Platitudes and patriotism

What's a hero? A patriot? TTers weigh in this week.


Salon Staff
July 15, 2005 9:23PM (UTC)

White House

Beat the Press. Media atrocities -- Part VI

Karl Northman - 10:38 p.m. Pacific Time - July 8, 2005 - #7447 of 8015

I'm not that anxious to get Bush, or even Cheney, right now, and in fact I'd rather (to quote from the Nixon tapes) leave them twisting in the wind.

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What I want is a steady stream of more and worse revelations of incompetence and corruption to keep showing up in the MSM. I want it so that by summer of 2006 everyone in the country just pretty much assumes that any Republican in Washington is up to his eyeballs in incompetence, corruption, graft, crime and the covering up of felonies, all the while praising Jesus out of all six sides of their mouths and voting to ban birth control.

I want Republicans to go home to their districts and do their "town meetings" and find that the only people who come stand at the back of the room with their arms crossed and, when asked for a question, one of them just says, "So how much did they pay you?" and the next one says, "Are you going to have hearings about the text of the mandatory government prayer for schools and meetings, or are you just going to decide in some back room with Tom DeLay and publish it as part of some Executive Order?" and when he says, "Wait, no, I didn't take any money, I don't know anything about any prayer," the next guy says, "And we should believe that you're telling the truth THIS time?"

White House

George Bush: Public Enemy #1 XVIII: The Continuing Adventures of Commander Cuckoo-Bananas

muwzik - 06:45 a.m. Pacific Time - July 8, 2005 - #2531 of 2925

All those platitudes hurled around after 9/11 said all those who died in the WTC were heroes. They were NOT heroes! Neither are the people affected by yesterday's London bombings. The WTC people were innocent victims. The London people are innocent victims.

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If we equate victims with heroes, then anyone killed in a senseless accident by, say, a drunk driver would be a hero. I don't think so. By the same token, anyone caught in the crossfire of a criminal act would be a hero. I don't think so.

And yes sir! Those who died yesterday, those who died in the three locations affected by the events of 9/11, those who died in the PanAm flight over Scotland, all who are killed in accidents, random acts of violence, etc., died in VAIN. What will change? What has changed? Basically nothing. Nothing positive, anyway.

What has changed is that thousands more innocent victims have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Are the ordinary citizens of Iraq heroes simply because they live in Iraq?

Get real!!! This is in no way intended to say that we should not offer sympathy and support to families. This does not diminish the loss of friends and family. It is intended only to suggest that we need to call a spade a spade.

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Private Life

You see some weird s**t, just today I saw.

Pit Viper - 12:39 p.m. Pacific Time - July 11, 2005 - #7499 of 7582

This probably isn't weird to most of you out there, but I'm from NYC and am now living in the burbs of Boston and am driving for the first time in at least 10 years.

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What is up with the weird "patriotic or sick" ribbon shit? It's been going on for months, a rainbow of them, for the troops, for MIAs, for veterans, for breast cancer, ball cancer, MS, CF, CP, and probably there is one for bewildered librarians, which I need to get and stick on my back bumper.

Today, I saw a humongo truck plastered all over with "god bless the troops MIAs George Bush this flag don't run I'm a patriot" crap.

And it put me right over the edge.

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Patriotism is not mistaking a bit of dyed fabric for the reality behind the symbolism.

Patriotism is not fetishizing military service while forgetting about the realities our troops face, and who is responsible for the situation they are in.

Patriotism is not glorifying "up by your bootstraps" myths while deifying people and corporations who live on federal handouts or family wealth.

Patriotism is not Christian.

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Patriotism is people. Patriotism is citizens. OUR citizens. The ones who are hungry and poor and angry and homeless and addled and hopeless and cynical and dangerous and vile. What we think and do about this is what defines our country. What we do about this either strengthens our country, or destroys it, because as a country, we are only as strong as our weakest citizens. Where are their damned ribbons?

Patriotism is criticism. Patriotism is questioning everything your country is, and stands for, at all times.

Patriotism is hard.

And damn it all, those ribbons are weird.

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Posts of the week is an ongoing feature of Table Talk, Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found here in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.


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