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Mota Boy
01-30-2007, 07:23 PM
I cringe whenever I see tattered American flags and I despise those that fly them. They hang limp: wind-beaten, rain-soaked and sun-shot. During a breeze, the frayed stars and tentacle-stripes twist ghoulishly in the air - symbols of faded freedoms, a derelict democracy.

Many of them sprung up years ago, emerging from violence, fully-formed and draping the nation, first when we were attacked and then in a second wave when we did the attacking. A sudden onrush of patriotic fervor beyond thought or reason. A love born of fear, a truism born of uncertainty - the home had suddenly become a dangerous place, the routine was no longer routine. It was from this new world order that the flag army sprang, and its message became twisted by those that could gain from directing that fear. "Fly this as proof of loyalty. It's meaning is ours and there is no other way but darkness."

Now, with the passage of time, the uncertainty and fear which became anger has returned for many to further uncertainty, the anger redirected but diffused. And of the flags that still hang, many have become as worn as the jingoism that they once represented. Their mangled corpses flop about atop homes and businesses. On the interstate, truckers roar by with flags eaten away by a constant headwind, worn down to nubs. Few things unnerve me more than these tattered symbols of patriotism, flown and forgotten. Erected as mindless signposts of conformity and carried as such. I want to rip them all down and set them aflame [it is, after all, the proper way to dispose of them - sending them off in a Viking funeral]. And then, one can hope, from the ashes will arise a flag reborn, a cautiously-attended symbol of a nation in need of sentinels facing not only out but in. One can hope, but always, lurking in the background is the constant, churning sea of uncertainty, and the knowledge that if select uncertainties breach the wall keeping them back from reality, the fear will be reborn, more powerful and dangerous than ever, and with it bring another wave of flags, simultaneously omnipresent and abandoned.

T-6005
01-30-2007, 07:39 PM
I think it's an unfortunate, bigoted byproduct of coming from a country that doesn't fly too many flags in yards or other miscellaneous places that whenever I see a country's yard flying a flag I feel a tiny twinge of equal parts contempt and amusement.

Paint_It_Black
01-30-2007, 07:54 PM
Thibault, I completely agree. Except I don't see what's unfortunate about it. But contempt and amusement are exactly the right words.

HornyPope
01-30-2007, 08:15 PM
"It's so beautiful to see so many flags, it makes me feel great to be American".

Seriously, that was the prevalent, or at least a vivid, sentiment of a lot of Americans during those tragic and rude awakening years. I wish they fucking died. I'm not even bothering to put some words in quotation marks, ya'll know I really wouldn't dare to call the terrorist attacks tragic.

JohnnyNemesis
01-30-2007, 09:37 PM
I'm with Thibault, except I'm from America. It's just really hard for me to look at the flag and remember the wonderful privileges and comforts I enjoy in a country I actually do love, mostly because this country was built on the slaughter of marginalized folks who look like me and my loved ones. But I DO try to find the balance between those, both emotionally and ideologically.

Etc.

Sin Studly
01-30-2007, 10:03 PM
this country was built on the slaughter of marginalized folks who look like me and my loved ones.

Wasn't the Dominican Republic built on the slaughter of marginalized folks BY people who look like you and your loved ones?

JohnnyNemesis
01-30-2007, 10:07 PM
I was born in America, convict!

But your question? Well...yeah.

Sin Studly
01-30-2007, 11:32 PM
My forefathers came to my nation in chains and were forced to do backbreaking manual labour while being flogged for the slightest misbehaviour and hanged for trying to escape, simply because they were from a different race than the Anglo-Saxons. Just like the poor unfortunate negroes in America!

Your forefathers came to your nation with murder and rape in their malevolent eyes, and tortured, maimed, murdered and otherwise genocided the local population of indiginous folks, destroyed their civilisations, inflicted plague and pestilence apon them, and made their lives miserable in every possible way. Just like evil stupid white men in America!

Who's the big bad whitey now, Conquistadore Almonte?

calichix
01-30-2007, 11:58 PM
My favorite part of the 9-11 aftermath was the sweet patriotic songs on country radio stations. "..and America will stick it's mighty boot in Al Qaeda's ass/ Freedom/ Freedom/ Freedom." My friend and I wrote one called, "The Eagle Will Rise Again". Hicks (who are incapable of detecting sarcasm) loved it.


Anyway, isn't there a law that you have to bring your flag in at night and when it's raining?

Llamas
01-31-2007, 01:44 AM
I too am from the US and have always laughed internally at people who fly American flags. Not just because our freedom is so ill-founded, but because it's so cliche. I got so annoyed with hearing people say "God bless the USA!", also. 80% of the people who said it weren't even religious. It's just funny that, in many countries, putting a flag in your lawn is considered nationalism and you can be forced to remove it. In the US, though, you're not a good person unless you have a flag.

I also was annoyed with the "support our troops" magnets. I got one on my car right away because my cousin was overseas, and I had it in her honor. But every single Bush-humper had one of those damn magnets, and I'm sure that most of those people had it for no reason other than it "makes a statement" or some bullshit. Just like the flags. Ugh. I'm leaving the US tomorrow, and I can't wait to get away from most Americans.

Betty
01-31-2007, 03:41 AM
I don't know if the point here was half-missed, or if I'm the one who's confused.

Sin Studly
01-31-2007, 04:09 AM
Same here, actually. I thought Mota was commenting on the rise and fall of public opinion giving rise to people neglecting and for lack of a better word ; desecrating a symbol they profess to take pride in and once displayed proudly.

Instead it seems most people are on a trupunx "omg ppl who fly flags r rednek non-punx lolz" kick.

Jakebert
01-31-2007, 04:44 AM
Same here, actually. I thought Mota was commenting on the rise and fall of public opinion giving rise to people neglecting and for lack of a better word ; desecrating a symbol they profess to take pride in and once displayed proudly.

Instead it seems most people are on a trupunx "omg ppl who fly flags r rednek non-punx lolz" kick.

Yeah, I don't get it whatsoever. I love how they bash people for attempting to make some sort of cliched statement, yet all they're doing is repeating a cliched statement in itself. Everyone knows the "omgzAmericaisanimperialisticasshole!!!!" argument, and you're not saying anything that some wannabe-know-it-all who wants to look radical hasn't said a million times before.

Those people that are "making a statement", as you call it, are usually doing so because they believe in whatever statement their making. While sometimes their statement can be over the top, corny, and sometimes based on nothing, it's there because they believe it. And to ridicule them for that and say it's "just because they want to make a statement" is just a dumb thing to say.

You're right though, Americans are all ignorant and stupid. Except for you guys, right? You're enlightened. Oh, and so are your friends. But everyone else are just ignorant, close minded slobs. Let's just ignore the fact that in itself, that's incredibly close-minded.

I'm not a flag waver either, but I really hate this "all flag wavers r idiots!!!" stance that a lot of people take to make themselves look smarter.

Mota Boy
01-31-2007, 08:16 AM
Anyway, isn't there a law that you have to bring your flag in at night and when it's raining?Something like that. There are all sorts of minute details regarding how the flag should be treated. One of my friends was in ROTC in high school and he said his commander told him that if he ever saw any of the cadets let the flag touch the ground when they were taking it down from the flag pole at the end of the day, he'd call the police and have them arrested. It's these flag laws that outline incinerating the flag as the proper means of disposal, which is one of the reasons why arresting someone for doing so is so obviously a violation of free speech.


Because if there's one person who's intensely patriotic in this thread...U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Yeah, I was a bit annoyed that everyone only took the flag metaphor literally (especially when FLAG = COUNTRY is one of the most intellectually lazy metaphors one can employ [I just happened to see a ripped flag and started writing on the back of an envelope]), but I figured that a) if people didn't "get it", then it was probably my fault as an author and I figure if you have to explain what you were saying, you didn't say it properly in the first place and b) this is a general-interest message board, so people will respond to whatever in a post most tickles their fancy. Even if they knew perfectly well what I was getting at, the literal flag issue may have been the most prominently jarring.

But yeah, the main point (that, I'll admit, did get a bit garbled) was the supposed contrast between a frayed flag as a symbol of unquestioned (or unthinking) allegiance to country and government born of fear (which can also fade) and a carefully-tended one as a symbol of a carefully-tended and watched government and freedoms born of immutable values, and how though at the moment we've returned to a period of government oversight, all it takes is another spectacular attack for that dangerous form of lock-step loyalty to return.

Paint_It_Black
01-31-2007, 08:28 AM
I got the point. I just didn't care to comment beyond agreeing with Thibault.



You're right though, Americans are all ignorant and stupid. Except for you guys, right? You're enlightened. Oh, and so are your friends. But everyone else are just ignorant, close minded slobs. Let's just ignore the fact that in itself, that's incredibly close-minded.

Who are you talking to? Most people who have posted in this thread are not Americans.

JohnnyNemesis
01-31-2007, 09:05 AM
I got the point. I just didn't care to comment beyond agreeing with Thibault.

Yeah, that was the case with most people in this thread.

It's not uncommon for folks on the BBS to understand the point of a thread, but take other aspects of it they find more interesting or relevant to their experience and go off on that. It happens pretty much all the time.

Sin Studly
01-31-2007, 09:11 AM
Yeah, but people who find generic "omg hicks fly flags" to be more interesting are... well, idiots.

Anyways, back on topic. I'm more of a repressed minority than you, you evil fucking disease-spreading genocidal invader. I demand you immediately submit to Beaner Guilt and make plans to celebrate an international "Bog-Irish Convict Appreciation Day"

JohnnyNemesis
01-31-2007, 09:14 AM
I demand you immediately submit to Beaner Guilt and make plans to celebrate an international "Bog-Irish Convict Appreciation Day"

lawlz! I'll do that once Australia becomes relevant to me, knumsayin'?

(lawlz)

Sin Studly
01-31-2007, 09:27 AM
I just mailed you a stingray, Pizzaro.

Betty
01-31-2007, 09:29 AM
I figured that a) if people didn't "get it", then it was probably my fault as an author and I figure if you have to explain what you were saying, you didn't say it properly in the first place and

I'll admit, the first time I read the initial post, it read something like "tattered flags *wordiness*." Actually, ZagmenO summed it up pretty well. And I was gonna berate you for being unecessarily wordy again but decided against it. Then I read some of the replies and thought to myself "isn't this not even the point here?" and then reread it while actually paying attention so that I could make my point if need be.

So I'm gonna go with maybe a little of column a, a little of column b.

Mota Boy
01-31-2007, 10:14 AM
Yeah yeah, I thought it was a bit overwritten too, but I do that sometimes. And also, being hopped on on caffeine and William S. Burroughs really pushes you towards the cryptic.

Mota Boy
01-31-2007, 12:33 PM
I thought that's what the French flag was for. Isn't that why they made it all white - so you could see all the grime you got off?

Mota Boy
01-31-2007, 12:43 PM
Ah, no, don't be ridiculous now, my dear. It would never wash white again.Au contraire, Cheri, a little bleach and it'll be battle-ready in no time!

Sadly now, I must temporarily depart.

Jakebert
01-31-2007, 12:53 PM
Who are you talking to? Most people who have posted in this thread are not Americans.

Mainly at llamas. I probably should have specified.

JohnnyNemesis
01-31-2007, 01:13 PM
My love, you seem to be confusing the French flag with your white pillowcase. The directions for use aren't quite the same.

I'd love to see the official directions for use of the French flag:

1. Grab all-white cloth.
2. Wave vigorously in air.

Llamas
01-31-2007, 01:18 PM
My post wasn't really necessarily so much in response to mota. I realized after I posted it that I went off on quite a tangent. I didn't post it to be trupunx or anything... in fact, I've never heard anyone make that argument before, so I wasn't aware.


Those people that are "making a statement", as you call it, are usually doing so because they believe in whatever statement their making. While sometimes their statement can be over the top, corny, and sometimes based on nothing, it's there because they believe it. And to ridicule them for that and say it's "just because they want to make a statement" is just a dumb thing to say.
I disagree with that. Yes, a portion of those people do really believe in something that they're supporting. Many don't, though.


You're right though, Americans are all ignorant and stupid. Except for you guys, right? You're enlightened. Oh, and so are your friends. But everyone else are just ignorant, close minded slobs. Let's just ignore the fact that in itself, that's incredibly close-minded.
Not all Americans are stupid, no. I never said that. Kind of dumb to assume I meant all of them. And I'm quite ignorant in a lot of ways that make me stupid in similar ways, too, as an American. I've never denied this. And some of my friends are quite ignorant, as well. Not really a fan of having words put in my mouth...


I'm not a flag waver either, but I really hate this "all flag wavers r idiots!!!" stance that a lot of people take to make themselves look smarter.
Not all flag wavers are idiots, either. Many of them aren't, in fact.

JohnnyNemesis
01-31-2007, 01:23 PM
to Ricardo: sweet'art, a lil more care with my panties there.

Ha! Will do. :)

Jakebert
01-31-2007, 01:35 PM
My post wasn't really necessarily so much in response to mota. I realized after I posted it that I went off on quite a tangent. I didn't post it to be trupunx or anything... in fact, I've never heard anyone make that argument before, so I wasn't aware.

That argument is just as cliched as the cheesy country songs on the radio.


I disagree with that. Yes, a portion of those people do really believe in something that they're supporting. Many don't, though.

I would say that the large majority of them do. Obviously there's going to be a lot of people that don't actually believe in it, just the same way as there's people who pretend to be against the war in Iraq just to make themselves look smarter. But as a whole, there's definetly more that actually believe it than don't. Maybe a few years ago it was reversed, but that's how it is now.


Not all Americans are stupid, no. I never said that. Kind of dumb to assume I meant all of them. And I'm quite ignorant in a lot of ways that make me stupid in similar ways, too, as an American. I've never denied this. And some of my friends are quite ignorant, as well. Not really a fan of having words put in my mouth....

The tone of your post was very "all of them are ignorant", even if you didn't outright say it. It may not have been intentional, but it was there.


Not all flag wavers are idiots, either. Many of them aren't, in fact.

Most of them aren't. Usually the loudest people in the group are the one that make the rest of the group look bad. Look at how everyone knows Michael Moore as the default liberal, or Rush Limbaugh as the default conservative. Or how the Christians that get attention on a big scale are the assholes, not the good people.

It's the same way with this. I live in a small rural community where there are almost no non-flag wavers, and most of the people I know that fall into the flag-waver category are intelligent people.

the_GoDdEsS
01-31-2007, 01:45 PM
It sounds cliché and overdone. It's always much better when you put up a flag during some event or something more meaningful, on a national level or to you personally. Not just as an outworn symbol that's everywhere.

Llamas
01-31-2007, 02:39 PM
Apparently having that belief means you're trying to be trupunx. :-/

calichix
02-01-2007, 12:37 AM
my second favorite part of the 9-11 aftermath was the huge influx of american flag attire. I still rock the star spangled panties.

mota boy, my bro's in the army and if one of his broskis drops a flag they have to do this big sacred burning ritual. so weird. I don't think you can get arrested for defacing a flag anymore. that went out with the pledge of allegiance.

Vera
02-01-2007, 02:39 AM
This topic - or rather all the posts in it - makes me think about how I bet most Finns associate mainly positive things with the Finnish flag. There's some sort of odd patriotism installed in most Finns, at school or at home, or both, and so it happens that the flag becomes a symbol of that odd pride I take in being Finnish.

Now logically speaking, there's a lot of negative things to be associated with the Finnish flag. We've commited war crimes like probably any nation has, and those were under the flag. We've got racists who want to kill every foreigner who steps over the border and they don the flag proudly (though even more proudly they don the lion symbol).

And still that's not what I think about it all when I look at the flag. I find it oddly beautiful and think beautiful things when I see it. Blue is for the sky, white is for the snow. I think that's song lyrics for some Finland-praising song.

I guess it's the difference with a huge country and a small one. The nationalistic feelings are taken so differently. If a friend of mine tells me, "You know, Sanni, I'm really proud of being Finnish", I will not think "WTF is she smoking?", I'll just agree and understand where she's coming from. Of course helps that Finland isn't blowing up places all over Middle East...

I'm rambling sorry.

Not sure what Sim was replying to but I agree with her that the fact the flag is found every-fucking-where in one form or another can somehow make it less significant in a way, at least in people's minds.

Mota Boy
02-01-2007, 09:01 AM
I don't think you can get arrested for defacing a flag anymore. that went out with the pledge of allegiance.Not Constitutionally you can't, but that doesn't mean that if some army sergeant calls up some backwater police station that they won't find some reason to give 'em a hard time. State flag-burning laws were only outlawed by the Supreme Court in 1989. Out of spite (or idiocy), Congress passed their own law, which was similarly overturned the following year. Ever since then, there have been repeated attempts by Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would ban the burnin' of the flag. A couple times in the mid-90's they were just a few votes away from sending it to the states (unless Clinton would've had the balls to veto it in his first term in office).

Also, American flags aren't everywhere here. They're a bit more omnipresent for me 'cause I'm from the South, but it ain't like you can't sneeze without defacing one.

Sin Studly
02-01-2007, 09:03 AM
Not Constitutionally you can't, but that doesn't mean that if some army sergeant calls up some backwater police station that they won't find some reason to give 'em a hard time.

Heh, ever heard of "twisting the knuckle"? There's a thousand ways the cops can lean on an undesirable, and my uncle's told me most of them.

JohnnyNemesis
02-01-2007, 09:05 AM
down with COPS! OINK OINK OINK!

Sin Studly
02-01-2007, 09:10 AM
That's the sorta thing they twist the knuckles for, Ricky. Especially when some dark-skin does it.

Mota Boy
02-01-2007, 09:35 AM
That's the sorta thing they twist the knuckles for, Ricky. Especially when some dark-skin does it.Interestingly, I think my town's police department is gradually diversifying, which now makes it dangerous for us honkies. A friend of mine (one of those kids that's simultaneously really smart and really fucking stupid) got drunk one night with a couple other friends and drove around blowing up mailboxes with dinky little homemade bombs. One's the son of a doctor and the other's the son of a lawyer. Someone saw them, then got in their car and took down the license plate number. Well.

Cue the next day when he and the others are arrested and charged with fucking terrorism. They wanted to put them away for years. The police department spokeswoman makes several announcements to the press about how they're gonna string up the rich white bastards. You ever read Bonfire of the Vanities? It was like - after locking up so many poor black kids on drug and gun charges and poor white kids for meth and B&E, they were chompin' at the bit to take down some fuckers who had the audacity to go to college. It took some sort of legal jujitsu, pulling out lawyers and backroom deals to circumvent the police and keep them out of jail, and the cops were pissed and let it be known. The two kids don't even come home now, because they know that if they have so much as busted tail light, they are going to be royally fucked.

Again though, I find that prejudice kinda funny, but I guess that's how I deal with a bunch of shit.

Sin Studly
02-01-2007, 09:58 AM
The cops here used to give middle-class white kids who were up to no good a free ride in the back of the paddywagon, making sure to turn the corners real hard so they took a beating from bouncing around the inside of it, and then drop them off in a slum neighbourhood miles away from where they were picked up.

It was a good system, but these new cops are all dickless fairies afraid to get the phone books out.