America: The Wild West

A short thought on the state of American culture

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America was, is and always will be the Wild West. It was founded on a set of principles meant to create a wild and free world. Freedom of expression, freedom of division, and freedom of retaliation. Treat others the way in which is most advantageous for yourself, otherwise they’ll do the same to you.

The west has been tamed, but like all tamed animals that are left uncared for, it is beginning to lash out. We see now, a world so densely populated with ideas and people alike. A West that has been tamed for so long is now left shaking in its boots; emotions and memories left wishing to be released into the world.

It’s faced horrors that shall never be forgotten; it has wounds that may never close. Laying dormant for decades, but now, as the world grows smaller and exponentially louder, it’s found it harder and harder to stand calmly. The more you strip away from those foundational freedoms, whether in just or not, the angrier it will become.

At one point, it was too free to remain hospitable, now it’s facing a path of shackles that it fears too greatly to ignore. It’s begun to act out is damaging ways that may secure its self destructive path in a way in which it never intended.

But now, because we’ve been tightening up the belt strap around this Once-Wild West more and more, and are now beginning to force it to do things where we have never before, it’s started its fight back. Cutting out the bullshit of words, of thoughts and prayers, and exploding outward with a physicality that was previously reserved for life in the text books.

The more we take aways its unadulterated freedom, without explanation or understanding, the less we allow for it to be the individual it once was. Though historically violent and prejudice, the presence of self was felt expounded throughout the land. Left unchecked, it became violent and selfish. Left over controlled, the same shall be seen and felt.

The entire foundation of this Wild West was build upon individual exceptionalism. A belief that the I holds more weight and power than the over indulgent We. Whether correct or not, the stripping of the power in I brings with it a much more dangerous West than we have seen before. Explosion of hate groups, expansion of division through the other and other and others.

There is nothing that the individual hates more than the clumping of the self into the expectations of the collectives. We are more than the we, we are more than the I, there must be some space in the middle in which life can rest in pursuit of the collective and individual perseverance.

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Aaren Herron

Creative writer working to hone his craft, no longer at the expense of a mental state.