Sunday, July 01, 2007

Songs of praise

Last night was beautiful and balmy and as we sat on a friend's patio overlooking the wide St. Lucie River estuary watching the first fireworks of the season being launched from a barge nearly a mile away, I heard two women sitting behind me talking to each other.

"He's doing this to honor the troops, you know."

"Yes, we really have to remember the troops - that we're sitting here with cocktails by the pool while they're fighting for us - for freedom."

"Fighting so that we can do this."

Of course! If we weren't occupying Iraq and babysitting their religious war; if we weren't torturing prisoners, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and utterly destroying Iraq we'd have to cancel Independence day and there would be no way we could sit outside of an evening. Praise Bush, without whom there would be no freedom to start wars in defense of our freedom to start wars.

DirecTV, as I discovered by accident yesterday, is running an Independence Day special this week: Songs of Praise for America. My reflexes must be getting slower with age because it was a full three seconds before I made the wide, high definition image of a stage full of lithe female dancers in black T shirts and camouflage pants singing "Freedom Freedom" fade to black. 130 Afghani civilians had faded to black some hours earlier, doubtless for our freedom to watch more colorful fireworks than those which killed them.

It's about our freedom; our freedom to praise ourselves, to send our troops to be killed for a corrupt and incompetent government; our freedom to honor the waste of their lives while watching a stage show about freedom.

Patriotism is not just a refuge; it's a religion and as a religion it doesn't have to be honest. It doesn't have to be about reality, it has only to make us feel food while we worship feeling good at someone else's expense.


Reign of Reason said...

Patriotism and religion have a lot in common: both ask you to turn off common-sense in order to understand their mantras.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

Patriotism is a religion. It has its ideology, its priesthood, its rituals.

Capt. Fogg said...

And its lies too.

nolocontendere said...

History will look back on all this as the Era of Inane Slogans.

d.K. said...

Many U.S. citizens -- probably world citizens -- will believe whatever they're told.

This very story is the same one that caused me to walk out of Oliver Stone's "JFK." I was munching on popcorn, when one of the fictitious characters said something ficticiously important. One woman in the theater said to the other, "I didn't know that happened..." I promptly got up, and got the hell out of there.

Capt. Fogg said...

It's an ironic tragedy that the technology allowing so much information to be disseminated also allows the truth to be completely swept away by a tide of misinformation, disinformation lies and distortions.

An inane slogan helped get us into the Spanish American war, but that was kid stuff.