My nominal cynicism was extinguished when friends started callin’ with reports of a Space Shuttle on the 405. For months, we’ve known about Endeavour being hauled from LAX to the California Science Center, but it wasn’t ’til it jumped into the mosh pit of Los Angeles and became “one of us” that my heart started racing. Forgive us, but we don’t have a football team and we’re too busy acting all been there, done that to feel “a part of” something very often. So when Angelenos do come together, particularly in celebration of a worthy contribution to the world, I get happy for my hometown.
I wish Americans had more reasons to look at each other with goosebumps on our arms and say, “Damn! That’s fuckin’ COOL!” But for everyone right now braving the schlep, the crowds, the cops, and the unfamiliar neighbors, that’s just what’s happening: folks are sharing the sidewalk and making room for goosebumps. For what it’s worth (and cursing aside), God bless the parents who’re bringing their kids. They may not understand it now, but later they’ll feel lucky and proud that their parents made the effort to share in something bigger. Right there is where excuses go to die: at the point of getting over your reasons for not trying.
If there’s one thing our country doesn’t need, it’s people claiming to be more patriotic than the next guy, and that’s so abundant now it can be difficult to stomach having “USA! USA!” screamed into my ear. This event is opposite of that. This is for those us who are proud of where country can go when it wants to, not in how much we’re entitled to get.