USA USA libretto

USA USA libretto:

what is your problem?

why don't you have a cell phone?

please insert 25 cents if you'd like to keep talking about your problem.

please insert a quarter.   please.

please insert twenty five more cents and keep inserting quarters until you no longer have quarters, then go get some more.


Ah, interesting pilgrim feet, Who will stop the passionate stress

Freedom of beating highway throughout the desert!

USA! USA! God shed his grace on you

Before the track ideological desert

Pilgrim feet and knees!

Ah, the beautiful story of glory, the Liberation Struggle

When once and twice, people avail, Men wasting precious life!

USA! USA! God shed his grace on you

Up to gain no longer stain -- The banner of freedom!

Ah, the beautiful dream of Patriots - Think beyond your years

Your Alabaster city limits, dazzling human tears!

USA! USA!  God shed his grace on you

Maintained until a gentleman again, you white Jubilee!

You see, i've been in the desert on a horse with no name

His name used to be mr. ed

He was on television once, a long time ago.


yes, hello?   hello god.

oh yes, you prefer zod.   or was that zeus?

oh sure, almighty being.   that'll work.

yes, your voice sounds perfectly clear.   yes, yes, i put in the special translator adapter telephone plug.

yes, yes, i know.   i understand that i have been blessed.   i got your private number.

and to be ordained as a professional united states tour guide.

yes yes, well thank you Zeus.  I truly will live up to my potential.  Yes, yes.   I will be a very informative tour guide.   I will be informative and cheerful and helpful.

yes, the fee structure is perfectly clear.   Thanks Zeus.   The commission percentage you're offering and the structural bonuses are indicative of a kind, loving Zeus.  Not to mention a Zeus who knows how to properly design a spreadsheet.

The charts are in place.   And yes, I received my name tag.   Thanks for that.   

And my uniform, yes yes.   The colors on this thing are very expressive.   You sure know how to design a good uniform, God.   And the name plate, yes got that too.   Buck Stephens, God's tour guide to these United States.    Great.   Fantastic.   Let's make some money and inform the populace. 

if you think of america like a giant body all splayed out from atlantic to pacific, then the midwest would be the massive distended belly and the rockies would be the breasts, or maybe the pimples, or maybe the spine, the backbone, and the east coast would be the wise-talking mouth and florida would be the foot that's wearing a wet sock that desperately needs to be removed and texas would be the thick skull and the west coast would be the fluttering eyelashes and drooping eyes, fog creeping into their pupils, and the radio doth play the soundtrack to all this aimless wandering and squandering.   radio, the great cosmic voice of america, beamed from antenna to antenna to eardrum, like the wizard of oz himself, a giant booming voice.

hello, this is your talk show host.   my name is quincey.  my job is taking great consideration for your personal feelings, live on the radio.   i carefully consider all my words.   i am the disembodied voice of american dreams set to drift upwards towards unanswered endings.   i care deeply about whatever it was you were talking about.   i can't remember anymore.   but it was important and i felt your pain.    

this country spreads out like a great big blanket upon which to feast yourself.  i'm sure way back in the day this feast looked like unkempt wilderness and unruly natives, but by now we americans have it all figured out.   you chop down the trees so you can see what's coming.   you build roads all over the map so you get anywhere real fast.  the roads spread out like arteries.  traffic might be then considered like a clogged artery.   america has many clogged arteries and is, in fact, in need of bypass surgery.   when i say bypass surgery, i am of course referring to loops and toll roads, you know, stuff to ease down traffic, give people someplace else to go.   only problem is, if you keep eating the same junk food, then you keep getting all clogged up.   no wonder they call it the heartland.

just try to remember that life is like a donut.   it tastes pretty good when it's covered in sugar, but in its center is nothingness.   a giant empty hole.   emptiness.   and that sugary bit on the outside will actually cause you to get bloated.   don't feast too much on life's donuts.   especially since life itself is a donut.  and here's where the radio listeners get confused.   

and what, you might ask, would be the junk food in this scenario?   well, sheesh, we have no shortage.   there's crazed radio talk shows, that get people's blood all boiling while they're driving their cars and then they get so upset they crash into other cars and the arteries get clogged, see?

just to show you what i mean, let's have a listen to one of these radio talk shows.



this country is absolutely perfect

and anybody who doesn't agree with me

has not truly considered their stance.


i have carefully mulled over my position and it is with the utmost care and delicacy that i state my position


we have the finest cuisine, the tallest flagpoles, the most log cabins, the most exaggerated breast implants, the finest selection of freeway off-ramp cuisine mini-malls, and the pavement spreads for miles and mile and miles and miles, our flag is huge and looks nothing like the flag of cuba or russia or china, countries who flags seem like effeminate, emasculated flags of countries filled with insensitive people who have nary a concept of an on-ramp nor a triple double with cheese.

steal the car

they hate you

they're talking about you

am i really?  am i really like that?   i think of myself myself as a sensitive person.   an artist.   my voice has roots in the aether.   i float disembodied.   i exist only as idea and projection.  now that seems more art-world than mopping the floor of the washroom.

you did, but this is america, and i have the freedom to do whatever i want, including broadcast myself on a radio that's been unplugged.   

yes, precisely.

indeed i will attempt that.   i have seen the perfection of this country and this perfection indeed shines like a beautiful new appliance.   love it or leave it, i say.  

what if i like it a lot, but not ready for a full time commitment?


i suppose so.   ahem.   continuing.  i believe that perfection exists out there in america.  it's god's country.


zeus goes there for a weekend visit, maybe, but his permanent abode is right here in the U S of A.   zeus drives a convertible with the top down, the wind blowing through his beard, you know, just cruising.    if you don't believe me, just follow along.   step inside the radio my friend, inside the disembodied mind chatter of america.   every iteration of every word being spoken on every inch of dial, from here to kingdom come.   for on the eighth day, god created the u.s. highway system.   he made the highways nice and wide and pleasant so we can look around at the country.    the great american highway, the fruit of eisenhauer's shiny head.  he warned of the military industrial complex but never mentioned a thing about the pavement mini-mall parking lot complex, which is arguably much more aesthetically damaging than a fighter jet.   those fighter jets can look awful pretty swooping all around. but parking lots are not very pretty.   in fact, they are so bland they inspire me to compose some creative writing.

write write write your book, gently on the brain

merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a drain

let's talk now for a second about two very important presidents.   

taft. taft. taft.

william howard taft was the 27th president of the united states.   he was so large, he actually got stuck in the presidential bathtub.   which sounds very strange to me.   i mean, couldn't he just lather up a little bit, squeeze himself out?   legend has it that several helpers had to come in and use butter to remove him from the tub.  seems like some weird metaphor for american oligarchs, big fat cats who have to use butter to remove themselves from a bathtub.   

and our other presidential friend is named william henry harrison.   he was president for a month.   one lunar cycle.  perhaps william henry harrison decided not to wage wars and ride his horse and buggy to camp david, but instead aligned himself with the lunar cycle.   which is not smart, cuz it only lasts a month.   he apparently died of a cold he caught during his inauguration speech.   it was nearly two hours long in the freezing cold rain.   the speech was not actually that long, word-wise, but harrison was a very, very, very, very slow talker.   so he died of a cold.    dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead.

further along in american history, all the states started making up little state song, like a bunch of birds all tweeting different songs all at the same time.

we now now that this is what democracy sometimes sounds like.  we all like to do our own things, simultaneously, at full volume, and not really paying attention to anything much except how everybody else isn't listening to us, everyone else needs to adjust to me, where i come from is the greatest. 

i think the most interesting shapes of state are the states that are rectangles.   straight lines and 90 degree angles.   straight lines don't really exist in nature.  these rectangle states seem arbitrary.   they look less like bits of land and more like parcels of information.  like spaces on a computer chip.   like how cities look as your plane starts its final descent and you see all the parcels, all the squares, first the brown fields, then the irrigated green patches, now the suburban homes with crystal blue pools out back, now the abandoned urban core, now the mixed-use urban lofts, and your plane descends at the western edge of an arterial transportation thruway.     humans love to pretend that we can walk in straight lines, that we can make straight lines, but if you zoom in and zoom in and zoom in, sooner or later it will look wobbly.