Monday, 30 May 2011

Myth & Reality In The Land of the Free...

The Myth...

"In the Land of the Free, you can be what you wanna be..."

Holly Johnson's 1989 hit single "Americanos" was a paean to American consumerism and the concept of the land of opportunity and freedom. Tongue-in-cheek, it's snappy melody and mildly satrical lyrics captured the gauche optimism of the American Dream, an ideal sold to the world, with some success. Across the planet, other countries are shedding ancient cultures and beliefs to embrace the liberal economics that seemingly epitomise the USA.

Holly Johnson's American Dream
And yet, setting aside for a moment the domination of American society by huge mega-corporations for at least the last century, the last two decades have seen increasing assaults on freedom of speech and assembly. Rights which have allegedly been fundamental to the "American Way" for the nation's entire existence have come under assault through the all-embracing PATRIOT Act and its successors, and the Department of Homeland Security has a long reach.

And, as can be seen in the second video here, US authorities also have a quite ludicrous response to peaceful protest - rather adeptly making their opponents' point for them by arresting people for the dreadful crime of silent dancing.

The Reality...

An RT America television host Adam Kokesh was violently slammed and choked by police who arrested the host after he took part in a flash-mob at the publicly-funded Jefferson Memorial.

On May 28 Adam and other activists were arrested seconds after they started silently dancing in what they say was a celebration of the first amendment's champion. 

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