03 October 2013
"Experience your America" is the slogan of America's National Parks Service. And that's precisely what Chiara and I have been planning on doing when we visit a few of America's states very soon.
In apparently related news, America is currently hosting a government shutdown.
Seriously, America? Shut down? Even the websites?
This is the kind of state failure that would be reported on like this by US media were it happening elsewhere. The shutdown is an effort to stop the Affordable Care Act (which has already been signed into law), forcing millions flee the country in an effort to find “the American dream of liberty from health care.”
Jon Stewart explains the situation like this:
Dan Bull and Shizzy VI explained it like this:
So after all my "research" I was pretty sure I'd got the full story. Or as much as I needed. Because I wanted to have the right mix of proxy indignation, head-shaking pity and schadenfreude, for this messed up situation. And that was accomplished.
However, it turned out I was also ignoring something important and personally relevant: next week I'm flying to America, with full intention of visiting some national parks. Most notably the Everglades. To see alligators up-close. Not that up-close though. But still, pretty close.
Now, thanks to this shutdown, the national parks are closed down.
Really, America? Seriously?
My general intrigue and bemusement from earlier in the week transformed into rage (that the shutdown now affects and inconveniences me personally).
Then guilt (that the fact it personally affects my holiday would be the reason for me to become outraged).
Now it has become guilty rage (the fiercely untenable combination of the two previous states).
So it is in a state of guilty rage that I turn my attention to the final planning stages of our holiday. And I sincerely hope that I'm not 'Experiencing your America' through a red mist next week.
For my sake.
But also America, I suppose, for yours.
at 9:39 am Posted by Ryan Millar