Interesting article in the Times last Tuesday.
The gist of the story was, some students in Mukilteo are "protesting" having to say the Pledge Of Allegiance every day. What's really interesting about it, though, is that every single person quoted in the article (with the exception of the guy from the ACLU) comes off like a complete moron.
I just can't figure out who's the most fucked up:
The idiot schools for enforcing the idiot rule?
The idiot students who want to be forced to say it once a week rather than once a day, because this will ensure a more meaningful, respectful pledge?
The idiot commander of American Legion Post 234 who wants the students to go to Russia and stand in bread lines? (One of the more curious statements I have ever seen anywhere, on a couple of different levels.)
The idiot student school board member who's okay with coercing students to say the pledge because "there are worse things we could be asking them to do. We could be asking them to sing the National Anthem." (Which, while it's a hilarious, if unintentional, dis of the National Anthem, is, of course, an horribly lame argument.)
The idiot general counsel who says that if students don't say the pledge, they're threatening classroom order?
The idiot president of the American Indian Heritage School who says that, "The U.S. flag is a big part of all our ceremonies, and the first dance of any powwow honors war veterans" (including, presumably, veterans of those wars which wiped the American Indians off the face of the continent), but that somebody would have to put a gun to his head to make him say the pledge. [?!?!?!?]
The idiot activity coordinator who says that by the time they reach high school kids aren't as "willing" to "just blindly do what we want them to do"?
The idiot assistant superintendent who says that there's no penalty for not saying the pledge because he doesn't know how you'd enforce it?
Or the idiot president of the Flag Day Foundation, who wants everyone to say the Pledge Of Allegiance at 7 PM every Flag Day, and that "each time it's said, it should be said with meaning and understanding of what you're expressing in those 31 words."
Which has to make me wonder if he's ever read the fucking thing, it being about the most mind-numbingly stupid (not to mention anti-constitutional) 31 words ever put to paper.
I do agree with his statement, taken out of context. But I think the pledge should be less abstract. It should read something like--
I pledge allegiance to bombing the fuck out of defenseless third world countries. I pledge allegiance to for-profit health care. I pledge allegiance to the highest incarceration, poverty, and income inequality rates in the industrialized world. I pledge allegiance to bovine growth hormone. I pledge allegiance to corporate welfare. I pledge allegiance to commodity fetishism. I pledge allegiance to toxic sludge, and to one in three Americans dying of cancer. I pledge allegiance to disastrous IMF-mandated austerity programs, and to murderous embargoes. I pledge allegiance to devoting 50% of the budget to the fucking military, and to spending more on the fucking military than the rest of the world combined. I pledge allegiance to "don't ask don't tell", the "Defense of Marriage Act", and to "outing" little purple puppets. I pledge allegiance to 20% of the world's population consuming 80% of its resources. I pledge allegiance to union-busting. I pledge allegiance to...aw, you get the picture.
Perhaps then people would actually think about just what it is they're pledging allegiance to, and maybe even come to the realization that any entity which needs to forcibly extract allegiance to itself probably doesn't deserve it in the first place. And perhaps then, in the future students would protest the principle of being compelled to sign off on the horrors undertaken in their name, rather than merely the inconvenience of having to do so daily rather than weekly.