In America -- a place with faults, eccentricities, political polarization, consumerism, inexplicable addiction to singing reality shows-- we often seem to become engrossed in our day-to-day American lives which, whether it involves living an envious Carrie Bradshaw-esque life in New York or sweeping the interiors of office buildings down south, does not seem to fully grasp the amount of political and social revolution that is burning hot in the countries around us. While it's true that America has it's own tub full of problems and horrible injustices, on a daily basis what I see is those working to live, the youth being overly and collectively consumed with their Facebook profile picture, and an overwhelming feeling of apathy, contentment and controlled disappointment. I, while perhaps it's an unpopular time to say it, love America, believe in what it was based on, and do sincerely become saddened at the sight of things sometimes. This is perhaps why something as simple as being alive in the time of a real life revolution taking place in Egypt and, on smaller scales, throughout the entire world makes me entirely ambivalent about being an American: disappointed that those around me (myself included) would never possess the same passion and discipline to bring about tangible change, and entirely grateful that I live in a country rich with actual democracy, freedom and the ability to write these words right now without fear.
While America, from way down here as a commoner, may seem like the pretty, perfect yet internally selfish and flawed cousin of a place like Egypt, I try to remember that our country provides good things as well. In fact, if Mark Zuckerberg (an innovative American) hadn't created and expanded Facebook then perhaps someone like Wael Ghonim, the 30 year old Egyptian Google executive, may not have mobilized 100,000 people to peacefully protest, resist, and ultimately bring about a resignation. Granted, it was the bravery of Ghonim and thousands of others who endured capture, torture and the feeling of revolution, but America, no matter how seemingly careless, offers up tools which are internationally utilized and, god dammit, is there any way we can feel good about that? It's a tiny sliver in something bigger than ourselves, bigger than both countries, but like Ghonim, like all the Egyptians who practiced their right to be a free and happy human being, I try to love my country, find the good, and change the bad.
Since I was a teenager I've been obsessed with the idea of an American revolution, these feelings have naturally simmered down due to failed relationships, drinking habits, unpublished short stories and having dinner with my parents too much, but the fire is still there somewhat and there is nothing that sparks the match quite like songs that speak to the activist within. Songs that I imagine those enduring hardship and hatred could come together and sing along with once. These are songs that fuel a fight, allow contemplation of religion, hope, injustice, patriarchy and, of course, the coming REVOLUTION. I don't know what this revolution would look like, but I know Bob Dylan and Ani DiFranco should be there.