I know I'm on many watch lists. After all, we live in a Panopticon. The
removal of this 'Confederate' flag is only a baby step for an infantile
people. Someday more will be done, or we won't survive. Among some
people, this flags removal will promote polarization and anger. But I
think that for the majority, taking down this flag has made a very small
beginning toward better behavior. Since we've survived the Summer
Solstice, then maybe it's time for a little more light and disinfectant.
When it comes to Performance Art, it wasn't the political artists (who forced the flag on the public) who made us think. It was the People's Performance, that demanded this publicly supported display come down, and has made possible a very tiny bit of critical thinking.
I defend the rights of individuals to fly whatever flag they want. But state ordered flags are a perversion of free speech. Despite the desire to build a world where black lives matter, human frailty rules the day. We need to get much more than our symbols in order. Maybe the next 9 gun deaths will prod us to do something about handgun availability. If the gridlock over state sponsored symbols of terror can be overcome, so can the gridlock about reasonable restrictions on firearms. But people are so resistant to constructive change, and it looks like more people will have to die to bring about that change. And it won't be members of our Imperial Forces putting their lives on the line. They are such cowards that they can only fight with superior military technology and training. Fair fights, with equal tools and technologies, don't exist for Imperial Americans. Our military has drones, spies in the sky, and precision guided bombs. Our Police have SWAT teams with military grade weapons and training. And we still don't live in a safe world.
Keep passing around the good advice. There is always a small chance someone will use it.
On 6/22/2015 4:19 PM, Douglas Rankine wrote:
“All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.”
― Oscar Wilde <http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3565.Oscar_Wilde>, /The Picture of Dorian Gray <http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1858012> /
Gary...as a subscriber to this list, take it for granted...you are on a watch list...loads of them. It is an open source public list, anyone with access to a computer and the internet can read it. List subscribers who don’t post are also on a watch list. Some watch lists are more, shall we say benign than others. If you advocate revolution or evolution, different watch lists apply. If you advocate anti-Semitism, or race hatred or fascism or violence or mass action you are on another kind of watch list, some more malevolent than others. If you advocate free speech, freedom of action and freedom of thought, or freedom of the will, you are on another kind of list. If you advocate peaceful uses of mass protest, or advise people of their legal rights, or organise peaceful protest, or advocate anti-war, or equality between the sexes, you will be on a list. Even if you don’t open your mouth, you will be on a watch list of some kind or another.
Having said that, do you think that attacking a symbol, in this case a flag, will somehow improve the behaviour of individuals in any society? Taking out a symbol is easy, but how does one “take out” what lies behind it? Or, in the alternative will it have the opposite effect? Will it, for instance polarise people on one side of the debate or the other? Will it divert folks away from the real problem? Like what shit is shovelled into them by their parents, their family circles their schools, their society, their peer groups, or the practical examples set by the representatives of their nation state?
Those poor folks who got shot because they were nice people and attending church, got shot because they were black. According to a spokesman from the National Rifle Association, they got shot, because the vicar refused to carry a gun. According to the spokesman, if the vicar had been carrying a gun, he could have shot Dylan Roof, and that would have solved the problem. Would it? If you think the answer is yes, then there is a huge lobby who will agree with you. If you think no, there is another huge lobby who will agree with you. In the UK most people don’t carry guns. I personally wouldn’t like to have a gun in my house...one is always aware that they are there and can be used for killing or maiming people. Not that I am opposed to hunting, shooting and fishing, apart from fox-hunting.
Dylan Roof is an individual, who, according to an alleged statement he made online, made comments about a section of the human race which were factually incorrect, historically untrue and plain stupid and derogatory, in my view. Somehow, in his mind he believed that the power of using a gun, befriending the members of a congregation in a symbolically famous church for a short while and then killing them, made him superior, and his concept of the white race, more superior, and that his actions would make all white people into supremacists who would rise and kill off the blacks. It is interesting to note, that black people aint black and white people aint white, they are all sorts of colours tints and textures, pink and browns and blues and greens as well as white and black; but we have become blinded by colour stereotypes from seeing each other as human beings to be loved and cherished.
Yet, there are many folks who believe in that sort of stuff, and they think he is a hero. They don’t listen to reason or logic, because that is their reason and logic. They have the right to believe in it. It is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and UN Declaration of Human Rights. But whether such thinking is protected by some law or other, is irrelevant. Some people have felt like that throughout human history, from primitive peoples to tribalism, through feudalism to modern day capitalism. Whatever it is, that is the cause, it is not the rise of the nation state, though it might just have exacerbated it. What isn’t allowed, in our day, is acting unlawfully on such beliefs, without suffering the full force of the law. And then there are those police forces, town and state authorities, the courts of justice, who don’t operate the laws of their land and kill and torture so called offenders indiscriminately, but mostly blacks, though black police also practice it. There are 28 senators who believe in advanced interrogation techniques...i.e. torture, as a way of getting at the truth!
The C.I.A. and the US government says that democracy is all about winning hearts and minds. Great concept...enduring freedom and all that jazz, but the practice is different. The U.S. is not alone, there is a struggle going on in Northern Ireland, where Catholics and Protestants are at loggerheads over various flags been flown on public buildings at various times of year, or marches organised by Protestant organisations going through Catholic areas. The politics are wrapped up in who is more British and who is more Irish.
In Scotland there is the famous massacre at Glencoe. See url: https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Massacre_of_Glencoe
Where a bunch of fellow clansmen came as friends, were given a welcome, food and accommodation and then slaughtered in their beds in the middle of the night.
Examine your own feelings on this matter, what is it that is most important to you, prevention, cure, justice, retaliation, revenge, reparation...
Quite frankly, who gives a shit about someone flying a flag, read the Jehovah Witness case of Gobitis, later overturned by the Supreme Court of the USA...
I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. (Oscar Wilde)
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