Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Which We Address Idol, The Presidential Election, And The American Identity

Oh I'll do it, just watch me.

So Kristy Lee "How is she still on the show" Cook sang, in a truly inspired, calculated, brilliant move, Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be An American" on Idol tonight. What can you do with that? She's still hot, it wasn't a mangled Beatles song, and she's still hot. She sold her horse.

She had a damn record contract, but she "sold her horse" to get on Idol.

To my point: last night, I had a lengthy, late-night discussion with my Dad about Michelle Obama's largely overlooked comment that now, watching her husband's success (I'm paraphrasing), it is the first time in her life that she's been proud of her country. That's a striking comment.

Would Mrs. Obama have sung this song during the first Desert Storm, during the song's heyday? If you take her comment at face value, no, we have to assume she wouldn't have.

The song never fails to give me goosebumps. It did even when I was little - of course, so did the Bangle's "Eternal Flame," but little kids emote. Now, it gives me more educated goosebumps. I was struck tonight with how intricate my relationship is with my country. I'm proud. I'm also angry, frustrated, unforgiving, full-of-excuses, defensive, aggressive, and hurt. The past 7 years have been something, haven't they? If you don't feel challenged, I suggest you move - or at least don't vote because I don't think you deserve to.

My pride in America has certainly wavered frequently over the past 7 years, but it's like family, isn't it? As mad as you can be one minute, you'll still beat the snot out of anyone else who messes with your bro or mom or whomever, right? I feel about my church in the same way. I tend to disrespect those who diss Catholicism because they - rightfully - think our views on birth control and homosexuals and our obsession with abortion are out of touch and foolish. I agree, but I don't use that as a basis for leaving. My parents and I disagree crazy amounts on lots of things, but family is family, country is country, religion is religion.

Are you proud to be an American? Unfailingly?

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