Matt D
Topic Author
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 2:00 am

As I'm sure you are all aware, last weeks tragedies have been browbeaten to death on this Forum. Every possible angle and point of view has been examined. I've interjected my $.02 here and there, but for the most part, stayed out of the discussions.

But that is neither here nor there nor is that the point of this post.

What I'd like to discuss here is symbolism and conformity and calling things for what they are.

I don't know about your town, but here in LA, it seems that out of nowhere, every other car and business is sporting an American flag. We are patting each other on the back and congratulating ourselves for our "unity", "solidarity", "patriotism", and so on.

I am a patriot myself. I don't feel the need to put on a show so that everyone else can see what a patriot I am. Being a patriot is something in the heart and soul. Not in the flag you buy for 99 cents or wearing the Old Glory tee-shirt you bought from the kid on the corner. I will not lower myself to the lemminglike conformity that I see that has been a knee jerk reaction to a situation that too many people don't understand. Now I don't mean to be a malcontent, but let's be honest folks.

How much patriotism is "REALLY" out there?

How many people fully understand the ramifications of what's at stake and what has happened? Most people I've talked to have the reaction of "wow man"...or "whoa...that's like bad what happened".

My guess is that their comprehension of this is dim at best. You don't have a group of people hijack 4 of OUR commercial airliners, fly them into two landmark skyscrapers, and respind to it by saying "wow man...I think I'll put a flag on my car."

This is serious stuff here.

How many people are flying their flags because they are proud, and how many people are flying them because it's the "in" thing to do at the moment?

I've read stories in the newspaper about how someones flag would fly off the car on the freeway and another person behind them would stop, pick it up, and flag down the other driver and hand it back to them.

This would NEVER have happened anytime before the disaster. Why are we pretending to be so polite now? Does anyone besides myself not believe that a month or two from now, it will be back to "business as usual" which means road rage, and everyone not giving a damn about everyone else. Slowly, but surely, these flags will start to disappear.

Anyway, I'm not really sure where I was going with this. If you want to fly your flag, it.

But do me, yourself, and our flag a favor......don't fly it simply because it's the 'cool' thing to do at the moment.
Fly it because you ARE proud...because you REALLY do feel the pain of all those people...because the sight of a flag at half mast DOES bring tears to your eyes.

And if you're inclined to be polite and patriotic, don't stop when the flags come down.
Posts: 2134
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RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 2:07 am

For once I agree. Heights of hypocracy!
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RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 2:16 am

The news on the radio this morning: Whitney Houston is re-releasing the national anthem of America, sung by her during the Gulf War. All proceedings are (of course) going to help the victims.....

I had been wondering how long it would take the music industry and some stupid artist to jump on the bandwagon and use the disaster to promote him/herself. One week. Slower than I thought...


Posts: 2134
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2000 8:22 am

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 2:28 am

Actually, Whitney Houston's record company, and not she herself, is rereleasing the album. The record and rights thereof belong to them, they can release it as often as they wish, whenever they wish.
Posts: 5058
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:36 pm

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 2:48 am

I am British but am I flying the Stars and Stripes purely and simply out of solidarity with the American people and for what they have been through and are about to go through. I don't plan on taking it down anytime soon.....
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 am

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 2:50 am


Check out:

" Patriotism:
True and false"

About music, remember Elton John when Diana died?
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 3:59 am

Don't let your disdain for fluff let you ignore one simple fact...

We are 280 million very different people. There's no cosmic law that says we're all supposed to get along, or drive the speed limit or refrain from looting our local supermarket.

As a culture we have been shocked completely out of balance. Our routines, our familiarities, and most precariously our sense of security have been badly shaken. We NEED some sign that the stranger next to us is feeling the same way we do, that he's not running for the hills or plotting mass rioting. Because if he doesn't, maybe we don't need to either. That is how security is built.

Washington. Jefferson. Lincoln. And our contemporaries, FDR, JFK...Martin Luther King.....these were men who lived in terribly treacherous times, and their leadership helped shape this country. They used as their tools that which we all have in common, not our differences. But they're gone, we're here. If a cheap flag hastily taped to a pickup radio antenna will in any way help seal our common goals, then no amount of healthy cynicism should stand in its' way.

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 4:15 am

Thanks, Heavymetal, for such an intelligent and well written post. I'm sure many people here will agree with what you wrote.
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Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 4:36 am

I agree with Matt D and Heaveymetal on this.

I remember this sort of fake symbolism the last time we were stuck with a Bush in the White House. Remember Operation Desert Storm? Almost everyone had a flag on the back of there cars. What I don't understand is how someone can wave a US flag from a Honda made in Japan or a BMW made in Germany .
I show my patriotism by buying US made products when possible.
Bring back the Concorde

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 4:44 am

Damn, I read another Matt D post..
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 11:46 am

I think you folks are being a bit cynical and even silly. Do you think wearing read, white and blue clothing and hanging patriotic decorations on the Fourth of July or Memorial Day is hypocritical? I don't, because it is a time to celebrate your ever-present patriotism. So IMHO, the tradegy didn't suddenly make people patriotic, it just compelled them to celebrate the fact. I defend this despite the fact that I fly a flag on my house every day of the year. As a matter of fact, I was trying to purchase a new flag, because mine is wearing out (plus I don't want the Nylon-type anymore). Due to the tragedy, I couldn't find one on the shelf. This didn't make me upset, this made my very happy. Keep celebrating your patriotism. MattD and others may not like it, but the boys and girls in the battlefield will LOVE it!!!!!!!
"Shaddap you!"
Posts: 2023
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 2:08 pm

RE: Why I Don't Stoop To Symbolism

Fri Sep 21, 2001 12:37 pm

I agree. It's like having a flag on your car has become the "in" thing. One of my friends told me everyone in her subdivision has a flag on their door except for her because she couldn't find one in the stores. It was like the most tragic thing to her so she printed one on the computer. God forbid somebody would think she didn't support our country! I don't mean to knock my friend because she means well. I also don't mean to sound unsupportive. I almost started crying when I saw the flag at half mast in front of the post office today. What has gone on and is going on is very tragic. However, I don't feel the need to prove that I support my country by having an American flag flapping in the wind as my car drives on the interstate everyday.

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