July 03, 2010

Variations on a Patriotic Theme

"They'd ask me, 'Raf, what abut this Revolution of yours? What kind of world are you really trying to give us?' I've had a long time to consider that question."


"Did you ever hear the Jimi Hendrix Rendition of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'?"

Starlitz blinked. "Are you kidding? That cut still moves major product off the back catalog."

"Next time, really listen to that piece of music. Try to imagine a country where that music truly was the national anthem. Not weird, not far-out, not hip, not a parody, not a protest against some war, not for young Yankees stoned on some stupid farm in New York. Where music like that was social reality. That is how I want people to live...."

[Bruce Sterling, A Good Old-Fashioned Future, pp. 104--105]

"I wasn't born in America. In point of fact, I wasn't even born. But I work for our government because I believe in America. I happen to believe that this is a unique society. We have a unique role in the world."

Oscar whacked the lab table with an open hand. "We invented the future! We built it! And if they could design or market it a little better than we could, then we just invented something else more amazing yet. If it took imagination, we always had that. If it took enterprise, we always had it. If it took daring and even ruthlessness, we had it — we not only built the atomic bomb, we used it! We're not some crowd of pious, sniveling, red-green Europeans trying to make the world safe for boutiques! We're not some swarm of Confucian social engineers who would love to watch the masses chop cotton for the next two millennia! We are a nation of hands-on cosmic mechanics!"

"And yet we're broke," Greta said.

[Bruce Sterling, Distraction, p. 90]

The Beloved Republic

Posted at July 03, 2010 22:30 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth