charles vane

I READ THE NEWS about America, but I don’t particularly feel like an American anymore. It feels distant and irrelevant to my daily life. I suppose I feel like a European, which to American ears sounds like having some finesse for bureaucracy, love of fine culture, and enjoyment of good cuisine, but to me means something like, a free and unfettered life. About a decade or so ago, when I was first living here for a stretch, I remember watching some program about UFOs in Europe. It had a horrible electronic music soundtrack, and I thought Europe was just so stodgy and weird, stale and decadent. It was so lived-in and boring that people had to indulge themselves in drugs and orgies just to get that tiny thrill or kick. Recently, I was watching a documentary on piracy in the Caribbean that made me revisit this feeling. This was an interesting documentary, because it showed the internal disagreements within the British Empire (nothing like hearing Charles Vane shout “fuck your fucking king” on his way to the gallows). At the end, the narrator said something along the lines of, “Some say Anne Bonny lived to see the founding of the United States of America.” And I thought, “So what?” Like someone read her the draft terms of the Treaty of Paris and she died happily? Who really cares? As a writer I am an American, in that I am not afraid and have a knack for publishing inflammatory statements that might disrupt society. As an uncultured American, there is almost nothing expected from you here. If you can even manage to tie your own shoes, it is a great feat in the face of these highly cultured Europeans. I suppose I enjoy the best of both worlds, and in and in the true spirit of the Golden Age of Piracy to boot. Maybe Master Vane was on to something.

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