So in light of yesterday’s brief stint of patriotism I feel I need to toss some balance onto the blog. Annoyingly I’m unable to find a decent video of Bob Dylan performing “With God on Our Side.” You can listen to it yourself and stare at the ceiling contemplatively, or you can watch the stupid montage thing I’ve provided. Regardless, the point remains the same, an attack on blind patriotism and the idea that America has the manifest destiny; not only to spread across the continent, but to spread our virtues and our goods and our filth and our bullets in the name of the divine. As Dylan notes, if God is on our side he’ll stop the next war. Then came nam, and some 4 million people died for nothing. Very few of those were Americans, of course, so maybe God is on our side—or napalm, Agent Orange and daisy cutters. Dylan states, “I’ve learned to hate the Russians, all through my whole life,” and now our kids are learning to hate Islam and any other person of a darker tint. We have a War on Terror, which means we’re taking Roosevelt’s advice on having nothing to fear but fear itself. We’re so scared we’ll bomb any Stone Age village that harbors a boogey man. I’ve rambled enough, listen to Bobby, he says it better. Here’s your Fourth of July grain of salt.

As an American citizen I find that it seems only appropriate that I post today in observance of the anniversary of this nation’s independence from Great Britain—the Fourth of July as we like to call it. All across this country people will be shooting off fireworks, eating excessively and drinking, for the most part, shitty beer. On this day in 1776 a bunch of men in powdered wigs were sweating their nuts off in Philadelphia, writing up that official declaration. They weren’t doing it because their independence seemed imminent—they were basically losing the war at that point. They were doing it as a plea; a plea to the people to stay the course, and a plea to the French to bail our asses out of this mess. Those men we call our founding fathers were basically signing a death warrant. If they lost the war, which seemed pretty much a given, the ringleaders had all written their names on a convenient document—like a list of the treasonous for Cornwallis to execute. Somehow, these “patriots” ended up outlasting the British. The French jumped in the game and the British eventually realized that the cost of fighting a war of occupation overseas is too great. (Clearly Americans have learned nothing from their own history.)

This is the one day of the year I will call myself patriotic. The rest of the year I see patriotism as a part of the blind nationalism that makes people trust a deceitful and duplicitous government and allows men to feel justified in killing men, women, and children for being on the wrong side of the government vendetta against communism or Islam. Today, I celebrate those men of the Second Continental Congress, for their willingness to become martyrs to an idea and for their courage to stand up against imperialism (again, the lessons we forget.) So today I raise my glass to all the beautiful things America has wrought, blues, jazz, rock n’ roll, Bourbon, Ernest Hemingway, my Ford truck, bluegrass, (some) country music, cowboys, cheeseburgers (though hot dogs are lame as far as sausages go), the Second Amendment , Jack Kerouac, and even cheap macro beer (because I can’t always afford to drink well). So, my readers, many of whom it seems live in Europe, I’m going to get drunk and have a jolly good time of it, and I’ll go back to screaming out Baby, I’m an Anarchist tomorrow. Live free or die, death is not the worst of evils.