Two Questions

"Why are you so anti-American? Why do you hate this country?"

“Why are you so anti-American? Why do you hate this country?”

These two questions were yelled at me by my own flesh and blood – my sister. I’ve known her all of my life growing up in the United States.

At 57 years old she comes from the generation called “Baby Boomer”. She’s an elementary school teacher and has been for 17 years. She’s in one of the nation’s strongest teacher unions and she takes full advantage of every opportunity to advance herself, get pay increases, and in all of my life, I had not fully believed she is as ignorant as she’s proven herself to be to me. Yet, the signs were always there in her adult life. Like many “Baby-Boomers” she went from being a countercultural dope smoking quasi intellectual anti-establishment “question everything” freak with frayed bellbottom jeans to a very establishment selfish keep-up-with-the-Jones psychotic mini-van driving soccer Mom like the selfish woman who forgot her smart-assed child in the very  cute and funny movie Home Alone.

“What the hell?” I thought. Me? Anti-American? It must be so because I find so much wrong with America what with endless war on everything and Goldman-Sachs executives running and ruining our economy and Bush-Clinton-Bush and maybe another (Atheist maker of the world please save us from) Clinton in the White Bank.

What brought on her vitriol? Well, we were sitting on the deck at her house on Father’s Day and a comment came up from one in the bunch of us (us as in We, America) that we’re about to go into Syria onward marching towards another war because our TV said we should. She said, “Yes, we need to! He gassed his own people!”

Not able to control myself, I said, “Yes, so did Saddam and look how it worked out for Iraq. We completely destroyed the birthplace of civilization – “we destroyed the village in order to save it” and now it’s free! Never mind that we’ve blanketed the entire country with depleted uranium that’ll go on killing people and deforming babies for hundreds if not thousands of years. I suppose that’s not so bad as Assad using gas. If it’s even true at all.”

I can’t hide my feelings about this sort of thing at times.

And, yes, it’s a mouthful and too difficult, or too complicated, for most American’s to accept that their country is the perpetrator of such horror and not the victim. I mean, how many more years can we go on milking 911 as we continuously kill across the globe the various people and faces of Islam? Sorry, I mean, terrorism.

For that and because my sister never heard of “depleted uranium,” I’m accused of being anti-American and an America hater. I must be listening only to the wrong propaganda. Truth be told, no, I don’t watch Fox News, listen to Glenn Beck, Rush, CNN, or even Democracy Now and especially I don’t listen to the baby-boomer favorite of the “educated liberal” class, the corporate media giant called NPR.

Actually, aside from really making me sad, my sister is a victim of the corporate right-wing and (what is left of) the left-wing conspiracy to completely confuse the minds and thoughts of American people.  It’s really true that America is a confused place these days. Turn on the TV news and talk shows and it displays people mainly shouting at each other and the home alone listeners. American’s don’t know what to think; yet they understand that things in the U.S. are way out of balance. Without even going into how Dick Cheney is a major supporter and liker of Obama and his tyrannical right-wing conservative tendencies as President, let’s just say that, like Kevin Costner said in the great Oliver Stone movie JFK, “We are through the looking glass people”. Ever-ree thing is being captcha’d and recorded and saved by the gubmint. America is a giant Facebook and the NSA “likes” all of it.

I say, give me liberty, or give me another drink. I’ll be damned if I’m going to live the rest of my life without a computer and surfing the web. And knowing that Booz contractors, with the opposite kind of conscience as Ed Snowden, are in charge of the Meta Data we all create is too much for me to think about sober.

Daniel Opacki is an educator and writer who lived in Burma for five years. His collection of stories about his time in Burma is forthcoming. Now residing in Vientiane, Lao PDR, he can be reached via his personal blog at Read other articles by Daniel.