Wednesday, July 4, 2012

god bless america

This Friday night we are changing out the 1880 Gallery at the Long View Center with a new exhibit, Visions of Freedom.  The group made a collective decision not to use this as our official poster because some felt the 'made in China' was too politically charged, but I'm posting it here because I think it says a lot of what I'm feeling about our country right now.

Don't misunderstand me.  I am grateful beyond measure that I live in the United States.  But I'm pretty darn disgusted with what promises to be a long and acrimonious political campaign.  I am disappointed in my state and my country for some poor decision-making that has taken place lately.  I want to see some politicians who are honest, dependable, and not in the pockets of big money.

I want to believe that we are a nation of people who care about all nations but that we aren't bossy or dogmatic about it, that we aren't selfish and greedy and smug in our comfort, that we take care of our own - our own for god sakes - and then take care of others in the same enveloping way.

I'm tired of everything I pick up in a store being made in China and seeing empty brick buildings in every small town I pass through.  I'm tired of sacrificing good men and women to useless wars.  I'm tired of politicians sticking their noses where they have no business being.  I'm tired of divisiveness and name-calling and finger-pointing.

We're the luckiest people in the world, in some ways, but we've forgotten our manners.  It's time to start using them again.


Ginny Wood said...

Yes! And I love the poster.

Nneka, Working Mystic said...

Hi Mamie, I understand your position. However, are you willing to pay 100 times the cost of those items to have them? We - Americans, I'm one now - love our discount and dollar stores. I bought 3 light bulbs for a dollar the other day. On the other hand, if I cared anything about keeping manufacturing here I would by one bulb for $3.95. I'm just not willing to do it.

Another thing, what if America got more into the thinking game and less into the manufacturing game. The economy is shifting. The stores in the small towns may be closing, but maybe we need to start opening healing practices and knitting specialty shops instead.

We can't continue to dominate mass production. It's an economy of lack. However, we can dominate creative expression. That economy has no ceiling.

mamie said...

Thanks, Va!

Nneka, you make two very interesting points. And I know from my many discussions with Nancy Olson, owner of Quail Ridge Books, that it's hard to trump cheap (and inexpensive!) with the value of buying local and the resulting feeding of the local economy.

As far as a new proliferation of mom-and-pop specialty shops, that takes money (hard to get right now) and a confidence in the local economy (see above). If you're talking about selling people to people services, i.e. healing practices and knitting workshops, that is something that people have to access on a local level, and a good way to fill large abandoned buildings one practitioner at a time. Again, that takes money (someone to take on the old factory and refurbish it).

New paradigms for the good old USA are definitely in order in many arenas.

And lastly,I'm trying my damndest to dominate MY creative expression!