All posts tagged Marilyn Monroe

  • Weird America

    Weird America
    Brian Zahnd

    America has always been a weird amalgamation of the disparate — a strange mixture of admirable ambition and appalling hubris, an intoxicating brew of virtue and vice. America can always do things in a big way, but it can’t always make up its mind what it wants to do. It careens between Prohibition and ten thousand craft breweries as just one example of a country always reinventing itself. When you look at America you can see what you want to see because there are so many sides to America — so many contrasting, and often conflicting, personalities.

    For multitudes, America has indeed been a New Colossus embracing huddled masses yearning to breathe free. I don’t know the full story of why the Zahnds left Switzerland for America at the end of the nineteenth century, but I know it was to find a better life and, sure enough, we found it — just like millions of other immigrants from the teeming shores of ancient lands. And yet the inspiring story of hopeful immigrants finding a land of opportunity is not the whole story. We must be honest about the fact that this city of refuge is haunted by ghosts of slavery ships and weeping specters on the Trail of Tears. (America is so exceptional that it has twin original sins!)

    America the Ambitious set its sights on a continental-sized empire from the outset (from sea to shining sea), and today she’s a behemoth. America is so enormous in every way that it’s not one thing but four things.
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