What I Pledge Allegiance To. "I am a black Mississippian. I am a black American. I pledge to never be passive, patriotic, or grateful in the face of American abuse. I pledge to always thoughtfully bite the self-righteous American hand that thinks it’s feeding us. I pledge to perpetually reckon with the possibility that there will never be any liberty, peace, and justice for all unless we accept that America, like Mississippi, is not clean. Nor is it great. Nor is it innocent." -- Author Kiese Laymon, Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi [more inside]
"In the past several weeks I, like countless other New Yorkers and Americans, have found solace in the epic acts of heroism displayed by the firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers who have risked their lives to save "others. My aunt's neighbors displayed a quieter, more quotidian heroism in her final weeks, setting up a cooking schedule so that a fresh dinner would always be delivered, taking turns watching the kids, and even lending my uncle a new coffee pot when his broke." -- Chris Hayes, in an unpublished article from the fall of 2001.
In 1964, Goldwater campaign strategist Clif White made a 28-minute long film called "Choice." Once Senator Goldwater saw it, it was never shown publicly. Now it's on YouTube! [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
There is a bitter feud between the two women who are trying to gain supremacy in the battle to make all of the Tea Party's travel arrangements.
For your 4th of July enjoyment: 10 Exceedingly Patriotic American Comic Heroes. Given the overlap between the Golden Age of superheroes and the beginning of WWII it should be no suprise that there are so many patriotically themed superheroes. Probably the first was The Shield ("G-Man Extraordinary"), who eventually faded away to be an occasional character in Archie comics, followed by the revolutiionary war themed Minute Man. But the most enduring of all would be Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's creation Captain America, whose first comic sold just under a million copies and featured Cap doing the most patriotic thing of all: Punching Adolf Hitler in the jaw.
Bush Junta: A Field Guide to Corruption in Government - A substantial visual document (200 pages of comics from Fantagraphics, fact-checked with an extensive bibliography; the link goes to a number of sample pages) on the Bush Dynasty, from its beginnings benefitting off of Hitler and WW2 (that entire piece, which is printed in english, is posted in its original dutch online here), to the Bush's connection to Reagan's assassination, CIA and Iran-Contra, ending with the unsettling origins and profiles of the current administration. A great election primer, featuring comics and art by Steve Brodner, Ralph Steadman, Spain Rodriguez and many others. (Amazon link provided for a better description)
Ready for a new religion? Or maybe not so new. But it may explain a few things.
Pledge allegiance as well as lifelong fealty at your wedding. Though some of us confirmed singletons might consider weddings to be about a loss of liberty, there are a lot of products out there "perfect for any bride who wants to make her wedding day a tribute to America."
July 1942: United We Stand "Seven months after the United States entered World War II, magazines nationwide featured the American flag on their covers. Adopting the slogan United We Stand, some five hundred publications waved the stars and stripes to promote national unity, rally support for the war, and celebrate Independence Day."
In the spirit of July 4th, the National Review made a list of ten great things to love about the United States.
Paths to patriotism "Among these young Americans, children of unprecedented peace and prosperity, the change is something unrelated to festivals and fireworks. After years of being left to themselves to navigate through video games and parental divorce, political correctness and personal computers, they are now confronted with images and emotions they have never seen or felt. Sept. 11 might not have turned them into patriots in the mold of those who stormed the beaches at Normandy, but it is stirring unfamiliar – and as yet unresolved – feelings of conflict, as many young adults struggle to reconsider America and their place in it."
Firefighters refuse to ride on truck with American flag saying Old Glory was offensive. Are they Arab-Americans? No, they're African Americans who believe that "the flag [is] offensive and said it represented oppression." Valid complaint, or jumping on the bandwagon?
Major League Baseball returned to the field last night and tonight with the American flag on the back of team uniforms, below the neck and on the batting helmets. But MLB players come from nations all over the world. Is there a problem with these players being required to wear an American flag when they would not be permitted to wear their own?