makes me uncomfortable-Like when I go to the LDS church with the grandies, or when people make gaybashing jokes in my present assuming I'm a hetero in on the joke. When people pledge allegiance to the flag it reminds me of old grainy videos of Hitler. I'm not comparing American patriotism to Naziism, necessarily... though on occasion there are disturbing parallels.
It's just that identifying with this abstract thing of a nation and feeling some belonging to it eludes me. I don't have American pride. I was just born here: so? I do have a little protective pride in Appalachia, even as I occasionally deride some of the aspects of living here. But home is real and tangible. The country is an idea, a set of laws, a system... and I've been dissillusioned with it- as a whole- for as long as I can remember.
Maybe part of it is just a general distaste for being a "joiner." Group mentality escapes me usually. Not to an anti-social degree, just I don't know... is it that it seems to be human nature to expect/demand a degree of conformity and herd mentality within any group?
I'm looking out where Americana threw up all over my neighborhood, and I just feel distant from the hype of the day, like I always do. I just don't care, and it's not some active anger or cynicism, it's just the the concept of My Nation illicits no emotional response. Intellectually, I'm there, I'm trying to engage. Have tried to be active and responsible, and have done work a little bit. I don't feel informed or aware right now, though.
It's feeling like a chore at the moment. Sorting through information on the presidential candidates is overwhelming, and I feel like I'm out of the loop. I've been very myopic, living my small routine and growing a family like a careful garden. It's frustrating. Dennis Kucinich is my guy; he's the man. But he's fringy, not electable. I've loved Hillary like an idol in the past, and then haven't followed her senate career. John & Elizabeth Edwards have both impressed me recently. I even have a soft fuzzy reaction to Rudy Guliani, probably because he's hot and a little bit pro-choice. Meh, not voting for a cute Republican.
OK, so today is for me a day off to spend with family. And I celebrate with amazing pasta salad. A recipe for you:
Roxy's Rockin' Pasta Salad Recipe
Stolen From Sweet Soccer Mama at Birthday Party:
16 oz package of pasta shells
8 oz Ranch dressing
1/4 cup McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning
1 head broccolli, florets only
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 package grape tomatoes
Boil pasta per package instructions. Chop veggies. Drain, rinse pasta in cool water. Drain well. Mix up veggies and pasta, stir in ranch dressing and seasoning. Chill 4 hours.
Makes a bunch. I use my biggest glass mixing bowl to prepare and serve.