Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Monday, October 02, 2017

Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver
©2017  Ross Williams

The last time I stood for the National Anathema was − as near as I can recall − somewhere back in the early Eighties.  It was against my will; I was in the Air Force, and many things I did then were against my will.  Haircuts, corframs … corfams?  Whatever they were.  Those artificially shiny plastic shoes that alleviated the mission-critical procedure of shining ones shoes to satisfy the dress code.

My beef with the National Anathema goes well beyond forced artificial patriotism, though.  It is a horrendous song combining a pretentious and maliciously self-congratulatory poem with a hideous melody spanning nearly two full octaves.  It can only be sung well by a trained vocalist and is otherwise only seriously attempted by the sufficiently inebriated.  …which is fitting, as the melody was lifted, outright, from a London drinking club’s arsenal of tunes to be besotted by.

The poem itself describes a battle the US lost in a war the US never won a single battle until three weeks after the war ended.  Thank you, Old Hickory.  But somehow, because the flag still remained atop the standard over Fort McHenry on the shores of the Chesapeake, it comprised a moral victory against the juggernaut Limeys.  What is less widely publicized is that the fort’s survivors were holed up in the basement and didn’t want to risk dismemberment to stop the shelling by taking the damned thing down.

Since the end of Reagan’s first term when I left the service, I cannot remember standing for the National Anathema a single time.  I quite possibly did, no doubt to be polite, but I do not remember.  I usually find some excuse to be off doing something else whenever the thing would start gearing up for its interminability.  Buying beer, returning the previous beer to the sewer … something.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I don’t particularly have an issue with people who don’t want to stand for the National Anathema.  I’m with ya! 

I don’t care why they don’t.  I don’t even really have an issue if those people are over-paid, self-pitying attention-whores trying to signal their virtue with more or less deliberate dishonesty.  Or ignorance.  Or hypocrisy.

It all started with Colin Kaepernick two years ago refusing to honor the flag because the country behind it, specifically the country’s cops, kill too many certain people coincidentally and superficially like himself.  No, not over-paid, third-rate NFL quarterbacks with a chip on their shoulder so large that it would alter the planet’s rotation if it fell.  Blacks; what most people currently euphemize to “African-Americans”.

Here’s a hint: Barry Hussein’s father was an African-American.  Barry is not.  He’s a mixed-race American mutt who should have been − but pointedly was not − happy and proud of the fact.  Colin Kaepernick is also not African-American.  He’s another mutt who was adopted by a wealthy white family as an infant and learned all he ever knew about black culture from watching Fresh Prince.  He reeks of white privilege, moreso than virtually all whites not named Trump.

But many blacks, Kaepernick whines, are killed by cops.  And this is racist.  Somehow.  What he fails to mention is it’s nearly always while committing crimes.

The fact that whites are killed by cops three times more often than blacks − also nearly always while committing crimes − rarely manages to get aired.  And when it does, it’s uniformly excused by pointing out that whites outnumber blacks by five-to-one, so the ratio shows a 1.67::1 bias in favor of cops shooting blacks than whites.

Yet, when someone points out that blacks are four times more likely to be involved in felonious activity than whites, thus erasing − and then some − the racial bias so critical to the agenda of those whose social conscience still has not emerged from the 1950s … well… math, we are told by the Progressive Ninny, is an indispensible tool of the modern racistsexisthomophobe.  Not enough feels.  Objectivity is so … objectifying.

The spreading anti-standing stand has departed from Kaepernick’s stilted and mealy-mouthed position by insisting it’s not a protest against the flag, as such, nor even the National Anathema, nor the military, nor our cops.  It is a silent protest, now on bended knee, to raise awareness.

Awareness of what?  That blacks are four times more likely to be committing crimes than whites, but less likely to be shot for doing so?  Apparently.  Because that is the mathematical reality of it.

However, the point that almost a thousand Americans of any and all races a year are killed by a cop’s gun is a worthy issue to raise awareness of.  There are simply too many laws in our free society with a government defined to have almost no power to get bossy and authoritarian, justifying too many interactions between cops and citizens.  That issue, though, isn’t being raised by the self-pitying attention-whores.

Indeed, removing certain of those inappropriate laws would disproportionately free blacks from interaction with cops, and thus disproportionately reducing even further their chances of getting killed for it.  It would probably greatly expand the opportunity, at least in the short-term, for more blacks being killed by other blacks − which already dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, the figure for Death By Cop.  This is also another worthy issue to be raising awareness of that is not even on the radar of pampered, over-paid, self-pitying attention-whores.

What we’re left with is a group of rich, privileged, black athletes protesting something, but not what anyone thinks they’re protesting.   Furthermore, they’re being paid to pout, ultimately, by their fans who are mostly of a straight-line sentimentality between symbol and reality.  These people see over-paid, self-pitying attention-whores kneeling during the National Anathema and they conclude they don’t love the country.  It’s what they see, and they won’t see anything else anytime soon.  Whether it’s true or not − just like whether it’s true that cops kill more blacks than whites or not − is irrelevant.

It’s the exact same phenomenon as all the black protesters in St Louis willfully refusing to see that the latest black martyr was anything but a career criminal who attempted to murder a cop with his car.  Even if the cop deserved it [and chances are good he did] there’s too many feels involved for reality to matter.

When fans pay large sums of money for tickets, and obscene amounts of money for what passes for American beer, just to get their own personal feels insulted by over-paid, self-pitying attention-whores, they’re soon going to stop paying that money.  Attendance at NFL games is down, for the second year in a row.  Television ratings are tanking, and commercial sponsors are losing their shirts.  It won’t be long before NFL salaries come down simply because there’s less ticket and sponsor money to sustain the current wage scale.

Rule number one of marketing: know your audience.  The audience for the NFL is the simple, straight-forward schlub male.  He probably voted for Trump.  The audience for the over-paid, self-pitying attention-whore is the Progressive Ninny who likely wouldn’t watch a pro football game on a dare.  Somebody hasn’t done their market research, and it’s not the fans.

The libertarian sees all this as a wonderful exercise in First Amendment protest.  Millionaire athletes are protesting something that doesn’t affect them, is the wrong issue besides, and insults their fanbase while doing so. The fanbase protests right back by finding something else to do on Sunday afternoons, offending the Progressive Ninny in the process.  The Progressive Ninny protests fans’ subtle racism and spurs on the millionaire athletes to double down.

What marvelous fun.  I’d pause to ponder where it will all end, but merry-go-rounds are notoriously predictable.


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