After years of dedicated effort, my brother’s wife has just become an American citizen.
For this occasion, I’ve decided to embed a music video, and I felt the artistic creation of someone else was the perfect way to express my personal sentiment.
I fell in love for the first time in my life listening to Lou Reed’s Street Hassle.
As a young American in Detroit, Reed’s music gave me hope for a better future.
Here’s one of his more recent singles, performed with everybody-loves-Pavarotti.
I chose this strange duet because it resonates the many oddities that make up American evenness. It’s a tempting perversion of music, lyrics, talent, and ability. It’s beautiful, yet off-key and unusual, deserving both praise and criticism. I think it’s American, and perfectly fitting for this occasion.
In the freak show that is the USA, you are most welcome!
Seriously, there’s something extraordinary about someone working so hard for American citizenship. People all over the world still want to go to America and every day a few risk their lives trying. Some, like Marites, are successful and become Philippine-Americans, Korean-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans, etc. Immigrants transforming into legal members of the world’s most successful democracy to date, and being awarded the freedom of speech and movement that all Americans enjoy by law. These new citizens can become lazy, ignorant pigs and ignore the world, like so many of their fellow Americans, or they can watch the police protect them as they protest the government. These new citizens can indulge in the world’s greatest frivolities and enjoy the world’s greatest achievements, all in that kaleidoscope I too call home.
Congratulations Marites. Now your taxes can support the George W. Bush administration.