On the way to work Monday morning I saw a delivery van parked in front of the subway entrance. Plain white van dropping off some groceries to one of the many bodegas in the area. Completely unremarkable except that painted on the back doors was the following:
‘America: Love it or get the F**K out.’
Below that was painted:
‘Complaints about the sign? Call 1-800-eat-shit’
At least credit where credit’s due – he painted the sign on the van, which is permanent and more than can be said for the limp people whose idea of national support is to affix a removable magnetic flag or ribbon to the side of their 15 m.p.g. SUV, thereby not risking their cool paint job on their gas-guzzling car. And also, there were no misspellings, which is more than can be said for similar graffiti on bathroom walls.
Although the author of the sign obviously confuses patriotism with intolerant and hateful nationalism, I find it ultimately difficult to get too upset with him. We live in a country where political and media discourse encourages such thought. To wit, the State of the Union Address.
Once again I purposely skipped it. After 2003 I avoid them like shopping malls. During that address the President was babbling on about the war on terrorism and was snarkily commenting on how successful it was:
‘…All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies. (Applause.)…’
I threw up when he said that. I recognize the unfortunate necessity of military action in a messed up world, but when my government is forced to ‘eliminate problems’ it is not something that should be bragged about in the ‘Red Meat’ section of a political speech. It’s also insulting when the President talks like he’s coming up with slogans for the back of Econoline Vans. Addressing me as if I have the emotional and intellectual development of a nine year old goes way beyond pandering.
So I don’t get too upset with the large number of idiots and dimwits which ‘pollute our collective subconscious’, to quote Bill Hicks. Like most monkeys, they are excellent mimics.