Friday, July 05, 2002

The Abomination of Our Flag

Well, there’s a lot of things I’d like to talk about, but I probably won’t get to them all, so I’m just going to delve right in.

Yesterday, as everyone knows, was Independence Day. I started the day with a short 2-mile race in Blooming Prairie. Last year I finished second and I was hoping to do that well again, but alas I couldn’t. I just wasn’t in the same kind of shape I was last year and I came in at a dismal 5th place. Quite disappointing for me, but on a positive note I did finish 2nd in my age group (the overall winner of the race, who I lost to by 15 seconds last year, was also in my age group). The other three people that beat me were young high school runners. Makes me feel like I’m getting old and losing it. Tomorrow I have the 5-mile hog jog in Austin so we’ll see how well I hold up in a longer race—probably not well.

After the race I came back home and took a quick nap and mowed some lawn before I headed over to Sheryl’s place. She said she would wash my car for a small donation to her basketball team for their trip to the summer national tournament. We had a fun time washing my car and whatnot. I then had some time to kill before I had to go to improv practice for the night (yes, we practiced on the 4th of July—we’re that hard-core!) so we decided to take the 4-wheeler down to one of the cricks to waste some time. We waded through the stream for an hour or so looking at all the minnows, fish, leeches, and frog-lobsters. Leeches? you may ask. Well, turns out that Sheryl is a leech magnet as she managed to have no less than four latch onto her legs while we were wading. They never touched me but loved her. Frog-lobsters? you may also ask. We interestingly enough found a dead crayfish that looked like it was half frog and half lobster. That’s the best way we could describe it so we called it the lobster-frog. Anyways, I had to go to improv practice so I told Sheryl and her younger brother to come meet me and my family in Rochester for the fireworks after improv. Off to practice.

Practice was all right for the night before a show (oh yeah, we have a show tonight if anyone should be inclined to come) and I then met up with the fam and Sheryl and Daniel. Karl, Erin, Matt, and some other kids came with too. As we sat outside waiting for the fireworks I noticed that almost everything that everyone in the entire park was wearing was red, white, and frickin’ blue. Oh, how I was ready to explode. Flags were everywhere to be seen as well. I felt like I could spontaneously combust at any moment. As you may or may not know, since September 11th of last year I have hated all the ways people find to display red, white & blue and the flag. It seems like every yahoo in the entire country now finds it “cool” to put up a flag on something or wear one. What the crap? If it wasn’t for Sept. 11th none of these people would even care about the flag. It has just become trendy and chic to wear flags and flag colors. No one really cares about what the flag stands for or means, it’s just a fashion statement now. Ask any wacko off the street wearing a flag shirt what it means to them and they’ll say something stupid like “America” or “Freedom”. Yes, these are part of what the flag stands for, but it also stands for so much more and that is something that most people fail to realize. It is a symbol of all of the hurt, hardship, and deaths that this country has experienced to be the way it is. It is a symbol of grandeur and accomplishments of this nation. It is NOT a freakin’ piece of clothing, or a night-light, or a refrigerator magnet, or a bumper-sticker. It is a symbol that should be respected and not exploited for profit. Every money-hungry entrepreneur out there that has cashed in on our country’s new-found renewal of patriotism should be skinned alive and dropped into a vat of salt. So now you all know why I’ve had such a distaste for the recent year-long proliferation of our flag. There, said and done.

After the fireworks, a good many of my friends hit on Sheryl for way too long so we didn’t get out of Rochester for a while, but when we finally did, Sheryl and I started talking about how I’ve never been in an accident ever and how I thought it would be cool to never be in one my entire life. Of course we then thought we would get in an accident because we talked about it. 30 seconds later, I'm back in Bizarro World because there was an accident right in front of us on the road we were on. Someone had flipped their car completely over onto its top and the cops had just gotten there so it just happened not to long ago. We were freaked out and decided never to talk about such things while traveling again. It was way wacky and a little creepy at the same time.

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