FOURTH OF JULY. I was reminded about another image of Elvis while attending James Kruk’s tribute to Elvis show at Lake Arrowhead, CA. James stated Elvis is like America. I think I’ve heard this comparison before, but never thought about it much until James mentioned it.
His life from birth to death is a life of singularities. He was raised a single child after his twin’s stillbirth. He married once to Priscilla Beaulieu and was the father to one legitimate child, Lisa Marie Presley. He changed the face, sound, and style of music. He became the inadvertent rock & roll innovator and was crowned it’s only king. He is the most uniquely, recognizable entertainer in the world. There will never be another entertainer who will ever match his singular influence on generations of musicians, bands, and fans. He came from nothing, became something, and had everything. He lived the American dream. There will never be another Elvis.
America is singularly recognized for its unique freedom and liberties for its people. It was birthed from a single desire to divorce itself from tyrannical kings and an oppressive church. Its monarchial twin died the moment the first foot of freedom stepped on its shores leading to the creation of a republic for the people, of the people and by the people. America’s struggles from an obscure existence to a beacon of hope for all inspired millions who sailed into New York Harbor and gazed upon Lady Liberty. They believed they could become something, though they came from nothing, and have everything. They would live the American dream. There will never be another America.
Like America, Elvis was flawed. His life of excess lead to a drug addiction. It seemed he lived in a fantasy world and at times was unaware of the real world outside of Graceland. The screaming fans, camera flashes, and entourage of admirers put him on an impossible pedestal for a mere man to stand upon. For all his accomplishments it seems the caricature from the latter days of his life remain most recognized by the general public. Still, Elvis lives on in fans and ETAs around the world.
Like Elvis, America is flawed. America’s wealth is good for the country, but its excess has lead many astray in their pursuits of happiness. Morals are regulated by law, defined by choice, and leave us to deal with the consequences of our expressions of freedoms–good and bad. Efforts to appease the masses with the tenants of political correctness is eradicating common sense in the redefining of American freedom and liberty. America, for all its great accomplishments, is also recognized for its shameful, hypocritical enslavement of a people. It forever tainted its written declaration “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” To this day, the struggle for equality continues among white America and black America. Still, America survives and continues to move forward despite internal and external forces which desire to dismantle the republic.
It is said Elvis’ voice never failed his fans despite his flaws. When it came time to sing he gave the fans his unprecedented best. With the mic in his hand and the music cued—Elvis sang. The fans erupted in deafening cheers and applause and at that moment they could only see everything that was good about Elvis. They didn’t think of the drug addiction, see his overweight frame, or take notice of his eccentricities. They saw a man, though weakened by the struggles of life, who still had the power to bring them joy with his powerful voice.
America, despite its failings, when called, never failed its people or the world. It is always, at that moment of need when America is called to duty, all remember the sovereign greatness of the United States of America. The flaws become insignificant as America’s unique, historical, and revolutionary principles arise to triumphantly restore peace, hope, security, and the pursuit of happiness.
I suppose it’s a stretch to compare America to Elvis and a book could probably be written on the topic with more detailed comparisons. Nevertheless, he is an iconic American indistinguishable from the freedoms and liberties which allowed him to become the man we know and admire today. Elvis is Americana.