I’ve been neglecting it somewhat lately, but my other blog Flag-O-Rama has moved to Tumblr. There are even some new posts in preparation for Patriotic New Year (July 4th). I’m planning to update it more often so go check it out! Feel free to comment and share/tweet/etc. whatever you like. It could use a little more attention nowadays. 🙂
RSS feed: http://flagorama.tumblr.com/rss
Today’s July 4th, when Americans profess loudly just how proud they are to be Americans. Flipping through Facebook this morning I see a dozen posts about it already…sigh.
Am I lucky to be an American with all the freedoms we enjoy (at least, until they’re finally chipped away)? Yes, I am. But proud to be an American? I usually reserve pride for things I actually accomplished myself. I just happen to have been born here, you see…it’s really all about luck. So my answer is no, I’m not proud of being an American in that sense. Too much pride leads to arrogance, and I think too many Americans are already arrogant enough.
Our politicians say the terrorists haven’t won, but watching how many of my fellow Americans are acting, sometimes I wonder. This poster really gets to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it? It recently appeared on Salon in a tiny thumbnail, so the artist cooked up a larger version to share on Facebook. It’s brilliant! (You can download a hi-res version as well.)
And speaking of updates, I forgot to mention that after a four-year “hiatus” (interpret that however you like), my side-blog Flag-O-Rama has been blessed with new posts. I went out and grabbed a bunch of new shitty patriotic products to display and ridicule, so check it out! (I’m hoping to keep adding a couple of posts each week, but don’t hate me if I don’t… 🙂
Here’s something I didn’t know that almost made me spew my lunch all over my monitor: in Yankee Stadium, being present during the national anthem and “God Bless America” is mandatory. They literally chain you into the aisles. If you try to leave for any reason you’ll be cuffed and thrown out of the stadium, like this guy was when he tried to go to the bathroom during the all-important Musical Moments of Patriotism and Religious Fervor. Of course the NYPD says that he was drunk and disorderly, which he claims is ridiculous…and seeing how the NYPD attacks bicylists at random these days, I’m not too inclined to believe them.
Lacking a more eloquent way to express my feelings on this, all I can say is: fuck this sports-nationalism shit. Why in the world are people singing the National Anthem at any sports event? What is that? What purpose does it serve — to remind us that we’re Americans? I think we’re well aware of that, thank you. Attending a baseball game doesn’t make you a good American. I can understand their desire to do it for a while after an emotional event like 9/11, but forcing this on people years after the fact is just plain nuts.
The same goes for making the players pray before each game, what a crock. Assuming there’s some bearded man in the sky who takes orders from athletes, do you really think he gives a shit about favoring one team over another? I think he’d have more pressing issues to attend to. These guys never blame God when they lose, either…they just accept it as “His will.” Oh, I’d love to see some football player leaving the field after a crushing defeat, shaking his fist in the air and cursing the heavens. But I’d have to actually watch football to see that, so nevermind…
I forgot to post this horrific little story on the 4th of July. It’s about some nutjob who had the American flag tattooed onto his face:
Last year, he began a three-month transformation of his face. It hurt. He held still for two hours at a time as the tattoo grew. First the blue field and stars. Then came the red stripes. Fifteen hours, $1,500. In his mind, through the pain, he said, “Thank you, God. I want the American flag on my face.”
Can you imagine? I’m glad it hurt. Crazy comes with a price, after all…
I haven’t posted to my Flag-O-Rama blog in over a year, but some military guy recently discovered it (he used his .mil email address, the foolish sucka) and decided he was offended. He left this comment regarding the post Beyond the fringe:
listen dumb ass the marines have different uniforms now and they are not called fatigues the are a combat uniform! and if you were to acually take a good look at the picture it is a doll not a real child fuckin’ retard! if you don’t like it then get the fuck out of the country!
Wow, you can almost hear the veins popping out on his forehead! Who knew that military types were so defensive about their wardrobe? Maybe he’s peeved by the fact that the “combat uniform” in question was being worn by a doll. I do love the “get outta the country” bit, it’s just so precious. I posted a reply on the blog, so you can read it there using the link above. 🙂
I often feel completely out of place, like an anthropologist in a giant shopping mall disguised as a country. So I tend to take a camera with me just about everywhere, because I love taking pictures of things that make me snicker: moronic products and strange packaging, insipid advertising, hideous toys, puke-inducing bumperstickers, patriotic peepeecaca, dumbass tools driving giant trucks, etc. I find it all fascinating and amusing, though sometimes disturbing as well. Who came up with this stuff, and who’s buying it? And is it dragging our collective IQ down faster than Paris Hilton’s panties at a frat party? It’s probably not that deep, but hopefully you know what I mean.
A few months ago I began going through my photo archives and pulling out the ones which relate to this topic, and now they have their very own gallery, appropriately titled Cultural Wasteland. I’ve been adding to it little by little, and I expect it will keep growing for quite some time. Check it out, but get your gag bag ready. (A few pics in there are simply amusing to me, not necessarily disgusting…but most of them are the gag-me type.) And feel free to leave comments on anything you want, it’s always fun to see what others think of stuff like this!
Some deranged woman here in WA state wants to support our troops (and her son) by sending a Slurpee machine to Iraq. Seriously…she wants to raise money to have one of these things shipped to the Iraqi desert, along with all the materials & ingredients to keep it up and running for years on end. It’s painfully obvious where her priorities are. Wouldn’t she rather have her son home and safe (and alive)? Why not just build a 7-11 there and get it over with??
The AFP wire is carrying a fun little story about what the author calls an epidemic of flags across America during the 4th of July patriotic frenzy. Epidemic? Oh, that’s sure to raise a few hackles. Good, ’cause it’s true. It’s an outright infestation. Of course, I’m not talking about flags in front of peoples’ homes or in public spaces, but all the patriotic marketing bullshit that blankets the landscape this time of year. (By the way, some of these items are still on sale at Flag-O-Rama! Do you have your USA steak branders yet?)