Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Kicking It

Kick it. That's what I wanted to do when I saw it, kick it through the fucking wall.

This began in an unlikely place, the local dollar store. We had come to find some of those thin aluminum roasting pans, and find them we did. But there, amongst the aisles of light bulbs and batteries, I found something that prompted in me a strong emotional response. To be truly accurate, it brought conflicting emotional responses. Arranged on the shelf and wrapped in individual protective plastic covers was a group of hackysacks, each emblazoned with the American flag. (Or at least what passes for the flag in the realm of hackysacks.) < gasp > Quick, alert the flag amendment proponents! Surely they'll want to make quick legislative provision for this singular outrage!

One of the hackysacks in question is seen in the photo directly below.



Never having seen such a hackysack, it seemed strange that an object made for the sole purpose of being kicked would be decorated with the American flag. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem putting the flag on a hackysack. In fact, when I saw it, I wanted to make full use of it and slam the thing.

Yes, yes, I'm know. I'm confusing the sad actions of our government with the symbol of our country. But it's become hard to separate these things, especially in light of the recently attempted flag amendment.

Unfortunately, these days, the flag (or hackysack approximation of same) makes me feel both anger and pride. I'm proud of the nation that gave rise to that flag, but sickened by the recent actions of our government. On the day that I saw that hackysack, anger was the stronger of the two emotions.

I felt anger because of a war intentionally brought about by lies. A war that has caused the deaths of thousands and devastated a country and will likely give rise to a new generation of local activists.

I felt anger because of the assault on the middle class and the disappearing safety net.

I felt anger because of the sale of national forest land, potential offshore drilling and the degradation of our national park system.

I felt anger because a country that is composed of immigrants or the descendents thereof, has demonstrated its xenophobia.

I felt anger because our government thinks so little of our personal liberties, trashing them daily.

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