The title, Miss Americana, is intended to convey the corny good feeling that comes from state fairs and roadside attractions as well as the sense of our loving this place where we live… replete with nostalgia and the passage of time and loved ones traveling alongside of strangers. But prefixing the ‘Miss’ in front of ‘Americana’, as in misfortune or misinterpretation, is an intentional effort to subvert the rose-tinted propaganda that proliferates throughout our cultural existence. On larger issues, we seldom agree on much of anything. No matter who you are, there are both subjective and objective realities to be had and someone to tussle with if you should be so inclined. Along the highways and byways, there is no end of enterprises to amuse, confuse, educate or anger those who are willing to pull over and pay attention.
Traveling cannot help but lead to musings upon politics and religion and parenting and gender issues and in my world these are channeled through the abject Siamese tandem of pathos and humor. I am often guilty of trotting out shopworn artslang about time and beauty and decay and how there is death behind every daisy but damn, if it were not for examining the clumsy elegance of domestic routine and the outright bizarre existence we lead once we cross the threshold to the outside world, I wouldn’t have a whole hell of a lot to say.
By Gordon Stettinius