Wednesday, July 04, 2012

USA: 236 Today, Still in Adolescence.

Here we are again, celebrating the birthday of the USA.....Independence Day, 4 July. How many candles this time? 236.....a lot of candles for a cake, but not many for a nation as vast as this one. The USA, by European and other standards, is still in its adolescence. What is almost always a difficult stage of development for humans has to be similarly difficult for countries, wouldn't you say? Adolescents shouldn't be allowed to get away with too much bad behaviour though, or be given too long a rope -they could do themselves a whole lot of damage. Adolescence is no excuse for wrong-doing. The nation's birthday is no time for a list of its wrongs though.

From my blog archives, brief extracts from two old posts. First is from 2008, after the ceremony in Oklahoma City which made me a real citizen of this land after four years as a legal resident. It was the culmination of a long, winding, and often very frustrating road from Yorkshire to Oklahoma!
At 11.30 applicants were told to take their seats, according to the number they'd been given (mine was 69 - no sly grins please!) By this time my husband had managed to slide into a seat towards the back of the Ceremonial Courtroom, now filling rapidly with families and friends of applicants.

At exactly noon, five judges filed in. Everyone rose as the judges took their places on the bench. The chief judge, a female, welcomed us, said a few words then handed over to a designated INS official to "present" the 140 applicants who came, we were told, from 42 different countries. The official spoke briefly then named, in alphapbetical order, the native countries of all the applicants, asking each to stand when their country was called. I was the only one of the 140 from the UK. Every continent was represented. This, of course, was just one of many similar ceremonies, held monthly in three areas of Oklahoma, and regularly in every one of the other 49 states. I find this a mind-boggling proposition!

Next, we, the applicants, were asked to stand, raise our right hands, and repeat after the Clerk of the Court the words of the Oath of Allegiance. Each of the five judges then spoke briefly, after which the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present. The judges then left and a video of President G.W. Bush, welcoming us as new citizens, was shown, followed by another video of scenes of American life.

I hadn't expected to feel as emotional as I did. I joked later that it was the sight of G.W. Bush on the screen that made my cry, but I lied. I had an overwhelming sense of the nobility of the original vision for the United States, as I sat there in the midst of 140 people, born in so many different countries. Many of my companions had experienced a far greater struggle than I'd had to reach this point. The thought passed through my mind then that the USA is truly an Aquarian country. Whatever chart is used by astrologers cannot change the fact that, in essence the vision was, and is, pure Aquarius. There have been broken dreams and wrong turnings, but beneath it all, I'm confident that vision remains intact.

Applicants were then asked to file out in seat number order to officially receive their Certificates of Naturalization, and some other paperwork, along with a small US flag - I can be seen waving mine in the photograph.

Second archive extract is from a piece by my husband's son-in-law from his regular column in a local newspaper. It was published in July 2009. I re-air this because its subject matter is something I rattle on about often: the divided nation, so well illustrated astrologically by the Armistead chart for the USA - not the usual 4th July one. This is set for 2 July 1776, the date when Congress adopted the resolution of independence. Astrodatabank explains it HERE.

Look at that heavy red line joining opposing planets Moon/Pluto in Capricorn and Mercury in Cancer - Cancer-Capricorn a cardinal opposition clearly seeming to divide the chart, with Moon (the people)and Pluto(power, passion)in staid business-oriented Capricorn versus Mercury (communication and mental processes) in gentle, intuitive sentimental, home-loving Cancer. A divide difficult to cross.

The article from which I'm quoting was headed "Sure We're Divided But It's Been Worse"
"..............political and social pundits keep hammering at us about this being a nation divided, and some even suggest we’re currently more sharply divided than at any time in American history.

Oh, puh-leez! What hyperbolic hogwash. Enough already!

Did these Big ‘n’ Loud Voices of Distress and myopic pundits never hear of something called the Civil War, when a half-million Americans were slaughtered because of our political and cultural differences?

And beyond that great cataclysm, can someone please point out an extended period of U.S. history in which we are all on the same page politically and culturally? If there was such a halcyon, blissful age, we need to identify it and figure out how we can return to it.

The population was politically and culturally split before we became a nation, and little seems to have changed since 1776. Even during World War II, when political and cultural debate seemed to be put on the back burner, our differences continued to simmer. Heck, I had one grandfather who thought Franklin D. Roosevelt was a god, while the other thought FDR was a devil.

Here in the 21st century, we may be more “evenly” divided than at anytime before, but so what? Disagreement and diversity are the life blood of liberty and democracy......."


anyjazz said...

Since we passed our second centennial birthday, we seem to be in our "Terrible Two's"

Twilight said...

Another way of looking at it, aj, yes!

Either way there's a long hike ahead - into maturity. ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

As say in Canada, we sleep with the big elephant in the bed next to us.

Growing pains. The bully in the schoolyard.

But US must learn to keep its democracy to itself.


R J Adams said...

I refuse to adopt US citizenship, perhaps stubbornly, because I've never sworn allegiance to any flag, and I'm not going to start now. I believe, as a citizen of this planet, that I have a right to live on whichever lump of rock I choose. Most Americans came by their citizenship through the same process that made me British - birth. I have no particular allegiance to the UK, and absolutely none to the US, though from time to time I still suffer nostalgia for the land of my birth.
The fourth of July is a meaningless day for me. I cannot wish, "Happy Birthday" to a nation steadily dragging the rest of the world towards oblivion by the ungodly combination of crass ignorance and total military dominance.

Happy Independence Day! ;-)

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Yes - perhaps the "parents" are to blame - the original set of elite Brits who came here. I emphasis ELITE because my own ancestors had nothing to do with any of the horrors the elite inflicted here - or elsewhere. My lot were as far under the yoke of the aristocracy and landed gentry as any Native population - wherever.

Brits no doubt learned their skills from the Vikings, the Romans and other marauding groups early on. It's part of the tapestry, I guess, WWW.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~ Oh dear RJ. I understand your point of view, yet - if one doesn't "engage" there's no chance of doing much to fix things. I know that's an empty argument, because voting doesn't seem to do jack s..t these days, yet it's all we have, and all we'll ever have.

"There's a hole in my bucket dear Lisa dear Lisa, there's a hole in my bucket dear Lisa a hole.

Then fix it dear Henry, dear Henry dear Henry, then fix it dear Henry, dear Henry fix it!

(Winks and exits left.)