Make America … what?!

So I have a Twitter again, for now (possibly longer, the new character count limit makes it less annoying). Anyway I asked a question there and would sincerely love an answer.

The thing is, really, looking over history The United States has spent an awful lot of time being pretty self-righteous about how great it is, but how great was it ever … really?

Let’s start with the beginning:

During the colonial era there was how horribly the colonists and the colonisers themselves treated the natives. Not my definition of greatness, though I suppose at the time European attitudes were grotesquely barbarically and such things were deemed a demonstration on greatness. So, do we look back on what our ancestors called “greatness” and declare ourselves great for it? Or do we look back in shame at such things, vow never to repeat them, and trudge forward in hopes to become better? And if we choose the latter can we, until we’ve become better, call ourselves “great” any longer?

Forward to the Revolutionary War. Now, depends how you want to look at an act of high treason. Arguably it was for a good cause so we’ll let it go, never mind that Canada got its independence more peacefully about a generation later, and possibly losing the lower colonies had some influence on that; I haven’t delved deeply into that chapter of history. So noble origins! This is greatness! The birth of Democr—what? Oh, Athens? Hmmm … Rome?! Oh but … “All men are created eq—” well not slaves, of course not slaves they’re created only ⅗ of a … I said men not women … yes I know about Abigail Adams … okay … fine.

We’ve got freedoms, like “of the press, et al”. Okay, yes, some of those were taken from the Magna Carta. And I guess every other democ—wait even some of the monarchies… what about … oh, some of those too … is it only dictatorships that don’t … mostly? Okay, fine.

Every step of the way the only thing America has been a true societal leader in is: populous uprisings. We seem to have had a profound influence on the French Revolution, for example. That’s a pretty grisly thing to have on the old Collective Karma 😖🤢.

The scary thing is, if the greatness that is desired is being demonstrated by the GOP & Trump policies and actions then the America they want to recreate, the America that was so great in the first place … is Nazi Germany.

Look over a history of Hitler’s rise to power and the founding of the Third Reich. I’m sorry, but the past few years especially but even some of the past decades with regards to general Republican efforts (and more than a few Democratic Party items too, they’re hardly innocent … if nothing else guilty by complacency) all of it is checking off a bullet list of “How to form a fascist empire • By Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Fuhrer. It’s horrifying.

But how is that Making America Great Again? I mean, I suppose, if you’re a fascist you would want to be punched in the … I mean shot … I’m sorry, to recreate the Germany of the 1930s and early 1940s but that wasn’t America. This would be your idea of Great In The First Place. True, it’s hardly catchy, but why “again”?

And why so shy about answering? I’m hardly the first to ask, though I tend to phrase the question a tad differently, but it’s been asked: Make it Great in what manner? Relative to what era and ideology? Why so reluctant to answer? If you want a return to slavery and a reversal of women’s suffrage just say so. If you’re anxious for fascism then own that.

Admittedly some do. The “alt-right” (henceforth spelled n-a-z-i-s or a-s-s-h-o-l-e-s or p-u-n-c-h-i-n-g-b-a-g-s) do, some directly and others by being opposed to anti-fascist groups. And sure the Republican party primaries are starting to contain a lot of open nazis and the establishment is often praising nazi actions. Trump seems to think that there’s some fine people in the nazi half of The Charlottesville Thing. So I suppose they’re being coyly open about it? Is that a thing?

Anyway, yeah, if there is some actual greatness we’re supposed to be returning to, I’d be interested in knowing it. And if the greatness in question, whether return or aspired, is fascism and it’s subsequent oppression then I’ll thank you to please fuck off to the nearest airless world and take a long walk without a spacesuit.

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Now & Forever ABCs (Zoë)

Zoë Aini Constellino née Ayishah

15 September 1972
Jehovah‘s Lawyer

Zoë grew up with wealth, as her parents had a fair income between writing and inheritance by the time she was born.  Still, she never liked high society, nor flaunting wealth — instead her love mirrored that of her parents:  travel, and experiencing the world from the level of the natives.  She loved living in little Chilean villages and eating local home cooked foods to the versions found in the fancy restaurants of the big cities of the world.

She has many friends, dear and diligently kept in touch with, literally around the world — including one person who has recently taken up residence at a science station in Antarctica.  She can speak many languages, and insists she’s uncertain just how many, and can read and write in nearly all of them, and knows anything from a few swear words to enough broken phrases to get along if stranded somewhere in easily several dozen more.

Zoë is French by birth and overall culture, as her family frequently returned to Reims, France where they maintained a large house; she was also educated, primarily, in French schools, though she spent part of high school in Germany.  Though few realise her heritage given that her English is often closer to Public School British English than anything else, and her physical appearance takes heavily from her father’s Haryanvi family, she still favours French foods, and her first and preferred languages is French — reverting to it if she’s stressed enough to forget herself.

She gained a deep fondness for horses as a little girl when her family stayed with a family of Gauchos in Argentina for a summer, but due to her parents’ wanderlust she was unable to ever have a horse of her own — though she rode those of friends every chance she got, and even gained some proficiency in some of the events of equestrianism.  Though for the first of their wedding anniversaries in Colorado, Lucas took her to a ranch whose horses she’d repeatedly remarked on the beauty and grace of so that she might choose one of her own.  She’d, in her own turn, got him one of his favourite models of Camaro — though both would admit that her method of presentation was far more creative than his.

Now & Forever ABCs (Paolo)

Paolo Matteo Cristoforo Constellino

19 September 1972
Roman Catholic

Paolo has always been a bookworm, though he had his share of (mis)adventures outside with friends and siblings while growing up.

He was born and raised in Naples, Italy and has long held a deep love for the history of both his home city and his home country.  He would spend hours at a time in the library devouring books on both history and mythology, but soon he ran out of those and started absorbing anything else the library had to offer — and Paolo is one of those people blessed with the ability to get through whole novels in a matter of hours.

Paolo eventually grew into a tall, well-built young man.  In his teens he had taken a fondness for sports cars of all sorts, from American muscle cars to the high performance works of art put out by Italy and Germany.  He had a special soft spot for the Camero — especially the first and second generation styles.  He and his friends spent a great deal of time trying to fix up a junker that Sergio, the youngest of the group of friends, had managed to buy:  a Pontiac GTO that was possibly more rust than body, had less than half an engine, five flat tires (even the spare had a hole in it), and was missing the windscreen.  The eight boys made it their mission in life to make that care the envy of Naples.  They didn’t succeed, but they did get it running reasonably well and gave it a rather eye catching paint job.

When it came time to go to University, Paolo was adamant that he would attend in Rome — the very centre of the universe to him at the time.  He was accepted at Sapienza – Università di Roma where he took a  dual major in History and Library Science.

Eventually, through a mutal friend, he met Zoë Ayishah, an alluring French woman studying architectural engineering and mathematics.  The two became friends, and she asked him on a few dates.  Before long he was one of her handful of regular boyfriends.

As time went on the handful of boyfriends came down to only Paolo, and a few months before graduation the pair were engaged.  Not so long after their graduation Zoë discovered — to the couple’s absolute shock, given that Zoë had been told she was sterile — she was pregnant.  The couple’s wedding plans we left unchanged, so Paolo stood at the altar beside a three months pregnant bride happier than he could recall ever feeling.

The honeymoon was short a week in Switzerland, a gift from Zoë’s parents, then they were busy trying to settle into a small house in Toronto, Canada where Zoë had been offered her first job with a small architectural firm.  Paolo had little interest in teaching, so took his Library Sciences degree to the nearest library to put it to use.

Zoë found a better position with a company in Colorado and, three years after settling in Canada the family found themselves in the Rocky Mountains, in a little apartment in Estes Park while they looked around for a house — Zoë being adamant that a child needed a yard with trees in to grow properly, especially when said child was Salencia.  They quickly found a home for sale in a nearby tourism town.  The ranch style home was spacious, beautiful, and had a small stables and a lot of acres.

The first wedding anniversary at their new home, Paolo came home to find a small note on the table, wife and daughter nowhere to be seen, and an unfamiliar set of keys laying on the table.  Following the note he went out to the stables to find a chrome and black 1971 Camaro with leather seats, in beautiful condition, and his wife waiting inside wearing a smile and holding champagne.  His gift to his wife, delayed a couple of hours, was to drive her out to a local ranch to select a horse.

Zoë taught him and their daughter how to ride, before long the household had a second horse for him.  The family began spending a lot of time together on trails, their little girl riding in a parent’s lap (often Paolo’s — the little girl being positively enamoured with his mare, Elouise).

Paolo is very fond of his family.  He teases his wife and daughter for their direct and irreverent manners, which can lead them to seem utterly lacking in social grace, and for their attitudes toward God, but he’s intensely proud of them for their stubborn insistence on always being who they are and speaking what’s on their mind regardless what anyone else may think — even him.

It only saddened him to discover his daughter was a lesbian, because he’d long dreamt of being the beaming new grandpa waiting to hold the tiny newborn child — a detail that came and went in the blink of an eye; he was saddened far worse and far longer by the fact that it upset Sally to be both rejected by the young lady she’d taken an interest in and by so many of her classmates.  He watched helplessly as people called her names, and avoided her; he defended her and fiercely where and when he could, usually without Sally’s knowledge when speaking to parents of a few of her friends.  Needless to say, he was actually thrilled by the job offer in Washington, knowing that the state was notoriously more open minded.