Whenever Fourth of July rolls around, people like to don their American flag garb and call themselves patriotic. But what really makes for patriotism is someone willing to call out all the things that are wrong with a country while still appreciating its greatness. While Morrissey may be, in most people’s minds, the farthest thing from an American proponent, his 2004 song, “America Is Not The World,” indicates his understanding and subtle acclamation of the country.
Remarking, “I love you, I just wish you’d stay where you live,” in reference to the common American practice of intervening in other countries’ affairs–especially at the time when the song came out and Bush was on the rampage against Iraq–Morrissey is comfortable holding all of America’s faults up to it in a funhouse mirror.
He continues to lambast the nation with the sarcastic line, “America, it brought you the hamburger/Well America, you know where you can shove your hamburger.” Decrying the U.S. tendency to be prideful over things it really shouldn’t, Morrissey is, in essence, trying to help the country improve itself. Though, of course, our “head’s too big” to ever take advice from a Brit–particularly since that’s who we rebelled against all those centuries ago. But at least the U.S. First Amendment highlighting freedom of speech has allowed non-U.S. citizens like Moz to speak openly about realities others living in America would rather not acknowledge.