A humorous and satirical site curated by one Sir Charles N. George Sirtup IIIdiscoverer and translator of the original fly manuscript The Tale of Fecal the Fly and the Loyal Arse 

The Alternate Universe

My Alamo. A Fourth of July Poem to America

 

My Alamo

When I was a kid

from my bedroom window

I had a view of the library

one story building had a brick wall surrounding it

with a thick slab of concrete poured on top

a black iron gate that was locked at night

supposed to keep everybody out

and it did, everybody

but me–

The library was like an old fort

like an Alamo to me

where I would sit and read

surrounded by a hostile, yet fascinating world…

but instead of soldiers with rifles

it was full of books

hard muscled knifeman Jim Bowie was with me

(one of my youthful hero’s)

and so was quick witted Davy Crockett

(who kilt him a barr when he was only three)

and General George Armstrong Custer

(hero of the bluecoats!)

the outside world might be a threatening chaotic mess

like surprise raids from the Sioux or the Shoshone

or sometimes

like General Santa Ana and his mass of nameless soldiers

an overwhelming force of evil

(look out, my boys, they’re a’coming over the south wall)

but inside the library with me

there were heroic stories, American fantasies of courage and grit

to set alongside my own small courageous last stand

against the evil small town forces of  just outside my bedroom window

my soldiers and mentors were fragile pages…

my defenders, were my world of books

and my dreams were parchment

shaped by what I found in the stacks to read….

the library became my Alamo

where I drew a long line in the sand

like Colonel Travis did that fateful night in Texas

when he told his brave, brave men

(including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett)

we will live free or die

it touched me, and I thought

I, too, will be free at any cost

bring it on…

that much I understood and got right

and it fit, to be free is good

freedom and courage are good

and I believed these stories I read

were true reflections of courage and good…

It wasn’t until years later

that I found out life was more complicated

that the Lakota Sioux, the Apache

and all the indigenous tribes and Santa Ana

were the most likely the good guys defending their homes

and country

the Mexicans and the Native Americans were the ones

more likely to be ripped off

and murdered…

in spite of their bravery and courage–

and we American fighters defending and dying at the Alamo

were stealing and re-stealing native lands

and foreign lands

we were the interlopers and we represented

represented an overwhelming force

of evil

not only to Mexico and to Native Americans,

but millions of enslaved Africans, as well,

what?  what did you say?

we did that?  we fought a war against

the other half of our nation?

half of us wanted to maintain the foul system of slavery?

and we still honor some of those rebels

with statues and schools and military bases

named in their honor?  What?  Why?

Is it because half of us still feel that way?

We became a menace the indigenous people

who lived on the land

to the wild animals, the trees, the mountains

the sea and the air

and to the mystical spirits living in the soil and sky

that had prospered wonderfully

for thousands of years…..

before a hard luck Euro grifter showed up

in three rat infested ships,

the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria

and named the people he found Indians,

thinking he’d landed in India–

and then he named the land he found America

and some how both the names stuck…

not only that,

turns out, Jim Bowie was a wicked slave runner

and, well blow me down,

Blond Custer was a serial murderer of Native Americans

not really heroes at all

and all this land here

from coast to coast

from sea to shining sea

belonged to the tribes…

and this new America became populated

with people possessed by a self perpetuating desire

a soulless demon of a thought

manifest theft

and domination of the land–

composed of genocide, physical and mental slavery, murder and horror

a rampant expansionist evil

and brutal enslavement of millions

bent to a cruel ideology

that is glossed over to this day

repressed under porous layers of

American myth and cultural fantasy

our white heritage, they call it,

but it is bullshit, plain and simple

that needs to be addressed and rewritten

Oh no, please tell me it isn’t so

half of us seem to wish is wasn’t so–

In the library

I came to learn

the winners write the lies of history

Texas was Mexico,

so was California

the truth, all buried now,

under a dirt mound of self congratulatory myths

because, truth is, we stole it, like we stole all the land here

and the people we stole it from

and forced to work it as slaves

are still here

they are part of “us” now

but still being kicked around

their concerns still being ignored…

like the idea of reparations to descendants of slaves…

or of honoring the treaties with the tribes,

or of acknowledging our Mexican heritage

are all still being argued on, hidden away, kicked around…

And we do nothing, mostly,

not a damn thing about it…

In life, people, countries, color and politics is all mixed up

always will be

like me, and you probably, more often than not–

when I was young

I could be evil, too

often sacrificing my principals to the slow grind

of over whelming life events

putting winning over everything else

or ignoring the moral failures in my behavior

not realizing that those decisions made me a stranger

to myself…

it wasn’t until many years later

with the onset of maturity

I came to an understanding

that all stories have many sides

they need to be heard and sorted out

fairly, not blindly–

at the bottom many American myths

are based on self-serving lies and fantasies

there are many simple unavoidable truths

about our people and our country

that need to be aired, the wrongs righted

the horror called out

and ignoring horror only continues to makes it worse

it festers, it rots

it hurts

but it does not go away

so, in life and in governments

in politics, in color

it’s imperative to admit to wrong,

to apologize and to empathize,

it’s important to try and set things right.

In the end,

we are all planted somewhere in history,

in a time and in a country and in a color

we did not necessarily choose

but we who are Americans find ourselves here

black, red, brown, yellow and white

the American Rainbow

we are all here

and we have much good to work with…

Our sense of the right or wrong of our actions depends mostly

what we see and what we are exposed to

on the books we read or don’t read

the limited or unlimited views, the limited or unlimited choices

from our bedroom window or our garrison window

or our prison window

or the window of the people who vanquished us

and what maybe we do

and what maybe we don’t do

and what maybe we know or don’t know

or maybe didn’t know at the time

and our control or lack of control

determines more of our actions

than our knowledge or your future vision

sometimes allows–

sometimes there is more than our gut wants to comprehend….

so Jim Bowie was a wicked slave runner

so General Custer was a genocidal murderer

so Texas and California were stolen from the Mexicans

so America enslaved millions upon millions of Black Africans

and Americans mass murdered the very people who welcomed us here

and our ancestors stole their land

and maybe nobody knew any damn better

because of any number of reasons

right or wrong….

but we shouldn’t still be trying to steal Native American land–

we shouldn’t still be hiding from the historical ramifications of slavery

because now we are all here trying to live together

belonging together

on nation under change

our American Rainbow is a beautiful thing

and we do or should know better

than to hinder ourselves from its nuturing–

but our mythic American history contains so many lies

we just can’t cover them all up anymore….

it’s time to face the facts

and know our heart–

we will find our new glory

and meaning in facing the facts

because any fool can see

no veil or shroud

is thick enough to hide us from our history

it’s time to bite the bullet and can the corn

we can no longer continue to hide these self evident truths

from ourselves.

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