Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Never Enough Mandatory Indoctrination Department

So the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Pledge of Allegiance case. So far, it's been couched only as a matter of freedom of religion, e.g. are people required to pledge their loyalty to a country that, by merit of the pledge, declared subserviant to a god they don't believe in? But there is a deeper issue here, quite frankly.

The recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is a relic of the Cold War. It was introduced at a time when Americans were regularly frightened by the boogeyman of the Red Menace. Specifically, people were convinced that there might be people amongst them whose loyalties belonged to a foreign nation with an alien ideology, and who possessed a decided taste for espionage and subversion. The Pledge was therefore intended to indoctrinate a whole nation to follow instead this country--and to present themselves in contrast to those "godless commies." Hence, what started as a quaint little pledge written by a newspaper editor, without the phrase "under God" in it, became a propaganda tool with a twist of faith.

It's too easy to draw a parallel between the Cold War and the War On Terrorism, which we learned was conducted by terrorists who had lived in the US for significantly long periods. But a Pledge will not help us, nor will clinging to cynical jingoism. It's time to retire the Pledge, and renew a more powerful patriotism, one that creates true strength and security while helping the world become a better place. Damn it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Never Enough Utter Grossness Department

OK, maybe you've seen something grosser, like German scheisse porn, but there's something about this eye that makes me wonder. Maybe it's the way it follows your cursor. Maybe it's the way it distorts, as if it's trying to reach out and grab the cursor. You almost expect a pseudopod to grab hold and pull you into its slimy maw. Whatever that may be. Regardless... EUUUUUUUW!!!