Re: Now That They've Destroyed The Economy, Can We Take The Giant Tacky Flag Down?

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s/b "Exterior Decorating, Blind Loyalty Edition"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:45 PM
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But the big one just makes the Stock Exchange look like a used car dealership

What is it about this implied equivalence that is misleading or inaccurate?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:46 PM
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2: Point.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:47 PM
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2, 3: They could replace it with something more apt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:48 PM
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They should replace it with a banner that says

BUY OR LEASE A CDO
NO MONEY DOWN!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:49 PM
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Or like those crappy ads on FaceBook. BARACK OBAMA GAVE ME AN 85 PERCENT NO-RECOURSE LOAN. FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN GET ONE TOO.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:54 PM
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STOCKS 4 SALE CHEAP


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:55 PM
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Gonerill and I have a weird set of overlaps on facebook.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:58 PM
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Oh, wait, that's not really true.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:59 PM
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LEGACY ASSETS COMING SOON
3% DOWN AND YOUR MONEY BACK


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:01 PM
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I can see how it easily could be true.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:01 PM
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That flag is supersized, for real. But if it's big enough for America, it's good enough for me!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:02 PM
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Wait. Who owns that flag? Maybe we can sell it.

BIG FLAG! CHEAP!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:04 PM
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Gonerill beat me to it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:05 PM
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I guess it depends on what you consider weird.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:08 PM
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I guess it depends on what you consider weird.

I just looked at the overlap. I have met only two of the seven FB friends we share. It's a pity I know you've met at least one of those two, because having two nodes in the FB graph connected by way of people neither node has ever met is a nice example of something or other.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:17 PM
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You'd think the fact that this particular symbol is most prominently displayed at used car dealerships would breed a certain amount of cynicism, but this shit just gives the game away.

P.S. 10 is funny.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:19 PM
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I am one degree of separation from Gonerill's wife.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:29 PM
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SO WATCH OUT, GONERILL!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:29 PM
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Dammit, Goneril, quit taking my snark.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:31 PM
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I enjoy the feeling of being at the center of the universe I get from having four people who have never met each other commenting on one of my insightful Facebook items.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:36 PM
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Cala is one degree of separation from my snark.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:42 PM
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(Offer not available in stores. Must be a large financial institution to participate. Residents of AL, AK, AS, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MH, MA, MI, FM, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, MP, OH, OK, OR, PW, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI, WA, WV, WI, WY: You may be liable for up to 97% of purchase price. See your federal government for details.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:45 PM
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I have met 18 of the 26 friends I have in common with nosflow. Sociologize that!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:33 PM
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The jpeg isn't displaying properly for me using IE 7.

And how did the NYSE destroy the economy?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:38 PM
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I have met 18 of the 26 friends I have in common with

Wow, you guys take this Facebook thing pretty seriously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:45 PM
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Why would you have facebook friends you haven't met?

Is this the reason all my friends have twenty million friends on facebook? I just assumed that everyone but me had much better social skills. If it turns out it was just friend-inflation I'm going to be bitter.

ACT NOW GET TEN FRIENDS WITH PURCHASE !!!

CALL IN THE NEXT 15 MINUTES AND GET 25 MORE FRIENDS ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!!

On preview I see it strips out the blink tag. Sadness.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:47 PM
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25: Brilliant, but succinct again, Comrade Shearer. As you point out, it is we, the workers (not yet concious of our status as the world-historical individual, the Proletariat) who create and embody capitalism every day. As you so concisely put it, we allow the various constituents of the capitalist apparat to dictate what we see, what we hear and what we know. However, we have it in our power to undo this disastrous state of affairs with our skepticism and our refusal to attend the bourgeoisie as they continue to scheme to divide us. Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your Explorers.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:49 PM
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Why would you have facebook friends you haven't met?

A stranger's just a friend you haven't met, you know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:51 PM
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I have facebook friends I haven't met because I spend a lot of time talking to random strangers on the internet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:52 PM
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A stranger's just a friend you haven't met, you know.

A friend is just a stranger you happen to have met?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:54 PM
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I suppose it depends what you mean as meeting. I have friends that I haven't met in person, but when I've spent years chattering to people in darkest Malmo or wherever on the phone I tend to forget that people aren't actually hiding in the Nokia headset.

I withdraw my question. Apparently it is the case that all my friends have better social skills, even in the wilds of the internet.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:58 PM
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A stranger's just a friend you haven't met, you know.

I admit that people I don't know, but who know people I know, have asked to friend me. This is very strange. I mean, I know who they are, but I don't know them. How do you talk in the presence of people like that? I think I am supposed to make friends! I daren't make such overtures myself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:03 PM
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What about the mother and stepfather of an ex-lover, for example? I know a lot about them, and I see their comments and think: Oh, you guys are lovely! I would like to be your friends.

But probably I would have to ask the ex-lover about that. He'd probably say, Sure, I can explain to them who you are. (Realize, these people are all members of the Family, if you will.)

This just seems like a strange situation all 'round, this Facebook thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:27 PM
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Upon review of my 254 friends, I find only 1 that I am certain that I have not met (but added at the suggestion of someone that we "meet"), 1 that I can say with 90% certainty that I have not met (but added upon his request and seeing that we were at the same college contemporaneously, and hence could have met), and two that I may have met, but really, grade school was so long ago and who can remember whether you really talked to that person at least once or whether you just know their name because you went to the same school with them for 9 years and you know, maybe you heard them get called down to the principal's office once.

OTOH, even though I have met >98% of my friends, surely not all of them are friends. Like that one popular girl from grade school whom I never really talked to even in 1995? Is she really a friend? Who cares, I'll spend a couple seconds looking at her wedding shower photos and snickering at the over-the-top "This is *your* day!" language that her wedding planner used in the shower invitations. Seeing how the other half lives, you know?

And then there's all the relatives on my list, whose presence periodically makes me think, "are they judging me?" Oh, and my dad joined a couple months ago, and my mom is apparently using his account to browse the latest news as well. I've definitely started censoring myself a tad over the past ~9 months, which is the period over which acquaintances of my parents' generation have started to show up on the site. My online friendship with members of this cohort has probably led me to reevaluate the nature of my relationships with some of these people, and wonder whether some of the "grownups" whom I've known my whole life might consider me more of an adult than I had given them credit for.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:50 PM
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Seeing how the other half lives, you know?

Namely, the half that isn't single.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:57 PM
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36: fools!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:14 AM
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A perfunctory google reveals that "half" is actually a reasonable estimate of the fraction of the population that is single, at least for the 25 cities with the most singles. Hoboken, NJ at the top—who woulda thunk it?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:18 AM
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DAMMIT, THEY SAID FACEBOOK WAS FULL OF NAUGHTY PICTURES, WHERE ARE THEY?


Posted by: OTTO'S OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:52 AM
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and now would be an excellent time to quietly make it go away.

I'm rather gathering that that's all that's left of the United States of America; us out here are part of the wasteland.

max
['What's good for GM is good for America, eh?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:50 AM
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Weren't there some changes in the 70's allowing flags to fly at night if illuminated, and allowing big-ass flags? I can't find what the Flag Code looked like before its amendment in 1976, but pending correction I'm quite sure that this amendment, and its adoption in practice, marked the start of the American Empire's decadent era.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:33 AM
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Speakin' of whichness, the banker's pledge!
'I pledge allegiance to my money,
and the power for which it stands,
one reserve system, under Ben, indivisible,
with foreclosure and peonage for all!'

max
['Except us!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:40 AM
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I am one degree of separation from Gonerill's wife.

Me too.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:09 AM
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41: Also annoying with regard to the flag code is that flying the flag in the rain is basically standard practice these days.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:14 AM
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Facebook friends you've never even met? The fuck? I've always thought it odd when people I have met, but not been especially close to, have tried to "friend" me (as they say). "Is this person really a friend? I would have said 'casual acquaintance', at best. More likely 'someone I met a few times'." This is probably a large part of why I don't have many friends (on facebook or IRL).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:42 AM
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I'm not totally lacking in patriotism

I don't mind hanging the normal-sized flags off the flagstaffs out front

One of these things is not like the other.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:45 AM
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I've spent the best part of two decades alternating study and work in the 'IT' sector. Like a lot of people I have online friends I've never met, or online friends I have only met once or twice. Some of them I've 'known' for years, and some of those people are 'friends' on Facebook [some Unfogged people, too]. That doesn't seem especially odd or atypical, to me, and I'm hardly an uber-geek.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:46 AM
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46: Yeah, I was mostly trying to convey that I don't have any particular problem with putting a flag on a public building if the owners want to -- my gripe with this one is aesthetic rather than symbolic. (Except insofar as the symbolism of a flag so huge that it's grotesque is different from a normal flag, which it is.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:56 AM
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I don't know if 47 was a response to 45, but I'd consider getting to know someone online good enough. Maybe I was misinterpreting earlier comments; I thought these people had friends they simply did not know (online or off).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:58 AM
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re: 49

Yeah, I suppose having lots of friends one doesn't really know at all might be a little odd. I have a few that are really only peripheral acquaintances -- through sport or music things, mostly -- so I suppose it'd not be that much of a step to people I had almost no knowledge of at all.

Some people do seem to have vast numbers of friends there.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:05 AM
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Is there any precedent for taking down prominent public flags? They seem like the sort of thing that are much easier (politically) to put up than to take down. On what grounds could it be done? "It's ugly and crass" won't work, even if true, and neither would "it offensively overpatriotic." And unfortunately, contra the post, I'm not sure "they've wrecked our economy so badly they no longer deserve a giant flag" is any good either.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:05 AM
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44: And flying them from a car until they get tattered. !!!.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:06 AM
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I've definitely started censoring myself a tad over the past ~9 months, which is the period over which acquaintances of my parents' generation have started to show up on the site.

When my nosiest cousin showed up on Facebook I discovered the magic that is creating groups and assigning "friends" to them. I have a "relatives" group to which I assign anyone whose access to information I wish to heavily restrict.

My sister is the only relative to whom I'd give total access and when she asked what Facebook was like I said, "Imagine a high school reunion at which you are trapped for fifteen minutes every day for the rest of your life," causing her to swear it off forever.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:07 AM
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So wait, your parents have let you all have Facebook accounts? I totally need to have a talk with my dad.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:09 AM
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50: My youngest sister has an absurd amount of Facebook friends, which would be crazy if we thought of them as genuine friends, but it's more like an address book or e-mail list, and everyone her age treats it that way, using Facebook to organize parties or publicize school events.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:12 AM
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Is there any precedent for taking down prominent public flags?

The flag that hung on the Pentagon after 9/11 was taken down after a month. They had a whole ceremony and stuck it in the American History Museum for a while.

Relevant.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:13 AM
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re: 55

Yeah, that sort of makes sense. it's how some of my sporting things are increasingly organised.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:14 AM
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56: Is the World Trade Center replacement building every coming up? They could donate the big-ass flag to whatever 9-11 museum they open up as part of that site.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:17 AM
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Most of my Facebook friends are people I knew in high school or college, but haven't really spoken to or seen in years. For me, Facebook is primarily a way to see how well/badly people have aged and pictures of their kids. Oh, and a Scrabble medium. That's actually the primary function.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:17 AM
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Semi-OT: Did I mention that the other week I saw a great big hawk sitting like a badass on the big brass ball atop a great big flagpole that used to fly the great big flag for a car dealer, but now flies the flag for no apparent reason (the dealer is gone)? Obvs., an eagle would have been cooler (if more obvious), but it just looked so fucking cool.

So the NYSE can keep their flag, but only if they put up aeries.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:18 AM
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Most of my Facebook friends are people I knew in high school or college, but haven't really spoken to or seen in years.

Me, exactly.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:18 AM
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There's a reason people use the phrase "FB friend". There are clear classes of FB friend I've never met: some of them I've been writing a blog with for years, some of them are barely even online acquaintances. But that's why FB has privacy settings that let you say 'This group of people isn't even allowed see my status updates or email address, let alone any photos of me."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:24 AM
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it's more like an address book or e-mail list, and everyone her age treats it that way, using Facebook to organize parties or publicize school events.

Uh, some of us don't invite every person we've ever taken a class with to our parties.

I guess this is where groups come in, but still. Other than wedding and births, the number of people I want to know about the events of my life is in the double digits.

Anyway. 56 is a great idea. The steel is apparently going up, which means that it's presumably too late to fix the awful, awful design. I will try not to wish for another attack.

"A doctor must bury his mistakes. An architect can only advise his client to plant vineshope for a terrorist attack."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:28 AM
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some of us don't invite every person we've ever taken a class with to our parties.

That's because you're old, JRoth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:38 AM
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I remember somewhere in DC there was a billboard erected with a giant American flag on it shortly after 9/11. It was against local billboard regulations, but nobody was going to complain about a flag at that time. About a year later the flag on the billboard was replaced with regular advertising. So basically, the flag was used as a Trojan horse to get an illegal billboard erected. Classy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:50 AM
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65: so why didn't someone complain about it once it became regular advertising?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:53 AM
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66: Well, presumably somebody did, which I why I eventually read about it in the paper. Not sure if it ever got taken down though. The DC government isn't really known as a model of efficacy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:55 AM
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Uh, some of us don't invite every person we've ever taken a class with to our parties.

Uh, neither do most college students, but FB friend lists are bigger than invitation lists, just like your address book is probably bigger than your dinner party list.

The norm seems to be "if you are acquainted (in a broad sense) with the person, accept a friend request." Add that to the idea that "de-friending" isn't done, and it's not hard to see how someone could have a thousand friends, many of whom they've met once or know through a club or activity that they participated in five years ago.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:58 AM
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Also, while we are bitching about garish displays of patriotism, I would like to renew my complaint about having to sing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch at baseball games.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:58 AM
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You don't have to to sign, Spike. Go get a hot dog or a cold beer if it bothers you.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:00 AM
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"if you are acquainted (in a broad sense) with the person, accept a friend request."

This is one reason why I'm not on FB - I don't think I know anybody else who is, so why bother.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:06 AM
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70: I'm picturing Spike doing a heartfelt ASL version for the Jumbotron every 7th inning stretch.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:10 AM
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Go get a hot dog or a cold beer if it bothers you.

This is not actually an option. Commerce shuts down during the song, and the ushers will stop you from walking around in the stands until its over.

Also, I resent that they are taking the 7th inning stretch away from me. That's a time that should be reserved for "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", a far more patriotic song for my ears.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:12 AM
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I wonder if the distinction between active and passive Facebook frienders reflects some fundamental personality trait. I accept friend requests from anyone I recognize who (a) isn't family and (b) I don't strongly dislike, but I almost never make a friend request. I was amused when my former adviser got an account and somehow found and friended a significant fraction of the people in our field within about two days.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:15 AM
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I'm very passive Facebook, but that's primarily because I'm friends with a lot of students and colleagues (which I'm glad about) but keeping a low profile is the easiest way to stay quasi-professional.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:23 AM
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Yes, I'm fairly passive. I had a facebook request the other day from someone I haven't seen since I was 17. it was genuinely lovely that they found me, but I'd never have searched for them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:25 AM
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I've got twq accounts, one that I use for more "professional" things like non-profits with which I'm involved.

The norm seems to be "if you are acquainted (in a broad sense) with the person, accept a friend request."

I should look into this group thing. I've accepted an invitation from my boyfriend's cousin whom I've never met, and I haven't accepted one from his brother's fiancee, but I'm probably being rude by not befriending her.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:31 AM
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73: At Orioles games, they play (or used to at Memorial Stadium; as I explained at length at the D.C. meet-up, Camden Yards is a loathsome place to be avoided and I don't know what they play) "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."

the ushers will stop you from walking around in the stands until its over

That really makes me want to smack someone. I recommended chaperoning a dozen or so 6-year-olds to the next game. Buy them all the junk food and soda they want until the top of the 7th, then tell them you'll buy Jonas Brothers tickets to the one who can run the stairs the most times. I believe you'll find that the mass puking begins just as the song starts. With any luck, some of them will piss themselves as well.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:35 AM
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Is it possible to limit an individual's access without creating a group on facebook? I don't want to announce to BF's family that I've created a group just for them.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:38 AM
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This is not actually an option. Commerce shuts down during the song, and the ushers will stop you from walking around in the stands until its over.

That's sick.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:39 AM
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I've accepted an invitation from my boyfriend's cousin whom I've never met, and I haven't accepted one from his brother's fiancee, but I'm probably being rude by not befriending her.

Isn't she an idiot, though? Or am I misremembering?

I don't want to announce to BF's family that I've created a group just for them.

I don't think it tells people they're in a group, and you can make a group with only one member and thus limit that person's access in just about any way you see fit. I don't remember the granularity of it but I remember being satisfied that Nosy Cousin could poke around all she wanted and never get from my Facebook profile to this pseudonym (and thus the rest of my online life). When editing the permissions for a given group I believe there's also a "how they'll see you" link that lets you see what your profile will look like to them and that was very cool.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:43 AM
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I didn't realize that some of my FB friends could be hiding information from me.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:51 AM
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I'd like to note that the huge flag on the NYSE has always driven me fucking bugnuts but I am one of those symbol-worshiping people with strong and entirely subjective standards, not always in accord with the stereotypical flag-waver, for what sort of flag display constitutes disrespect. For instance, it pushes my blood pressure through the roof to see someone wear it as clothing but I have no problem with someone burning it as an act of expression. So, I would love to see the one on the NYSE taken down because I find it inexpressibly garish but I don't have an explanation for why I think that. It just is.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:51 AM
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Maybe it is a good thing that the NYSE looks like a used car dealership. It lets you know how much honesty to expect from them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:04 AM
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Spike echoes my 7th inning thoughts exactly. Someone here usually echoes my thoughts exactly long before I can write them. Are you all sure you're other people?


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:04 AM
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Isn't she an idiot, though? Or am I misremembering?

Yes, she is, though she's a successful doctoral student with a $35K tax-free stipend. It really pains his mother that relations with BF and brother's fiancee are strained, because the parents worry that the brothers will never see each other. I should make a (small) effort.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:05 AM
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83: The thing that hit my "take the flag seriously" button harder than I thought was possible was seeing it used on a thong bikini bottom. Really - using the flag as butt floss isn't patriotic, it's obscene. I suppose that perhaps there's a statement there analogous to burning it, but I don't think that was the intention.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:06 AM
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I don't actually mind disrespect for the flag -- that is, I can see reasons not to do it, as the sort of thing that's going to bother people, but using it as graphic design on a bathing suit doesn't push any of my buttons. It's the fascistic look of giant flags that I find unpleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:08 AM
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pwned by 2.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:11 AM
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Maybe it is a good thing that the NYSE looks like a used car dealership.

Perhaps somebody should simply point out to the powers that be in the NYSE that the big flag makes it look as if it's had a doing over by Christo. I'm betting it would go quick enough if that meme were spread.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:12 AM
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Again, 87 just seems bizarre to me.There might be a few retired Brigadiers, or something, that object to misuse of the British flag, but other than that, afaik, no-one gives a shit.

Yes, to 88.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:13 AM
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Go get a hot dog or a cold beer if it bothers you.

They should play drum solos instead during the 7th-inning break.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:16 AM
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83: Were you a Boy Scout? They managed to instill a fuckload of irritability about flag treatment into me. It's weird--I'm fairly left wing in just about everything, but it's all built around a stubborn core of conservatism that insists that the reason for implementing my preferred social and economic policies is we're Americans, goddammit, and should be the free-est, most caring-for-our-neighbors-est, melting-pottiest country on God's Green Earth. Anything less and we're not standing up for our own ideals--and that includes taking proper care and giving proper respect to the fucking flag.

(And yes, I realize that the above could easily be taken as Ugly American-ness, but whatever, feel free to feel the same way about your own country, and we'll all be polite to each other and keep displays of overt patriotism to the Olympics and other international sports venues. USA! USA! USA!)


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:19 AM
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83 and 87 - Yeah, me too. I like rules and rituals, and while I don't fly a flag, it bugs the crap out of me when people who care enough to fly one don't care enough to do so formally. Sherry had a great post about reading the standards on other people's boats and how they actually mean something but most people just put them up for decoration.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:20 AM
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87: I thought thongs were one of the things our country stood for.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:21 AM
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91: You're such a culturally sensible people, except for a few nasty things like kidney pie. Oh, and the making diminutives out of everything: "telly" and "brecky" and "et cetera-y." But otherwise, you've got it going on.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:26 AM
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91: Flags aren't something that pushes my buttons particularly, but rituals and ceremonies are human, and being disproportionately bothered by someone screwing up a ritual shouldn't seem that bizarre to you. Isn't there anything ritualistic you get fussy about?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:27 AM
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I sent a bunch of friend requests right after joining, but don't anymore. I've talked to one long-lost HS friend, will likely meet another, chatted with a third, all of which is nice.
The people there who talk the most have the least to say it seems, and it's kind of an infantilizing medium, especially after the pseudo-twitter redesign. It works as an address book, though.

I wonder whether the decreased frequency of link-posting here is a reaction to FB and similar media. It's pure schadenfreude, but I thought this was hilarious, for instance.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:30 AM
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91. Yes, but our equivalent to THE FLAG is the old bat at the end of The Mall.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:32 AM
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re: 97

It's specifically rituals associated with nationhood and political office that freak me out. They all smack of something very bad indeed, and when it's people who I know don't intend them that way, it's bizarre rather than actively evil.

I don't think most Europeans and most Americans will ever really see eye to eye on this one. Basically, flag wavers == nutters and fascists.

I don't find religious ritual odd -- I'm completely areligious myself, and an atheist, but the existence of religious ritual or the value people attach to them doesn't bother me at all. I'm the same with lots of everyday superstitious rituals people have -- they are fine. I understand the value of ritual, it's only the nationalistic/patriotic ones that I find actively unpleasant.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:34 AM
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99. Are you saying you'd be offended if someone wore the Queen as a thong?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:34 AM
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It should be pointed out that the whole held-in-your-seat-at-gunpoint during the singing of "God Bless America" is (afaik) a Yankees-specific practice. At Wrigley we drunkenly caterwaul "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (let's get some runs!) and can do as we please.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:35 AM
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When there were World Cup games in Chicago, I was genuinely gobsmacked by all of the crazed nationalism on display. I get that that is the point, sort of, but it really isn't anything I'm used to seeing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:39 AM
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101. I'm offended whatever she wears, because although I tend to have a hyper-historical consciousness, the fact that those dummies are so fucking rich and stupid and people still fawn on them does my head in. But seriously, a lot of people would be offended by that - frex, a lot of people wrote angry letters when the late Ms Spencer turned up at some do in an expensive pants suit.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:40 AM
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A few years back, it suddenly became OK for people to fly the St. George's flag when England were playing. But it's taken over now -- they are bloody everywhere. Little ones on white vans, etc.

I make the basic assumption that if we aren't within a week or so of an England match and you are flying the English flag, you are probably a fascist or fellow-traveller of same.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:41 AM
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I make the basic assumption that if we aren't within a week or so of an England match and you are flying the English flag, you are probably a fascist or fellow-traveller of same.

Safe assumption, I'd say.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:43 AM
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I'd note that even at the height of Empire, Kipling was mocking "jelly-bellied flag-flappers", so this is not a national decline thing. Thinking about it, it's about ten years since I last saw anyone writing to the newspapers about the distinction between "Union Jack" and "Union Flag", so I suspect that generation must have died out.

The Turks, btw, go mad mental crazy if you don't show respect to their flag (as a bunch of Leeds fans found out, with fatal results, a few UEFA Cups ago), but I don't think they have a load of weird arbitrary rules about it - you have to literally burn the thing or wipe your arse with it to get yourself stabbed.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:48 AM
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I grew up in a bogstandard northeastern suburb and nobody flew or flies flags. Even after 9/11 when folks put flag stickers on their cars, they were carefully taped to the inside window so they could be easily removed at a later date -- the drivers didn't want to look like hicks.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:52 AM
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95 - That's Brazil, dude. They specialize in skimpy clothing down there. If we let them seduce us with thongs for women the next step is micro-speedos for men. Let us not go there, please, please, please for God's sake have mercy on us.

When we see the intersection of the pants-falling-off fashion and thong underwear for men we will know that the apocalypse is just around the corner. I hope so, at least. I'll be praying for rains of frogs, plague, pestilence, famine, pretty much anything to distract me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:52 AM
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91. Yes, but our equivalent to THE FLAG is the old bat at the end of The Mall.

I read this and started puzzling "Some kind of cricket thing? I think I've heard of the Ashes, but that wasn't a bat, was it?" And then all was revealed to me.

Seriously, from otherwise apparently sane Americans, the flag stuff is mostly just that it gets taught to us -- if you know an elaborate set of rules, it's annoying to see someone else screw it up. It didn't really take, but even I got taught by my grandfather how to fold a flag properly (you have to end up with a neat triangle with only blue and stars showing, no stripes). It's not fascistic nationalism, but the sentimental kind -- the equivalent of sticking a leek in your hat on St. David's day, not that anyone does that anymore or has for god knows how long, or whatever the hell Scots do -- eat thistles or something. It only gets fascistic when you start pushing people around to comply with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:56 AM
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It only gets fascistic when you start pushing people around to comply with it.

The US is the most powerful nation on Earth. It starts a fucking enormous number of wars. I think you'll forgive me if I don't see it as empty sentimental symbolism.*

* although I'm aware that for a lot of people there's absolutely nothing more to it, for them, than that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:59 AM
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you are probably a fascist or fellow-traveller of same.

Huh. When I see the British flag, I just think "heavy metal band."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:59 AM
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And, fwiw, as already said, I find it creepy when the English do it, and they aren't even an independent nation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:59 AM
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79: Camden Yards has been far less loathsome since DC people stopped showing up. It does get loathsome when Red Sox and Yankee fans take over the stadium, but most of the rest of the time its just nicely empty.

They do still play "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:00 AM
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It starts a fucking enormous number of wars.

Not so efficient at the finishing of them, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:00 AM
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re: 112

English flag. Not British. They aren't the same flag.

Not that I'm mad keen on people waving the British flag, either, but it's the English one that screams 'fascist'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:01 AM
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111: I'm being descriptive, not normative here -- my point is that if you're distinguishing between different Americans, picking out the ones who get fussy or bothered about flag-treatment isn't a particularly good way of spotting the fascists. Americans who get fussy about flags are sentimental, persnickety, 'conservative' (in the temperamental, rather than the political, sense) types. Americans who are expressing aggressive nationalism are more likely to be displaying big flags incorrectly.

You're probably right that this would be a better world if no Americans had any nationalistic feelings at all. But in the world we live in, being fussy about American flags doesn't have much to do with nationalistic aggression.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:06 AM
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I don't think I had ever seen the English flag before I looked it up just now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:07 AM
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English flag. Not British. They aren't the same flag.

Is this a subtle distinction, or do I have no idea what the English flag looks like? Probably the latter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:07 AM
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if you know an elaborate set of rules, it's annoying to see someone else screw it up.

Well the British flag is usually flown wrong anyway, because people can't get their heads around countercharging the saltires. I think somebody here mentioned some US Defense Dept. building which had the Union Flag upside down a few months ago. It's a heraldic thing. But we grin and bear it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:08 AM
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LB: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_England


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:09 AM
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countercharging the saltires.

Perhaps the only thing more dangerous than crossing the streams.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:09 AM
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Americans who are expressing aggressive nationalism are more likely to be displaying big flags incorrectly.

This. These are people who would throw you in jail for burning a flag as a political statement, but won't replace the tattered Old Glory on their antenna out of laziness.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:11 AM
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Countercharge of Saltires.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:12 AM
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120: Yeah, but that's your bad for picking a mostly-but-not-quite-symmetrical design.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:12 AM
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CA's parents have British flags and Scottish flags about (tucked into pen holders, on tacky mugs, etc.) as well as all manner of ridiculous queen shit (tea towels and the like). Like the 3d time I ever met his mum, she was holding forth haughtily (as is her wont) about the ridiculous Americans and their absurd flag waving and I responded that I had never in my life seen so many flags as in that very house. I received a withering glare and the explanation that it was quite different. We get on really well.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:15 AM
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125. Nah.

To fly the flag the correct way up, the broad portion of the white cross of St Andrew should be above the red band of St Patrick (and the thin white portion below) in the upper hoist canton (the corner at the top nearest to the flag-pole), giving the Scottish symbol precedence over the Irish symbol.

Pure racism.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:16 AM
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The English must have fun playing the Scottish and the Irish against each other.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:19 AM
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I didn't realize that some of my FB friends could be hiding information from me.

Uh, Brock, I don't know how to tell you this, but....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:22 AM
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The English must have fun playing the Scottish and the Irish against each other.

...once they get bored playing the Irish and the other Irish against each other.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:23 AM
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The US is the most powerful nation on Earth. It starts a fucking enormous number of wars. I think you'll forgive me if I don't see it as empty sentimental symbolism.

Well, deTocqueville commented on it when he visited in the early 1800s. I'm not sure any of your conditions applied at the time.

Americans like their flag. Always have. Not sure why, but there it is.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:25 AM
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Americans who get fussy about flags are sentimental, persnickety, 'conservative' (in the temperamental, rather than the political, sense) types.

I'd like to raise a cherished, highly traditional objection to this in the fashion of my esteemed ancestors.

Actually, you summed me up pretty well there. Like Chopper, a lot of my leftism results from an early-instilled belief that we're supposed to be the nation that paves the way to blah blah blah, which I realize on a rational level is in no way borne out by events of the last anytime, ever, but it's still deep in the emotional programming. (No, Chopper, I was never a Boy Scout because the one meeting I went to bored me nearly to death and my dad was relieved they didn't have yet another place to drive me every week.) It's also in part a love of ritual in general and a deep satisfaction delivered by seeing a ritual completed in the proper way.

Megan, togolosh and Chopper find at least some overlap with my own emotional response. The thong bottom especially mashes all my buttons at once by banging the console with its ape-like fists. Over lunch I figured out that burning it, not flying it, denigrating the so-easy-it's-meaningless sentiment of bumper stickers or flag magnets, whatever, any sort of reaction or nonreaction to the flag still treats it as the flag. Making clothes out of it or hanging it on the front of your big fucking temple to capitalism co-opts it for branding purposes and that is what makes the crazy start.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:28 AM
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Americans like their flag.

I think the American flag is butt-ugly, but I'm not representative. You know who has a great flag? Bhutan. And Sicily, though god only knows what it's supposed to mean.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:32 AM
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I'm basically with Chopper in 93.1. Also, I'm looking at the (small) flag on my desk right now.

The first time I remember being offended by flag-inspired bodywear was the gymansts' leotards at the 1984 Olympics. I thought it was tacky and inappropriate. (Although I don't remember being offended by the opening-ceremonies gear, which I vaguely remember as just standard-issue American Patriotic.)

I started to count the non-US flags on my street last weekend and stopped after five. But they're Irish, so at this late date it doesn't inspire the violent rage that, say, Mexican flags are more likely to provoke.*

*Not in me!

For me the FB question is purely utilitarian. There's nobody I want to find, much like there's nobody I need to meet via my college reunion (which I am getting ever more urgent requests to attend -- whatever, guys, you're not getting any money out of me). Since I'm quite, quite confident that anybody who wants to find me can do so in about three seconds flat, there's no incentive to join.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:33 AM
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I should note that I do, on a rational level, realize that these opinions are purely that and not facts or standards by which anyone else must live. I don't have any sort of problem with people who feel differently and I would never want to do anything about such a display other than purse my lips and think mean things about the originator of it. I mean, it's not like they're wearing a hat inside or something.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:33 AM
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I mean, it's not like they're wearing a hat inside or something.

Next time I come to you and rah's house, I'll be wearing this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:36 AM
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133: Is it Libya whose flag is just a field of green? I've always liked that one.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:37 AM
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136: If one can wear it backwards and tape down the index finger then I'll ask you to bring extras. Sometimes we have rituals only to make the blasphemy worthwhile.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:39 AM
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I used to have an awesome pair of Chuck Taylors that were stars and stripey. But that was before 9/11, when I could wear them ironically.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:40 AM
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The Macedonian flag is purty. And Kazakhstans.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:41 AM
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I know the Philippines are way bigger flag worshippers than USians. And probably lots of places.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:43 AM
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Also, despite having pushable buttons w.r.t. the US flag, let's face it - that thing is ugly. The design is unbalanced, crude and just plain plain. The Brits have a nice flag, as do the Canadians. Mexico's is awesome, if a little too detailed for a flag, as is Brazil's (if you ditch the creepy slogan). Japan wins on the minimalist flag front, with Switzerland as runner-up (with props for ditching the rectangular shape). South Korea wins among the busy looking flags, with special mention going to Nepal for being just plain difficult with the shape.

On preview, mildly apo-pwned.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:43 AM
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props for ditching the rectangular shape

Nepal kicks Switzerland's ass on this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:47 AM
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I'm very much in favor of respecting the flag, and I like to fly them and see them flown (properly), but I'm repulsed by the idea of pledging "allegiance" to the flag. I'm sure these sentiments are, together, deeply irrational.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:48 AM
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href= "http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Zaire.svg" Zaire had a good flag


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:48 AM
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Right with you, McManlyPants. I also thought LB's distinction was right on point.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:49 AM
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The more I look at Sicily's flag, the more it starts to resemble some weird anime porn.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:50 AM
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142: "ugly" is too strong. Russia's flag is ugly. Our flag is middling.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:51 AM
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144: There is nothing irrational about being creeped out by the Loyalty Oath. It *really* bugs me that Caroline has to say that thing at school. I'm tempted to start taking the whole family to Quaker meeting (Molly's family are Friends and we went occoasionally before the kids) just to be able to bow out of the Pledge on religious grounds.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:51 AM
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Russia's flag is ugly.

This? It's dull, but not particularly ugly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:53 AM
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The more I look at Sicily's flag, the more it starts to resemble some weird anime porn

the more I look at Sicily's flag-->the more it starts to resemble some weird anime porn-->the more I look at Sicily's flag-->the more it starts to resemble some weird anime porn-->the more I look at Sicily's flag--> ...

It's a never-ending spiral.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:53 AM
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149: Why go to meeting? Say you're a humanist or something vaguely accurate, and requiring your child to say the Pledge violates your principles. Is the school really going to demand a specifically religious excuse?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:55 AM
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Flags on clothing: the reason flags on clothing bother me more than other displays of the flag (which all bother me in a small way) is that in my experience the very people who are happy to wear flag bikinis or stupid flag tee shirts or horrible baggy flag pants, etc etc, are the people who will get all huffy about anything they perceive as an insult to the American...er...way of life. Wearing flag pants is more about self-righteousness than any actual interest in the flag or anything it might be said to represent.

I add that it's an ugly flag, as well. I think we'd be better off with a nice blue and silver damask.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:57 AM
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I'm partial to Libya's flag.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:58 AM
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("I add...as well." Sigh. Don't like the flag, can't write properly...probably couldn't even close my tags, if I had them)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:58 AM
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110: Ashes? Cricket? I thought Douglas Adams made that up?

(Quick Googling)

Huh. No, apparently not. You learn something new every day, I guess. Believe it or not, I think I'm marginally less ignorant of cricket than most Americans, since an Indian friend of mine in college tried to get a cricket club going. I didn't stick with it, though, and discussion never turned to specific rivalries and traditions within the cricket world.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:59 AM
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The Winner.

All they need now is a country.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:00 PM
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I only know about "playing for the Ashes" because of an Elizabeth George book.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:01 PM
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Maybe President Obama could sponsor a "lets redesign the flag" contest. I think something like that would really bring the nation together and smooth things over with the Limbaugh crowd.

I'm thinking maybe replace the darker blue part of the flag with a UN-shade lighter blue?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:02 PM
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I approach the Jehovah Witness belief on flags.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:03 PM
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159: To modernize it, we'd need something to represent technology. I think a helicopter would look good, but it would have to be in a dark color to stand out against the pale blue. Black?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:04 PM
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It's funny, I find myself unable to evaluate the US flag as a matter of graphic design. It's pure symbol to me -- asking if it's attractively designed or ugly seems as hard to wrap my head around as whether the word "giraffe" is attractively shaped on the page.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:07 PM
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"giraffe" is not especially attractively shaped.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:10 PM
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But is it especially unattractively shaped?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:11 PM
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It's sort of middling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:12 PM
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re: 131

My point wasn't a causal claim.

Big militaristic nations being patriotic, and brandishing patriotic symbols = ugly.

No-one cares if Costa Ricans get all weepy over their flag, but when nationals of powerful militaristic nations do, it's not pretty.

That doesn't mean that individuals are thinking ugly fascist thoughts when they are showing respect to those symbols, or that the veneration of those symbols somehow causes the ugly militarism, but the two things aren't unconnected.

I'm quite sure that lots of good liberal Americans thinking sweet nice thoughts about the world still respect their flag, but you shouldn't be surprised if it looks pretty dubious to outsiders.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:14 PM
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162: me too. I do remember once when, at the age of ten or so, a friend mentioned that he thought the US flag was relatively unattractively designed, pointing out a few others he thought looked "cooler". The thought had never even crossed my mind, and it seemed so completely beside-the-point that I took his comment to be something very close to treason.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:16 PM
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167: I took his comment to be something very close to treason.

Sounds like a close call with a young Confederate sympathizer, Brock.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:20 PM
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164, 4: I think the f's are nicely giraffey, though.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:21 PM
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99: and you complain about our nationalism, though burning a US flag is protected speech, while burning the Queen is actually a crime.

As far as Natargacm's fear of jingoism, I think he'd be surprised by the lack of flag-waving that goes on here. We see a news story about some instance of flag-worship, and Americans think "well, this sort of thing isn't exactly an organized movement, what's the harm? In fact, what's the possible harm?" He says he associates it with fascism because of the people who brandish the St. George's cross before international sporting events. Well, nothing like that ever happens before international sporting events in the US. Point for us!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:21 PM
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Although reverting to cameleopard would be awesome, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:21 PM
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157: That's just a ripoff of Sicily, Emerson.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:22 PM
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No-one cares if Costa Ricans get all weepy over their flag, but when nationals of powerful militaristic nations do, it's not pretty.

Really? Even tiny countries, if you look closely, often turn out to be patriotically oppressing some ethnic group of 5,000 people, or some such.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:23 PM
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I'm sorry to say that Canada has a nicer flag than we do. The American flag is pretty awful. There are worse, though, even in North America. Like Dominica and Grenada, holy hell are they stinking up the joint.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:23 PM
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We do have too many stars. But at least they're in a rational sort of pattern. Good luck memorizing this, elementary schoolers!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:25 PM
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Frowner!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:27 PM
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Even tiny countries, if you look closely, often turn out to be patriotically oppressing some ethnic group of 5,000 people, or some such.

Or worse. Of course this could be a plot to use them as a proxy in attacking Iran.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:28 PM
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re: 173

Sure, but it's all a matter of degree. Costa Ricans probably not as responsible for quite as many deaths, internationally, in recent years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:29 PM
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Dominica and Grenada both have great flags. Dominica has a Pokemon on its flag. And I like the single flame on Grenada. Does the asymmetry bother you?

The real problem is Uruguay. That sun has one creepy look on its face. And Aruba...that four-pointed star just doesn't work.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:30 PM
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144: Hear, hear. If we require our children to swear loyalty to our country, WE R DOIN IT WRONG.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:31 PM
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177, there's not a single instance of the word "FYROM" in that article. The alexandrine terrorists have already won.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:31 PM
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177: The Almighty then responds: "From you, Macedonians, descendants of Macedon, I conceived the white race. All that stretches to the seas off Japan is conceived from your genes."

Zounds!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:33 PM
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alexandrine terrorists

Terrorism in 12-syllable couplets?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:34 PM
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I'm sorry to say that Canada has a nicer flag than we do.

Yeah, after universal health care and low rates of gun violence, having a nice flag is just rubbing it in.

The Canadians also have a great patriotic song, which someone has made a lovely slideshow for.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:39 PM
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On topic and completely work-safe.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:41 PM
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Do a Google Image Search on the Dominican flag. (Dominica, not Rep.Dom.)

Oddly, although nearly every single one has the yellow and white stripes in the same configuration (yellow on left and top, white on right and bottom), there's a lot more variety in whether the Chatot is facing left or right. So it's not just an issue of mirror-image mistakes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:43 PM
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Alaska has the best flag (designed by Benny Benson, 13-year old Native American) and flag song in the world.

"Alaska's Flag"
"Words by Marie Drake and music by Elinor Dusenbury"

"Eight stars of gold on a field of blue-
Alaska's flag. May it mean to you
The blue of the sea, the evening sky,
The mountain lakes, and the flow'rs nearby;
The gold of the early sourdough's dreams,
The precious gold of the hills and streams;
The brilliant stars in the northern sky,
The "Bear" -the "Dipper"- and, shining high,
The great North Star with its steady light,
O'er land and sea a beacon bright.
Alaska's flag-to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier."


Posted by: Sarah P | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:46 PM
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185: why does that thing say that the US flag has 52 stars?

How sloppy. I'm never hiring that marketing firm.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:47 PM
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On topic and completely work-safe

Who are you and what have you done with Apostropher!?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:47 PM
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I don't think most Europeans and most Americans will ever really see eye to eye on this one. Basically, flag wavers == nutters and fascists.

Perhaps you've already come around on this, but lots of Europeans see their own flag waving as perfectly benign and even charming. (Danes especially seem to live in one big giant Danish flag.) It's any manifest American patriotism that seems gross, nutty, and fascistic, because America is big and militaristic and creepy, and the fact that it sometimes manifests in flag-waving is fairly incidental.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:48 PM
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Big giant? Hm.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:49 PM
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148 was an attempt to be conciliatory. I don't really think our flag is midldnig at all. I actually like the design a lot. But I'm prepared to concede this might be due more to positive conditioning than to any objective design qualities.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:49 PM
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why does that thing say that the US flag has 52 stars?

Israel and Canada.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:49 PM
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191: makes more sense than "small giant".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:50 PM
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makes more sense than "small giant".

The small giant clam is pretty.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:52 PM
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re: 190

Well, your point that flag-waving in the US is creepy because the US is big and militaristic was exactly my point, no?

But for what it's worth, I think in a lot of, but by no means all, European countries flag-waving == fascists and nutters.

Even with the US I don't think there's anything particular creepy about it on particular national festivals. It's the all-year round aspect of it that's disturbing. Ditto the flag of St. George in England, or the Union Jack in some parts of the UK. They are fine when it's a football match, or the the Queen's under-footman's 15th anniversary, or whatever. But when it's all year round, it's creepy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:00 PM
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196: Well, your point that flag-waving in the US is creepy because the US is big and militaristic was exactly my point, no?

If something that's neutral or harmless when people in other countries do it becomes creepy when Americans do it, isn't it still American exceptionalism, just turned around?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:09 PM
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isn't it still American exceptionalism, just turned around?

Talking about reverse American exceptionalism in this case is like talking about reverse sexism whenever someone does something that acknowledges the existence of patriarchy


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:14 PM
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198: Sexist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:19 PM
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Eek:
Northern Mariana Islands
Turkmenistan


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:21 PM
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Danish flagwaving is just one of their cheese promotion related activities..

Though if the Canadian occupation of Hans Island isn't ended soon, who knows?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:22 PM
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Alaska flag


Posted by: Todd P | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:23 PM
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And I've told this here before, but to save noobs from having to RTFA, when I lived in London I and an American friend were hanging out one night with a collection of native Brits plus some Australlians, NZers, Irish, a Dane, a South African, a Portugueezer, and a couple of Frenchies. Somehow the topic of how many states the US had came up, and everyone besides me and the other American kept insisting very vehemently and adamantly that no, the US has 52 states. Duh! It had 50 and then Alaska and Hawaii got added, you idiots!

We eventually had one of them call the US Embassy and pose the question, but even after that they still weren't really convinced I don't think. That was my first experience with the 52 states phenomenon, but since then I've noticed it pretty consistently among Europeans and their antipodean cousins. I've never heard a convincing explanation for why this misbelief is apparently so widely held.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:26 PM
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The proposed flag cools my enthusiasm for one day living in the Republic of Cascadia. As long as I have to live under the United Statesian one, I really wish they'd tweak the colors. Not that I object to red and blue, but the particular color values now in use are abrasive to my retinas. Literally, I fear.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:31 PM
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That Cascadia flag, whoosh. A toxic mélange of Uruguay, Kiribati, and Haiti.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:34 PM
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I've never heard a convincing explanation for why this misbelief is apparently so widely held

Foreigners are idiots, as any American ful kno.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:34 PM
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Frowner!

Indeed. I was just wondering about Frowner this weekend.

From the link in 157:

A modified version of this coat-of-arms is still in use by Magnus' descendants in Norway, the Skanke family.
If you, personally, know any skanks, you should consider giving them a copy of the internationally-recognized Skank[e] Crest.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:36 PM
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206: I'm convinced!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:37 PM
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197: I think it's more like saying that history matters.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:37 PM
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Has anyone linked that website that judged every flag in the world for aesthetics? It's been years, so I have no idea of the URL.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:37 PM
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198: I dunno about that. I think it's possible to channel a type of what I've been calling sentimental nationalism (to distinguish it from aggressive patriotism) to good ends: that the same impulse that causes one to wince with distaste at seeing a flag mishandled can be related to the impulse that's additionally horrified by seeing Americans committing human rights violations because we're supposed to be better than that. Call it Carl Schurz patriotism: "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:37 PM
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133: WANT


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:38 PM
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Bhutan, total ripoff of Wales. The only new concept in the Bhutan flag is the idea of having the dragon be roller-skating.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:40 PM
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212: Noted on my "Future Gifts" list. Now is is Bhutan's flag or Sicily's that you want? Or both?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:41 PM
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120. 'Twas me. The amazing thing is that this is in the Pentagon's A ring in a corridor dedicated to NATO. There is lots of foot traffic there and someone should have noticed. Nearly 3 years on now and the United Kindgom's flag (displayed vertically) is still hung with the wrong side facing (i.e., upside down). This isn't the first alliance flag that they have hung the wrong way so I can't be too surprised.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:44 PM
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The flag of the international vexillologists' federation is interesting and not unattractive. Why a sheet bend, one wonders?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:45 PM
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FWIW, IMPO the US flag isn't hideous - busy at worst. I rather like the combo of true red with a deeper blue - not trying too hard, but not all kindergartenish either.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:46 PM
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181: FYROM = Fuck You, Republic Of Macedonia?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:47 PM
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211: You know, Lizard, you have at various times expressed sentimental attachment to the US, to New York City, and to Clan Breath. I think you are just one loyal reptile.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:49 PM
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204: Yeah, that Cascadian flag definitely looks like it dropped acid.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:55 PM
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Every time I see the title of this post it triggers "Now That We've Found Love" by Heavy D to play in my head.

When I actually read the title in full, I see that it would substitute for the lyrics pretty well actually. The "giant tacky flag" part would have to run together a bit. Still, catchy.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:56 PM
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I just don't believe in the sacredness of any object. I wouldn't deliberately "desecrate" something just to freak the squares, but neither am I going to be bothered that a flag touched the ground (seriously, ritual cremation?) or that someone made a shirt out of one. (Thong bikinis are plenty offensive on their own.)

The union printed up some stickers that had text on a U.S. flag (relevant because the company wouldn't let an employee hang a flag on his cubicle). OMG, did some people freak out because there was (pro-flag) text printed on a picture of a flag.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:02 PM
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I just don't believe in the sacredness of any object.

Can I show you something, Sir Kraab? You'll need to stand back a bit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:07 PM
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The norm seems to be "if you are acquainted (in a broad sense) with the person, accept a friend request." Add that to the idea that "de-friending" isn't done

They really ought to post these etiquette rules somewhere. I routinely reject people whose acquaintance I deem too attenuated. Or one who I'm not at all sure who she is, though half of my college friends are friends with her suggesting a strong possibility that I was too at one point.

And I've de-friended several people. Several because, while attenuated, I thought it might be neat to catch up -- and it turned out it really wasn't. A few who I otherwise rather liked for routine posting of comments that really weren't fit for sharing with everyone who is my FB friend. The rest because I work with them and decided my professional peers really do not need to be privy to the inanities I share with my near and dear.

FB has forced me to accept that I am really just kind of a bad person.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:08 PM
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223: Surely your hairdo hasn't gotten that big, apo?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:10 PM
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Erm, I suppose refreshing might have revealed to me that the conversations has moved on... Carry on.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:11 PM
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Foreigners are idiots, as any American ful kno.

They must be. I'm not that old (younger than Emerson) and I can remember the 48 star flag. I'm waiting to see how they arrange 53 (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Samoa?). I don't think they've had a prime since they went to rows instead of a circle.

I have to say I quite like the American flag, as a design.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:11 PM
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So what's the verdict on wearing clothes with state flags on them? Creepily fascistic, jingoistic, or something else? (I have a California state flag T-shirt I wear regularly. Am I oppressing anyone?)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:13 PM
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I reject the friendship of anyone I don't know, if I don't recognize them even after finding out which friends we have in common. What am I going to talk about with these people? So far I haven't gotten a request from anyone I don't know who actually lives in the same place I do...maybe I'd accept that one.

Defriending is reserved for people who A) have never actually spoken to me for more than ten seconds at a time, and B) ceaselessly post photos taken at gala balls full of drunk preppies. B isn't a dealbreaker unless A is also true.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:13 PM
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I thought it might be neat to catch up -- and it turned out it really wasn't

Heh. I've had that experience, especially when you come across someone you got into lots of fun trouble with back in the day, only to find out that their religious views are now "Ask me about my lord and savior Jesus Christ!"

Um, no thanks.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:14 PM
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228: Bears.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:14 PM
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re: 209

Yeah, that's pretty much it. History, present actions, etc.

Plus there's just some aesthetically unseemly about self-celebration, and the bigger/more-powerful you are, the less seemly it is. This applies in all kinds of arenas. Some tiny band claiming they are the greatest in the world -- silly/sweet/amusing/deluded (depending) -- U2 saying it -- sure sign of cock-hood, etc.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:15 PM
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225: Apo has a hairdo? Totally great.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:15 PM
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YOU CAN FUCK RIGHT OFF JOSH.


Posted by: OPINIONATED BAJA CALIFORNIA | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:15 PM
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43 is a prime.

They skipped over 47, though unofficial flags with 47 stars were made in the erroneous presumption that Arizona or New Mexico would not enter during the same 365-day period. (the flag has traditionally been changed only on July 4)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:15 PM
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233: It has been a hairdon't recently, but it's almost out of the awkward stage now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:17 PM
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231: Hey, just 'cause we wiped out our state mascot...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:17 PM
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I'm waiting to see how they arrange 53

Not going to happen. 50 is a nice, round number, and we gotta keep it. So if we get any new states, that means we are going to kick out old states. I'm hoping Delaware will be the one to get the boot. It makes sense - first state in, first state out...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:18 PM
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238: wouldn't they more likely just merge a few? CT could annex RI, for example, or perhaps we could make do with just one big Dakota.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:20 PM
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43 stars was only the standard for 1 year. Rows of 37 stars were around for a decade. The specific arrangement of stars was not really official until we got all the way up to 48, though.

Complete information here. As you can see, the designs are not really authoritative.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:20 PM
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that means we are going to kick out old states

Or consolidate. How many Dakotas does a country need?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:21 PM
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And speaking of the messages apparel sends... What about wearing a keffiyeh as a scarf?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:21 PM
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185: why does that thing say that the US flag has 52 stars?

This is a really common misconception. I think people get it confused with weeks of the year. Or think that there are 50 states + Alaska & Hawaii.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:21 PM
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God damn it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:22 PM
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re: 242

In general? Or as a new and improved American symbol?

They are pretty common here. I own two, and I'm neither hip nor trendy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:22 PM
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239: Aw. Leave poor old RI alone. Can't we just give VT back to NY and WV back to VA?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:23 PM
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236: Are you trying to grow dreds or something? I think of you as curly-haired, but harking back to the pictures of your mullet, perhaps you are just, you know, trying to grow long hair, which is not something one has to try to do, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:23 PM
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I don't think that flag garments should be worn in proximity to genitalia or excretory orifices, but only in cleanly, dignified parts of the body. But otherwise, fine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:23 PM
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we are going to kick out old states

You start by melding the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. Put the four together, and it would have almost as many people as Arkansas.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:23 PM
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I share LB and Chopper's sentimentality toward the American flag. Like Chopper, it was drummed into me by the Boy Scouts. (I loathe the Pledge, though, esp. when children say it. Children have no business being coerced into loyalty oaths.)

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it is rather lacking though. I prefer the minimalism of the Somali, Vietnamese, and Japanese flags. Though the red and white stripes do provide a nice effect when the American flag is flapping in a breeze.

Josh Parsons has a great, opinionated site on the aesthetics of international flags.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:24 PM
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239 - My plan is similar. MD annexes DE, and abolishes their I-95 tollbooths.

The next two states to go would be PA and NJ. I suppose they could also be merged into Maryland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:24 PM
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Wow, multiply pwned. I'm just growing it long. I'll take a picture when I get home tonight. It's not really that impressive yet.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:25 PM
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The more I read about it, the more I think that Manitoba and Saskatchewan should be part of the U.S.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:25 PM
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it was drummed into me by the Boy Scouts

You're lucky it was the only thing they drummed into you.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:25 PM
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only to find out that their religious views are now "Ask me about my lord and savior Jesus Christ!"

I had to de-friend someone after our initial re-acquaintanceship led directly to belligerent religious overtures and repeated postings to his profile of videos of fundamentalist preachers spewing homophobia. Mainly my reaction was to wonder how someone winds up less cool as an adult than they were in jr. high.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:26 PM
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243 reminds me that I have heard the "weeks in a year" explanation and found it perhaps the most convincing for the phenomenon.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:26 PM
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What about wearing a keffiyeh as a scarf?

I stopped that 5 years ago or so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:26 PM
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246: Also, I think that CT once had claims NE OH (or the Western Reserve, in general). That won't really help with consolidation, but rather would be pleasantly confusing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:26 PM
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251, we've already discussed this.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:26 PM
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You start by melding the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming.

That's a good idea. You could combine them with the state of Canada.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:27 PM
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The US Army Institute of Heraldry apparently has all you wonderers covered (though I can't find the images for versions with more than 51 stars).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:27 PM
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I'm just growing it long.

Apo wants his hair to be gay where it counts.

And I think of you as more prone to big hair rather than long hair. Inaccurate?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:30 PM
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245: I would be actually be somewhat pleased to see the keffiyeh become standard military issue here the way it is in the British armed forces, but I meant in general. When I was in France in the '90s they were pretty common, with no clear ideological intent, but in Berlin they were sold as "PLO Tuch", and Swedish friends have told me that they can be controversial there.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:30 PM
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loathe the Pledge, though, esp. when children say it. Children have no business being coerced into loyalty oaths.

And that's the thing -- I can't think of any occasion where the Pledge is said by adults other than in the process of coercing schoolchildren. Poor Rory got my whole lecture on this in first grade when she got selected to help lead the pledge for the first day of school. Mostly about the "under God" bit. "oh, um, but it was cool that the principal like you."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:30 PM
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how someone winds up less cool as an adult than they were in jr. high.

Age is no proxy for wisdom or perceptiveness. This is one of the most alarming things I have ever learned. It can always get worse. Also, the world only just barely works. The smooth surface is a front, like the dining area in a restaurant. Neckwear of any degree of hipness changes nothing, though a discreet shark's tooth is always nice. Or an ascot.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:30 PM
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214: No, dear. I want a groovy design for the U.S. flag. You know, something that will make an attractive Speedo.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:31 PM
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251.last, 210 thanks you.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:32 PM
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266: I don't think I can swing that in time for your next birthday, honey.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:35 PM
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I can't think of any occasion where the Pledge is said by adults other than in the process of coercing schoolchildren.

I'm pretty sure its required at any Republican event, ever.

Do you remember that time during the campaign when Obama was in the middle of a speech at a rally. An a heckler got on his case for not starting out the rally by leading the pledge of allegiance, and he responded by leading the crowd in the pledge of allegiance?

That made me loath the pledge even more.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:35 PM
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re: 263

I think 99% of the people wearing them here are wearing them because they were briefly quite fashionable a year or so back, and are quite practical. I like mine because if I am not wearing it I can wrap a camera in it and stuff it in my bag; loosely wrap it round my neck; roll it up into a normal scarf; sit on it on damp grass, etc. I got into the habit last year after I had some throat surgery, and wanted something light to wear.

I'm perfectly aware of the political symbolism, but I think that's no longer that significant for a lot of people.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:37 PM
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I can't think of any occasion where the Pledge is said by adults other than in the process of coercing schoolchildren.

It's said at the beginning of almost everything I do as an election judge for my overwhelmingly blue county, but I have no idea whether that's required or simply the preference of our county's director of elections (lots of little fiddly bits of election judge actions are obscure legal requirements). Last year I found it amusing that almost everyone in the room paused in silence for three syllables when a couple of people said the "under God" bit.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:37 PM
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only to find out that their religious views are now "Ask me about my lord and savior Jesus Christ!"

Similarly, I seriously considered a defriending immediately post-election in response to sentiments about how in need of prayer this country now is what with Obama as president and all. You know, given how intolerant all his supporters are and stuff.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:37 PM
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I think of you as more prone to big hair rather than long hair.

First one, then the other. I've successfully made it to big.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:38 PM
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Can't we just give VT back to NY

The last time NYers pretended to exercise authority over VT, it didn't work out well for them. Vermonters may be taciturn, but it's best not to rile them.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:39 PM
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I'm all for giving Vermont back its independence.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:41 PM
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254: I have mixed feelings about the Boy Scouts. I despise the homophobic stance that the national leadership has taken. And it still pisses me off that I had to essentially lie to my Eagle Scout review board, because I am, and was even then, an atheist. (I just said "I'm a Baptist" when asked about religion. Which wasn't false, because I did attend a Baptist church, but fell rather short of the whole truth.)

On the other hand, it was mostly just hiking, camping, and having fun in the outdoors. Overall I'd say it was a pretty positive experience.

(Apart from the year that I watched a friend die at summer camp when he fell off a vine we were swinging on. But that was an accident.)


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:41 PM
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You start by melding the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming.

God, yes. Cut 'em down from 8 Senators to 2, minimize the fucktardedness. While you're at it, merge Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, and Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Kentucky, too.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:44 PM
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273: Hmmm. I've never made it past the big stage, and I'm not sure that my hair actually has a post-big long stage. I'm not much inclined to find out, either, just mildly curious.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:47 PM
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277: We're going to have to change your pseud to "Uniter" or maybe "Melder".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:48 PM
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279: Since my sole goal is cutting down the number of Senators that Red states have, I'll stick with what I've got, thanks.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:51 PM
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Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Kentucky, too.

Merging NC with VA would make sense (and we'll take Tennessee for Memphis), but we really don't fit well with SC and KY any longer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:52 PM
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246
Can't we just give VT back to NY

Not if NH has anything to say about it.

276.last: But other than that, Mr. zadfrack, how did you like the Scouts?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:52 PM
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Di in 224: A few who I otherwise rather liked for routine posting of comments that really weren't fit for sharing with everyone who is my FB friend.

That's why I want to set up this group thing for the BF's family, but when I did it, it turns out that you have to invite people to your group, and those people have to be your friends.

The rest because I work with them and decided my professional peers really do not need to be privy to the inanities I share with my near and dear.

This is why I have 2 facebook accounts.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:52 PM
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Di in 224: A few who I otherwise rather liked for routine posting of comments that really weren't fit for sharing with everyone who is my FB friend.

That's why I want to set up this group thing for the BF's family, but when I did it, it turns out that you have to invite people to your group, and those people have to be your friends.

The rest because I work with them and decided my professional peers really do not need to be privy to the inanities I share with my near and dear.

This is why I have 2 facebook accounts.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:52 PM
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281: I thought you didn't need to fit well if you had KY.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:53 PM
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I'm all for giving Vermont back its independence.

So are a lot of Vermonters. Nostalgia for the Republic is one of the few things they have in common with Texans.

merge Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico

Swap Idaho for New Mexico, and it's a deal.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:53 PM
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283 and 284 were I.



Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:54 PM
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I think melding Alaska and Hawaii would be fun, because Alaskans are wicked Republican and Hawaiians are wicked Democratic. It would be fun to watch them fight each other.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:54 PM
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285 for the win.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:55 PM
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I think melding Alaska and Hawaii would be fun

And just think how many jobs would be created for the Alaska-Hawaii bridge project.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:56 PM
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God, yes. Cut 'em down from 8 Senators to 2, minimize the fucktardedness

5 of those 8 are Dems.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:56 PM
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After the 2010 elections, it's almost a dead certainty that both of NC's senators will be Democrats.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 2:58 PM
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207: Wondering what about Frowner? About the constant excitement here in the Mini-Apple as we fight the post-RNC cases? Gonna be some serious activist burnout when all this is over.

On the keffiyeh: they used to be fashionable here on the left. I have one. Now they kind of illuminate a classic division within the left (a division which stems in part from their fashionableness with hipsters): there are the hard-core pro-Palestinian-state-of-some-kind rads, who wear them (more or less me); the "that's offensive to Israel" progressives who don't; and the radder-than-thou ones who eschew the keffiyeh for some ultraleft reason that I don't quite understand.

Ideological leapfrog, that's how I think of it.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:00 PM
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Plus, of course, actual Palestinians, radical and non-. They often get missed in this discussion, I've noticed.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:01 PM
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Mostly about the "under God" bit. "

I don't care that much about the "under God" part. I mean, I'm pretty sure that I'm against it, but it doesn't get my goat quite as much as pledging allegiance to a flag, as opposed to a country.

When I went to private schools, we never had to say it. When we moved to the suburbs, and I started public school in the third grade, I was really confused by the whole thing which everyone else knew, and I didn't. I was also somewhat repulsed even then.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:05 PM
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I didn't say the pledge as a child because I believed quite sincerely that to swear to something under God was to take the Lord's name in vain.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:08 PM
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291: Fair enough. Allow me to rephrase: restructure the proportional representation in the Senate to align more closely to population. Red State doesn't play in as much (although it does some, obviously).


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:18 PM
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Every time I see the title of this post it triggers "Now That We've Found Love" by Heavy D to play in my head.

Me too!!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:23 PM
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297: C. Carp disagrees on all this, BTW. Activate the Carp-signal.

The basic reason for hating on the tiny states is just that they're overrepresented in the Senate and Electoral College. A second reason is that about half of them (ND SD MT WY and AK, plus maybe ID NV NM and UT) belong to a definable interest Western group.

There's another, though. Small states are easier to buy. Elections are cheaper, the amount of pork needed is less, and the malefactors of great wealth can "provide jobs" by relocating some kind of operation there -- and in a small state it doesn't have to be a very big operation. (Something like that is happening in the Dakotas, I know, and IIRC, Delaware is saturated with insurance and finance).

So if you see an ex-Senator from some dinky hick state going on to be a mega-lobbyist (like Daschle), don't be surprised. That's what those states are for.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:32 PM
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291: How goes it, CJB?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:35 PM
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296: the flag is above god, Jackmormon. If you'd read the Euthyphro you'd understand that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:44 PM
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I don't care that much about the "under God" part. I mean, I'm pretty sure that I'm against it, but it doesn't get my goat quite as much as pledging allegiance to a flag, as opposed to a country.

Yeah, fair enough. The "under God" part kind of gets/got my goat because, while I am in fact personally a believer, many of Rory's friends have this sort of exclusive cool-kids mentality about how super duper Catholic they are (one who had the ill-sense or ill-fortune to give Rory a hard time in my presence about why it is we don't go to Mass), hence the importance of "we do not under any circumstances make people feel excluded on account of their religion or lack thereof."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:50 PM
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288: because Alaskans are wicked Republican and Hawaiians are wicked Democratic.

Was just reading about their entry into the Union and interestingly they were reversed back then, and part of why they both came in at nearly the same time was so Hawaii's Republicans could balance the Alaska Democrats.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:07 PM
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How goes it, CJB?

Snow storm. I baked an apple cake which is almost cool enough to eat now, so I've got that going for me.

On the flood front still waiting. There is some worry that the winds from the winter storm could create waves on the river that would increase pressure on the dikes. On the plus side the river keeps going down so we shall see.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:13 PM
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I am sending desiccative thoughts in your direction. Down, river! Down!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:16 PM
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Rock, flag and eagle, baby. I can't wait for this to be our new anthem.

(at 1:39)


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:22 PM
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I am sending desiccative thoughts in your direction

Thanks.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:24 PM
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Perhaps forming a moat of those packets of silica gel you get in with electronic equipment would be a good idea?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:37 PM
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What is the most absorbent substance on earth? I think silica are used because of the high rate of deposition of water vapor on its surface for some reason, rather than their ability to contain liquid water. I'm looking for a substance which is able to absorb a high volume of water per liter of material; God's tampon, if you will.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:46 PM
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308: And give a boost to the electronics industry, if you had to buy them in any significant number. Those things are tiny.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:48 PM
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293: On the keffiyeh: they used to be fashionable here on the left. I have one. Now they kind of illuminate a classic division within the left (a division which stems in part from their fashionableness with hipsters)

Damn hipsters. Seriously, though, wearing a keffiyeh became, a few years ago, more trouble than it was worth. You might be in for a steely-eyed gaze, or a raised eyebrow, signifying any number of unasked questions: are you making a political statement here? are you being fashionable? do you know what that thing means? etc.

It began to feel like usurpation of issues that weren't one's own. Wearing it just because it was versatile, warm, and aesthetically pleasing (as Nattargatam says) started to feel like an error.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:58 PM
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exclusive cool-kids mentality about how super duper Catholic

We have some super duper Catholic friends up the street with kids about the same age as ours (our two and their two are ages 3-6).

Their kids are always proselytizing ours - and with some success, since the whole God thing is particularly impressive at that age, and we aren't inclined to use our best atheist arguments, lest our children repeat them to the devout at an inopportune time.

Then our neighbor's daughter got brain cancer, which necessitated everyone praying for her. After some trips to Boston for medical care (and, I suspect, prayers from a better class of Catholic), the littler girl got better - no sign of cancer for about a year now.

We are, of course, very relieved and even less inclined to give them shit about their primitive beliefs. You never know when we might need them to pray for us or our kids.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:09 PM
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Picture of "Fur Rendezvous Queen" adding a 49th star to a very big 48-star flag in Alaska.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:09 PM
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White Slaver Gets Sentence


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:13 PM
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Tesoro Fuel had both branded credit cards and a website in 1958!


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:15 PM
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You could always wear the keffiyeh in your back pocket, discreetly, like the lesbians used to.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:43 PM
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Wondering what about Frowner?

Just a general, "Seems like Frowner hasn't been around much lately. Hope all is well."

I think it's because minne and JE have been commenting a lot lately, so the third leg of the tripod was conspicuously absent (no offense, Chopper).

BTW, I like the 51-star flag with the circle quite a lot.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:06 PM
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314: And it was no joke.

Another great item on that page: The Atomic Energy Commission disclosed today it is studying the possibility of excavating harbors by nuclear explosions and expects to try it out in Alaska in 1960. Part of Project Plowshare.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:07 PM
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5 of those 8 are Dems.

Yeah, but shitty Dems. Who needs 'em (in a reduced Senate)?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:07 PM
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Plus, of course, actual Palestinians, radical and non-. They often get missed in this discussion, I've noticed.

I get really offended by Palestinians wearing keffiyahs. Like, what are you trying to prove? Maybe if you stopped trying so hard?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:09 PM
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I baked an apple cake which is almost cool enough to eat now, so I've got that going for me.

This makes me feel that I've wasted much of my day.

Actually, I made a really tasty leek/lentil-based shepherd's pie that was surprisingly yummy (it came form a pretty suspect cookbook, but I used my own knowledge to improve, and it worked). It was supposed to be a veggie meal, but we ended up with an extra salmon filet, so there you go. Nice dinner.

If I get my shit together, maybe I'll add it to AWB's wiki.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:12 PM
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In fact, as you can see, that pie gave me super-commenting powers.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:13 PM
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Ooh, JRoth, please do! I would love to make that leek-lentil shepherd's pie before the cold weather is gone.

This afternoon, I made a version of cajunpunk's garlic soup recipe (on the wiki) with 40 cloves of garlic, a potato, a carrot, three parsnips, and three turnips, roasted until crispy, with homemade broth, some ricotta, and fresh basil. I love it.

I got to spend Sat/Sun with Will and BR in VA, and had lunch today with Wrongshore. It is a very happy unfoggy weekend.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:16 PM
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JROTH'S SHIT

Ingredients:

leek/lentil-based shepherd's pie
salmon filet

Method:

Consume all ingredients; wait.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:16 PM
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no offense, Chopper

None taken. They do form their own troika quite nicely. And I'm something of a commenter emeritus at this point.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:20 PM
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318: The specific project, Chariot, is the subject of The Firecracker Boys, which is horrifyingly entertaining in a Dr. Strangelovian way.

320: Would it kill you to wear a yarmulke once in a while?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:26 PM
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Actually, I made a really tasty leek/lentil-based shepherd's pie that was surprisingly yummy

This was probably more work than the apple cake. The hardest part of that was peeling the six apples.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:30 PM
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Ok, fine, what's the apple cake receipt? Jeez.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:32 PM
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324: Wouldn't it be nice if there were some other method?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:34 PM
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Ok, fine, what's the apple cake receipt?

What, you still need to pony up for your share?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:37 PM
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I made a good apple-yogurt cake a few weeks ago, using this recipe (with regular sugar and an extra apple).


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:37 PM
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What, you still need to pony up for your share?

Like he would.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:38 PM
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330 reminds me that I was talking about efficient digestion recently and had forgotten most of the details.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:38 PM
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320 and 326.2 are making me laugh. I hope that's not wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:39 PM
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The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. I think I put a picture of it the last time I made it in the flickr pool.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:41 PM
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So you did.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:43 PM
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Apple cake seems lovely, CJB. Also, W-lfs-n said "receipt", which is just great.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:48 PM
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I only did it to get attention.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:50 PM
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338: This is totally wrong. The idea is that "receipt" flows off the fingertips onto the keyboard (assuming you're a touch-typist), and one scarcely has any control over it.

I should look up the metamorphosis of "receipt" to "recipe" [I found that spelling difficult to execute just now] one of these days.

Eh. You know, I've been reading some essays of David Foster Wallace lately, and he's fucking fantastic, terrific. I'm not sure why I mention this; it's on my mind.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:02 PM
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Aw. Leave poor old RI alone.

While we appreciate the kind thoughts, oudemia, I think being absorbed into another state is looking more and more appealing. Massachusetts, can we interest you in a few extra counties?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:39 PM
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No, actually, that's really how it happened.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:45 PM
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I have a terrible urge to cook something complicated and fancy and just absolutely zero time. Maybe on Wednesday when I'm educating my house-sitting fraternity brother on our pets, their foods and their medicines. That would be a nice beginning in our efforts to repay him for his help.

Can someone email me the Wiki info? I've long since forgotten it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:49 PM
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Oh, and of course I'm robustmcmanlypants @ nc dot rr dot com.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:52 PM
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Robust, the coolest thing in the world is having the people you're house-sitting for provide you with a groovy sit-down meal on the occasion of receiving their extensive house-sitting instructions. It's like: okay, let's talk house; here is the house and here are its people (pets, plants). So yeah, you should do that!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:59 PM
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Massachusetts, can we interest you in a few extra counties?

The last thing Massachusetts wants is more counties. They've been getting rid of them as fast as they can.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:02 PM
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Also, I can't believe I just read this entire thread. Short reactions:

Properly folding the flag is a pain in the fucking ass and I'm terrible at it. Unfortunately, I have to do it as part of my job. Fortunately, no one really cares if I do it well.

I'm not going to dignify the insults to my home state implied above with a response, but I will note that it has a kickass flag.

While I have plenty of Facebook friends I haven't met, I don't think I have any I don't know.

And finally, this thread seems to have conclusive establised that nattarGcM was right about this:

I don't think most Europeans and most Americans will ever really see eye to eye on this one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:08 PM
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In addition, I've been drinking. In case anyone was wondering about the typos.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:09 PM
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I don't think Massachusetts wants Rhode Island. One of these days we're gonna get Maine back, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:10 PM
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I'm glad teo read the thread.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:11 PM
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Thanks, Tweety. That makes it all worthwhile.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:17 PM
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I'm not sure how it is that constituents of Jesse Ventura, or Norm Coleman, Mark Dayton, Michele Bachman, Rudy Boschwitz, or David Durenberger get to go around complaining about other people's representatives.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:18 PM
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Do people generally have opinions about their state flags? I actually had to look up the NY state flag: I'm sure I must have seen it at least a few times, but I didn't have an image of it in my mind. It's ... busy, but kind of interesting.

The US flag is not ugly, imho. As far as flags go, I think it's one of the better ones, design-wise. But of course it's overused, overexposed, and overburdened with (flag-wavingly patriotic) meaning.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:24 PM
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348: That'd likely involve a package deal including New Hampshire. Not entirely a bad thing, but New Hampshirites won't willingly add to your tax base. Live tax-free or die, as they say.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:25 PM
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The Massachusetts flag has a severed arm on it; that's sort of neat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:26 PM
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353: hell no, man. We're going back to the old school.

In other news, it just occured to me that this thread offers the perfect opportunity to tell a story about my Burning Man art project, the "Old Glory Hole". It was a building with opposing entrances and a wall down the middle, painted like the American flag, with four round holes drilled in it around waist level. We lined the holes with plastic tubing -- no splinters! -- and put on a loop of peppy Sousa marches. See, you could literally fuck the flag!

Anyhoo, the outside was decorated very patriotically (the whole wall was done up like one of these, just because the star pattern was irresistible), and included an actual American flag flying. Apparently this was too much patriotism for somebody -- even though, you know, fucking the flag -- and they took a flamethrower to the actual, flying flag within like a day of us putting it up. The rest of the project -- red white and blue disco ball, light up colonial flag, etcetera -- remained unmolested. Well, okay, unmolested by fire.

So, ttaM, not to worry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:32 PM
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351: I've only been around to vote and resided in an eligible place for the first three. Norm is an immense douchebag, but at least we kept it to one term. The other two, well, you shoulda seen the other guys.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:32 PM
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Do people generally have opinions about their state flags?

People in New Mexico do. I can't speak for other places.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:36 PM
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Returning to flags - the Swiss are about as flag obsessed as the Americans and they're very xenophobic and nationalist. Not so much with the aggressive militarism, but very serious about universal military service and traditionally (as in at least as recently as the mid nineties) their political and business elites were in their majority drawn from the officer corps.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:38 PM
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358: John McPhee's book on Swiss military culture (La Place de la Concorde Suisse) is pretty great; they do seem very militarized and all that, and I guess they're kind of xenophobic, but there's something so nominal about all of it, what with them being (a) neutral, (b) crazy hard to attack and (c) so culturally diverse, historically.

The book mostly makes it sound like harmless adventuring for middle aged men with a taste for hiking and wine, but maybe that's not accurate.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:41 PM
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I just made my favorite cold weather dish - tripe stew. I used a modified version of the standard milanese version, adding saffron and more garlic to the mix. My whole apartment now smells yummy. Next on the list of Things To Make before the weather gets hot - replenish my stocks of stock, make tons of meat sauce for freezing and my annual lasagne verde. If you haven't ever made proper Italian lasagne from scratch, try it once. It's a major pain in the ass, but it is amazing. For Americans it involves bechamel instead of of the ricotta, many thin layers, and hand made sheets of spinach egg pasta.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:45 PM
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How is it that I didn't know until now that Oregon's flag is two-sided? I love it. The side I'm familiar with is all ocean! trees! mountains! agriculture! Oregon Trail! the Union! an eagle! stars! everything!1!! And the other side is like, yay, beaver.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:45 PM
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361: I love the side you're familiar with, though! It's like Oregon Trail in flag form. All it needs is somebody dying of dysentery.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:47 PM
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If you haven't ever made proper Italian lasagne from scratch, try it once. It's a major pain in the ass, but it is amazing. For Americans it involves bechamel instead of of the ricotta, many thin layers, and hand made sheets of spinach egg pasta.

My sister used to make a lasagne similar to this which was delicious.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:49 PM
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All it needs is somebody dying of dysentery

That's what's in the wagon. That and some sourdough.

I've mentioned it before, but La Place de la Concorde Suisse is the source of the seminal false palindrome, "zap the hapless alp."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:53 PM
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364: indeed you have!

I can't believe I was trying to write palindromes in that thread. What's wrong with me?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:57 PM
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(365 was the third hit for the phrase on google, by the way. JMcQ: "zap the hapless alp" evangelist!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:00 PM
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Woohoo! Kind of fun reading that thread backwards and trying to remember the subject. Palindromes, olives, venison, stupid journalist, garlic, stupid about everything, food, stupid about food—oh right, now I remember.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:12 PM
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Looks like I missed that thread. There seems to be some interesting stuff in there, but on the whole I'm not sorry to have missed it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:28 PM
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I'm glad you read it now, teo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:30 PM
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I didn't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:38 PM
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I'm glad of that too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:39 PM
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As am I.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:46 PM
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So!

So I got a jury summons today, for Massachusetts, a state in which I am not currently residing. I assume I can't just ignore it, but looking at the approved excuses "I totally don't live there" doesn't seem to be one of the options. What the hey do I tell them?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:55 PM
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373: Tell them you've seceded from the state of Massachusetts and then wave your hands a lot. Done and done.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 12:28 AM
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Fuck yeah. Remember the me!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 12:32 AM
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Since ttaM seems to be backsliding on it now: Flying flags is crazy-ass creepy, always and everywhere, unless it's on an actual government building. There's potentially an exception for major national holidays, but they're pretty creepy too, so I don't know. Any other use of the flag image is either similarly creepy or gauche, depending.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 1:01 AM
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re: 376

Yes, the urge to be conciliatory needs to be resisted!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 1:08 AM
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How is it that I didn't know until now that Oregon's flag is two-sided?

Now I want a flag that's a Moebius strip.

You need to get back to 13 states. just dice and slice the country into roughly contiguous areas with populations of around 23-24 million, and the job's done.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 1:29 AM
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378.1: Dude. Did w-lfs-n deputize you before he went to bed?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 1:45 AM
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Uh, that was I.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 1:47 AM
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You need to get back to 13 states. just dice and slice the country into roughly contiguous areas with populations of around 23-24 million, and the job's done.

Even better, you should divorce the idea of the states from tedious geography. Just assign citizens at random into one of 13 notional states, with virtual parliaments in cyberspace. Also, ponies.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:28 AM
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YEAH MBC BAYBEE!

WE'RE GONNA HANG THEM SALEM WITCHES YEAH


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:31 AM
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re: 381

Like Vonnegut's idea of randomly assigning us all to 'tribes' named after flowers?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 3:36 AM
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No need to do it at random - just based on birthdate. The USA would consist of the twelve states of January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December, plus the tiny Federal District of Leapyearday.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 3:43 AM
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That would only work if births were distributed evenly across the year, which, afaik, they aren't.

Still, I do like it. Mix in a bit of the French Revolutionary calendar, and we'd have a system!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_revolutionary_calendar#Months


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 3:48 AM
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351: It isn't personal to the individuals or the states. It's overrepresentation, especially in the Electoral College.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 4:03 AM
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That would only work if births were distributed evenly across the year, which, afaik, they aren't.

But, being good Americans, they would use the Muslim calendar, which would even things out in a generation, as the months move through the year.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:15 AM
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Do people generally have opinions about their state flags? I actually had to look up the NY state flag: I'm sure I must have seen it at least a few times, but I didn't have an image of it in my mind. It's ... busy, but kind of interesting.

The Massachusetts one never really stuck in my head. I don't really care for the Maine flag, but you can't forget it, because the Pine tree is so prominent.

I don't think Massachusetts wants Rhode Island. One of these days we're gonna get Maine back, though.

Speaking of Maine, is it possible to get from Massachusetts to Maine without going through another state, i.e. NH. I ask, because I've always wondered how a reunion would work. I know that western Mass used to extend a bit into what is now New York. Did Massachusetts hold claim to parts of New Hampshire? Would we have to get that back too?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:20 AM
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re: 387

Good point. And with a bit of further tweaking we can encourage the pocket astrolabe back into common use. Maybe have a rolling curfew based on crepuscular hours, or something.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:26 AM
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373: Weird, so you never voted there, because you wanted to preserve your other state in-state tuition, but now they think you're a resident?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:30 AM
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the other side is like, yay, beaver.

I can't believe no one's reacted to this. I'd have thought an alarm would go off on apostropher's laptop, at least.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:30 AM
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376: We used to have flags in the back of one of my churches. (One of them was even a U.S. flag). It was quite tasteful, though it might have been creepy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:32 AM
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376: I like flying a flag because flags are so interesting as objects. A home down the road flies a United Nations flag, which is as close to generic feel good internationalism as I think you can get. I agree that it is weird and awful to fly flags for sports teams I do not prefer.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:51 AM
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373. Tell them you're currently living in N4rn1a, and get A|4me1da to forge a letter of apology on your behalf. How will they know any different?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:52 AM
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381, 83: or the reforms of Cleisthenes!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:00 AM
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395. A lot of potential there. Have the Senate (renamed Boule) elected by phylai and the House elected by trittyes. And replace impeachment with ostracism. All good.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:10 AM
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Sifu, just send them photocopies of your out of state lease, gas bill, and student id, along with an explanatory letter. This happens a lot.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:10 AM
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re: 395

Those look pretty good -- as a hybrid of direct and representative democracy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:15 AM
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They were pretty good, as long as you weren't a woman or a slave or an immigrant.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:22 AM
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385
That would only work if births were distributed evenly across the year, which, afaik, they aren't.

And yet, it would still be a far more even distribution than the current Senate.

388
Did Massachusetts hold claim to parts of New Hampshire?

My understanding has always been that Maine and Massachusetts were considered the same state because Maine was founded by Massachusetts residents rather than another group of colonists from the old world. A colony of a colony, as it were. A little perfunctory reading makes it look like there was also some confusion over map boundaries and conflicting land grants.

That's basically how Vermont was founded too. The colony of New Hampshire was granted all the land west to Lake Champlain, while the New York colony extended east to the Connecticut river. That leaves about 80 miles of overlap, and settlers from New Hampshire got there first. By the time they convinced New York to leave them alone, they decided they didn't want to be part of New Hampshire anymore either.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:26 AM
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I'm not sure how it is that constituents of Jesse Ventura, or Norm Coleman, Mark Dayton, Michele Bachman, Rudy Boschwitz, or David Durenberger get to go around complaining about other people's representatives.

Everybody else's shit smells worse than one's own.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:27 AM
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re: 399

Yeah, but in the modern world, I'm sure we'd allow women and immigrants to join.

I very much like the 'exile the rich and powerful' option ...


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:33 AM
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the 'exile the rich and powerful' option ...
To Galt's Gulch!


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:04 AM
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393: One house near mine in Southwest DC put up a UN flag after 9/11. It was kinda great.

Does anyone have a good explanation, by the way, for how the US flag became the symbol of solidarity or whatever after 9/11? It seemed that within a day, or less than a day, of the attacks, news anchors had sprouted lapel pins and fire trucks had sprouted flags. But was it really spontaneous? I always perceived it as of a piece with the Bush administration's use of the attacks to promote nationalism, fear, and the invasions of swarthy countries. Did Rove and Murdoch get on a conference call and figure it out?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:17 AM
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And now I see that my question will end the thread, because there's guns and Texas to talk about.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:20 AM
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In NYC, I think the first flag I saw was on the corner bodega, which is run by Pakistani Muslims -- I figured at the time it was defensive -- "Look, we're patriots! Don't burn the store!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:20 AM
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The first flags I saw displayed after 9/11 were Palestinian flags -- 3 huge ones -- poking out of a car's windows. This was in Hyde Park. Folks in the car were hanging out the windows cheering and there were slogans, etc., painted on the car itself. I figured at the time that either (1) someone had lost a bet or (2) someone was trying to stir up trouble comme un agent provacateur.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:28 AM
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Wow. That's a story -- you really do have to wonder what was going on there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:33 AM
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I'm trying to understand how Jesus has never seen the other side of the flag of the state in which he lives. Do you only ever walk around with the wind from your left? Not that state flags are ubiquitous but, you know, they're out there.

Also, 394 seems a bit Googleproofing-crazed. But maybe that's just how an American would view it.

Last, I don't get 397 at all. Do I need to RTFA?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:34 AM
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397 references 373.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:44 AM
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Gas bills are the new c0ck pics.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:44 AM
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406: It's possible that it was genuine sentiment. For a few months there I think there was national consensus (as close as any sane country gets to it, anyway) that this horrible thing had happened but America can and would rise above it, and for all the problems with America's policy the 9/11 attacks were heinous, and it was the work of a few extremists rather than the Muslim world as a whole. It wasn't until some time in 2002 that people began to argue about Iraq.

Jon Stewart had a good monologue a day or two after 9/11, about how he could see the towers fall from his apartment, but when the smoke cleared, he could see the Statue of Liberty in the towers' place.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:49 AM
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410: I just meant that there was no (apparent) joke.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:58 AM
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It wasn't until some time in 2002 that people began to argue about Iraq.

You have to remember that in the real world, nobody(1) gave Iraq a second thought until the administration started beating that drum. Left to itself America likely could and would have risen above it.

(1) I'm sure there were trolls somewhere, but in the long 20th century conspiracy theorists did not rule.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:59 AM
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409.1: So am I. I suspect the reason is that the only one I see regularly hangs way up high on the top of this bridge, and the ones I've seen up close have been indoors, with the obverse displayed. The beaver looks familiar, though; maybe I thought it was an earlier version.

I can't believe no one's reacted to this.

I will henceforth refer to Oregon as the 'Yay, Beaver' State.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 9:01 AM
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414: Right. The argument I've heard that even in the absence of Bush and his band of merry pranksters we would have invaded Iraq drives me nuts -- there was no necessary or reasonable connection between 9-11 and invading Iraq, and so no reason to think anyone else would have done it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 9:04 AM
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414: Oh, definitely.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 9:10 AM
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nobody(1) gave Iraq a second thought until the administration started beating that drum.

That's my feeling about the flag as symbolic response to the attacks, too. Of course we all had very real and intense emotional responses to the events of 9/11. But how did they get channeled into the idea that "This was an attack against America", which seems to me to be what the flag displays symbolized.

Making the flag the symbol of our response to the attacks made it very hard to stand against the nationalistic and militaristic elements of that response. "What, you're against America?"


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 9:11 AM
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But how did they get channeled into the idea that "This was an attack against America", which seems to me to be what the flag displays symbolized.

Well, it was an attack against America, so there's that.

Making the flag the symbol of our response to the attacks made it very hard to stand against the nationalistic and militaristic elements of that response. "What, you're against America?"

This, of course, is the scary part. I do remember feeling very self-conscious about not hanging a flag but totally creeped out by the flags everywhere you looked. Now that I think of it, post-9/11 is also the only occasion I remember a recitation of the pledge amongst adults -- pre-game at a baseball game the following spring. Totally creepy, especially with thousands of fans surrounding you who might very well interpret any non-saying of the pledge as proof that you were a terrorist. (Yes, I do tend toward paranoid. Why do you ask?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 9:18 AM
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400.2: There were a lot of interesting ramifications of the relative geographic indeterminancy (especially westward) and overlap of original colonial grants. Mason-Dixon famously "resolved" one set of disputes, but perhaps the most interesting was the Pennamite-Yankee war (Connecticut v Pennsylvania, despite not being neighbors, over the Wilkes-Barre area). Connecticut did briefly "get" the Western Reserve area of Northeastern Ohio. Sometimes the claims became grants to veterans from that colony, such as the Virginia Military Tract, which made up a sizable portion of southwest Ohio.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 9:57 AM
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420: Someone was telling me that the township divisions (or something?) in NE Ohio look like New England and are different from the rest of Ohio. Apparently this is CT's doing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 10:06 AM
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421: The townships are 5x5 miles instead of the usual 6x6 in the rest of the midwest. New England's towns were not regular at all, so it is not the same as there, but it was surveyed as part of the Western Reserve before the 6x6 was set as a standard. Some of the older towns and farms do have a "New England look" to them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 10:26 AM
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Apparently this is CT's doing.

Probably that Henry Farrell. Or possibly Holbo.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 10:34 AM
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totally creeped out by the flags everywhere you looked

Yep, me too. On the afternoon of 9/14 I saw a car that had attached a full-sized flag to its antenna such that the wind pressed it across the entirety of the windshield. My friend suggested that we pull him over for operating a metaphor without a license.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 10:40 AM
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421: The resemblance has more to do with the architectural styles brought by settlers from Connecticut, or so I've read. mrh may be interested to know that one of the Western Reserve towns changed its name to Twinsburg after identical twin settlers from CT offered land for a town common and money for a school, and it now hosts one of the world's largest gatherings of twins and other multiples. The Twins Days festival is apparently crawling with genetics researchers, so I imagine there's a bit of a Boys from Brazil vibe about it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 10:48 AM
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388: The Maine flag looks like it should have a ribbon with the motto, "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay."


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 11:21 AM
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You could never get from Mass to Maine on land without passing through NH. This wasn't that big a deal, though, because people traveled plenty by water.

Maryland has a good flag. Distinctive.

Albion's Seed is interesting on the subject of westward movement.

The Senate was a necessary part of the deal, and, like the Electoral College hasn't been shown to cause any of the ills that afflict us. Getting rid of either isn't just a fantasy, it's a singularly ineffective fantasy.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:26 PM
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