Listen to Katy Perry describe the state of America (and its cure) in song

Somehow, sometime, we fell asleep. Not physically. America still fights wars for no visible reason in distant lands. We still invent Ipads, boy bands, and pop tarts.  We (businesses, households, and governments) fecklessly borrow trillions. We root for our favorite sports teams.

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But somehow the vital spark has died out, the spark that should animate the political engines of the Republic.  We doze through elections, aimlessly listening to politicians lie to us — voting for the one that tells the most interesting story with the greatest skill.  Worst of all, our critical faculties lie dormant and our basest emotions rule — with fear (for us, now) the strongest, now matter how illusory.

This weakness appeared in the 1980s — Alar in apples, Satanists abducting children, nuclear winter, AIDS destroying the human race — and has become a critical weakness today.  Our rulers have observed this, and so American politics has become clashing visions of fear.  The now bipartisan War on Terror features an endless series of inflated threats (and government-manufactured local terrorists), plus exaggerations of Chinese and Iranian power that make the mad fantasies of the Team B about the Soviet Union seem reasonable.

On the Right, they terrify us with visions of a bankrupt government, hyperinflation, and ever-growing totalitarian government — perhaps leading to UN takeover, rule under Sharia, and FEMA-run concentration camps.  On the Left are fantastic visions of climate doom, unrelated to anything grounded in the work of the IPCC or other professional science organizations.

So long as we are led by nightmares there can be no reform in America. It’s a bleak vision, but one with the possibility of change. We need only awaken. We are falling hard in the dark from a great height (where we were after WW2).  We’ll probably land on the concrete, hopefully on our feet and clearly seeing that things are not what they seemed to be.

If you listen you can hear the thunder of storms coming and our castle crumbling.  Time is no longer our friend, and a sense of urgency becomes an antidote to our lethargy.  We can be strong again, but only if we awaken.

Here’s someone who says these things much better than I (at the end are links to other posts about songs to inspire America’s reform):

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“Wide Awake” by Katy Perry (2012)

20121104-Katy-Pery-thoughtful

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake

Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard
With an open heart
I’m wide awake
How did I read the stars so wrong?
I’m wide awake
And now it’s clear to me
That everything you see
Ain’t always what it seems
I’m wide awake

Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
‘Til I woke up on
On the concrete

Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight
Yeah, I’m falling from cloud nine

I’m wide awake
Not losing any sleep
I picked up every piece
And landed on my feet
I’m wide awake
Need nothing to complete myself, no

I’m wide awake
Yeah, I am born again
Out of the lion’s den
I don’t have to pretend
And it’s too late
The story’s over now, the end

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
‘Til I woke up on
On the concrete

Falling from cloud nine (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud nine
I’m wide awake
Thunder rumbling
Castles crumbling

I’m wide awake
I am trying to hold on
I’m wide awake
God knows that I tried
Seeing the bright side
I’m wide awake
I’m not blind anymore…

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake

Yeah, I’m falling from cloud nine (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
You know I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud nine

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake

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For More Information

Other posts finding inspiration for America in music:

  1. A great artist died today. We can gain inspiration from his words., 26 June 2009 — About the Man in the Mirror
  2. One aspect of The New America: permanent militarization of society, 6 July 2012 — Katy Perry’s “Part of Me”
  3. The New America needs a new national anthem! Here’s my nomination., 24 November 2012

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