Shorter Slansky

At the Huffington Post, Paul Slansky has penned an essay under the title "A Modest Proposal for the 4th: Take Back Old Glory." Now, it's difficult to know how seriously to take something billed as "a modest proposal." Nevertheless, here's a key paragraph:

Of all the stupid things done by the anti-war crowd, the most gratuitously moronic was allowing the sanctimonious hypocrites of the right to co-opt the nation's most basic icon, its flag. The emblem of the country's highest aspirations was mindlessly ceded to the holier-than-thou zealots who used it as a bludgeon against the less fanatical.
Shorter version: Despite how well it showed our true feelings, it was not a good idea, PR-wise, to burn all those American flags.

Eventually, Slansky trots out his "proposal":

Everyone who's voting for Obama -- and especially those who are public figures (i.e. Keith Olbermann, Jack Cafferty, Rachel Maddow) must immediately procure a flag pin and not be seen without it before November 5th.
On November 5, go ahead and dump the silly things.
If you can't do it with pride, do it as an act of subversion.
I.e., just follow Obama's lead: the whole point is to fool the rubes.

URLs du Independence Day 2008

Happy Birthday to the USA!

  • We have dumped on the Google in the past for insufficient recognition of holidays, so we should take notice:

    July 4th 2008 Google

    Good on them.

  • Janice Brown at Cow Hampshire recounts a tale of a real old-fashioned Fourth, as celebrated in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1808.

    The scene was interesting!--amid the group were seen, here and there, the aged patriot, whose locks silvered with age, reminded the beholder that they had witnessed those days of peril, when in the cause of Liberty, privations, and extreme sufferings were endured without a murmur. These venerable men forgot for a moment that age was upon them. They remembered the days of youth, the noble struggle in which they engaged, and the glorious prize they obtained. Patriotism beamed on their countenance, and the virtuous enthusiasm pervaded every bosom.

  • These days, of course, even the Live Free or Die state has its nannies. New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan and Chief Chris Christopoulos, President of the NH Association of Fire Chiefs, are performing that duty this year.

    Chief Christopoulos particularly urges parents not to put sparklers in the hands of small children. Many children have suffered eye and other burn injuries for these devices. "The wires of sparklers get very hot and small pieces of burning metal can fly off and hit a child in the eye, on the skin or onto their clothing, which could ignite," he said.

    Yes, even on the Fourth of July: "You'll put your eye out, kid."

    You might want to check out the official NH " APPROVED PERMISSIBLE FIREWORKS LIST (pdf)" for 2008. It's a disgracefully short 57 pages. The names are enticing, though: "Awesome Adventure"; "BAD MUTHA TRUCKER"; "Barely Legal"; "Cats in Cupboard". (Via Drew Cline.)

  • But New Hampshire can not, will not, be allowed to out-nanny the great state of Maine:

    Maine's fire marshal says investigators will be staking out fireworks stores in New Hampshire around the Fourth of July holiday and people who try to bring illegal fireworks into Maine may be arrested.

  • Mr. Lileks is also writing on the Fourth:

    If you're wondering which fireworks are permitted in Minnesota, it's quite simple. Ask yourself this question: Is it fun? Then it's not legal. Do you have fun fireworks with garish graphics and names like TERMINATOR BOUQUET or GLORIOUS BLOSSOM THUNDER? You went to Wisconsin, didn't you.

    Apparently Wisconsin is to Minnesota as New Hampshire is to Maine.

  • The New York Times makes one of its occasional visits to America, examining the phenomenon of Very Big Flags.

    The trend began nearly 25 years ago, spiked after 9/11 and now seems simply part of the cultural backdrop in American sports. Where there is a big game, there is a big flag, often the size of the playing field itself.

    Far too big for a pole, the flags raise something else — the question of whether a bigger flag is a more patriotic one, or just a bigger one.

    Next up: a Times reporter goes to a picnic, eats his first hot dog ever. "Surprisingly tasty!"

Last Modified 2012-10-11 4:21 PM EDT