Drooling on the Pillow

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Dean and the Flag 

That flag. This is so interesting. To me, what Dean said is not only true, it's self-evident. Of course, if you're a Deanista you probably wish you had a candidate who would have seen what a steaming pile he was stepping in. He obviously was quite surprised by the reaction. But still . . . It would be very, very tough for a Democrat to take the presidency without winning a few southern states. It's not so much that the Dems have to win over the demographic he was talking about, but they have to find a way to stop pissing it off. It is possible to position yourself in opposition to a group without demonizing it. To respectfully disagree. I think they've forgotten this. The Confederate battle flag means a lot of things to a lot of southerners. No doubt it does represent opposition to segregation to some, perhaps many. To most, it simply is a badge of identity. I'm from the South. I'm proud of it. You can't blame blacks and liberals for using the flag to rally and organize their movements. But you don't necessarily have to take their word about what it means. You have to remember, if you're traveling along the political spectrum from the center to the left, well before you get to Dennis Kucinich's pod you'll run into plenty of people for whom the U.S. flag is a symbol of racism and oppression. I had an argument with my wife about ten years ago about putting a flag decal in the rear window of our car. She wasn't having it. Now, she doesn't hate America. She loves it. She's a patriot. But she was extremely uncomfortable with the possibility that someone might see the decal and make certain assumptions about us. For her, displaying the flag wasn't a patriotic act, it was an aggressive statement of right-wing ideology. A lot has happened since then and she reminds me when the flag outside our door needs changing. Its not a big deal. I don't need a flag outside. I like it, though. People can make whatever assumptions they choose.

I'm Only a Little Bit Nazi 

I took the Political Compass Test that I found on Daniel Drezner's blog and was shocked to find myself smack dab on the line between Authoritarian and Libertarian and only a short jog (3.12) down the Right line from the center. Shocked because I've gotten to think of myself as a rabid right-winger with marked Libertarian tendencies. But think about it. I lived in New York City for about thirty years (I live just across the river now), mostly on the West Side, most of my friends are artists and actors and lefties, I'm married to the New Deal and my daughter goes to a fairly progressive charter school. Put someone with my apparently mild rightist tendencies into that recipe and you're cooking up a self-image of Ghengis Khan with shingles.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Grace Victoria Hill 

I put up a few more pictures of Grace at the link to the right, even though its not really a web site yet. Yeah, so, she does print ads and some promos for Nick. So would you if you were that cute. She's already worked her way to second semester freshman year.

One Sunny-side Up, One Scrambled 

Jeez. How would you like to be there slurping down eggs at this table? Actually, after the night he describes, they're both probably fried.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

What Was I Thinking 

Reading over the last post and thinking about Mom in the Times ad, the idea that it couldn't be her who wrote the letter seems ridiculous. Oh, well. The want ads are probably healthier than what I usually have for breakfast.

If My Friend Snubs My Cat, May I Debone Her? 

Randy Cohen's The Ethicist column in the Sunday New York Times is usually good for an extra 10 or 15 on my dystolic reading. Or course, like the Your Problems Solved column in the London Spectator, that's partly the point. And, as with Miss Manners, its not Mr. Cohen that gets the rise; its just a newspaper gig, after all, and he does it, generally, with humor and often with good sense. No, its the questions.

Today a typically fussy individual has a real poser. He has an ass**** of a brother-in-law. I say "he" though the sex is not specified. If its a woman I'll eat the want ads. It's the bad luck of this writer that the brother-in-law is dying of cancer. "We provide comfort and friendship, but must we offer cash or a place in our home? Given his unruly personality, he'd almost certainly unravel our peace and enjoyment." Well.

This guy is transparently looking for the ethical high-sign for turning his back. In fact he wants to be able to see his back-turning as an ethical act. A difficult one. A not uncomplicated one. But a sign of a developed moral imagination.

I'm going to relate this to another annoying development in the Times.

If you live in the North-East you've been seeing television ads for years and years for home delivery of the Times. It used to be annoying partly because they ran the same ad for probably ten years. A group of yuppie nit-wits talking about how reading the Times made them better than people who read the News. Smarter, cooler, hipper people with less plaque. They looked like a road show version of "Friends". Not too long ago they finally started running a new ad. Impossibly, these people were even more annoying. This ad features a family. Dad talks with his hand in his chin about how deep the Times makes him. Mom is a beautiful meat-grinder with a briefcase who has just enough time zooming out the door to say how the Times allows her to crush the competition. The daughter is a very scary 15 year old who likes that the Times keeps up with the net. I don't think she's talking about Napster.

Point is, it's Dad who wrote that letter. If Mom knows about the letter applying for license to consign her brother to the bone-yard, she's square with that. The daughter will absorb the lesson and log back in to "The Nation".

The actual point is: within the family, when "peace and enjoyment" are being defended against the "unruly" I think that "unruly" needs to be a euphemism for "bi-polar" or "sociopathic" before "responsibility" can be "qualified". I do not speak without experience.

Otherwise "peace and enjoyment" take on the values of one of those old Startrek civilizations where unpleasantness is illegal.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Listed on BlogShares