“Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen

U.S. Independence Day:
A popular poet subverts patriotism.
-The Voice before the Void

“Born in the U.S.A.”

Bruce Springsteen

Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man Continue reading

“Stanzas on Freedom” by James Russell Lowell

U.S. Independence Day Special:
We do not any of us have freedom if we do not all of us have freedom.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Stanzas on Freedom”

James Russell Lowell

Men! whose boast it is that ye
Come of fathers brave and free,
If there breathe on earth a slave,
Are ye truly free and brave? Continue reading

“Every Year Has Its Dark Stain” by Helen Hunt Jackson

U.S. Independence Day Special:
Comprehensive United States history does not offer much cause for celebration.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Every Year Has Its Dark Stain”

from A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government’s Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes

Helen Hunt Jackson

There are within the limits of the United States between two hundred and fifty and three hundred thousand Indians, exclusive of those in Alaska. The names of the different tribes and bands, as entered in the statistical tables of the Indian Office Reports, number nearly three hundred….

There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the Government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected. This is especially true of the bands on the Pacific slope. These Indians found themselves of a sudden surrounded by and caught up in the great influx of gold-seeking settlers, as helpless creatures on a shore are caught up in a tidal wave. There was not time for the Government to make treaties ; not even time for communities to make laws. The tale of the wrongs, the oppressions, the murders of the Pacific-slope Indians would be a volume by itself, and is too monstrous to be believed.

It makes little difference, however, where one opens the record of the history of the Indians ; every page and every year has its dark stain. The story of one tribe is the story of all, varied only by differences of time and place ; but neither time nor place makes any difference in the main facts. Colorado is as greedy and unjust in 1880 as was Georgia in 1830, and Ohio in 1795 Continue reading

The Last American by John Ames Mitchell, part 6

A memorable encounter, and the climax of a voyage of discovery.
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Last American

John Ames Mitchell

part 6

3d July

We see ahead of us the ruins of a great dome, also a very high shaft. Probably they belong to the city we seek.

4th July

A date we shall not forget!

Little did I realize this morning when we left the Zlotuhb in such hilarious mood what dire events awaited us. Continue reading

The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, et al.

U.S. Independence Day Special:
One of the greatest “Screw you”s ever written. (In which Jefferson, on behalf of himself and a handful of other rubes on the back side of nowhere, tells the most powerful man in the world that he can go screw himself.) (The courage of the rubes, as evinced by the final line, is moving.)
⁓The Voice before the Void

The United States Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson, et al.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, Continue reading