Sunday, October 7, 2007

various thoughts

Looking through other blogs can be rather educational, at least in the sense that you can learn things that maybe you really didn't want to know about. Still, strangeness happens.

Here is something that happened recently in Colorado.

Boulder students protest "God" in Pledge

Apparently, some students at a high school decided that they weren't going to take it anymore. It was wrong, it violated what they considered their constitutional rights, and by golly they were going to do something about it. They weren't going to repeat those awful words of oppression which their school forced them to repeat and listen to. No, they were going to make their own version, and so stick it to the man.

What the were protesting was saying the Pledge of Allegiance. After all, it has the words 'under God' in it, and that's tantamount to pledging allegiance to a religion, and that's a violation of constitutional rights, isn't it?

Instead, they made their own version of the pledge. Here it is.

""I pledge allegiance to the flag and my constitutional rights with which it comes. And to the diversity, in which our nation stands, one nation, part of one planet, with liberty, freedom, choice and justice for all."

Notice, please, the changes they make to it. Instead of pledging "to the flag of the United States of America", they pledge to "my constitutional rights with which it comes". A not-so-subtle shift from the one from whom one receives the benefits to the benefits themselves--in other words, the only thing of value is the gift, not the giver.

To put it simpler still, "It's all about memememememememememe!!" Forget responsibility, forget patriotism, but you'd best not forget my rights!

And another change, from "And to the republic, for which it stands" to "And to the diversity, in which our nation stands". I think one could hold that change up as one of the baldest example of political correctness ever displayed. Instead of acknowledging the source of the good things that they receive from this country, they instead make one of those good things the thing itself to which they claim to own allegiance.

To give a parallel, it's like a man making a marriage vow not to the woman herself but to, say, her breasts, or her ability to reproduce, or even to her ability to cook meatloaf. It is objectifying her, and these kids are objectifying this country--it is only worth loving as long as it gives them what they want.

Further changes are, of course, "one nation, under God, indivisible" to "one nation, part of one planet". To continue with a useful parallel, it's like a man telling his wife "You are one woman among millions of women. You are not special, you are not particularly beautiful in my eyes. I owe you no more then I owe to any other woman. Never mind that in our years of marriage you have given and sacrificed much for me--you have born my children, encouraged me to become a better man, prepared good meals for me, listened to me when I was down. You have sacrificed a career, you have sacrificed friends and family when my work required us to move. You have given me your body, your mind, all you have. But you are still only one woman among millions, and for you to say that I owe you something more then I owe any other woman for all you have given me is selfishness on your part."

And I mentioned nothing about the PC exclusion of "under God". It would fit right in with the scorned spouse parallel, though, don't you think?

And, finally, "with liberty and justice for all" is changed to "with liberty, freedom, choice, and justice for all". Let's never mind that 'liberty' and 'freedom' and pretty much redundant. What do they mean by choice? If they mean simply liberty and freedom, then again, redundant. Considering, though, the usual political meaning of 'choice', I can't put it beyond them to mean they are pledging to the pro-abortion agenda.

This whole pseudo-pledge is a oath to selfishness. It's all about the benefits, and nothing about the responsibilities.

While driving Friday evening, I was listening to a Cincinnati sports talk show. Surprisingly, the host was going on about something that had happened in Cleveland the night before. Apparently, the star of the Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA basketball team, Lebron James, wore a New York Yankees cap to the Cleveland--New York playoff baseball game.

The host was pretty ticked about that, going on about how James had turned on the city of Cleveland, about how can he expects the fans in Cleveland to cheer for him when he does something like that, and so on and so on.

For my part, I'm driving along wondering "What's the big deal!"

I'm not a Yankees fan, not one bit. As far as I'm concerned, the more they lose, the better baseball is.

But that is my opinion, and there is no reason for anyone else to hold it.

Lebron James plays professional basketball. The Yankees are a professional baseball team. Simply because James plays for one city, doesn't mean that he must needs cheer for every team in that city, and not show his support for teams in other sports in other cities.

I don't have too high an opinion of Cleveland fans. I remember that they cheered when Tim Couch was injured, and frankly if the Browns never win again, I think it would be too soon. I've nothing against the Cavs or Indians, though my cheering for the Indians against the Yankees has more to do with anti-Yankees sentiment then pro-Indians.

If Lebron were wearing, say, an LA Lakers caps, I could maybe understand people being upset. But it is unreasonable to expect him to cheer for the Indians simply because he plays for the Cavs.

But, hey, if Cleveland fans want to get rid of the turncoat, I'm sure there are more then a few NBA teams all too eager to take James off of their hands. And I'm sure most of them couldn't care less what baseball team he cheers for.

While writing this, I've had "2001: a space odyssey" playing on my TV. This is the first time I've seen this movie, and frankly I think it should fit somewhere in the art world under 'surreal'.

You probably know the music in it that is some popular for, say, marching and pep bands. The "booom booom booom boom, ba boom, dumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdum" thing (sorry, music doesn't really do well when written like that, does it (speaking of surreal)). Anyway, it's this music that's suppose to be moving and inspirational, at least by how it sounds.

And what happens in the movie when that music is playing? Some kind of hypothetical fictitious ape-human transitional creature is beating up on the skeleton of some animal. Viciously beating, yes, and in slo-mo, but still, only on the dried and brittle bones of something dead.

It was a surreal moment for me. Almost as surreal as reading that fake pledge up at the top of this post. And what I've seen of the rest of the movie so far has done nothing to lessen that surrealness.

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