Sharp Monica

An honest voice in Italian paradise.

American Grief Abroad: Stream of Conscience

Photo by Hoach Le Dinh on Unsplash

America has shown us once more that the culture does not value life.
This contradicts what certain factions claim about a woman’s right to choose: if and when to have a child.
This piece expresses perfectly how I perceive the passing flurry of interest and media debate post-Uvalde.

The arrow piercing his flesh, the man demands answers. What kind of arrow is it? Who shot the arrow? What kind of poison is it? What feathers are on the arrow, a peacock’s or a hawk’s?

Summer break is upon us. In the US, they are burying nineteen children who were murdered at school.

The US has no focus.
The US has a harmful focus.
The US always changes the debate.
The US misses the point every damn time. How is this possible?

The US starts wars abroad that mirror the wars at home. The US does not want to admit the wars at home. The US is having the war at home. There is a war at home. This is sobering.

An academic study has found that Americans care about a tragedy for exactly four days.
“We need to be moved by the pain of all of the suffering. But it is important that we are not paralyzed by it,” Ms. Han said. “It makes us value life because we understand life is very precious, life is very brief, it can be extinguished in a single instant.”

The American orgy of grief / false grief appears once more.
Show me one day of genuine grief that leads to a compassionate response.

Grief devolves into noise. There are no solutions. The problems persist. The violence escalates.

People busily debate pointless points while the culture sacrifices the weakest on the altar of the “values” of the strongest and wealthiest.

I listened to an Ezra Klein podcast about deaths of despair.
I felt definite despair after listening to the podcast.
The podcast made me see how Americans are blamed – and blame themselves personally – for completely normal and human responses to a very, very broken system.
The speaker, Patrick Deneen, did not even mention health care or mental health care vis-à-vis the opioid epidemic, the pandemic, the violence.
Do people suffer for fun? Should people just be stronger? Make greater effort. Make more difficult choices. Don’t be weak.

Do Americans dislike families? Every single aspect of American culture makes it so hard to survive as a family, a single person, or an old person. Any kind of person struggles to survive in America.
Do Americans divorce for fun because they’re lazy? There’s no public accounting or recognition of the sheer stress that American culture visits on families. Endless bills. Job insecurity. Debt owed. No time off. No sick leave. No childcare. Schools. Moving, moving, moving, for work.
I keep wanting to write and post about this and I am just feeling so scattered and stuck and angry. And tired.
I am ashamed of my country. The culture is what it is. It cannot change.

The political left offers no anchor in the mid-spectrum. They speak in terms that only a limited in-group understand or believe. The Old Guard are so very old. Who will come after them? We are adrift in a running sea.
Gravity pulls people toward Trump, the NRA, QAnon, Boebert, MTG. There has to be a reason. People believe this. There has to be a savior. People believe this. Here is the savior.

The collective psyche of the United States of Id cannot field reflection or calm response. No recollection of useful facts or history.
The center cannot hold. I do think it will politically fracture in our lifetimes. Lines will be drawn. New countries will emerge. Mark me.
I am a compassionate humanist.
I am so tired of the American anger and American blame game. I want to peer deeper, see more, understand. I want to help. How can I help the healing? Can I?

I don’t think I can. I used to think I would. I thought that I had to. That social justice was my vocation. It’s not, in the end. How can I sacrifice myself without sacrificing my family? I cannot. Hope despairs. My friends. I am so sorry.

I feel guilty for surviving it all, at all.

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One Response

  1. I’m sure it’s difficult, but I hope you can shed every sense of guilt around being from the US but not living in it. What could you do? We see that smart people communicating thoughtfully about the country’s state, visibly growing and desperate poverty, extreme weather, and daily violence have done little to cause changes. I’m pretty sure things will need to get significantly worse before any real changes will be made.

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