American Refugee Visits His Native Parallel Universe: Beauty and Horror

It’s one thing to read about the United States in the news every day, or hear about the growing sociopolitical insanity from friends via the Internet. It is another thing altogether to come back to the land of one’s birth and citizenship for a few weeks, and to observe it all directly. That comfortable feeling of safe distance that some of us who live in calmer countries (calmer on the surface, at least) cherish and hold dear is, after only eight or nine hours in an airplane, gone. There is an uneasy feeling that anything could happen – even out in the thinly-populated Northern Neck region of Virginia, on a small waterway which winds through woods and farms to the juncture of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay, one is far too close (three hours) to Washington DC and the psycho-vortex which seems to swallow, corrupt, and transform all clear thought into greedy self-interest and imperial cynicism.

It does not seem impossible that stormtroopers clad in Darth Vaderish armor could roll up in front of my elderly mother’s house to haul a Socialist and atheist who has no use for nationalism off to some grim dungeon and brand him a supporter of “terrorism”, whatever that means this week – after all, such things are happening daily in countries allied to the United States, such as Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, not to even mention those listed by the US government on the latest edition of the Axis of Evil.

After three days of communing with nature,…

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