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I may have to start making symbolic gestures again
JohnH
So I went to a college basketball game today and will go to a college football game tomorrow. My brother is on his annual pilgrimage (I hate it when religious words cut through some of the complexity of language) to where he grew up and where both of us went to college.

I am getting very close to doing what I did starting circa 1969 and on to 1973, not standing for the playing of the national anthem. They unfurled a flag that covered a good 2/3rds of the basketball court. And some woman drug out the anthem to twice its normal length. I twitched and became very angry but I did not do something obvious.

I love my country, when I ask for whiskey in a bar and they suggest scotch I intone am merican. As I would for my children I would defend my country with my life. That does not mean I support wars of aggression hidden in some sort of false patriotism. Yet it is everywhere. I know this is Veterans day and as such some additional flag waving might be expected. I still think it is time for me to do more in public to demonstrate that I do not agree with my countries aggressive foreign policies. There is the sign in my front window where I state that since 1967 I have been shamed by my countries insistence in participating in imperial wars. That can be seen by maybe 25 people a day. Demonstrating my disgust in front of 10s of thousands may affect more.
 
Skeeve
I'm with you John. Even as a veteran myself, I will not stand nor will I recite the Pledge. This country has been duped into too many evil things with this nationalistic mentality.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
catman
I don't mind reciting the Pledge very much (although I usually think of Joseph McCarthy when doing so), but I absolutely will not intone theh words "under God".
 
seeker
I don't necessarily object to the pledge or standing for the anthem. My issue is that people do those things without ever thinking about what those acts really mean. Blind obedience is worse than disobedience.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
I was talking to an American girl last night, I dont know what they teach in schools over there, but her understanding of history was somewhat confused (hell maybe I have been lied to too).

She was talking about how Americans suffer from being the best at everything for so long, from winning all the time and that this gives them an arrogant character - I asked her to clarify the last time they won someting internationally - there was a long pause.

She then said WW2, which we all really have to accept was the Russians. She then went on to say Americans broke the Enigma...

Now, last I heared, that was done by the Polish and elaborated upon by the British, through Alan Turing.

... and that it was US technology that turned the war. If she was referring to the A-bomb, that was an international effort. And from what I have read, wasnt the deciding factor in ending the war (they used more than one, the surrender came many days later, after Russia had broken its neutrality to Japan).

All this flag waving, saluting the flag you do over there is crazy. In the UK, there is no flag waving at home sport events, no national anthems or repeating of allegiances to anyone or anything. And as such, it seems to me, the average Brit has a better grasp of the reality of the world.
 
Bob of QF
Theory_Execution wrote:

I was talking to an American girl last night, I dont know what they teach in schools over there, but her understanding of history was somewhat confused (hell maybe I have been lied to too).

She was talking about how Americans suffer from being the best at everything for so long, from winning all the time and that this gives them an arrogant character - I asked her to clarify the last time they won someting internationally - there was a long pause.

She then said WW2, which we all really have to accept was the Russians. She then went on to say Americans broke the Enigma...

Now, last I heared, that was done by the Polish and elaborated upon by the British, through Alan Turing.

... and that it was US technology that turned the war. If she was referring to the A-bomb, that was an international effort. And from what I have read, wasnt the deciding factor in ending the war (they used more than one, the surrender came many days later, after Russia had broken its neutrality to Japan).

All this flag waving, saluting the flag you do over there is crazy. In the UK, there is no flag waving at home sport events, no national anthems or repeating of allegiances to anyone or anything. And as such, it seems to me, the average Brit has a better grasp of the reality of the world.


Plus, there's the fact that the UK can invest a great deal of patriotic fervor into your figure-head, the Queen.

In the US? We do not have a figurehead, to capture such feelings-- and undirected, these things go wild, and land on all sorts of shit...

... sports figures...

... computer software companies and/or their founders ...

... internet memes ...

... movie stars ... and the memes that movies create ...

... and, of course, political/religious shit. (which I see as the same thing with the slimmest of barely flavored-shit separating them...)

What the US really needs? Is a Queen....

Rofl
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
JohnH
TE, interesting how few americans know that millions of russians died to defeat the germans in world war 2. They think somehow that the landing in france was the most dramatic moment, they have no idea about Stalingrad (now back to Volgograd). Egocentric history is not uncommon, but americans practice it to an excess.

I will say that because american industrial production was isolated from attack it did do a lot of good during that war.
Edited by JohnH on 11/13/2011 12:56
 
Theory_Execution
Well Bob, our National Anthem includes God saving the Queen, but it is not used in national gaming events, it makes no appearance in schools - it only ever makes the air when there is an international world cup (football (soccer), rugby and cricket).

Also, I am of Irish heritage, so there isn't much love for the Queen in my household.

And im not so sure about the cricket... I have never watched, or been forced to watch (football, hate it with the force of a 1000 suns), any of it - but seeing as it is huge with the pakistani-british and indian-british, I can't see them going in for the Queen worshipping either.

Generally, in the UK, if you are waving a St George flag (red and white) or the Union Jack (red white and blue) you immediately identify yourself as a racist and/or a fucking idiot.

But in america, it seems every other car has a flag on it, and houses do, and theres some American wandering around in a drunken (on beer or selfrighteousness) stupor shouting/bellowing "Muuurikkaaa, fuck yeahhh" and "They hate us for our freedom".


JohnH, I understand that the Cold War between America and Russia has contributed quite a deal to the situation, but for revisionist history to be still marching on in the US is very curious.

It is interesting to look at what America does lead the world in, very worrying.
 
seeker
We did have the best war movies though...

Seriously the US did have a big impact on WWII. I'm not so sure that The Japanese would have been defeated without the US Navy. Likewise the fresh forces and better tanks were a big help in chasing the Germans out of France.

I do agree that the Soviet Union was a much bigger factor in ending the German effort in WWII. The Germans were terrified of how they would be treated by the Soviets after the way the German Army had brutalized them earlier in the war.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Bob of QF
seeker wrote:

... The Germans were terrified of how they would be treated by the Soviets after the way the German Army had brutalized them earlier in the war.


Without a doubt, as evidenced by an entire group of rocket scientists (literally) who went in search of an American or other Not-A-Russian to surrender to...
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
JohnH
TE, I always preferred the Sex Pistols version of "god save the queen".

Seeker I did almost mention the US effort against the Japanese in the Pacific which was very significant. The ability to crank out ships in a unmolested way had a great deal to do with that.

Richmond and Sausalito and the Bay View in San Francisco had reminent worker housing until some time in the late 60's early 70's. Marin city (a portion of Sausalito), initially worker housing, has the only significant african-american population in Marin Co. to this day. WW 2 and the importation of workers from the south very much changed the ethnic distribution in the bay area. A little known aspect of the american war effort.

I am somewhat forced to point out that it is my understanding the american tanks were never considered to the equal of german tanks in terms of quality. Again being able to produce them in quantity made up for the lack of quality.

Bob of QF, it actually sickens me the extent to which the US mined german technicians at the end of the war no matter what their politics had been. Wernher von Braun comes to mind in that regard.
 
Theory_Execution
I was of the understanding that the german tanks were far superior too (somewhat reinforced by that film where the Americans are racing the British to some secret gold reserves - the tank crew abandon their American Issue rig for the German tank).

As JohnH hints at, numbers and mobility was on the allied side.

JohnH, I think I have heared the sex pistols song more than the actual national anthem in my life.
 
catman
Von Braun and others like him (Albert Speer comes to mind) were interested in furthering their own ambitions (e.g., building big rockets and buildings), and the Third Reich facilitated that. I'm sure slave labor was involved...but on the other hand, if we had let the USSR take all the German scientists for their own ends, the "space race" and ICBMs would both have belonged to it. It was a tough scuffle as it was.

(Never mind The Bollocks...) Grin
 
Theory_Execution
Imagine if Russia and the US and China had resolved their differences right after.

We could have made such progress with technology, take those paper/plastic milk cartons, we would have been able to pour contents from them without it running down and spilling everywhere.
 
seeker
JohnH wrote:

TE, I always preferred the Sex Pistols version of "god save the queen".

Seeker I did almost mention the US effort against the Japanese in the Pacific which was very significant. The ability to crank out ships in a unmolested way had a great deal to do with that.

Richmond and Sausalito and the Bay View in San Francisco had reminent worker housing until some time in the late 60's early 70's. Marin city (a portion of Sausalito), initially worker housing, has the only significant african-american population in Marin Co. to this day. WW 2 and the importation of workers from the south very much changed the ethnic distribution in the bay area. A little known aspect of the american war effort.

I am somewhat forced to point out that it is my understanding the american tanks were never considered to the equal of german tanks in terms of quality. Again being able to produce them in quantity made up for the lack of quality.

Bob of QF, it actually sickens me the extent to which the US mined german technicians at the end of the war no matter what their politics had been. Wernher von Braun comes to mind in that regard.


You are right about the tanks, we had more but not better. The Soviets actually are regarded as having had the best tank, the T-34-85.

Actually you make a great point, though a bit understated. We had the great luxury of being able to crank out weapons unmolested.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
JohnH
Theory_Execution, I agree with the proposition that the end of WW2 had possibilities that were ignored.

The whole of my person wishes that people would simply agree that living in cooperation is better than living in competition. That living in luxury at the expense of others is not appropriate.

I and all my family are comfortable. I feel guilt that others are not. I would wish that others understood that.
Edited by JohnH on 11/16/2011 00:22
 
seeker
John - I think that the great tragedy of our species is that we will forever be doomed to tear down in selfishness whatever we build when we need to cooperate.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
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