Our route:

Our route:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Future nostalgia

Listening to the Phenomenauts. For those of you who don't know them, they're a sort of retro-future band that sound like they came out of the 1950s and sing mostly about space and existential crises. I feel like this is appropriate to what this trip is all about. At least, emotionally.

The West as we (Americans) know it from the history books is history. The myth still exists. We still try to live it. In the Middle East now. In space in the 1960s. But the West is gone, and we know, deep down, that this is truth.

So what do we do? Nostalgia only gets us so far. And imagining a future without past is impractical; the two are inseparable. And anyways, the myth of the West still lives on hard and true in our national identity. So. What do we do?
I want a future where "we" is the human race. I want a future where "we" is a multi-cultural, plural entity. I want a future where "we" can coexist.

I do not want a future where we must love our neighbor, because that's not possible within human nature. I do not want a future where we are forced to give up our culture, our national identity, our beliefs. I do not want a future of anarchy, nor of oppressive community-state-control.

A future where we respect and rely on our neighbors, that I think is a possibility. A future of varied cultures, identities, and beliefs. A future of unified individualism. East and West, together.
So how does America, 'merrika, the United States, Los Estados Unidos, pickyourownadventure fit in to all of this? Not sure. Probably plenty of the ideas here come from my own identity and culture, growing up as a wee one at the end of the 20th century in Massachusetts. But I think, feel, believe that America is positioned to go West once more. With feeling.

West with, rather than against, the rest of the world. West to the future, with the past always in our hearts and our minds.

"Texican is nothing but a human man way out on a limb. This year and next, and maybe for a hundred more. But I don't think it'll be forever. Some day this country's gonna be a fine, good place to be. Maybe it needs our bones in the ground before that time can come."

"Once upon a time there was a ship that sailed the seven seas. Once upon a time there was a ship that cruised this galaxy. I believe that one day it's coming back for me."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012