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In which I say Happy 4th of July!

To everyone, of course, in the States.

It gets me thinking, though. There was a time I was a pretty serious flag-waver. Big into the pins and buttons and flags and other geegaws that publicly displayed my patriotism. But of course in recent years I don't feel that way much anymore. It seems like wearing the pin on my lapel has become as meaningless as those twisted ribbons (in whatever color) have become, since they lost their original meaning. Who still wears one and remembers what it means, and what it stands for? They've become laughable, used as jokes in so many colors who knows what they stand for anymore?

I see people who have become "patriots" since 9/11/2001, getting their flags out of whatever boxes they had them buried in, or rushing to Wal-Mart to hastily get one off the shelves, and then they fly it, night and day, rain or shine, until it's tattered and faded - no idea of the proper care of a flag, that it should be furled during storms and put away at night (or have a spotlight on it at all times). And yes, when it's all tattered and faded, it should be burned properly, usually by the Boy Scouts or the American Legion (who will shortly all be felons every time they dispose of an old flag).

Anyway, these days I don't grand-old-flag it as much as I used to. I very often find myself ashamed of my country. I love her, but she's been stumbling a lot lately, and I can't bring myself to react with anything less than shame. Coverups, lies, willful ignorance - allowing all the things that this country was supposed to stand against and making excuses for all of it, or simply ignoring it. I keep waiting for something to to snap it back, to wake up the American people, but no matter what happens, everything shifts right back to where it was. Disapproval ratings are one thing; but it hasn't been enough for even a censure of this government, let alone anything serious.

This Independence Day I want to remember exactly why this country exists. The freedoms and civil liberties that our fathers and grandfathers fought for - not "preemptive wars" started on foreign soil against a contained enemy which was no threat to us, not forgetting those who actually attacked us on our soil (oh yes, they're forgetting) - those freedoms that Americans are willingly parting with to be kept "safe." Apparently kept "safe" by a government who is taking away our liberty AND making us more and more unsafe every day.

Benjamin Franklin said, They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

But that aside, I hope everyone has a good day, and thinks for a bit about what it means. Unlike the folks Jay Leno talks to on the street, I think I like the LJ community because I'm pretty sure most everyone out there already knows. (At least, the Stateside dwellers.)

Tonight I'm not going to see a fireworks show - instead I'm going to the big Jesse Dayton Honky-Tonk and Hot Rod Show over at the Rhythm Room. I solemnly swear I will not be drinking - after all, I have to work tomorrow. *g* I wanted to go anyway, but I was asked to review it, as well, so that gives an extra reason for heading over.

I'd like to thank the gals at tennantlove for all the icons I've snagged. This one was done by martoufmarty, who has many more nifty ones. I love animated icons! I need to figure out how to do them myself.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
littlecrow
Jul. 4th, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
I've always wanted to go to the Rhythm Room - one of these days I'll beg you guys to make a night of it.

I didn't know about the Boy Scout Flag disposal system - that's kinda nifty.

I know what you mean about the patriotism thing - but sometimes it helps to think of yourself as a true patriot. Be a reminder of the original ideals of our country. Spread the word, share the knowledge, sort of thing.

wildrider
Jul. 4th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
The Rhythm Room has some pretty good acts; I usually like to hit the Americana and such-like, but those are often during the week (like, say, Tuesday!), and because of work I don't go as often as I'd like. If it's a name I know, like Dale Watson or Roger Wallace, I'll make the exception, or, like tonight, Jesse Dayton! It starts at 3 and runs to whenever, if you're out and about this side of town - and only $10 cover!

Yeah, there's a whole ceremony around the proper burning of a flag. I think they forget that whenever the "no flag burning" amendment rears its ugly head comes up.
sillymagpie
Jul. 5th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
I love my country. I just hate my government.
That makes me a true American.
wildrider
Jul. 6th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
Yep! Last night Jesse Dayton said, "To dissent against one's government is the highest form of patriotism," to which he got a pretty good ovation, and then, "we only have about three years left of this shit, and then get out and vote. That's all I've got to say about it." I knew I liked him. *g*

BTW, don't bother looking for those songs we were wondering about that were being played between sets - they were the group between Moot & Jesse - Truckstop Honeymoon. I bought one of their CDs (they had three available), which has most of the songs on it. The reason I thought the guy sounded like Dave was because, ta da!, he's from the same part of Kansas. It was the inflection on the words that was throwing me.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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