Friday, October 29, 2010

America. (Positive Post. Promise.)

I've written for the most part, about what I hate about America. It's not anything special, just a restatement of the principles that perhaps cutting people's feet out from under them and then asking them to jump is not entirely fair. You can come up with an example where America has loudly squawked about human rights or "justice" on an international stage while undermining them just behind the curtain. It's not hard.

But this post isn't about that. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are holding a rally in DC and it would be the kind of thing I would drop everything to be at, were I in America, and of course: I'm not. My instinct is to dismiss it as something that's bound to fail. It's not affiliated with a political party, though the projected crowd probably skews left, it's on a Saturday afternoon, and they're doing all the things that aren't supposed to be done if you want people to show up.

It's a rally about being reasonable and rejecting the hyper-toxic media landscape. That said, one encouraging sign is Fox News. They're terrified of this thing, which means at least they believe it's something that's gonna have an impact that will be felt. That's a good tea leaf to read.

Yes, the Huffington Post will be there, which is not encouraging. They're the leftist Drudge Report, which is…no good, and they've pledged to have "as many buses for as many people want to go." Hoo boy. But whatever. In honor of the hope of the Rally To Restore Sanity working out, I'm going to talk about an American thing I'm proud of. For me, America's the ability to make yourself in an image you choose and the terrifying freedom of possibilities that comes with it. That, and as a beacon of hope and charity. Thus, I'm going to be talking about a German born mutant with a tail and pointy ears.

Nightcrawler, (left) is a teleporting, blue-skinned X-Man with horns and tail. He died recently in current continuity. (Explaining how will take us off track.) He was born in Germany and worked as acrobat, until his mutation and then he became a freak show. A Catholic, the X-Men picked him up after his mutation and he subsequently saved people literally and figuratively as a matter of course. It was in America that he was begrudgingly accepted and joined a group with a mission where he turned the negatives of his life into positives. America, took him in and set him among like minded people so he could do good.

I mean, yes, the outreach and the kindness based in solidarity is...what I want from America. Not in front of you, or behind you, but next to you. And Nightcrawler is the best example of that. He's not the incredible, Kryptonian strength of America, but the kindness and the terrifying freedom that comes with being able to rewrite your life. He's an immigrant (obviously) that's accepted by America and does amazing things in it. That's why he can stand as an X-Man next to scared mutants who have been shunned and attacked and shot at and say it's going to be okay. He's been through it himself.

That's what I want America to be, for God's sake. I want America to be a terrifying blue monster that can appear anywhere with the smell of brimstone and the sound of BAMF. I think you know what I mean, though. I want America to be that outstretched hand, reassuring the terrified and paranoid that it's going to be okay, a voice that knows this not from believing it hard enough but instead from having lived through it first.

That's what Nightcrawler is, though. He's a guy that's lived through persecution and now helps other people escape it, reassuring them, as kindly as he can and absolutely sincerely, that it's going to be okay. That's an America I can believe in.

Today's song is Rocket From the Crypt's My Arrow's Aim. RFTC is a band that plays traditional rock and roll like it was always meant to be sleazy and toxic. Think an evil Screaming Jay Hawkins, backed by a band of enablers, having just hotwired the vehicle of their careers. Got that image in your head? Throw it away. Here's all the words you need to know: "My arrow is shot. My aim is you."

This is a live version of the love song, meant to played full blast from whatever speakers you've got. Go.

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