I was originally wanting to take a one-day break from my blog and just spend this Saturday/holiday to recharge, but I got the inspiration to take to WordPress and type something up today. Yes, I will credit The Finicky Cynic as the inspiration for this source, but it has nothing to do with June Jour (that was so last month).
But that’s just one source of inspiration that struck me today. There’s a second source of inspiration I had been considering for a while when it comes to writing style, and this will be my first stab at it. If you recall watching The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert had a recurring segment called “The Wørd,” in which he would begin and end with a certain word or phrase; talks on and on in-between about said word or phrase; and has one of those over-the-shoulder graphics insert endorsements, contradictions, or whatever the case during his diatribe — all of which, naturally, were done for humorous effect. I’ve been considering using a style similar to that in this blog: Me going on and on about something, with an “unknown voice” to the side providing interjections. I don’t plan on using this format all the time, let alone even once a week; it’s more like if and when I have something to write about that could fit this format We’ll see how this setup goes, and if it doesn’t have legs, so be it. But don’t worry, I won’t devolve into a vain, bloviating talking head, or even a parody of same; rather, this will just be use of a (hopefully) witty format.
So, without further adieu, the first edition of “Allison’s Word” is:
That’s right, “America.” If you couldn’t tell by the calendar on your wall or the fanfare of trumpets when I unveiled that word art, today (July 4) is the 239th anniversary of 13 American colonies declaring their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
“But I didn’t hear any trumpets. I don’t have a wall either, let alone a calendar to put on it.”
Just go with me on this, okay? Two hundred and thirty-nine years ago, representatives from 13 British colonies in eastern North America — the Second Continental Congress — were dealing with long festering issues about British rule. Basically, the representatives of the colonies were, to use a family-friendly term, not pleased with the tyranny of King George’s rule, and some incidents and battles of combat had been occurring since the year prior. By May and June of 1776, a clear desire to break away from Britain had developed, and with that members of the Congress drew up what would become the Declaration of Independence, severing political ties with Britain and becoming free and independent states.
“Hell yeah! The ‘screw you’ to end all ‘screw yous!'”
Well, okay, if you want to express it that way. (At least you kept the language clean.) Though there were some disagreements among members of the congress, including some voting “no” or abstaining from voting, majorities from all 13 colonies went along with independence, voting to move forward with it on the 2nd day of July 1776.
“Uh uh, it was the 4th of July.”
Well, not entirely. The final wording of the Declaration was approved, signed, and sent to the printers on the 4th. But, long story short, the colonies became independent from Britain, fought with the Red Coats to ensure that, banded together to form a new nation, and here you and I are on this day. So, yay for us!
“Yeah! We’re America! Num-ber one! Num-ber one!”
And with that cheerleading response, I move to the second part of this post. Indeed, the United States is considered “the greatest country on the planet.” We’ve got 320 million people. We have a pretty good GDP (thanks for the info, F.C.). We’re a diverse country. And we have an all-powering influence on the rest of the planet, taking the proverbial wheel over the last half-century plus in all things political:
“No French haute couture is complete without a 10-gallon hat.”
Well, as evident by that last response (and the response directly above it, if you see it that way), not every American influence is perfect. Heck, not every American is perfect. Case in point being this photo:
See the figure in the background wearing the wide-brimmed hat? He’s long been admired and regarded (for better or worse) as an iconic figure of Americana over the past century or so, a representation and romanticism of adventure, and, yes, even manliness. The figure in the foreground wearing the bad toupee is a representation of egotism, self-righteousness, and, yes, greed that (for better and worse) has also come to define America over the past few decades. (Side note: Is it me, or does the fact that he has a halo of light around his noggin seem scary?)
Which leads me to this phrase: “A more perfect Union.” It’s part of our Constitution’s preamble, true. But, to me, it’s a phrase that means we’d like to be better than we have been, but we’re not as better as we hope to be. The cowboy may be goodhearted and all, but he could drive the natives crazy (not to mention a settler or two). The businessman may be a self-made man of means, but his egotism and self-centeredness has been known to drive people crazy (especially these days). Both are proof positive that not every American is perfect, nor is the United States as a whole perfect.
“B- b- but… we’re America!“
True, but perhaps we were never meant to be perfect as a whole. I mean, there are so many controversial subjects within America these days; there always have been, but it seems they pop up now more than ever. Issues with gender, race, and even religion still fester within our borders. Not to mention issues with sexuality and equality (it was only eight days ago that every American was guaranteed the right to marry the person they loved and wanted to marry, regardless of their gender). No, those who govern us are not perfect either, as this bit of current news from here in Wisconsin so chillingly proves.
And, no, not every American citizen is perfect. Heck, I’m no definition of the ideal American myself. I eat too much chocolate. I don’t have great muscle tone. I don’t exercise as much as I should. And, of course, I am a crossdresser whose views on gender and sexual identity aren’t in alignment with the holier-than-thou types who speak through bullhorns. I’ll even freely admit that I won’t spend this Independence Day cooking out on the grill or checking out some fireworks show.
“*gasp* That statement is sacrilegious!”
No, that’s just me being me. Yes, I’m a proud and appreciative American, but I never confuse being patriotic with being self-righteous or hateful (which tends to happen too much, if you ask me). And since this is a free country, I can spend Independence Day and every other day doing whatever I need or want to do, just as others have the freedom to waive their flag until well after their arms require medical attention. And I do have the freedom to just stay at home today, doing laundry, phoning my family if they’re available, taking a walk after dinner, and cleaning out my closets.
“In Soviet Union, closets clean out you. Hahaha!”
Ah, you love those old, antiquated jokes, I see…. Well, we could perhaps agree on this: The stuff in our closets can sure clean out our bank accounts. I mean all those dresses and skirts and old books and knickknacks can cost a pretty penny sometimes. And you and I do have the freedom to buy them, keep them, or get rid of them… just as much as we have the freedom to live the way we want to live, be who we want to be, and love who we want to love. Because, after all, this is…
Well, what do you think? This was a fun post for me to write, that’s for sure. Hope it was just as fun for you to read. Please let me know what you think about it, and thanks. 🙂