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09/03/2006 Archived Entry: "&^%$#@ing civic jingoism"

&^%$#@ING CIVIC JINGOISM. The little town at the foot of my hill has its annual end-of-summer bash this weekend. The event tends to be charmingly pathetic. The weather gods, for one thing, usually curse it. And you have to be small-town born & bred (which I'm not) to find its entertainments entertaining.

But I go every year just because ... well, you know. Gotta buy an elephant ear or try a ring toss to be part of the community (and it's a good community). I always run into somebody who can fill me in on the latest gossip. Sometimes I even catch a piece of candy along the parade route. :-)

This year, for the first time in memory, the weather is gem-perfect. But I ain't down there. The event mucky-mucks decided this year's theme would be "Support Our Troops." I saw all those parade floats lining up this morning, every one of 'em dripping in the colors of George W. Bush and his wars -- and a century of wars to end all wars and wars to make the world safe for democracy.

People always say you can "support the troops" without supporting the war. And I do support some troops -- like DrillSgtK, for instance, who supports freedom. With good cheer, I'll support Lt. Ehren Watada. But support the murderers of Haditha? No thanks. Or the guys who raped that 14-year-old and killed her and her family? Uh ... I'll pass. Support flyers bombing civilians back into the stone age? Support people who still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-11 and that's why we have to whack Iraq? The inbred sub-morons mugging for the cameras at Abu Ghraib? The tens of thousands who prefer not to think and are "only following orders"? Noooo ...

So I didn't go to town today. But town has come to me. I'm sitting here on my hill trying to write and getting an earful of both the parade and the free band concert after it. Every, single tune a celebration of war. The whole event an endorsement of mindless jingoism. Rockets' red glare and Halls of Montezuma. It's an assault on the senses. And on good sense. (On top of everything else, whoever got the idea that you could "support troops" by having rubber-duckie races and all-you-can eat corn-on-the-cob dinners?)

Why don't people think more about whom and what they support? When did martial music and sloganeering replace brains?

Posted by Claire @ 03:27 PM CST

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