Community Media

Day 1281 and Independence Day

On day 915, which was last year’s 4th of July I wrote about the aspirational America as an idea. It involved blowing shit up. It seems like each Independence Day I find a way to praise Roland Emmerich’s fine science fiction film.

I haven’t watched it yet today but hopefully I’ll at least put on a few clips to enjoy fighter pilots, aliens, inspirational Presidential speeches and fireworks.

The backdrop of drama in the media about Joe Biden is in some ways an ideal way to recall the fractious American community. A continent held together not by ethnicity or religion but by entirely abstract ideals is going to constantly tested.

The theory of print capitalism posits that capital sprung from the solidarity of nationalism presented for the first time in mass media. The common cause of one’s countryman makes it easier to levy for taxes for conflict.

We are far beyond print in our media now. It’s almost cheap to call out media climate “totalizing” an it undersells the experience. Social media makes the experience of Americanness so fluid it ranges from aesthetic choice to the anarcho-tyranny of ailing power.

And yet we try to do better as the general temperament of the nations. America is a place where the founding mythos is that anyone from anywhere can become one of us.

The nationalism of belonging in America has nothing to do with meeting a check box of criteria. Though we are trying to make it more so with bureaucracy. The ideal is that free country sets the condition so anyone succeed. Liberty is a hard fought thing. You can celebrate it in a manner that’s pleasing here. Namely fireworks.

Happy 4th of July everyone. I’m as committed to the American project. The frontier is in our souls and we search it out together in freedom.