27 June 2006

Bill Hicks and the flag

I had thought the talk of a flag-burning amendment was killed by the United States v. Eichman decision back in 1990, but it's back again.  One of my heroes recently testified against the amendment, pointing out that it's illogical to restrict freedom for the sake of a symbol of freedom.  The issue always reminds me of a Bill Hicks bit:

"Hey buddy, my daddy died for that flag."

"Really?  I bought mine.  Yeah, they sell 'em at K-Mart."

"He died in Korea!"

"Wow, what a coincidence.  Mine was made in Korea."

No one—and I repeat, no one—has ever died for a flag.  See, a flag is just a piece of cloth.  They may have died for freedom, which is also the freedom to burn the f*ckin' flag.

While I'm at it, here are some more great Bill Hicks quotes:

You ever notice how people who believe in creationism look really unevolved?

A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks.  You think when Jesus comes back, he ever wants to see a f*cking cross?  Kind of like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant on.  "Just thinkin' o' John, Jackie, thinkin' o' John."

People say, "Bill, quit talking about Kennedy, man.  It was a long time ago.  Just let it go, all right?  It's a long time ago, just forget it."  I'm like, all right, then don't bring up Jesus to me.  As long as we're talking shelf life here . . .

They lie about marijuana.  Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated.  Lie!  When you're high, you can do everything you normally do just as well . . . you just realize that it's not worth the f*ckin' effort.

[after a Catholic joke] I'm sorry if anyone here is Catholic.  I'm not sorry if you are offended, I'm actually sorry—just the fact that you're Catholic.  Gotta be one of the most ludicrous beliefs ever.  Like these vampire priests sink their twin fangs of guilt and sin into you as a child and suck your joy of life out of you the rest of your existence.

15 June 2006

Bellicose footballers

Today's A.Word.A.Day is theomania, defined as "[t]he belief that one is God or specially chosen by God on a mission".  It made me think of Bush, who prays and asks his god for guidance before ordering overseas invasions of countries of no threat to the U.S.A.  I hope the military isn't as full of mindless theomaniacs as the White House.

I'm no soccer fan, but in related news I noticed a disturbing AP story about a comment made by a player on the U.S.A. team regarding his attitude toward the upcoming match against Italy:

[U.S.A. player Eddie] Johnson was asked whether he was comparing a sporting event to a war.

"Yeah," he responded.  "Whenever you put your jersey on and you look at your crest and the national anthem's going on, and you're playing against a different country, it's like you do or die, it's survival of the [fittest] over 90 minutes-plus.  We're going to go out there and do whatever we've got to do, make tackles, do the things when the referee's not looking . . . to get three points."

Aside from his obvious willingness to play dirty and his stupidity in calling attention to it beforehand, it's the player's knee-jerk nationalism that bothers me.  It seems likely that the comment was made in protest of Italy's recent decision to start pulling troops out of Iraq this month, which must be seen as an affront to his fragile ego.  I'd be glad to see the U.S.A. win against a soccer powerhouse like Italy—though I can't be bothered to care much—but ignorant comments by someone who should be an American ambassador are embarrassing.  I can only hope that people worldwide realize that many or most Americans disagree with these us-versus-them attitudes.

08 June 2006

A few random thoughts

  • I'm a son of the employer of the mother of the wife of the son of a brother of the current president. (Not that I'm especially proud of it, but, anyway.)

  • I just found another reason to like living in Missouri.  I already liked the state motto, Show Me, for its skepticism and the name of the capital, Jefferson City, because Thomas Jefferson was the best president ever.  Now I know Missouri's the longtime home of Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder and libertarian writer.  She wrote, "I am now a fundamentalist American; give me time and I will tell you why individualism, laissez faire and the slightly restrained anarchy of capitalism offer the best opportunities for the development of the human spirit."  Hell yeah.

  • Here's a very cool map about religion in the U.S.A.  So there's at least one argument for considering Missouri still part of the South.

  • Everyone pronounces 2006 "two thousand six", but I don't think we'll pronounce 2098 "two thousand ninety-eight".  At some point we have to start saying "twenty" instead of "two thousand", but when?  Actually, I'd prefer "twenty oh six" now, but no matter what the consensus turns out to be I'll be saying "twenty ten" in 2010.  So there.