Thursday, July 4, 2013

This Country I Call "Oosah"

Cover to Superman#14 by Fred Ray

Greetings and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog with now 37% more waves of amber grain. I'm Dave-El and thanks for dropping by on this, Independence Day for the USA, what I like to call "Oosah".

Now that "Oosah" bit is not mine but (ahem!) borrowed from Father Guido Sarducci on a Weekend Update segment on Saturday Night Live. It's a shame it didn't catch on when the good Father first used it many years ago. But it probably didn't because he probably got the same reaction I did whenever I call the USA "Oosah": "Whu...?!"

Yep, Zip! Zoom! Right over their heads. And any attempt to explain the concept of "Oosah" just further erodes the humorous premise. But since when does that stop me?

Maybe some people think calling the USA "Oosah" is me making fun of this country. Well, no I'm not; it's just a silly thing to say. (The UK is also known as "Uck".) But that strikes me as odd.
  • The beauty of America is I can make fun of America.
  • The beauty of America is I can say "America sucks!".
  • The beauty of America is I can talk boringly at length about what's wrong with America.
I do love this country, not just for what it has accomplished or what it is but what it aspires to be. 237 years ago, a bunch of guys got together to give a collective "screw you" to King George with the Declaration of Independence that had the audacity to say this:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I say "audacity" because while those "truths" may have been "self-evident" to more forward thinking minds but the reality of life back in the mid-18th century didn't quite support that "truth". But that's OK because when that phrase "all men are created equal" was put down on paper, we made a commitment to make it true.

It has not always been easy. People have shed blood and died in the quest to be included in "all men are created equal" and lay claim to those "unalienable rights" that the Founding Fathers of this country said the Creator had already given us. But in bits and pieces, in fits and starts, we as a nation have constantly strived to reach the ideals proclaimed nearly two and a half centuries ago.

And we're not done. Even now, America struggles to adjust to the reality that gays and lesbians have access to those "certain unalienable rights". Sometimes we have to go back and reinforce some of the gains made such as the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies. The process can be messy but we'll get there. We have the highest ideals a nation can have, to allow its citizens the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". We can, with time and courage, obtain those ideals.

We are strong.

We are determined.

We are free.

And this is why I am proud to be a citizen of Oosah.


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