First thing this morning I saw on Facebook, a link to someone singing that god awful Lee Greenwood song "God Bless The USA." I didn't click, but the song began playing in my head anyway. Though I'm loath to subject you to such abuse, here are Greenwood's lyrics which may make you wonder, as Bob Dylan did, "Is there a hole for me to get sick in?"
This guy is proud to be an American where at least he knows he's free? What the shit does that even mean? Free from what? Free to do what? To whom? Given the current administration I would guess it means free to carry an automatic weapon, hate anyone less fortunate, take babies from their mothers, and wear a red hat saying America isn't great.
"'Cause there ain't no doubt, I love this land." Well, not the land so much as _the idea_ of the land. The actual soil is ours to poison. The water too. And if poor folk drink the lead, it's because they're too stupid to trade the right stock or be born to the right parents and inherit enough wealth to move somewhere nice.
The whole song is vapid bullshit. This is why it plays so well to its demographic, the same people who think Springsteen's "Born In The USA" is a pep rally for blind patriotism. Bruce doesn't go at anything blind. He's no follower.
That's a hard look at this country and what it stands for. Greenwood's is straight up nonsense or propaganda and instead of that we should listen to Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," especially the last three verses which you probably don't know. Woody's patriotism ran deeper than a red hat with a racist slogan, a long red tie wound too loosely around the neck of a bigot, or a stars and stripes flag waving next to the Confederate banner. Woody's song, unlike Greenwood's, and even more than Springsteen's is a kind of national anthem that reads in part:
This Memorial Day I remember those who fought in lost, foolish causes: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I mourn the senseless loss of life and curse the privileged who sent them to die.
This Memorial Day I mourn those who fought throughout Europe, The Mediterranean, the Pacific, and more against an axis of true evil.
This Memorial Day I reject Greenwood and embrace Guthrie's. We are most American when this country belongs to everyone. We are strongest when we are most accepting. We cannot accept hatred as leadership.
This Memorial Day, fuck Lee Greenwood and the big orange maggot. My flag stays in a dark corner of the front-hall closet until we start acting like real Americans.