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Sunday, April 29, 2007


Audio Post of the Day: Oh America

Below you can listen to Oh America, a toe-tapping Holly Near song from her 1973 album "Hang In There," but this one's not just for listening, but for discussion. The storyline of this song is that, as she travels across America doing singing gigs, Near meets a variety of "good people" (basically, antiwar people), which restores her faith in "America," allowing her to sing the chorus, "Oh America, I now can say your name, without feeling bitter and without feeling ashamed."

So how do you feel about that (if you're a resident of a junior imperialist country like Britain or Australia or Canada or Italy or Germany, feel free to substitute that name; if you live elsewhere, just enjoy the song :-) )? I know I'm conflicted about it. Yes, of course there are progressive Americans, but is that enough to make you feel unashamed about being an American? Are Americans largely good, but just misled by the corporate media and other influences? Or are they just "fat and happy" (or plain old reactionary) and very much responsible for their own government and its actions? Did Holly Near reach a reasonable conclusion, or just find a good hook for the song?


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