chauvinism co-opting an ancient holiday

flag2004.jpg
we own it



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but there's a big problem




I know it's been pretty quiet on this site for a while, but both Barry and I have been down with bad colds. I can say for myself that I haven't felt like posting any war/political items, since they're inevitably even more depressing than a sinus infection, and my joy in art postings is equally compromised by my indisposition.

Thank the gods for an apartment filled with books, music - and food and wine.

Ah, the eve and the first day of the new year have always been my favorite holidays, largely because they are what you make them and because they are so totally secular in origin and celebration. No one seems to own New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. (Even the Catholic Church can't get its votaries excited about thinking of January 1st as the anniversary of Jesus's brist rather than the lustful and immemorial celebration of time and hope that it truly is.)

Until last night.

We had finished a light celebratory supper when we headed for the television cabinet to check out the madness in Times Square. We sat down just in time to hear a few live corporate commerical plugs (not paid advertising, but as part of the programming!), short interviews with a uniformed marine corporal and a navy chief, and then a truly heartwarming rendition of "God Bless the U.S.A." - the entire piece, every word - broadcast to the checkpointed multitudes gathered in the police pens below the sharpshooters and the armed helicopters.

‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American where as least I know I’m free.

I was watching a fascist rally.

Regardless of the mindset of at least some of the people standing in the street last night, the real point of the program viewed all across the world didn't have anything to do with a happy new year. What was really being screamed went something like, aren't we Americans just so uniquely worthy - and truly holy?

Next year the television stays behind closed doors - unless they resurrect Guy Lombardo.


[two images from Times Square at approximately 12:00:01 this morning (both AP, the first credited to Diane Bondareff) from Yahoo! News]