Sunday, March 18, 2007

Confederate Flag Controversy

They should at least be happy that it's being used as high art.

In an art gallery in Tallahassee, an artist has created an exhibit called, "The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag" which is a confederate battle flag hung in a noose. Personally i think it is provocative, maybe the artist, John Sims should have hung the noose from a tree instead of a gallows because of the connotations of lynching, but I think it is fitting.

Of course the sons and daughters of the Confederacy are in protest over it and apparently it violates a state law that you cannot defile or desecrate the confederate flag, odd that the symbol of an anti-constitutional rebellion is given basically un-constituional protection.

Florida is the last place I would think they would have any sort of feeling for the flag. There were few people there when they joined the rebellion in the Civil War and practically few battles were fought there. If they had won, most of the people in Florida would not be there today. I can't image the Cubans wanting to live there if they still had slavery nor would old Jewish retirees from new York want to head out there either, I would think.

The flag should be considered offensive by everyone, not just because of slavery, but because it represents a group of people who were unhappy with the constitution and pouted and threw a fit and a temper tantrum called the Civil War. The South was run by an aristocratic slave owning elite that essentially were a bunch of crybabies who wanted to run everything in this country and when they saw they wouldn't be able to because Lincoln was elected, they shut themselves up in their rooms and refused to come out.

Remember General Lee killed more Americans than Osama. And don't think because he claimed he was fighting for his state (which I hale originally from, his house is the symbol on my county seal) that his armed struggle was serving just that ends. The nascent country was founded on slavery and slavery alone. State's Rights was not the issue. Anyone who disagrees can read the cornerstone speech. The South didn't care about State's Rights in the War of 1812 and the Mexican American War. It wanted Northern States to prosecute those who helped runaway slaves. They loved the federal government AS LONG AS THEY COULD RUN IT.

And Southern Heritage? What the hell is Southern Heritage? It's an excuse to hang the flag because the young people seem to no longer have been born with an inbred hate of Mr. Lincoln and the sons of Cain. Remember, not all Southerners fought for the Confederacy, many took arms against it. Remember the Black population of the South and how it is a part of that heritage as well, and that they shape how it is defined. What is this Southern heritage? Going to church? People everywhere do that. Respect for property? Seems common too. Owning firearms? Eating the cuisine of the region (which has many sub-variations so I can;t see how this is a "cornerstone" of their heritage)? Despite the accent, the Southern language is not really a dialect and certainly not a separate language. There is certainly a corpus of Southern Literature, but I doubt many of the people who protest the flag have read Faulkner and O'Connor.

The South is a land of many strong, passionate people who have built this country and have struggled to try and overcome the past. Those who would defend the flag and bring it into the Pantheon of essential "Southerness" jepordize the movement away from the scars and battlewounds and threaten to turn the progress of the last century and a half of progress into a lost cause.

(Photo credit of Phil Coale, AP)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A poem I wrote on

This was using the daily poetry contest:


Struggling faces disappear
Inside trapped masses crawling
From the withered blade.
Waterlogged voices against damned bones,
Gurgling remains of dried blood,
The world vanishing cries:
Echoing dirty silence.

I stumbled across a website called just that a few days ago. Seems interesting. They give out all this prize money for people who submit poems. I wonder exactly how they raise it. Maybe its a front and the people who win are laundering money. Chi sa?

I have sent in some poems for the daily contest they have. You take some of the words they give you (20 max.) and you pen a little ode with them. It's difficult, especially with the words they have today because they're in French. I suppose I could just string them together and that might help me to create something that sounds great but means nothing.

They have a monthly competition as well and I submitted my poem about politics "Correctness" to it. It's one of the few I have that is less than twenty lines long. They should have a competition for epic length poems.

Also I have been playing around on a site that sell magnetic poetry. It actually is better to do it online than on a fridge I think, better for your back and hands and the pieces move a lot quicker.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Parodies of particular beliefs

I like the list that Wikipedians have compiled of religious beliefs that are parodies, especially the last one.

The following were created as parodies of particular religious beliefs:

Church of the Holy Donut, sermons by talk radio host Bernie Ward parodying the religious right in the US.

Eventualism, a subtle parody of Scientology.

Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, also known as Pastafarianism, a parody of intelligent design.

Kibology, a humorous Usenet-based satire of religion, partly parodying Scientology.

Invisible Pink Unicorn, a parody of theist definitions of God. It also purports to highlight the arbitrary and unfalsifiable nature of religious belief, in a similar way to Russell's teapot.

Landover Baptist Church, a parody of Evangelical Christianity.

Last Thursdayism, a joke version of omphalism, again demonstrating problems with unfalsifiable beliefs.

OBJECTIVE: Ministries, parody of Christian fundamentalism.

Christianity, parody of Judaism.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I'm into Free Food

Maybe its an addiction. Maybe it just makes common sense. But whatever it is, I love free food. If an event is giving something to eat away, I will be on top of it, I will be there early, and I will push anyone out of my way. It might be the caveman inside me, the one who tells me to grow facial hair. I am constantly preparing for winter, even though I don't hibernate.

A few weeks ago they had on campus an event for everyone who uses campus cash, to come See what the vendors were offering, and who takes it. I pretty much am the king of using campus cash, of all my friends I am the only one who uses it regularly and I'm sure I keep the system afloat, at least at certain locations. The deli in the basement knows me as the guy who flashes the NYU id to pay for everything, including a slice of toast.
Well this event was a dream come true. For some reason there were dozen Mexican places represented, so I had my far share of Mexican food. I got certificates for three free burritos from Chipoltle. Pizza mercato served up slices of pizza. There were coffee, pastries, cupcakes, cookies, falafel, and my very favorite (I cannot underestimate in saying how happy this made me, I'm easy to please) a surprise of paella being dished out. They were giving us saffron and seafood!

Yesterday was Ultra Violet Live and afterwards there was free food. My friend Sue and her roommate Brittany liked that I came along with them to the top of the Rosenthal Pavilion, it made them feel better about themselves to see me with two plates loaded with mozzarella sticks, egg rolls, chicken wings, cheese, and crackers. In my defense I hadn't eaten all that much, except two bagels at breakfast, which were paid for by the local hall council. Yes, after the breakfast was over I snagged a couple of free bagels, but there was no one else there to take them.

One of the highlights of the evening was the fact that Josh H. a friend of mine from good old high school, was one of the judges. It was weird to hear his voice again, but good to know that he hadn't vanished completely off the face of the earth, or worse, totally immersed in LA. I wanted to see him after the show but he didn't come up to the Rosenthal Pavilion on the tenth floor of Kimmel, to watch me stuff my face with all matter of fried cheese and dairy products.