Cartooning Like You Mean It

Cartooning, Teaching & Living – by Tom Hart

July 4th Patriotism Post

with 2 comments

Lee and I went to Brighton Beach for the 4th of July, and I addictively watched the New York City fireworks on NBC on the tube in the Uzbeki restaurant where we had Shurpa and some sort of great, fatty dumplings. The fireworks moved me, because they were over NY city, my home. Shots of the explosions lighting up the skyline over the Empire State Building -after getting over the initial 9-11- related viscerality of that- were beautiful and angelic.

Fuck America- show me a city with more patriotism than New York City, I said. It can’t be done.

Lee wanted to know how I define patriotism.

It’s being full of the breath and pulse of America and loving it, I said.

And how it differs from Nationalism, which makes her skin crawl (I try not to think about it): Patriotism is loving and believing in the people and your country. Nationalism is adhering to the superiority of them.

We walked the world’s greatest Boardwalk (South Asian, Hispanic, Carribean, Russian, Asian, White, etc) to Coney Island where we blew a few bucks on skee ball and shoot em up games. We gave our coupons to a kid who was not the least bit appreciative.

New York, America’s most patriotic city, is also the most American city. Full of immigrant stories, full of languages, full of the people from all over the globe “learning to be free.” (sic) When I am in America I WANT to hear Russian, Greek, Spanish, Creole, etc.

I want to see more t-shirts that read “Clench Jeans: The Pride Style”

I want you crazy fuckers over here. Stir this country up! Help us run it! Help us build it. Learn to be free and feed me your dumplings!

Photo from subway ride back.


Written by hutchowen

July 5, 2006 at 1:11 am

Posted in From Tom

2 Responses

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  1. I couldn’t agree more. I saw the fireworks on 32 nd Street by the east river. I’m a recent transplant here and feel guiltlessly American. Not jingoistically either. Or like I’m using the flag as a political symbol. Just because I’m here, I’m mixed in and I help other NYers when I can. Cause they help me when they can. Love it here. What’s Brighton Beach like? I may be staying there on someone’s couch for two weeks soon.


    July 5, 2006 at 1:19 am

  2. We really love explosions. this year there were fireworks in the shapes of cubes. Americans spend our time doing funny things.

    Skip Major

    July 5, 2006 at 6:20 am

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