I think you bit off more metaphoric morsels than you can chew this time, Campion. (FLAGS ARE BULLSHIT—Issue: 7/1/15) Of course a flag, like all symbols, have only empiric value. This is the point of a symbol. However, once as a society we accept this value, anything attached to that symbol, whether good or bad, resonates. It is just a fact of living in a society. This is something, unless you just fell off the proverbial turnip truck that we all understand, apparently, except you.
Now, let me presume you would say here that you do not see things as the general vox populi and therefore this is why you write Reality Check and that it always has that kind of slanted view, which is why people read it, and if you merely repeated the talking points of the normal ideology then you cease to become a unique and independent voice in the field of commentary. And while I do not deny you this and I absolutely LOVE this column—I honestly cannot wait to read it each week and curiously I have never responded to any of them—this time your argument seems forced in order to merely shock and not add your always welcomed social criticism.
I think the Confederate flag does have a provocative anti-social connotation and it is not only offensive to African-Americans, but wholly against the American ideals that one time defeated what it stands for.
This is important. This is the story. Not that all flags really mean nothing. If they mean nothing, then why do we have them? If we have them, they must have some meaning. You cannot deny something that exists, even if it is an annoying by-product of society. For you also live in that society, and I guess this is why you feel the need to comment on it so eloquently week after week for years and years.
I respectfully disagree with your premise.
Now, go write something else that will inspire and anger me. It’s why we read.
Surprise, surprise-—words are symbols. So you’re just aiming one abstraction (that “doesn’t exist”) at another. Human beings deal far more with “abstractions” and symbols than they do with “reality”—boy is that a stretchable word. Think about it. TV, movies, books, iPhones, computers, etc. That’s what we deal with. Oh … and money (meaningless symbol/abstraction worth nothing if people stop believing in it; that’s why it’s called fiat money).
What you’re really complaining about here is human nature, the fact that humans can and have been and will be again moved—in the millions—by symbols—by words, the Islamic crescent, the Christian cross, flags.
And for an abstraction … how’s “nation?” I can’t think of anything more abstract. Is it the dirt contained between some lines drawn on a map (an abstraction)? Borders … more abstractions; they don’t “really” exist. Is a nation the people who live on that dirt? If it is, then why don’t people who say I LOVE MY COUNTRY! love all the people in it? Is it the language that nation speaks that people “love?” The customs accepted in that nation? Its history? (Clearly not since so much horror is contained in pretty much every nation’s history.)
You’ve got a strange gripe here, Sir James. Essentially … you don’t like human nature.
Okay, so you’re just an asshole. This is what passes for opinion now, that everything sucks. What is the point in even commenting on it then? Your point is you are an asshole? Fuck you. Flags have meaning to some of us and if they do not to you, then who cares? We are free to disagree and you can think flags are bullshit all you want and that is freedom and that freedom is afforded by the very principles that that flag represents. Go ahead and keep being an asshole and I’ll keep saluting the flag that allows you to be one.
That is some brilliant shit. Of course we get riled up about ridiculous things. What will it change by removing a stupid flag? Nothing. A few days after the flag was removed for the federal building the KKK and Black Panthers descended on the South Carolina courthouse to unleash the hatred that boils up below in this country and in many ways defines us. Flag or no flag, we need to change ourselves and look in the mirror when we see outlandish and immoral income inequality and violently rogue cops and insensitive sport team names and voter repression and subtle forms of subjugation that continues to this day, sadly.
I am glad someone said enough!! to the ridiculous furor over nothing when the real problems continue. One flag does not alter the DNA of our nation. That is like putting a tiny Band-Aid over a gaping wound and feeling good about yourself. It is bullshit. Thanks for putting the words to the problem.
If someone wants to fly a symbol of defeat off the back of their truck, fine. I do not want it hanging from a federal building. If I lived in the South I would be embarrassed by this. These people were domestic terrorists, criminals against the very country they live in today. We are so engrossed by liberty and our fear of foreign invaders, both real and imagined, and yet this was truly the darkest time in this nation’s history. An entire nation plunged into war by the South for the right to own human beings. Over 600,000 people died. The president of the United States was murdered. This is what that flag represents. You cannot change its meaning to “Southern Pride” for your own personal appeasement of it. Maybe you can, individually and have it fly off the back of your pick-up, but when it flies over the state capital in the union that defeated its despicable intentions, then it has to go.