Drunkcyclist, our worst critics prefer to stay.

A whole lot has been written on this site lately, mostly in the comment section following bikepunk’s George Carlin is awesome post, regarding the concept of pride. Proud of this, proud of that.

KG commented: “It’s easy to understand why some people, especially those that contribute to this blog aren’t proud to be an American, because they’re not proud OF America.”

I don’t even know what that means. And I’ll try to explain why.

Let me make a short analogy. Countries are like states. Think nation states. Nation states are countries. Our country, the United States, is a federal republic built of separate states which maintain at least some individuality, some sovereignty. United we stand, divided we fall and all that. Anyway, all this talk of being proud of one country over another is quite like being proud of one state over another. Or, as the case may be in this instance, over all others.

Many states in our union are vastly different than one another. I was born in Maryland, lived there for two years I remember nothing about, spend the next four years in Connecticut. I graduated high school in Pennsylvania, then moved to Arizona for college. Bounced around a bit between Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson and back to Flagstaff with a short detour through Idaho thrown in for good measure.

Do I like where I live? Sure. I like Flagstaff. I like being here. Do I think it’s the best place to live of all the places I’ve been? Mostly, yes. That can change depending on the weather, and say, my mood and day of the week. But I’m mostly just joking about that last part. Mostly. I like the friends that I have, the house that I own, the bikes out in my garage, the trails I ride. All of that and then some.

Am I proud of it all? Yes. Can I still complain about it without damaging said pride? Yes, I think that I can.

And, furthermore, I choose to be here. I did not choose to be born in Maryland. I know nothing about Maryland – remember, we moved away when I was just two years old. What the hell do I owe to the state of Maryland? My pride? I was not involved in any of it – it could have just as easily been Virginia if that’s where the military hospital was located instead of Bethesda.

Am I to be proud of where I’ve made a choice to live, or where I just happened to be born? Can it be both? If so, what’s the split? 50-50%? 70-30%? Is there a fucking etiquette book on this shit?

I really don’t get it.

If I write about the colossal embarrassment which is the Bush Administration, be it about torture, in invasion of Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina, or any of the rest of it, how the hell does that make me “not proud OF America”? Why is it some demented “all or nothing” deal?

And, if I wasn’t “proud”, why the fuck does it matter? I’ve voted in every election since I was of age, and I haven’t always been happy with my choices. So, what’s the answer then? Not vote at all, because if you complain you lose your chance to participate? If you question, you should be silenced?

I’ll leave you with this, because I can embed videos and bikepunk can’t.

So much can be said in three simple words: Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

1984. Totally on top of his game.

Testify

I saw him in Philadelphia about a month before he died. He tore doors off the hinges.

If that ain’t Proud to be American, I don’t know what is.

Good night.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

23 thoughts on “Drunkcyclist, our worst critics prefer to stay.

  1. Pingback: Media Districts Entertainment Blog » Drunkcyclsit, our worst critics prefer to stay.

  2. Fuck you, you embed-freak.

    >…cry<

    I heard him play in Texas in 89 when I lived there. Some ginormous outdoor thing, and I had no ticket. Good thing the sound carried really well. Truly amazing.

  3. …one of THE guitar-slingers of the era & i screwed up & never got around to seeing him live…

    …damn…

  4. Bravo, Big Jonny, Bravo. I used to live inside the Washington Beltway, and the only thing worse than living in DC was living just outside of DC. I’ve seen my beloved Redskins go through the best of times and the worst. I’ve seen Marion Barry make a spectacle of himself before “the bitch set him up” and after he was Mayor (he got a blowjob from a skank in the public visiting area at while in prison).

    I’m a first generation American and the last direct male desecendant of my family. I am absolutely proud to be an American, but I don’t think of the current tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave as my President. To paraphrase George Carlin, “I call him Governor Bush and not President because Governor was the last office he was legally elected to.” Some people (read: apologists) have said that we should respect the Office of the President. Gee, no fucking shit, assholes. I hope that for all Dubya has done to take a big steaming dump on the Oval Office (and international politics), we can as Robert Wuhl said in his second HBO “Assume the Position” special, “get past this.” I hope that for all he has done to this world, a world of unholy terrors that H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, and Rob Zombie couldn’t come up with is unleashed on his monkey ass.

    And Big Jonny, while I mourn SRV’s passing, I have two words for you, brother: Danny Gatton. I cry when I hear his cover of “Sleepwalkin’”

  5. Amen Juan Grande….amen, SRV at Antone’s in Austin. can’t beat little wing.

  6. Finally some real rock/blues. Here’s another great.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBGIQ7ZuuiU

    Of course you realize how much I enjoy being mentioned if not quoted in the blog post. I hope you don’t want this to become and echo chamber for your own mental masturbation. But know that I’m not posting things as flame bait.

  7. KG ~
    The quote was a good starting point for my rant, and so it goes. Unfortunately, I am afraid this had been an echo chamber for my won mental masturbation for a number of years now.

  8. It should be Planet Earth not this or that country/state/faith.
    SRV will make it better..thx BJ

  9. “Have you heard of this new guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughn?”
    “No, what’s he sound like?”
    “He’s just like Hendrix!”
    “Then why don’t you just listen to Hendrix?”

  10. Be proud of your accomplishments, even if you had a small part of what occurred. Take part of the blame when your small part fucked things up (like voting for W). You should always questions authority, because most people who want to be in power aren’t doing it for the good of the people, they’re looking out for their own ass. If it happens to help someone along the way, make it a photo OP.

  11. I can hardly wait until W faces the firing squad for his many crimes against humanity, and I desperately hope I get to be on that firing squad. Hell, I’ll pay money to be on that firing squad and to make sure I’m not the guy with the blank.

    That said, I still think we have the best country in the world, even though we have been losing ground at a terrible pace in the last 10 years. Are there things that other countries are doing better? Hell, yes! Cane we emulate what those countries are doing right without losing what’s right about our country? Hell, yes!

  12. Thanks for the SRV vid, still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and brings a tear to my eye every time.

  13. The Toby Keith restaurant in Vegas serves fried bologna sandwiches.

    Haven’t tired it but it’s there.

  14. el jefe, I think that sammich is one of the Congressional “Signature Sandwiches” at the US Capitol cafeteria. I think it’s the “Larry Craig.”

  15. I wonder if the same people who are talking about how un-American many of us are for daring to criticize the Bush Administration were the same people who were OUT for Clinton’s head in the 90′s? Chances are good, they are one in the same. Imagine now if we had called them un-American for going against Clinton, their little heads would spin off of their necks no doubt.

    Oh, and Toby Keith is a major league tool bag. That guy just straight up sucks.