32 thoughts on “The world has gone mad.

  1. Unsurprisingly, authoritarian states are generally the ones where the rhetoric discourse about freedom is the strongest. 

    Just like you can tell if a state is authoritarian right away if it has “Popular” or “of the People” or similar stuff in the name.

    The very existence of the Pledge was a horrible signal in this direction to begin with (and the fact that people commonly believe it’s some old tradition, or sanctioned by the law or the constitution only confirms my icky feeling about it).

  2. Side note: there’s a really interesting rise across the board in extreme individuality, maybe iconoclasm, happening as well. I think folks are getting very comfortable with (at least the illusion of) staking out their positions, completely independent of social contracts and expected behaviors.

    Obviously this plays well into the narrative of reactionaries. Not only do they not need to compromise their values, they’re sure to find like minded allies to provide courage.

    The world is such a different place when you give everyone extreme connectivity. There have always been crazies, but either they were solitary or has great difficulty connecting (via zines, conventions, newsletters, coded ads at the backs of magazines).

    Democratization is very much a mixed bag. Hopefully ultimately to the human good, once we find our way through this stretch. Might be worked out in time for Henry and Iris!

  3. Paul Beakley I want to believe it’s ultimately for the good, since I have to believe that the sane will outnumber the nujobs int he end.

    That, or at least we can clearly identify all the nutjobs and force them to live in a giant walled pen somewhere far away from the rest of us.

  4. Mark Delsing re: walled pen, our latest attempt to do that failed when patriotic Americans posted paranoiac screeds to their Facebook pages, exposing Obama’s Jade Helm/Wal-Mart/FEMA Camp plot.  🙁

  5. Renato Ramonda It’s crazy how these artifacts of (for the most part) the Cold War have been assumed to be somehow intrinsically American: the Pledge, the idea of the US as a “Christian nation”, etc.

    Aside: the creator of the Pledge was a socialist, and his original idea for the kid’s salute looked like this…
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg#/media/File:Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg

  6. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg#/media/File:Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg]]>

  7. Renato Ramonda As I recall the old (pre-WWII) shoulder patches for the US 45th Infantry Division are said to have had a swastika on them.  It was considered a good luck symbol by the sizable Native American contingent in the unit.  Right around 1938 or so, they decided to change it for some funny reason.  Something about an upstart Austrian…

    Me?  I’ve never quite forgive the Communists for ruining the term ‘comrade’ for everybody else.