adbusters_118_Coutney_S

I am necessarily fragmented these days.
The USA is a scary goddamn place.

On the one hand, I am living the dream — westcoast, abundant, in-season produce, a real garden, an ideally-sized apartment, time to spend with my baby, time to read and make, concerts, mountains, ocean, etc. etc. And yet. This is a crowded shelf of unstable land where I can’t seem to find a sense of local belonging. All of this may come down to my own identity politics and how strongly they intersect with the CBC since I am of the generation that plays the radio for company instead of the tv.

There is no such thing as local news here, only “local interest,” which is diffuse. I now am starting to understand how and why Americans (the stereotypes) (re)act the way they do. Every half hour there is a repetition of the litany of Ebola facts, followed by ISIS. In between, the interviews they conduct are most often with people who are considered able to comment on these things. There is no such thing as “future” or progression, only the continual slap of “the unexpected” (which, with a little reflection, may have been anticipated).

Every new development (keep in mind, it isn’t taken as “development” but betrayal) is a sign, most often of incompetence of the sort that breeds mistrust. And I am talking about listening to a local NPR affiliate. I am in a continual state of breathlessness, like I am supposed to feel that It Is Coming For Me and My Baby. And sometimes I inadvertently do.

The news here leaves one alone, continually a little closer to a precipice. This seems to lead to an aggressive parochialism, wherein you are banded together not for a common interest but for survival. I think to calm myself down I need to read more Agamben. I’m already re-reading Didion — read as much of her as you can, in particular Slouching Toward Bethlehem and Where I Was From.

— from a letter by Lara deBeyer, a music teacher and planter of potatoes in Berkeley, California.[cherry_banner image=”6260″ title=”Adbusters #118″ url=”http://subscribe.adbusters.org/collections/back-issues/products/ab118″ template=”issue.tmpl”]Field Guide to Virtual Warfare [/cherry_banner]