Notes on Patriotism

First of all, look up Emma Goldman's screed about patriotism and give it a gander if you never have. Yesterday morning, WNYC's "The Take Away" had a whole segment about whether you/we are proud to be Americans... based on something Tim Geithner said last week: that the way to be patriotic is to pay your taxes. I listened for a half hour to a far right immigrant and a centerish think tank dude talk about how great it is to be an American. I totally agreed with them for the most part but there were barely any caveats. Of course it's great for a number of reasons I don't have to get into. I had to turn it off because of what was not being acknowledged in a very direct manner: Of all the [Western] countries that we helped after World War II, the good ol' U.S.A. ranks LAST in all sorts of categories. My point is that if you're really patriotic, you need to stop cheerleading for the U.S. and work to make it better. At the very least, point it out so the public is aware this all could be better. Occupy Wall Street and other forums are sure to raise these issues as soon as Spring starts and/or the movie comes out. If NPR wants to live up to the liberal windbag status that Andrew Breitbart gave it, instead of fawning over his legacy with little criticism, they should be covering Tim Geithner's ties to Wall Street and the free pass he usually gets from the press. They could also do a story about why Reporters Without Borders ranks the U.S. 47th in its "freedom of the press" index. These are complex issues and I'm sure 2012 will be great year for the movies.