a-merican a-t last


I love this. I remember when I lived in NYC during the waning years of Clinton. I felt like my East Village/Lower East Side compatriots weren’t American or anti-American, they were “A-merican,” like being “amoral” or “asexual.” It just didn’t matter to them, they were above it all, or simply apart from it.

When I went on my road trip documenting populist theater in red states, and then on to Cornerstone and Mississippi, I got plenty of sneers about doing “social work” from folks who are now doing community-based art, or art about parts of American they don’t know, or art about being American.
It took Bush’s theft of 2000–and then the tragedy of 9/11–to shock folks out of their Clinton-era entitlement and apathy. And then, after 8 years of the terror and shame and humiliation his reign brought to our country (see Krugman’s latest), after 8 years of seeing this land–whose membership they didn’t even appreciate!–so very degraded, it took an inspiring leader who has the fastest learning curve in the history of American politics, who brought a brilliantly disciplined community-organizer strategy to his campaign–so this could happen.

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