Flavin's Corner
7-2-99
Warning:  potentially thought provoking material follows!

Proof Through The Night

Baby, tie your hair back in a long white bow,
Meet me in the fields out behind the dynamo,
You hear the voices telling you not to go,
They made their choices and they'll never know,
What it means to steal, to cheat, to lie,
What it's like to live and die...
Prove It All Night, c.1978 by B. Springsteen.

     A nation is only as good as its chicks...  America celebrates its 223rd
birthday this Sunday, July 4th, and if a measure of the quality of its fine women
are any indication as to its success and position in the order of international
affairs, then America is doing far more than notable.  Sure, our chicks burned
their bras in the '60s to provoke the future, but if not for those acts of public
disturbance and starting fires without the proper permits, we wouldn't enjoy
certain freedoms as much as we do today.  While fems from other countries are
to be admired and appreciated, ...American chicks ROCK N' RULE!  Gee, I
hope that wasn't too much...

     It's about passion... In much the same way that chicks used to burn their
bras, some men in the '60s set fire to their draft-cards in protest of the Vietnam
war.  Fire is often used as a metaphor for passion, though occasionally, as with
the burning of bras, draft-cards, and flags, the "fire" is real and usually illegal.
Recently (and yet again), our Congress is trying to change the FIRST
AMENDMENT and constitutionally prohibit the burning or desecration of any
American flag.  Oh, the jerks in Congress might mean well, even be passionate
in their regard for our flag, but their ignorance of the law is apparent.

     Congress simply doesn't understand that many laws already exist which
prohibit the lighting of fires on public property, and in some cases, as in the
burning of leaves in one's yard, private as well.  One can't set up a grill on the
steps of a local city-hall and char some burgers and dogs without the proper
permit or license, and the same holds for setting fire to an American flag in
public.  Why doesn't Congress understand that?

     The soldiers in Washington's army fought the British for the independence
of America, but that "independence," as inner-visualization, was often simply
expressed as the soldiers' individual concerns for their wives.  We are a sexual
species in need of completeness to continue and American soldiers have always
fought for those great American chicks back home.  Does anyone really believe
soldiers fight and die for a parallelogram of cloth?  When asked, most soldiers
say they fight for the "ideas" behind the flag and not the physical flag itself.  To
that, I add, foremost of the "ideas" of freedom and liberty is the passion
between American men and women.  We are a great nation because we have a
great love.

     The world knows our passion and commitment to that quintessential
American chick (no, not Agent Scully, though she ranks up there...) who lives
in NYC harbor, Lady Liberty.  She is our mistress and sometimes the
relationship is unconventional.  But, in stride, America recognizes that outside
of mathematical absolutes, few other things are certain...  Liberty, like love,
needs constant care to continue to flourish.

     Congress has challenged the American people to think for themselves.  If
we cannot answer that challenge, then ...our revered Lady Liberty becomes a
Congressional whore to be abused by misogynist, gun-toting Republicans who
breakfast with Mormons, lunch with Baptists, and dine with whatever industry
will offer the finest buffet.  This is America, the "home of the brave," as well as
the country-club of sycophantic wind-bags (read: the Republican Congress)
who are here, for lack of a better explanation, to remind us of our relationship
with Lady Liberty.  Damn it; we need the unpredictable antagonist to qualify
our efforts, but the stupidity that is belched from that HOUSE ON THE HILL
is both rude and embarrassing.  Liberty, like love, needs to be demonstrated
again and again.  We need "proof through the night," ...every night.

     Sigh, ...let me make this plain: be involved.  Yes, some listen to music and
have never played an instrument or tried to carry a tune, some watch sports
who've never experienced sweat, grime, and bruises, some look at pornography
who've never enjoyed a genuine relationship, and MOST read about our
government, vote occasionally, enjoy the freedoms of our current society, yet
think complaining over coffee or beer is their first and best example of the
FIRST AMENDMENT.  Hey, write a letter...  Stop being voyeurs...  Be
involved in America.  [Click here to send an e-mail to Congress via the
ACLU.]

     Independence Day is a day of celebration, a time for family and friends to
unite for a cookout, take in some fireworks, and, perhaps in a quiet moment,
hopefully reflect on our precious liberty.  We must be vigilant and vigorous.
The gains enjoyed by women, minorities, and those with alternative lifestyles,
are in immediate danger from that HOUSE ON THE HILL.  The Supreme
Court has managed to defend us so far, but the battle between Right and Left
continues.  With the upcoming departure of Bill Clinton, we'll be without a
prominent spokesperson for common sense and civil liberties, and ...it may get
scary for awhile.

     For more on the flag-burning debate (and even an opportunity to "burn" a
virtual flag), click  here  for Warren Apel's very informative webpage.  The
Institute for First Amendment Studies updates its webpage on a regular basis
with pertinent news-stories and developments (click  here ).  And, of course, the
American Civil Liberties Union (see the animated-gif at the beginning of this
column) remains our dearest friend.

     Have a happy fourth of July, enjoy the long weekend (as most have
Monday off), and Tuesday let's get back to the struggle...

drinking domestic beer this weekend,
Rick

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