So, where are you from?
I'm a multi-faceted individual, as many of us are. I'm international to my core, but I prefer extra-national. As in, I try not to associate with nations. I was born in England, to parents who had already spent much of their lives outside of the land of their birth, and I was emigrated before I was a year-old, to Japan, then Malaysia, where I lived my childhood.
British and European colonialism had a profound impact on the world, and it certainly feels as though the world is still reeling from it, and coming to terms with the last 500 years. As a British European, I certainly wouldn't presume to say that racism is dead, but from my perspective, it appears at least that awareness of its impact is entering the white american mindstate. You've got to hope, anyway. The greatest genocide the world has known, occurred right here on the land that I now live on. You can feel it. The wounds are still wide open and raw here where I live, near to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. The healing is only just beginning, and the wounding hasn't even really stopped. Native Americans still have reason to fear the local authorities. Native kids are still being slurred and abused at local events.
I gave an old native man, a grandfather, a ride from the airport the other day. He was 67, walking, in a full suit along the highway. Couple of years rounger than my Dad, who is 75, and a wonderful man. I drove him 20 miles past my house, with my wife and son waiting for me to return home. Home for him was at least another 20 miles further than that. We stopped in Scenic, SD. He showed me the old jail, took a piss in the 3 inches of water on the floor. We stopped by the local store. He asked if I'd buy him a drink for the road, and the remainder of his journey. I said yes, of course. He chose two bottles of mouthwash.
That's some shitty fucking beverage right there. I bet it fucks you right up for a few hours. Or the rest of your life.
Land of the free, home of the brave. This man was a veteran of the Vietnam war, encumbered with a giant growth on his back, the size of a melon, I shit you not, that he blamed on Agent Orange. Manufactured by the same chemical industry that now sprays poison on the majority of the food grown in America.  Yes, GMOs are killing us. No, I don't hate science. Yes, pesticides really are poison. Please. Can we all just stop and think about it for a second? These chemicals make grasshopper's stomachs literally explode. That's not a bug, that's a feature. That's THE feature. This shit that they are COATING OUR FOOD WITH, RIGHT BEFORE HARVEST has been intentionally "designed" to disrupt and destroy natural life. But we are using it as recommended by the distributors as a fucking ripening agent on the majority of the food that we eat. Anyway.
The Lakota maintain that South Dakota is their land, that the Black Hills were stolen from them. I acknowledge that as the truth. I've read enough history. I say that that's right. And I don't know the local stories, but I know that the Ute, and the Arapaho, and the Cheyenne, the Shoshone, the Navajo, the Comanche, and all the native people and tribes that have lived for generations beyond counting, beyond history, remember this, since the first people were born here and lived in this incredible wild land of buffalo and grassland, antelope, deer, mountain bears, birds, trees, fish in the streams, that this land has been plundered, and raped, and maimed. But the land is still here. And the people are too.
And here I am, living, changing the landscape, building, burning fuel, grazing livestock, growing plants – and only a few of them are native to these prairies, that I know, anyway. Squash, corn, beans, okra I've eaten in South Asia, but it seems to like it here. With enough water and hot sun anyway. Rather like myself. ;) I miss the easy climate of the equator. Life has so much more energy to spare down there. Not that I don't love snowboarding. And my people were bred for the cold weather, it has to be said. And it's rarely ever raining. Which is fine in the warmth, but can be fucking miserable in the cold.
America: it's a hard sell some days, even to myself. God Bless!
Yes, God bless your little cotton socks. Hmmm, cotton-picking... that reminds me of another rant I need to have some day.
A Cultural Confession in the Key of F#