July 3rd, 2005

Levi and Bunny

Stop making me angry, Bob.

I'm not sure I understand the purpose of Live 8. Was it to simply raise awareness of the fact that there is still an ongoing starvation/disease/death issue in the world? Was it honestly to get the attention of the leaders of the G8 Summit? Hahaha... Seriously? They were supposed to care? Was it to raise awareness of the fact that they've continually talked about these issues for over 25 years and still the problem isn't gone? Was it to give the Boomtown Rats something to do? Was it so that U2, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., and The Cure could still pretend they were relevant in any way to anything? Do they realize that their concert symbol is a big dollar sign sprouting out of Africa?

I'm being pretty facetious here. Maybe it's just my jaded nearing-30 outlook. But the idea that a group of concerts throughout the world will somehow make a group of some of the most powerful policy makers in the world stop thinking about their own agendas and care about the world at large is pretty damned pie-in-the-sky. I thought the point was to get the best of each country to play in their home country? Why the FUCK are the Pet Shop Boys playing Moscow? Why is some utter shit American band like Good Charlotte representing Japan? Why is the list of celebrity presenters for the Philly show nearly as long as the play list?
Tell me again why the Spice Girls weren't okay but Destiny's Child is?

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Another little thing about the Fourth of July.

The other day I discovered a tiny American flag in the front yard of every house up and down our street. The note attached was from someone in the area running for the House of Delegates. He urged us to celebrate the birth of our wonderful nation by displaying this flag (oh, and to remember to vote for him).
Now first of all, I don't agree with his politics. So that's sort of the first strike against him. I didn't really have to look up his site to discover that I didn't agree with his politics (plopping a flag in someone's yard is a pretty good indicator I think) but it was nice to see what I didn't like about him specifically.
I'm pretty sure that placing political paraphenalia on private property is unlawful, but he got around that by not specifically saying "vote for me".
Blatant displays of nationalism are one of the many American traits that make us so hated around the globe. Then add in that I think it's insulting as fuck to use patriotic symbolism in the course of your own political ambitions and now this little chunk of cloth on a stick is nearly as meaningful to me as one of those "Val-u-pak" mails.

Most of our neighbors kept the flags out. Just left them there in the ground, touching the ground, overnight, in the rain. Convenient patriotism doesn't begin to cover it. One of our neighbors is active military who was recently in Iraq. Not on the ground actually fighting anyone, just in some diplomatic capacity. They have a full sized flag hung outside their home year round. Hung at the wrong angle, never lit, never cleaned, never pulled in from the rain. They stuck the new one from the politician on the front of one of their cars, right on the grill.

On the whole street, I think the only people who didn't leave the flags there were us and the British family.