Have you ever wondered how some of the nitwit garbage get selected for the news? It’s a mystery to me.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a high school football game in Ellicott City, MD. That’s is in Howard County, close to Washington, DC. Sometime during game, a kid unfurled a Confederate flag. Some teacher or other adult told the kid to knock that crap off. The flag was quickly furled.
Kids - You have to keep after them. They have not learned discretion.
OK - That’s not much of a story.
But it made the national news. It was the intense overreaction by adults which made the news.
No, I can’t put “responsible adults,” because they must not have full-time jobs. They found the time - hell, they embraced the time - to do a Hindenburg Disaster Model - “Oh, the humanity, . . .”
The school sent home a letter to all parents of both schools explaining how they had acted drastically and decisively to the flag. (I really do wish that schools would think about contacting parents concerning the drug problem in schools. Fat chance.)
The Howard County School Superintendent said that "The Confederate flag is a powerful symbol of racism, hatred, and unspeakable acts against humanity."
A Howard County Executive - nothing to do with schools, but he wanted aboard the Outrage Train - put in a Facebook post that "Public displays of the Confederate flag evoke division, hate and subjugation — precisely the opposite of the values we hold in Howard County . . . We must teach our kids why this is such a hurtful symbol to so many peuople. We must fight against injustice and intolerance in any form, especially at our schools."
Oh, for heaven’s sake.
The Confederate Flag is not evil. Originally, it was a symbol of a not-quite-a-country. But the point was pretty much put to bed in April, 1865.
Now, it is mainly a symbol for good-ol’-boys and rednecks. (By the way, I am all for rednecks. The term originates in 1921, when members of the miners union identified themselves with red bandanas around their necks as they engaged in the West Virginia mines wars. It has taken on a Larry-the-Cable-Guy aw-shucks model since.) Look up “redneck”on Amazon. They have 20 pages of “redneck products,” from a “Redneck parking sign,” to various T-shirts to a camouflage belt to hold a 6-pack.
I do not fly the Confederate flag. It just doesn’t interest me. In fact, it’s distinctly tacky. But so far, I’ve been able to avoid an attacks of the vapours when I see it.
A couple of days ago, I stopped in quite early to a dry cleaners. There was only one employee there, and I picked out her car. It’s front was toward me, and there was a license plate: A Confederate flag, with the works “Dixie Chick” written on it, and in the middle (for some unknown reason) there was a deer’s head. I listened as I went in and did not detect a hint of the young lady intended to succeed from the Union. In fact, I bet she works harder than the Superintendent and Executive of Howard County, and at something worthwhile.
I wonder - What if a student has displayed a blue flag with one star on it? I imagine the reaction would have been “What the hell is that?” But if we are sincerely afraid that a flag on display unravels the fabric of a civilized society, someone better get that flag hidden. Because in 1865, it meant the same thing as the “Stars & Bars.” (Remember the “Bonnie blue flag that bears a single star”?)
It’s not the flag. It’s the intention of the people who display the flag. If I display some flag that demonstrates that I’m an asshole, feel free to say it, believe it, or hold your own flag. This is America.
But, but, but - I’m not smart enough to censor other people. Nor am I smart enough to state what they believe by osmosis.
There is a serious side to this that is not considered real often. The folks who do think that they are smart enough to censor someone think that they improve society, make it kinder and better, and fight tooth decay to boot. And then they go home, with a good feeling that they have done something good. And the very real problems of our society go on their merry way.
It leaves more work for those whose eyes are on the ball.
14 September 2014
Do less-that-imaginative teachers still assign this topic to students?
I well remember the struggle to memorialize my summer for some teacher who couldn’t think of a more interesting topic. And precisely how to discuss a kid’s summer? Let’s face it, “I messed around” was accurate, but it wasn’t long enough. And it was dull, almost as dull as the topic. But ever wedded to bullshit, we prattled on about trivial that made us look, well, boring.
Oh, but it was such a delightful shade of boring!
I have had a slightly more active summer this year than I did as a youth.
First, I worked to get the office in shape for me to be out for a while.
Then I had gastric bypass surgery, and settle in for about 6 weeks to recover. That was kinda dull, but I was ready for a dull time.
And, other than the surgery itself, it was good.
Then, I had a stroke.
That was bad. Also not nearly as bad as it could have been, so believe me, I’m not complaining.
And so, these Dispatches will now resume the hit-or-miss publication “schedule,” on the possibility that I can think of anything to say.