Laurie Anderson - Another Day In America
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 nineteenth-century rubber wars,
Persian adjectives, the composition of snow.
And other things you just have to guess at.
And then again today is 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 if punctuation. Instead if 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
And another way to Iook 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, speedballs, 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 liked so much. And Craig and Phil moving at the pace of summer.
And Uncle Al who screamed aII night in the attic. Yes something happened to him in the
war they said over in France. And France had become something we never mentioned.
Yes some were sad to see those days disappear. The flea markets and their smells, the war, aII the old belongings strewn out on the sidewalks. Mildewed clothes and old
resentments and ragged record jackets.
And ah these days. AII these days! What are days for?
To wake us up. To put betwen the endless nights.
And meanwhile aII over town checks are bouncing and accounts are being automatically closed. Passwords are expiring. Andi everyone's counting and comparing and predicting. Will it be the best if times? WiII 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 if planning and confusion.
And then there are those big questions always at the back of your mind. Thinks Iike: 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.
Ah 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 bum them or melt them or make them overflow.
We can't flood them or burn 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 trees. An unstoppable train. Different colored wonderlands.
Freedome 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 bothers and oh my sisters. What are days for? Days are where we live.
The flow and then the 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 oh my bothers and oh my long lost sisters.
How do we begin again? How do we begin?