[edited 2007 0130 to correct Rob's middle name, which was Hauter and not Hunter.]
This piece dates from around 2003 February 10. I wrote it about three weeks after the death of a legendary colleague and true friend, Rob Myslik. Rob taught at Hun for nine years, including two while I was there, and then went off to pursue his dream of being an even-more-world-class writer. He went to Missoula, MT in the summer of 2001 with Susan Bogue, the love of his life; in summer 2002, they wed. Rob came back to the East Coast in 2003 January to catch up with his relations and friends. Then, on 2003 January 21, while heading out to the Sundance Festival, Rob was involved in a tragic car accident and killed. It was devastating to many people, and I count myself among them. I wrote a quick piece that day but it took three weeks before I could truly find my voice.
By the way, some people quibble with my opinion on the Pink Floyd connection. If you’re one, I hope you’ll keep reading anyway.
God keep you, Rob Myslik, wherever you are now.
-=-Bernard HP Gilroy
I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time, but it turns out that Cenk Uygur got there first and said it well: The people in power, who wrap themselves in the flag, don’t really love America. They don’t even understand America — and so, not understanding it, they hate it. They hate it virulently and passionately, with all their might and will. They wish it would go away, revert to an ordinary nation. They identify America with the patch of land it happens to occupy, but they don’t grasp the true identity of America as a beacon of human dignity and freedom. Freedom offends them, unless it’s carefully circumscribed so that only the “right people” have a say.
Here’s where he hits it dead-center:
I mean that they philosophically never bought into the concept behind the country. America isn’t a bunch of rocks that happen to be on a certain longitude and latitude. America isn’t a bunch of people who happen to live in certain states between 1776 and 2007. America is a noble and grand idea. And it is that idea the Dick Cheneys of the world work hard to tear down every day. It is that idea that they do not trust, do not believe in and that they commit ideological treason against.
I know that, in the next two years, there will sadly be reason to revisit and resay these fundamental truths. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one out there seeing and saying them.