There are definitely people who look at the entirety of what’s going on the world today as a couple of people fighting over whose imaginary friend likes them better. And then you’ve got people who say, “No, no, this isn’t an imaginary friend, he’s actually the real thing. But that guy over there, he’s an imaginary friend.” And it’s huge and it’s responsible for an enormous amount of worry and difficulty and it’s why I’m not allowed to travel with eight ounces of shampoo. I’m allowed four ounces. I’m going to have to pour away half of my shampoo before I can put it in my quart bag and put it in my carryon. Which is really bizarre. And that’s because of people arguing over things that many people regard as imaginary. Chiefly, gods, religions, and national boundaries, which are absolutely imaginary. They’re completely notional. They don’t tend to exist. As soon as you pull back half a mile and look down at the Earth there are no national boundaries. There aren’t even any national boundaries when you get down and walk around. They’re just imaginary lines we draw on maps.
I went out to my car this morning, to run and get some breakfast, and I had a flyer stuck to my windshield: “Celebrate Independence Day! History shows that the Founding Fathers were Christians, and that America was founded as a Christian nation! History shows that the Bible is the literal word of God!”
I tore it up in to several tiny pieces, with all the venom and intention of destroying such garbage as I could muster up. It’s probably the most patriotic thing I’ll do all day; I’m going home for two weeks, and I’ll spend most of today packing and driving to the airport.
As Virginia Woolf said (and talk of “patriotism” always makes me think of this), as a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.