Sunday, June 14, 2015

Such a Grand Old Flag

Thank you, nameless person on the interwebs, for inspiring me.

Thank you for posting a picture that, in my mind, disrespected the flag of the United States of America, on Flag Day.

Look, I get some of your anger at our great nation. Indeed we are a fractured fatherland with unresolved racism but also problems with gender inequity reverse racism (racism is racism, after all) and what seems to be an abundance of violent crime.


Is it really as bad as it might seem?

Are we - am I - part of the problem?


First, we can blame the media. Not all of us, of course, but yes we can certainly glance at the need for viewers. So yes, we need dirty laundry! CNN, MSNBC, FOX, TMZ, and so on. You get the idea.

We need stories. Don't have one? MAKE ONE UP! Embellish.


But there's more. We are all responsible. Do you read Twitter? Facebook? Instsagram? Well that's where some leads come from for stories, as well as demonstrating our instant gratification society.

Let's put if this way: we report nearly everything now. We didn't always.

Also think of how far we've come as a country. Ever hear of that Jackie Robinson guy? The one who broke the modern baseball color barrier? Yeah. That's clearly changed, thankfully. Glance at Washington. Love him. Hate him. Whatever. A black man (please spare me the politics) is President of the United States.

Oh I have lots more, but just go read a history book. Glance at a documentary. Check out the googler on this world-wide-internet-thingy!

No, we're not perfect. Health care is still a mess. The President - the very one I mentioned above - doesn't seem to be a whole better than his predecessor. Chuck Schumer is still talking into microphones. Al Shapton...good lord.

I said I wasn't getting into politics, so I'll stop there.

Ferguson and Baltimore and Eric Garner on Staten Island didn't help things. Certainly it opened wounds.

Yet does anyone know how divisive this country was during the Vietnam War? Do we recall when blacks couldn't eat at the same lunch counters as whites? When they had to go to separate hotels? How about when women couldn't vote? There's also a bad history of religious idiocy.

Then I hear way too much about "the good old days," when we were one big group hug of a country. Eisenhower, baby!

Yet, again. Separate hotels. Lynchings. Come on, people. Just different eras.

I often hear it: what is wrong with this world? In some ways, we ARE worse. Yet, in some ways, just look around. It's better. Much.

Sure, I wish we could have a lot of things back, but we can't. So let's accept what we have now and move on with life. Let's try, just a little, to make it better.

I'm no 'Merica type of guy. I have my form of patriotism that is very much my own style: honest and real. I detest the "September 12" phenomenon, in which we're one big HAPPY country...and within days the same problems creep back up, and those flags that are flying and acting as bumper stickers are tattered and faded.

But I won't see the flag disrespected. Too much blood was spent. Too many battles - on too many fronts - were raged.

It's a symbol of this country. To disrespect it is to dump on my uncles, friends, my nieces husband, and other loved ones who fought for it. It disrespects my own father, who desperately wanted to go to Korea so that he could defend it.

I apologize if this sounds like some form of jingoism. I assure you it's not.

Think before you post, people.

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