No doubt this story about a woman fined for hanging a peace-sign wreath is going to be making the rounds a lot, but really, it’s just astounding.
I’m not sure what’s most alarming about it:
- That the neighbors didn’t recognize it as a peace sign. But then, I have to remember that not everybody lives as close to Berkeley as I do, and they don’t see them as frequently. Maybe we should just be glad they didn’t think it was the Mercedes logo.
- That some neighbors used “we have children serving in Iraq” as grounds for their complaint. No, you dipshits, just no. “But my children are serving in Iraq” is supposed to be your knee-jerk response to people protesting the war in Iraq to try and guilt them into shutting up. It’s not for when somebody wishes for an end to war so that your children can come home and pass your damaged moron genes onto their kids.
- That the homeowners association president is such a tool. The AP version of the story starts with the guy, Bob Kearns, taking the school principal approach, describing it as if he’d been stuck in a bad situation and was just being fair to all the residents. But towards the end of the story, you see the truth:
Kearns ordered the committee to require Jensen to remove the wreath, but members refused after concluding that it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn’t say anything. Kearns fired all five committee members.
In other words: Kearns is not just your typical idiot who thinks himself a Patriot, but a coward who will enforce his opinion and then hide behind the rules.
- That there are still homeowners associations. Yeah, I rent. The whole concept is bizarre to me.
At the risk of getting too earnest here: what the hell, people?
For a couple of years, I’ve been trying to keep up the role of “left-leaning moderate” I’ve assigned myself. Even though I’ll make comments about how the invasion of Iraq was completely unjustified, how Bush is an idiot and Cheney is the harbinger of Hell’s dominion over Earth, and how Fox News and other gross Republican propaganda is twisting and corrupting America into a nation of evil, my heart hasn’t been completely in it. There’s always the voice in the back of my head that’s saying, “Remain objective. Be skeptical of everything. Make sure that you’re not just spouting out mindless left-wing propaganda. There are still intelligent, well-meaning, but misguided people who don’t share your opinions.”
Crap like this just shows that The Dark Side is winning. Until now, every time I’ve seen one of those “Support Our Troops” stickers on the back of a car (okay, an enormous SUV) (and I’ve been to malls in the Atlanta area, so I’ve seen thousands of them), I’ve assumed that the driver of the vehicle and I had roughly the same sentiment, but were looking at it from slightly different sides of the political spectrum. They were saying “Soldiers are risking their lives out of a sense of duty to their country, and we should support them until they get the job done.” I was saying, “Although the war is unjustified, the soldiers’ sense of duty is completely justified, and we should support them and do all we can to bring them home safely.”
Now, I’m saying the same thing, but they’re saying, “Love it or leave it, you Godless pinko San Francisco faggot-hippie.” And the map of the US in my head no longer looks like the simple red state/blue state job we’ve had rammed into our collective subconscious, complete with the well-intentioned-but-simple-minded midwesterners that people like to believe still exist. Instead, it looks like those old propaganda films that show the Red Menace spreading out from Russia and enveloping Europe and Asia. Now it’s a black cloud emanating from Washington and wherever Fox News broadcasts from, twisting people’s minds so completely that they believe peace on earth is something to be frowned upon.
The residents who supposedly complained because their children are serving in Iraq — what the hell are their children serving for, anyway? Is it not so that they can return to the US and watch idiotic television and get fat off too much food and play overly-violent videogames and enjoy all the mind-numbing excess that should come from peace? Or so the people of Iraq can go about their lives in peace without being afraid they’ll be murdered and thrown into a mass grave by their own countrymen? Or so that the Left and the Right can go back to arguing about economic policy and civil rights and marriages and abortions instead of arguing about whether it’s a good thing to go to a politically unstable area and kill people and set off civil wars?
I can understand how the Bush Administration benefits from having an ongoing war with no end in sight; it’s a relatively cheap way to whip up your supporters into patriotic frenzy and keep them too afraid to vote you out of office. But how does your average American benefit from wanting an end to peace?