Unreal Nature

October 12, 2018

Being an American Sucker

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:38 am

… There’s something beautiful about being an American sucker …

This is from the essay ‘For My Brothers and Sisters in the Failure Business’ by Seymour Krim (born in 1922; died in 1989):

… You may sometimes think everyone lives in the crotch of the pleasure principle these days except you, but you have company, friend. I live under the same pressures you do. It is still your work or role that finally gives you your definition in our society, and the thousands upon thousands of people who I believe are like me are those who have never found the professional skin to fit the riot in their souls.

[ … ]

… That’s what this democracy was for us, a huge supermarket of mass man where you could take a piece here and a piece there to make our personalities for ourselves instead of putting up with what was given at the beginning.

But this lovely idea became for some of us a tragedy, or at least a terrible confusion that wasn’t counted on at the beginning. When do you stop making a personality? When do you stop fantasizing an endless you and try to make it with what you’ve got? The answer is never, really.

… Like most of us in the failure business, I am, we are, patriots so outrageously old-fashioned that we incorporated the spirit of the country in our very heads, took literally its every invitation to the greatest kind of self-fulfillment ever known. There’s something beautiful about being an American sucker, even if you pay for it with tears and worse.

[line break added] We were millionaires of the spirit for at least twenty adult years before we felt the lowering of the boom, and in the last analysis it is the spirit, the attitude within, a quality of soul, that this country has to offer to history much more than its tangible steel and the bright blood too often accompanying it.

-Julie

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