Laurie Anderson: Another Day in America

Laurie Anderson: Another Day in America

And so finally here we are, at the beginning of a whole new era
The start of a brand new world
And now what?
How do we start?
How do we begin again?

There are some things you can simply look up, such as:
The size of Greenland, the dates of the famous 19th century rubber wars, Persian adjectives, the composition of snow
And other things you just have to guess at

And then again today's the day and those were the days and now these are the days and now the clock points histrionically to noon
Some new kind of north
And so which way do we go?
What are days for?
To wake us up, to put between the endless nights

And by the way, here's my theory of punctuation:
Instead of a period at the end of each sentence, there should be a tiny clock that shows you how long it took you to write that sentence

And another way to look at time is this:
There was an old married couple and they had always hated each other, never been able to stand the sight of each other, really
And when they were in their nineties, they finally got divorced
And people said: Why did you wait so long? Why didn't you do this a whole lot earlier?
And they said: Well, we wanted to wait until the children died

Ah, America. And yes that will be America
A whole new place just waiting to happen
Broken up parking lots, rotten dumps, speed balls, accidents and hesitations
Things left behind. Styrofoam, computer chips

And Jim and John, oh, they were there
And Carol, too. Her hair pinned up in that weird beehive way she loved so much
And Greg and Phil moving at the pace of summer
And Uncle Al, who screamed all night in the attic
Yes, something happened to him in the war they said, over in France
And France had become something they never mentioned. Something dangerous

Yeah, some were sad to see those days disappear
The flea markets and their smells, the war
All the old belongings strewn out on the sidewalks
Mildewed clothes and old resentments and ragged record jackets

And ah, these days. Oh, these days
What are days for?
To wake us up, to put between the endless nights

And meanwhile all over town, checks are bouncing and accounts are being automatically closed
Passwords are expiring
And everyone's counting and comparing and predicting
Will it be the best of times, will it be the worst of times, or will it just be another one of those times?

Show of hands, please

And ah, this world, which like Kierkegaard said, can only be understood when lived backwards
Which would entail an incredible amount of planning and confusion
And then there are those big questions always in the back of your mind
Things like: Are those two people over there actually my real parents?
Should I get a second Prius?

And you, you who can be silent in four languages: Your silence will be considered your consent

Oh but those were the days before the audience, and what the audience wanted, and what the audience said it wanted

And you know the reason I really love the stars is that we cannot hurt them
We can't burn them or melt them or make them overflow. We can't flood them or blow them up or turn them out
But we are reaching for them
We are reaching for them

Some say our empire is passing, as all empires do
And others haven't a clue what time it is or where it goes or even where the clock is

And oh, the majesty of dreams
An unstoppable train. Different colored wonderlands
Freedom of speech and sex with strangers

Dear old God: May I call you old?
And may I ask: Who are these people?

Ah, America. We saw it. We tipped it over, and then, we sold it
These are the things I whisper softly to my dolls. Those heartless little thugs dressed in calico kilts and jaunty hats and their perpetual white toothy smiles

And oh, my brothers. And oh, my sisters
What are days for?
Days are where we live
They flow and then they flow. They come, they fade, they go and they go
No way to know exactly when they start or when their time is up

Oh, another day, another dime
Another day in America
Another day, another dollar
Another day in America

And all my brothers. And all my long lost sisters
How do we begin again?
How do we begin?

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