change the definition
September 16, 2001 03:12 PM

Walking everywhere. WIndows open, fresh air weather.

The television blares on about America's New War with a flag-in-breeze icon blinking constantly. People moving on. Being ordinary. Except.

Talked myself out of terror at the movies last night. In our local landmark movie palace, complete with Wurlitzer. The pre-movie show now foregoes previews for shots of flags and a medley of patriotic themes. Lyrics printed onscreen in a typeface circa nineteen thirty overlaid with lithographic eagles. Hyphenated "A-mer-i-ca".

They've put up a flag with lights and a wind machine to keep it waving. It curls up upon itself, twists and untwists. Waving too hard, too much.

The quiet sad singing I felt, understood. But then the Wurlitzer took up Yankee Doodle Dandy and the crowd stood, clapped, stomped. Children who lived through WWII and remember feeling proud but would forget their responsibility to question.

And I worry. So many people hurt so much. Are the fans of the so-called Greatest Generation going to forget all of the lessons learned in post-war, Cold War, war war war world? I imagine people already seeing opportunities to return to glory. Power.

We should be different now. Grown up and understanding the responsibility of citizenship (world and individual). Terrified everyone will regress, become naive and irresponsible and horrible.

I don't want to be part of the Even Greater Generation. Unless it means the definition of great is revised. If the definition of great is throwing your arms around everyone like and unlike your self and fixing things. Instead of swinging your arms around and around until you're so dizzy you knock everyone else down with you.

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