingly numb to.

Perhaps numb isn’t the right term, but there’s no denying the schizophrenic way that violence is viewed by our society. Violence is woven into the American DNA and celebrated with an almost orgiastic frenzy in everything from our popular music to our movies, television shows and video games, yet we seem shocked and appalled when a shooting occurs. Do we really need car chases and killings in every damn episode of {Fill in pretty much any Television Show Name}?

Just the other night we were watching a preview of some upcoming series and I turned to Ben and said, “Does everything need to have a shoot out in it?”

It’s past time that we throw off any illusion of being a nation of Peace, because we most certainly are not. As a society we revel in death and destruction as exemplified by our popular entertainments—except of course when that death and destruction happens to visit itself upon good, god-fearing white christians or in those infrequent instances when karma comes back to bite us on our national ass. (See 9/11.)

I’m tired of politicians, lawmakers, and so-called “men of god” saying they want peace, yet with every step and word uttered, fetishize and advocate for never-ending violence and bloodshed. In short, I think it’s time we cut the crap and just embrace our murderous, bloodthirsty national identity. The ancient Romans never apologized for it and certainly never made excuses.

So yes, we are the planet’s dominant serial killer—not only of the other, but also of our own people. And we have the guns, the tanks, the missiles, the nukes and the military spending to prove it—not to mention the psychopaths with their personal arsenals wetting themselves over fevered visions of turning the United States into a christianist theocracy and meting out Old Testament punishments upon non-believers with impunity. ‘Murika! Fuck yeah!

It’s not like any of this is new—and to be honest it certainly is not limited to only the United States. But our country was birthed in bloodshed and it comes with the territory as much as we’d like to deny it as a nation. Yes, the United States was created with noble ideals (something I think has kept some of our basest instincts in check), but again and again it seems that as a society we reach for the gun, the assault rifle, the switchblade, the missile or the bomb to settle our differences—or to simply make a point instead of examining why we do it—or seeking alternative methods of resolution. And when something bad happens, we wring our hands ask, “How could this have been stopped?” while remaining stunningly, blindingly oblivious to the obvious answer and unable to affect any real change because of the NRA’s death grip on our politicians. And then we promptly forget about the whole thing until the cycle repeats. Ad nauseum.