I’m No Patriot
March 23rd, 2011 | D.I.Y., How-to, colonization, confession, corporations, earth, elite, food, health, homestead, indigenous, love, military, nature, nutrition, pacific, patriot, PNG, transparency, USA, West Coast, WWII
I have a confession to make, I’m no patriot. In fact the very idea makes me nauseous. This is a post I have been thinking about writing for a long time now in the interest of transparency–but have been avoiding it as I know it will probably piss a lot of people off. To be honest I have a lot of confessions to make, but I can’t really make them all at once so I will just take it one step at a time. I am one of those people who have to go out and make mistakes for themselves, so I have a lot of things I have done in my life that I am not proud of, but those are tales for another time. Right now, I just want to be upfront, as honest as I can be at the moment and clear on where I am coming from so I don’t mislead anyone.
I have actually felt that proud feeling, which I assume is what people are connecting with patriotism, several times while in the United States of America. It had nothing to do with the people who live there, the Constitution or any of that stuff. I remember very strongly feeling that deep love for the land when visiting the crystal lakes in Yosemite, sitting on the banks of Sun River in Oregon and while camping in Zion National park in Utah (to name a few). It is very powerful, inspiring and motivating to feel so strongly the connection, the wonder and admiration of nature and the deep respect for the variety of landscapes that she has created all on one land-mass as she has in the various continents of the world.
I was born in San Francisco and when I was a year old we moved to Papua New Guinea. I spent the next 15 years of my life growing up at 6,000 feet about 5 degrees from the equator in the middle of the Pacific ocean. If I am anything I am a Pacific Girl. My father did his best to instill in us a respect for the ‘forefathers’ and the proud democracy that the United States of America was, but in my experience, every time we came back to the US on furlough the food seemed fake, the people seemed plastic, and the main things I enjoyed were our road trips up and down the West coast and to various National parks around the country.
Perhaps the thing was I didn’t really like the other American kids at my school in Papua New Guinea. Maybe the thing was growing up in a small village in the highlands–being the only little white girl with long straight blonde hair and being stared at all the time and having my hair pulled when hanging out with the local village kids made me feel like a freak. Maybe it was because my two older sisters were half Vietnamese and half African American and looked a lot like the other villagers. Maybe I was just born to be skeptical, I am no longer sure, although recent epigenetic studies show how our environments effect us much more than previously thought, and I am starting to wonder if maybe that is why I always feel half Asian, half indigenous, half man-bear-pig….
I basically grew up hating what I was, a white girl with blonde hair and blue eyes who was an American citizen, from California to boot, and as a result I had a hard time getting along with other white kids whenever we came to visit the States. They could sense my disdain I suppose, I guess I didn’t really know how to hide it or even that I had it. I spent my junior year in high school in LA–a real shocker for a girl from the highland jungles. Fortunately at the time I was pretty good at detaching and to this day I don’t really remember the experience very well, although I do remember that the 20 or so white kids at the school were some of the nastiest pieces of work I had ever met. I was invited to a slumber party one night and was disgusted when the main event was the girls all peeing and pooping and then going out to put all of this crap on another girl’s car because of a jealous boyfriend situation (those were the days of 90210).
Later when I hit college, which I also attended in LA, I was able to hide my distaste for white American’s a little better, but the true test came when I did a year abroad, first in Vietnam and then in Morocco. I had already done a fair amount of travelling in S. E. Asia and was used to meeting Europeans who would ask me where I was from, and when I said “America” I would see the cogs turning in their brain as they slotted me into their image of an ignorant American valley girl, if they went on to ask where from in America and I said California, they often couldn’t hold the sniggers in. I got pretty good at pool in those days and used to enjoy kicking their asses when they least expected it. Some of you may ask why I didn’t come right out and say something else, like Papua New Guinea or something. Well maybe I should have, but that was opening another whole can of worms. Then I had to go into how I was a missionary kid and get instantly judged as being some kind of crazy fundamentalist Christian.
Those days were before 9/11 and even then Americans had a reputation for being self-righteous, ignorant, loud mouthed know-it-alls. I hated being pegged as an American especially as I had a more intimate disgust for them than any of the Europeans I met at the time. On my study abroad semesters I ignored the other American students on the programs and did my best to get as involved in the culture I was in as possible. This earned me some enemies with the other students and I finally came to realize how dangerous it is to ignore attention-demanding, spoiled people. I had always figured if I wasn’t bothering them they would just leave me alone, instead I found myself attacked when least expecting it. All of these things were good lessons for me, and as a result I learned very well how to be a chameleon. My accent changes quite readily depending on what country I am in or who I am talking to, although if I try to put on an accent consciously I sound like a retard.
The whole point here isn’t to rip on Americans, there are plenty of people out there already doing that, but to explain why I am no patriot, so let’s try to get back to that. My great grandparents took advantage of the Homestead Act and got themselves a large piece of land at the expense of the local indigenous people in the Northwest, we still have a home in the family from that windfall. As I have mentioned I am a missionary kid, not only that but my grandparents on both sides of my family were also missionaries, so I have that in my history as well. A long line of pre-colonizers–which is basically what missionaries are–is what my roots are, so perhaps I of all people should be the biggest patriot of all. Instead I find myself disgusted, so disgusted I actually have spent most of my life as an immigrant myself. When I see those words written it seems strange but that is the truth, I have spent the last ten years or so being an immigrant, unstable, broke and struggling–although I easily look and sound like a local so it has been much easier for me than for most immigrants I readily admit.
As a result when I hear people going off about how wonderful the Constitution is and how enlightened our forefather’s were and how proud they are of what a democratic light the US of A is to the world, I feel sick. To me America represents the epitome of hypocrisy, she could actually be a good example, but instead she just pays lip service while she exploits the hell out of everyone and everything. Even now, when I rave on about the raw milk revolution and our freedom to choose what we put in our mouths, I feel disconcerted, as I know it was only with the help of our dairy cows and cattle that we were able to colonize this beautiful land so effectively. I know that even our cows are symbols of colonization to the people who really belong in this land and who have been driven into tiny corners, their access to abundant food sources destroyed. I spend most of my time walking a tight-rope within myself trying to find the balance of understanding myself and where I came from and making peace with that same self.
In many ways I have started to find that my footing is getting a little more sure on that tight-rope and that I am getting in some ways more judgmental and in other ways less so. I have gotten a perspective and had the experiences to know that there is something more going on in the US of A than just a bunch of people being ignorant. I remember years ago talking to a German chef I was working for about why I left America. Well a big part of it was that I got sucked into the culture after I finished college, I jumped onto the consumer tread-mill, I wanted the car the clothes the money and had convinced myself that any means was justified in getting to that goal, that I was some kind of a chosen person or something. I did some disgusting things to people, I lost a lot of money, I broke a lot of promises. I was fortunate to have a really good friend give me a place to stay and get me a ticket out of the country, but I went into a deep depression trying to come to terms with how far I had fallen for a very long time. When I did finally get out of it and get some perspective I started to realize there was at that time (early 90s) a sort of a mass insanity gripping the country.
I used to blame the American people themselves for the situation they were in. I used to be pretty militant about it and often pissed off a lot of people. They would say– “but it is the American government not the American people” and I would say, “but it is the American people who are paying the tax dollars to support that government, so they are just as much to blame.” Now I understand that there are many forces at work that come together to create this perfect vacuum. If you study any colonizing force and how they consistently and systematically break down the various cultural rituals of any indigenous people everything becomes clear. Don’t forget here that I come from a long line of missionaries, which are the first people to go out and clear the way, even before the military comes in to finish off the job, so I understand these systems intuitively as well as mentally. The food source is destroyed, the family unit is destroyed, the health is destroyed. Fear is implanted. Once these basic things are in place the rest is easy.
So don’t talk to me about conspiracy theories when I tell you that our food has been systematically and purposefully destroyed by corporations, our family units have been destroyed by media, our health has been destroyed by pharmaceutical companies and fear has been implanted by all of these groups as well as our governments. Why then should any of us be patriotic to this system that is out to destroy anyone in it’s way? Why then do we still think that we will be fine if we just get back to some outdated set of rules put in place by slave owners who had no respect for their women to boot? I wish Americans could get past the pure foolishness of buying into this faulty and destructive system. I only voted once, and decided never to do it again, why? Because it is a false choice. Many recent documentaries have pointed this out, but for some reason it still doesn’t sink in…remember the Nazis and how they gently (at first) led people down the road to genocide by giving them false choices and playing on their feelings of patriotism? This is exactly what is happening again, right here in the USA.
The object of torture is torture – George Orwell.
Some people think that World War II was won. The fact of the matter is that it was oil and pharmaceutical corporations behind the atrocities committed by the German people who were so desperate themselves when they walked down that path (we see these same types of situations happening again and again in places where genocides are committed). These groups understand that people traumatized, beaten down, badly nourished and desperate will do things they shouldn’t. To these corporate elites the main goals were attained during that war, they lost nothing. They had plenty of opportunity to experiment on people to find out how far you could push them, what drugs were most useful and in the meantime they also managed to traumatize the whole world. They even struck fear in the hearts of people not yet born of how wicked and shocking humans can be to each other–they examined exactly how hard it is for people to function optimally when poorly nourished, pitted against each other and given various drugs. They also learned a lesson that was very valuable to them. That lesson was “Don’t be so obvious.” They discovered it is fairly easy to slowly and surely turn up the heat, so that no one notices what is happening. They learned a lot of other lessons as well, how to manipulate people with movies and media, how to confuse people with disinformation and lies, how to side-track people with things and debts….
Now we are all in the same position as those indigenous people whom we felt so superior to when we pushed them off their land. We haven’t realised it yet, but our only hope now is to turn to the people who have been fighting this colonization for centuries and ask them what can we do? Some of you may have noticed I have been tweeting about Haiti lately. I see Aristide’s return on the Spring Equinox as a powerful symbol of hope for all of us. I know it is a lot to expect from any one man and a country so broken, but Haiti was the first country of slaves to gain independence and they have been fighting the powerful colonizing force–the USA for a very long time. If they can pull through and break away from the vampire AID organizations, the non-profits, the Christian groups, the false democracies, the repressive dictatorships and the drug runners they will show us a new way.
My biggest hope now is that the military-medical-industrial-agricultural complex will take themselves out before the world is poisoned to the point of no return for the rest of us. In the meantime the best thing for us all to do is focus on building the kind of world we want to live in, and learning how to reach out to each other with empathy and understanding. We can no longer wallow in self-satisfaction, judgement and dogma. Our last best hope is to build local communities. The true devils in our world are those making money off of military, wars, disease and starvation. They are generally easy to spot by the amount of money they are spending on advertisements that tell us the opposite.
I love this earth, the beauty of the sunsets–even if the skies are filled with chemtrails from geoengineering. I love the diversity of the plants, animals, fungi, people, foods, micro-organisms and landscapes that are on this beautiful earth. I know that all the things I do are not always the best for this earth, but I try to listen to her, to respect what she says and to understand that there are some things we just shouldn’t do and that if we stubbornly refuse to learn from our mistakes then what is the point of making them?
as a blond blue eyed american boy born at the end of the WWII baby boom, i’ve walked a different path than you, but arrived a very similar conclusions about our corrupt and miserable american/global condition. Backpacking the world at street level and working on my own spirituality has helped of course – it saddens me deeply to see how the world is being cajoled into following this megalomaniacal corporatocracy.
i commend you for “coming clean” and support your expression and views – you are not alone…!
Thanks so much Ravi! Great to have support and know that there are other’s out there who know exactly what I am talking about!