Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Anti-Anti-Flag

“It's not that I want to ban flag burning. Censorship is petty and stupid, even when it’s censoring petty and stupid art. I comprehend the appeal of burning a flag. You think they've gravely oppressed, slighted and injured the group that most defines you today. Perhaps they invaded a weak country on phony motivation, or trampled your race's civil rights. So you take their symbol and destroy it. You immolate it, reduce it to ashes, maybe stamp it out on the ground, and maybe dance on it. It's small, selfish and it generally doesn't help your cause unless your cause is spite. If anything it ought to be discontinued not by law, but by radicals with smarter and more progressive things to do with lighter fluid, like throw a barbecue, invite everybody and explain what the guilty party has done over free hotdogs (Kosher hotdogs, if you’re feeling very progressive).

“But the reason I won't cry if flag burning is banned is not because it's moronic. We don't ban Yo Momma jokes and pants with "JUICY" on the butt (nor should we ban burning them). I won't cry because if it’s banned then the tradition would remain in the hands of the truly disenfranchised and pissed off. Something being illegal has never stopped a truly angry protestor. If it were banned, you'd risk something in doing it. If you risk nothing to do it, then some day it will be so mainstream that some nimrod whose greatest woe is not getting Madden on opening day is going to burn one just because he's bored and got a webcam for his 16th birthday. When that youtube rebel co-ops a symbol from people whose homes were bombed... well, crap. Symbolism might as well ban us.”

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