by James L Secor

In 2010 I returned to the States. I did not want to; I liked China. Well, why don’t you go back? Is the first of several ignorant responses I’ve faced. Americans seem to like ignorant, self-satisfied reasoning. My father died. No great loss except to the abusive. The legal shenanigans surrounding his pitifully thin estate dragged on and on. And another American characteristic grew obvious. Americans are very litigious, the more so the less the take. And the longer this process goes on, the more the other person is wrong and “hurtful.” “I” am only right and seeking proper redress. Americans are forever right. Americans have quite an ego, which perhaps explains what they like to call their “stick to itiveness” a positive characteristic. Obstinate might be a better word. Obstinate and unable to let things go. Eleven years on, I am still bothered by certain elements of this case even though, in the end, there is nothing to be had. It’s the principle of the thing, they say. Vindictive? People like to bitch, not do anything about whatever. . .and then they wonder why nothing has changed.

Then there came retirement, retirement because. . .because there’s no other reason for not wanting an old man around. The same is done in China, it is true, but the skin off the retiree’s back is less. As a foreigner–and a writer–in China, I would still have some value. In the US, I have no value and it is held against me that I must access public monies for the poor in order to live. Especially so as I’m white and educated. Perhaps because SSA is not understood by nobody who reads any more so how would anyone know? Just bitch. It sounds better. It keeps you the victim. An easy part to play.

And yet, in relation to the world, Americans are arrogant. Arrogant fools. They think they are the best and have the best, often in the face of proof of just the opposite. Always in the face of greed. Money is worth more than life. As America is a monopoly world, it does not like competition or new technology. America has had no new technology in years; telephone technology is no more than another use for technology already in place. Business new technology is only a new twist for greed. I do not know why greed looks so good to the victim but it does, as if to say, “It’s all done for us!” My ass!

So, if I dislike this place so much, why do I not leave? 1) that’s a very Fascist attitude; 2) there is no one with enough money to pay my way to a country in which I could live easily and live well (donations accepted); 3) being a thorn in the side has its advantages; 4) there are no more Frances for displaced Americans to run to, mostly to continue their art. America doesn’t give a damn about art, good, incisive art. America likes the cliché. America likes the generality, the simplistic substitute for thought, which is why political slogans are so popular. Americans don’t think; they react. Reactionaries. They never prepare for the future, an upcoming event; they always wait until it’s too late and just react as if it’s a new and unknown thing. Discombobulated reactions.

The solution to problems is to get rid of them. Kill them. Jail them otherwise. Bad mouthing is always good as it gets everyone to hate them and push them to the side, read “out of sight.” This results in an America’s greatest behavior: denial. . .even as it’s being filmed. The biggest American problem here, in the face of it’s greatness, is racism. America is racist to the nth degree (no pun intended) and when there’s a rebellion, it will be like the French Reign of Terror: everyone is fair game. The greatest barrier to overcome is the police. Coupled with the military, this might lead to a military dictatorship. Throughout history, military dictatorships last for long periods of time–even quickly changing along the way. Always, of course, for the better, we say despite history, but oppressive and repressive all the same.

Racism and greedism and a fat head: that’s America.


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